Friday, October 31, 2008

Friday Fragments

In Honor of Tena over at My Therapy (more on her later), I stole (temporarily) her Friday Fragments headline because that is the story of my life today.

First off, let me say that whoever left the 3 adorable puppies at my house last night while I was out schmoozing at a presale kickoff party for a new condo development can come back and pick up those adorable little things. They are cute, I have fed them, but they will be taken to the animal shelter today. I have a dog already, and like her owner, she is old, tired, and doesn't want to deal with a puppy. I was terribly tempted to keep the cream colored one... but who am I kidding? I don't have time for house-training. I reread Sabrae's blog just to remind myself why I don't need a puppy. Thanks Sabrae for that smack upside the head.
UPDATE: I'm adding a picture. If you live near Nashville and want one, I might bring it to you. Limited time offer only.... or off to the pound they go.

Second, everyone was pleased with their costumes. All costumes fit with no additional work from me. That was awesome because working on that crap at 6a.m. would have given me a mental breakdown. Husband saw his costume, and while he doesn't want to show it, he is pretty pumped about his Elvis jumpsuit. I am still contemplating Priscilla's outfit. As a side note on the hair (and because none of you really know what I look like), I will mention that my hair is long, brown, really thick, and curly- I could just wake up in the morning and probably have something similar to the beehive I need, so I have been assured by numerous friends that fixing my hair will NOT be a problem. I'll take that as a compliment. I guess.

Third, I can hear those puppies outside whining. I will NOT feel sorry for them. I will NOT try to love them or keep them. Someone come get these damn things!!! (Really, you know you want one....)

Fourth, I have ladybugs on my ceiling. Specifically, on the ceiling in my boys bedroom. Which means the boys won't sleep in there because the bugs make noise and they are 'scary'. So, I am going to vaccum those little suckers off the ceiling with my Dyson and then figure out how they got in and seal off the access point. If you want to know more about ladybugs, Tena posted a lovely story with photos about it because it seems she is having the same problem.

Fifth, I was Boo'ed by Tena- remember her from somewhere up above? Well, she boo'ed me. Which doesn't mean I get any candy, or really anything tangible that I could enjoy. But I do get this awesome Halloween picture. I meant to get this little spot for Boo'ed up higher in my list, but I got sidetracked. At any rate, I hope I did her proud, cause after all she did get 5, count em, 5 linky loves from me! Take that! I am supposed to Boo'ed others, but because I have some random puppies and some ladybugs to vacuum, I will just Boo everyone who reads this. Ha!

Lastly, later today I will be slaving my children out to gather candy for me while I drink beer and/or wine, or wine coolers, or maybe just some vodka... I will follow them and encourage them to continue after they trip and fall in the dark, because we don't raise sissies and mama needs more candy! Seriously though, we are going to visit with Mr. & Mrs. Lipstick over at Lipstick at the Mailbox. Mr. Lipstick is conducting a tractor hayride with Mrs. Lipstick's tractor she loves. My oldest child is too good to go with us, so she is spending the night with a friend. Husband and I are not wearing our costumes because we are too lazy (give me a break, we have 5 kids and a party tomorrow).


Thursday, October 30, 2008

I Hate Costumes

After stopping at 2 stores looking for costumes I am through with Halloween and everyone better like what they got. I know....I know.... I should have started shopping sooner you say. I would have had better selection, yada, yada, yada.
Whatever. I hate costumes. Expensive, poorly made, itchy, ill-fitting, pieces of crap. But I'll play along.
I took requests from the kids and here is what I got:

Child #1: God love her, she is going to wear one of my old halloween costumes. She isn't trick or treating, but she is going to a party. She just wants something comfortable. I have a nice black velvet robe and she can be a vampire or whatever that makes you wanna be. Like this but without the slits in it.

Child #2: Wizard. She wouldn't give me another option. Here is what she got.

Child #3: Penguin, Cat, Magician, Pirate, and... if she has to be... a princess. Here is what she got.

Child #4: Black Spiderman. This is my only option. I had a really cute Peter Pan outfit my sister gave to me that would fit him- but Peter Pan is a sissy and he will not be seen in that. So, he got the Black Spiderman, albeit without the built-in muscles, because, well... muscles cost $10 more and I really didn't care that much.

Child #5: A queen or cereal. Really, both answers were bad. When I asked he was eating Cherrios and I had just finished trying to convince the girls to wear the princess outfits they had from last year. He is going to be Peter Pan and like it.

Husband: Anything that does not require makeup. Or a wig. So... because he really loves Elvis, and he thinks Elvis is still alive, and in all my love for him I agreed to be married by an Elvis in Las Vegas.... He got this. Along with a red cape.

Now I just have to figure out what I am going to do. I tried on this outfit.

It barely covered my ass. If it looks short in the picture- it may as well be a shirt. I'm brave, but that would have been obscene.
My friend suggested I tease my hair into the ultimate beehive and dress up as Priscilla... I can probably go there, I just need a good 70's outfit.

If you all have any ideas- let me know! And quick!!!!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

McCain Rally in NC and my adorable Niece...

Yesterday my 7 week old adorable niece went to her first political rally in Fayetteville, NC (near Ft. Bragg). My sister-in-law and a friend waited in line for about 4 hours and ended up front row to hear from McCain and Palin. Little Rudy caught the attention of the press and is now famous the world over on Yahoo- perhaps because she is so freakin cute, or maybe it was her button. I'll let you decide for yourself....

Rudy Sanderlin, 7-weeks-old, is held high as Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., speaks at a rally at The Crown Center in Fayetteville, N.C., Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2008. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Seven-week-old Rudy Sanderlin is held high at a campaign rally with U.S. Republican presidential nominee Senator John McCain (R-AZ) in Fayetteville, North Carolina October 28, 2008. REUTERS/Brian Snyder (UNITED STATES) US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION CAMPAIGN 2008 (USA)

Oldest Child and Why We Love Books

Oldest child, nearly 13, has loved books since she was 2 feet tall. Maybe even smaller than that. I've always had a lot of books, and I guess I passed that trait on. She taught herself to read at age 3, and by Kindergarten read at a 4th grade level. She hit 12th grade level in 5th grade, and is now in 8th grade and perusing my law school books. She has several bookcases that are overflowing and can't bear to throw out a book, even when its falling apart and pages are missing. She reads and rereads her favorites, and has read such masterpieces as Fahrenheit 451, Schindler's List, all the Harry Potter's, Lemony Snicket's, Eragon, pretty much any series... and even came home once with Gone with the Wind after her school librarian got sick of her reading short books and coming back every single day to the library to get a new book.

This love of books means at least 4 things: 1) she has a great vocabulary, 2) she is a great speller, 3) she doesn't always know how to pronounce the words, and 4) she sometimes gets difficult words meanings mixed up

Which leads to some really funny conversations.

Oldest: I wish 'insert sibling name' had some common courtesy (pronounced like core-te-sy and reminiscent of a southerner with an english accent)

Oldest: what exactly can they give a person to treat pschitzophrenia? (pronounced like shits-o-frenia)
Answer: maybe some pepto?

and then sometimes those similar medical terms get all mixed up in translation....

(while talking about people dying on the Mission Space ride at Epcot)
Oldest: i guess they had a hemmeroid...
Husband: people don't die from hemmeroids- they are painful, but I don't think they've ever killed anyone.
Oldest: isn't that when you have bleeding in your brain?
Husband: not unless you are a politician

and a recent favorite, where she turned a little passive agressive....

Oldest: I told this kid in my class who said he'd vote for Obama that he was mispronouncing it
Me: How did you tell him its pronounced?
Oldest: O-bama, as in Go Bama, Roll Tide
Me: What did he say?
Oldest: (laughing) Now he says he wants Gobama to be elected

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I Wish I Drove an Unmarked Police Car

I normally wouldn't post twice in one day, except today I am really really peeved about this. You got any thoughts about it.... throw them out there for me...

I went to pick up child #5 from the Mother's Day Out at a local church in our small rural town (see previous post). On the way, I drive right through town, which has a 40mph speed limit and one stoplight on a two lane state highway. Obviously, living in Tennessee, the area has a few hills, so there are some areas on the main road which happen to have a solid yellow "no pass" line.

As I am driving along, I notice a dark colored pickup truck that is tailgating me severely. If I had a hitch, I swear he would have just hitched up for the ride. I was doing exactly 40mph. I really wanted to hit my brakes and scare him into backing off, but before I could.....

he passed me.....

obviously going faster than the posted 40mph....

on a solid yellow line.....

as he is beside me I am tempted to honk my horn and give that special wave to indicate that the speed limit is 40mph, but I have tinted windows and so did he, so he probably wouldn't have seen me.

which is when I notice the license plate.....

is a Tennessee JUDICIARY plate!

I was furious! Now, I realize it may not have been a judge him/herself. Their families are also entitled to judiciary plates. And I don't expect any member of the judiciary to be perfect. But really? If you are going to advertise that you are judiciary, shouldn't you behave accordingly? Or are you hoping your judicial plate will get you out of that ticket for speeding and illegal passing? I mean, judges are subject to the ABA Model Code for Judicial Conduct, which specifically states in Canon 1:
"RULE 1.1
Compliance with the Law
A judge shall comply with the law,* including the Code of Judicial Conduct.
RULE 1.2
Promoting Confidence in the Judiciary
A judge shall act at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the independence,* integrity,* and impartiality* of the judiciary, and shall avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety."
And if you go to the definitional section:
“Law” encompasses court rules as well as statutes, constitutional provisions, and decisional law.
“Impropriety” includes conduct that violates the law, court rules, or provisions of this Code, and conduct that undermines a judge’s independence, integrity, or impartiality.
“Integrity” means probity, fairness, honesty, uprightness, and soundness of character.

Pretty sure that all means that judges are still held to obey the laws....

Maybe even to a higher standard than the rest of us common folk....

Including traffic laws....

So... driver of the dark colored pickup with the Tennessee Judiciary Plate #J124.....
If I find out who you are, you can bet your black robed bottom I will file a complaint about it.

Don't Trust Him

According to the devil that is Wikipedia, my rural small southern town covers 8 square miles and has about 2000 residents including children. Of the approximately 600 families, 95% are white. I wouldn't characterize them as racist, but I'd be lying if I didn't admit I've heard people around here say they'd be first in line to shoot Obama (not the word they used) should he get elected. I'd say they are also pretty religious (considering there is no homework assigned on Wednesday nights so you can go to church and not worry about it). There are also a lot of hunters around- which I know from seeing dead deer dangling from trees and hearing gunshots consistently through the hunting seasons. Yards are littered with McCain/Palin and other republican yard signs, and cars are sporting McPalin bumper stickers with lipstick kisses. I'd say its a pretty conservative, republican area.So I went today to early vote. I didn't early vote last time and I got stuck in a 2 hour line in a sweat-stenched elementary school gym with a bunch of boot wearing gun toting republicans while the gym teacher freaked out over the future condition of the gym floor. I wanted to be proactive this time and get it over with. Early voting is at City Hall, a small room with a 200 person capacity with new carpet and clean paint.

When I got there, there were about 15 people in line in front of me. Not too bad. There was a younger lady working the first step of signing in, taking your ID and entering info into a computer to print out some sheet you sign that says what district you are in. She is doing this job probably because she is the only one who can really work a computer. Everyone else working the polls is at least 70, if not 80. They love this job and take it very seriously.

While in line, a young man about 20 years old comes in and goes to the elderly man sitting in a cushy chair supervising the workers. He tells the man he needs to sign in. The man tells him to get in line. He tells the man he is not here to vote, he is a poll-watcher. At this point, elderly man looks at him with disdain- and asks for ID. The young man gets his drivers license out while explaining this is his first time and he isn't sure where to sit, where to sign in, does he need a nametag? Elderly man takes his time examining the drivers license- long enough that young man says, "Is there a problem?" He is polite, but clearly uncomfortable. Elderly man returns license and says, "No problem yet... you can sit over there." Directing him to the most uncomfortable, isolated chair in the room.

At this point, elderly man approaches elderly women and they discuss young man- loudly enough for him to hear. While giving him the evil eye, they say "he'd better mind his P's and Q's." Well, he is from "_____" (which is a larger town about an hour away). Young man has obviously inspired a great amount of distrust. Bless his heart- he is just trying to be involved. The younger woman says there is a list in her briefcase for him to sign in and get a nametag and she will do all that in a minute when she gets time. For now.... he sits. In his little uncomfortable chair just watching people come and go. Small southern towns can be hospitable, but not if you are "some young buck", "probably an Obama supporter", who came "from ______" to make sure these dedicated election workers are doing their job properly. Don't trust him....

Sunday, October 26, 2008

I Admit... I'm a Dork

I am still really busy studying, I have added some other topics to review schedule. I haven't even had time to go back and find funny stories about my other 2 children- but not to worry they will come soon.

But, have you ever noticed that hearsay is just a hair off from heresy? There must be a reason.

Also, I discovered the following - law professors blogs
They have blogs for nearly every area of practice: criminal, evidence, trusts, torts, contracts, family law, immigration, civil procedure, environmental....
I spent a while just reading through the blogs, signing up for updates on ones that I thought were interesting, classes I have upcoming, and even reading past commentary on topics I am getting ready to take exams in. All of these blogs are written by law professors across the country. The evidence one is particularly interesting. I know not many of you are legal students, or even care about legal stuff, but if you do these are definitely worth checking out.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Creams and Lotions Not Necessary

Since I am still bogged down in hearsay evidence and don't have time for much original thought (and because I still owe stories about my remaining kids)- here is an entry regarding child #3. She is the younger of my twins, my youngest girl, nearly 8, sensitive, loves animals, a little OCD sometimes, and probably has the sweetest heart of all my children.

This exchange took place about 6 months ago....

Husband and I were sitting on the couch in the living room and the kids were brushing teeth and getting ready for bed. Child #3 came out of my bathroom and stopped for a minute on her way through the living room. There was a commercial on TV- something for facial cream of some sort. You know, the kind that says if you use it you will not have a wrinkle to be found and look just as amazing as the woman on tv. She looked at us and said, "you know those commercials, they always have some lady bragging about how great she looks because she has some special cream, and all they are is people bragging about themselves and how good they look".

So Husband looks at her and says, "you know, mama uses those special creams".

At that point Child #3 gives him ’the look’. You know, the one that says ’I don’t believe a word you say, you are full of it, and you are rightly crazy’. Then she said, "mama doesn’t use those creams. She is prettier than those ladies and beautiful enough anyway".

I gave her a high five and told her she was awesome. When she walked away I told Husband that she is definitely my kid, and at least someone in our house knows how awesome I really am.

It just doesn’t get much better than that.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Mission Accomplished

Yesterday I shared with you a story about my 5 year old adorable blue eyed ADHD older boy who is always into something. I decided that Just to be fair (and so that you don't get the impression that I love one child more than another) I will share something about each child.

Today we move on to my youngest boy and youngest child, my baby, Child #5, is a sweet easygoing 4 year old little mama's boy. He was the owner of Blue Stinky, which you can read more about here. He does not get in too much trouble, likes to play quietly, BUT he has been the most difficult child to potty train, and we've been working on it for a little over a year (since he turned 3). Unfortuntalely, the beginning of our potty training effort was hampered by his fascination with flushing. He loved to flush. Potty no. Flush yes. I figured it was a start though. Until we had small objects and toys start to go missing. Between all 5 kids we have taken up toilets in our house a total of 14 times. Usually we find soap, wads of paper towel, once we even found a Thomas the Train engine. Taking the toilet up and snaking the lines usually fixed our problems. Except this once....

Preface: It was my twin girls 7th birthday. They had a birthday party to go to for another little girl, and then we were going to have cake and open presents after dinner. We needed to leave the house around 12:30pm to get to the party.

12:00, I told the girls to get hair brushed and shoes on and be ready to go. Husband is just sitting down to watch the Titans game.
12:15, Child #2 and Child #4 come running in saying that the potty isn't flushing and water is going to overflow. Husband grabs the plunger and we go to investigate. The toilet in our half-bath is indeed clogged, however the water is clear. Husband says, "what got flushed?". No one knows. Child #5 gets blamed- mostly because he can't defend himself and probably had something to do with it. I take Child #5 aside and try to figure out what got flushed. No success. So, while Husband works on that bathroom, I go into our bathroom and realize that our potty isn't flushing either. There is now a much bigger problem.
12:45, the plunger is not working and all of our sinks and toilets are not draining. Husband and I venture under the house to start opening traps in the main line. We have a "snake" that we have used before- this is not our first dance with the unknown flushed object. Thinking ahead, we grab a couple 5 gallon buckets. We open the first trap furthest from the septic tank. We drain about 20 gallons of water, run the snake, and- we find no clog. We crouch down and go further under the house. The next trap is on the other end of the house, and next to the septic tank. This could be really bad. We open preparing for the worst, but there is no water. Which only means the clog is somewhere after the last toilet drains into the line and before the trap at the septic. But that is about 30 feet of line with a 90degree angle in it.
1:15 and I call a plumber. They can't come until at least 6pm, and it is going to cost at least $200 because its an emergency on a Sunday afternoon. Never mind, Husband says we can do this. He goes into our bathroom and removes the toilet. This is the closest opening to the clog and he is going to run the snake through. But the snake doesn't work. He is going to call Lowe's and rent a power auger. The guy at Lowe's explains that a power auger won't make a 90 degree angle either.
1:30. Husband goes across the street to consult with Fix-Anything Neighbor, and I call my grampa. Everyone reaches the same conclusion. There should not be a 90 degree angle. You need to cut that line, get the clog out, and put it back with some 45 degree angles. And add another trap while you're at it. We take a short break to discuss, Husband watches a few minutes of football, I grab a cup of coffee.
2:00. We travel to our closest gas station/hardware. They have a trap, the pipe, the cement, and just one 45 degree angle. So, we drive on to Home Depot. Husband and I discuss how excited we are to be able to spend time together working on a project and how much better this is than football. The Titans are losing at the half.
3:00. Back home with all the supplies. We have flashlights, tools, buckets, and we are ready. We go to the pipe and Husband begins to cut. Just a little and water starts pouring out. About 25 gallons of poo water later, we have cut through one section. We move around to the other side and begin cutting. More poo water. another 10 gallons later, we have cut through both sections. we can now see the clog. We can't tell what it is, but we run that snake through the pipe and whatever it is goes on to the septic tank. Good riddance.
4:20. Begin reassembly. I won't explain all the details, but suffice to say that sitting in poo water under the house, while covered in insulation, itching, cold, and wet- all while trying to cut, clean, and glue pvc together by flashlight is so much fun if I told you, you'd be jealous.
5:20 we have all the pipes together. Husband is worried about one joint, so he stays under the house while I go up to flush a toilet and run some water. No leaks. Now he can come up and we can reattach our bathroom toilet. I clean the floor, he replaces the toilet, I clean out the bathtub where the toilet sat, and we are home free.
5:45 I am itching like crazy from insulation. We missed the birthday party for the friend. We need a special birthday dinner for twin girls (aka Child #2 and #3). We have a cake, and we need to open presents. I take a quick shower.
6:30 we finally get to eat dinner, have cake, and open presents. I have been so excited by my afternoon of fun, I can hardly stand it. Oh, and the Titans lost.

Mission Remove From Poo- Accomplished.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Boys & Knives: Warning- Do NOT Mix

Since I've been very busy studying for exams and recounting the frustrations of the rules of evidence would bore you all to tears, I decided to share a story I wrote in my real paper journal (gasp) about a year ago before I knew how much better the whole bloggie thing was. Everyone I told this story to at the time really got a good laugh. More importantly- heed my warning....

Preface: At the time, my older boy, child #4, was about 4.5 years old. He had already had 3 sets of stitches: one on the top of his head courtesy of his sister whacking him with a hand shovel in retaliation for him chasing her with a stick, one exactly a week later courtesy of another sister throwing a matchbox car at him during cleanup time and splitting his top lip entirely requiring a pediatric facial plastic surgeon, and the last set just above the eyebrow when he jumped out of his granddaddy's parked car and landed head first on the gravel section of the driveway. After the ER doctor recognized me on the second trip I asked him at what point they call DCS. Thankfully, he said they could tell the difference between abuse and a 'repeat offender'. The following story occurred about 6 months after the last trip to the ER....

We had a close call on round four of stitches today. And yeah, it was Child #4 again. What is the fascination with knives? Let us explore....
It all started when Child #4 came running from the kitchen holding an unsharpened pencil. I thought he was going to ask me to sharpen it, until he started screaming about blood. I took the pencil from his bloody hand, and as I ushered him back into the kitchen for a wet cloth I asked him what he had cut himself on. His answer, as he pointed to the counter, "that knife".
To summarize the next 5 minutes, I learned that he really thought he could sharpen the pencil himself with that hunting knife. I didn't even think to ask why he thought that, I just figured it was a little boy thing and I moved along to controlling the blood flow. We've had enough incidents I no longer panic at the sight of blood, its just another day.
After 15 minutes of sitting in my lap while I applied pressure to his injured fingers, my husband happened to call. He told me what he was doing, I told him about the bloody hand/knife incident. He immediately went quiet, then said, "well he couldn't have gotten the blade closed". At that point I knew he had more information. I had only identified it as a knife. He knew it was his hunting knife. How did he know? Because, "he saw me sharpen a pencil with it last night and I told him not to touch it."
Yeah, he told him not to touch it. Which in little-boy-speak means "touch it, touch it, touch it!!!" Of course, as soon as Child #4 realized I had just told Daddy what happened, he said, "oh, he's gonna be mad". He knew. He just really didn't care. And you'd think this whole incident would have turned him off from the knife. No. He actually laughed when the blood stopped and said, "see, I'm fine now". Which in little-boy-speak means, "I will do that again as soon as you aren't looking, so you'd better hide the knife now".
Consider the knife hidden.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Random Thoughts

I've been really hitting the books hard for the last few days. Exams begin in less than 2 weeks. I did really well on midterms and thought that would alleviate some pressure during finals, but alas, it has only made more pressure to maintain the ground I made.

So, today I am making a list of some of the random things I thought of over the last couple days. If any of you have any answers or insight, I'd love to hear it. And now, I will leave you with these thoughts....

1. How is it possible to shed so much hair every time I shower, yet still have so much hair left?

2. Why does the doctors office always tell you to come early to fill out paperwork, but they are never ready when you get there?

3. If I am on the Do Not Call list, why can my phone company still call me every other day to sell me something?

4. Why aren't there more osteopathic doctors in middle Tennessee?

5. Why are gay guys more fun to hang out with?

6. Why don't our schools teach foreign languages in younger grades?

7. When does being eccentric turn into having a mental issue?

8. Why is no one complaining about welfare, when it costs the country about the same amount per month as the war- we have war protestors, where are the welfare protestors?

9. Are safety measures defeating the theory of natural selection and survival of the fittest?

10. Why does baking seem like so much more fun than cooking?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Vacation can be Dangerous...

Well, we finally made it home last night around 5:30p.m. I am glad to be home and not, all at the same time. I am glad because now I feel like I can get back to my life, my routine, my 'things I need to do'. I am not glad because I miss the sunshine and sand, I have about 15 loads of laundry to do, and I am about 2 weeks out from final exams. But, overall, I am glad to be home again. I didn't lose my mind, or even any children (thanks for the reminder

I had a whole long post about how spoiled some kids are and how not spoiled my kids are. About how I think sheltering kids will only lead to worse behavior later on. That I swear in front of my kids from time to time, and I certainly can't hide my smart ass attitude from them forever. They know I am a real person and real people are not always nice. On how my kids are not getting a raw deal because there are 'so many' of them and they have to share things, including my husband and I. That my kids know life isn't always fair. But I started looking at some of the pictures from our trip to show you that despite the fact that my kids do not have June Cleaver for a mother they are still happy, and I realized that you can probably tell a lot from the pictures I took.

We left my 12 year old at the campground one day because she didn't want to experience the magic that is Magic Kingdom a second time in the same trip. So some of our pictures only have 4 kids. The reality is though, some of them only had 4 kids even when she was with us (a little too good to have the picture made with Jasmine and Aladdin).

I let my kids play at, around, and in the ocean without life jackets or floaties. I was not even hovering inches away in case of some freak undertow. I took this picture with the furthest zoom I had because I was busy sitting in my chair drinking a beer and watching the kids enjoy the sun and sand.

There were jellyfish in the water. I even let my kids hunt and catch jellyfish with a net and bring them ashore for photo-ops.

And those are just a couple of the things that probably make all those scrapbooking, cupcake baking, politically correct, minivan driving, soccer (or hockey) watching, Martha Stewart moms out there gasp. There are more stories...plenty more... I just don't want to give it all away on my first day really back! So, before you call DCS and report neglected children because I actually refer to them as 'slave labor' while they are doing their chores around the house and not being paid for them.... here is a picture to prove that they are actually happy, well-adjusted little people....

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Just One More Day

Here is a brief rundown of the Disney highlights thus far...

We went to Magic Kingdom on Sunday. We got there around 9am. The kids loved Space Mountain. My 5 year old and I nearly got sick on the teacup ride. My 12 year old passed out (Yep you read it right) at a drinking fountain just outside the boat ride. I've never been to a first aid station in a theme park before but they are pretty pimpin- air conditioned, nice dark place to rest- I highly recommend it if you just need a nap while out theme parkin it. Seriously though, she is fine. We think she was just a little dehydrated and it was freakin hot out. We stayed for the light parade at night, but skipped the fireworks.

Monday we went to Epcot. My kids think the countries of the world section is b-o-r-i-n-g. They wanted to know where all the rides were. They liked the Fast Track there, where your car goes 60mph, but otherwise were unimpressed with the rides. I was excited they were having a wine festival, but how festive can it be when every glass (i.e. 4 ounce plastice cup) is $6.00? Not so festive. We had dinner with my grandparents who live nearby, then watched the fireworks. Grandparents paid for dinner- no small feat at any disney park- so a shout out to the grandparents! ;)

Today we went to Hollywood studios. The kids were all about the Tower of Terror, but they didn't get the Twilight Zone references. I really liked the Rock n Roller Coaster- an indoor deal sort of like Space Mountain, but faster, with black lights and neon, and with an Aerosmith theme. It played Aerosmith music, which I think made the ride. I actually saw them in concert once, and had backstage tickets to meet the band thanks to an old boyfriend. Steven Tyler is really short, but I've loved Aerosmith even more since that concert.

Tomorrow we are going back to the Magic Kingdom. The kids voted that their favorite park, and no one wanted to go to Animal Kingdom. My kids aren't into animal shows (or any shows) - they want rides. Big rides. Fast rides. Scary rides. Thrill rides. So, one more day of theme park madness and we will be done. Then on to Destin, or more acurately Santa Rosa Beach, for some wedding partying. Then on Sunday I will be clicking my heels 3 times while wearing my red sparkle shoes hoping to magically transport home so I don't have to ride in the car another 10-12 hours with the little people.....

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Arrival at Last in (not so) Sunny Florida

We left home last night around 5:45 and drove until about 3:15a.m. at which point we were just crossing the GA/FL state line. We stopped at a rest stop, hauled all the kids back into the camper, and slept until 7:15. We were back on the road by 8am, made a bunch of stops on the way to the campground, and finally got here around noon. While we were setting up the camper, we realized that somewhere along the way one of our roof vents got completely ripped off. Since it was sprinkling rain and dark clouds were looming, we decided a trip to Camper Connection for a new one was in order.
Dear husband thought for sure that Camper Connection was going to rip him off on a new roof vent, but it was only about $40. On the way back to the campground we took all 5 crabby kids to CiCi's pizza for an all you can eat buffet. I'm usually not big on buffets, but CiCi's has spinach pizza.
Back at the campground the kids watched a movie while husband disassembled the fitting on the old vent and installed the new one. About 10 minutes before he finished it started to rain pretty hard. Of course, right after he finished it stopped. I was a little tired of being stuck in the camper with the kids, so I went out for a quick smoke break and saw the coolest double rainbow- the bright one is in the correct order, the dimmer one on the left is in opposite color order. Whether you believe that rainbows are a sign from God or purely a scientific matter, I think a rainbow can make anyone smile.
Now it is raining again, but its also dark, and everyone is tired. The boys are watching TMNT, the girls are playing Uno, and for now everything is quiet.
Wish me luck tomorrow that I don't lose a kid (or my mind)...

Friday, October 10, 2008

Meme= Blanket

Well, that is what I first thought of anyway. When Twisted Lisa tagged me, I checked out her most recent post titled, "What is a Meme?" I nearly laughed out loud, at my house a Meme (pronounced may-may)is a blanket. But that is not at all what Twisted Lisa meant. And I really must thank her for doing the research for me on exactly what a Meme is.
For those of you who may be uninformed (like me), here is the description provided by the all knowing Wikipedia: a meme "consists of any idea or behavior that can pass from one person to another by learning or imitation. Examples include thoughts, ideas, theories, gestures, practices, fashions, habits, songs, and dances. Memes propagate themselves and can move through the cultural sociosphere in a manner similar to the contagious behavior of a virus."

To Complete this Mission, here are the rules I must follow:

1- Link to the person who tagged you
2- Post the rules on your blog
3- Write 6 random things about yourself
4- Tag 6 more people
5- Let the taggees know they have been tagged by your taggedness
6- Let your tagger know when you have completed your meme quest of random goodies.

I can do this! Random is my forte!!!

1. My toes enjoy freedom. I hate to wear socks, even in winter. If I could wear flip flops all the time I would do it.
2. I only have one really close real life friend that is a woman, all the rest are men. I just think women are prone to shit-talking and backstabbing, they take things too personally, and I just don't do well with drama.
3. I hoard sentimental objects and hide them from my husband so he doesn't tease me about them. Most of them are under the bed or in the closet in the guest room.
4. I am a genealogy freak. I have planned trips to other states just so I could go to the cemeteries and take pictures of ancestors tombstones and then go to the courthouses and libraries and do research.
5. I love other cultures and languages. I wish I could speak 10 languages and teach my kids to do that as well. So far I have minimal spanish and even more minimal russian.
6. I really honestly believe that I could do any job in this world that I wanted to and be the very best at it. No joke. When I was little so many people told me I couldn't do things, and I am defiant by nature, I decided to prove everyone wrong. I was the black sheep of my family, always in trouble in high school. I know I am smart, and I know I learn quickly, and I know that I can do anything I want if I set my mind to it.

Now, for 6 more people....
1. Maybe Musings, Maybe More- I know she is capable of random thoughts
2. Back to Barnwell- I think his answers are going to be hilarious
3. My Therapy- I just started reading her blog, and its awesome
4. Lipstick at the Mailbox- she is just so cute
5. ....
6. ...... ack! I just don't have 6 bloggie friends!!! help!!!!

Anywho, I tried really hard, I think I gave you some awesomely random things to think about. I will go out and look for new friends just as soon as I get back from disney-mania with the ankle-bitters (aka Disney with the kids).

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Analytics? What?!?!

So, now that I am really getting into this blogging thing, and because I am horribly nosey, and because I really don't think anyone reads this crap, I am interested in these tracking thingies. One that has been mentioned more than once by more than one person is Google Analytics. So, I googled google analytics. It tells me to sign in, has me check the box about agreeing to their agreement, then provides me a code and tells me to put it in my layout, just before 'body' or some such thing.
I swear I have spent 30 minutes screwing with this and I still can't find body. In fact, I finally found template. I know, I am so un-computer-savvy. I see where this thing is supposed to go (I think). I just don't know where in there it goes.
And its only 2:45. My child (aka computer genius) doesn't get off the bus until 3:45. I have to wait a whole hour for her to come and help dear (old) mama figure out how to fix this junk and make it work. That is my mission for her- make it happen. Its a sad day when you are a grown person waiting on an 12 year old to fix your blog for you. And here I was thinking I was pretty freakin cool and all. *sigh*

Dude!!!! I'm done! All done!!!

Well, not really. Just done with second year. I mean, our classes are done for the year, but we still have final exams to go back and take. And I probably should back up and tell you that we are on this weird school year schedule. Instead of the traditional Aug to May schedule, we have a Feb to Oct schedule with a "summer break" for 2 weeks thrown in there around June. Then our finals are the first 2 weeks of November (which you may recall from my post on taking a final on election night). At any rate, then we can take electives over the "winter term" which is from the end of Nov to the end of Jan with a nice break in there for Christmas.
So..... last night was my last night of real class!!! Its finally over! For now. Until finals. And then winter term. But don't get me down on that right now- I feel free!
This is really good news because I'd like to enjoy my kids fall break with them during our little trip to Disney to hang out with that huge rat (I know he says he's a mouse, but I think its a coverup). Sadly, I can't bring myself to leave all my study materials at home- I think I'd have withdrawals if I didn't have my books with me for 10 days, maybe even DT's and stuff, the whole nine yards- so I am taking stuff with me to get started on my review for exams. Sick, deranged, yes I know. But I've been attached to some legal book for the last 2 years, now its just a really bad habit.
Speaking of bad habits, a very 'organic' friend of mine was trying to convince me that my health was in danger. I drink too much diet coke and coffee she said. I smoke too much. On and on and on. The whole time I'm thinking- for the love of baby jesus, i'm in law school!!! But anyway, I let her go on for a while and then I finally just said- "well if its going to kill me anyway, I may as well go back to drinking vodka and smoking crack" (disclaimer, I do like some vodka, but I have never smoked crack). The look on her face was priceless. It was the look of horror- horror because she was pretty sure I was kidding, but then again, she wasn't really sure. It was hilarious. I really enjoy doing that to people. I have no filter sometimes. I really don't.
So anyway, just in case you are interested (and Twisted Lisa will totally get me on this one)- my finals are going to be in Evidence, Property, Remedies, and Civil Procedure.
Over the winter break I will be taking: Federal Courts (because eventually I will argue for the Supreme Court), and Environmental Law (no I am not a tree hugger, we just didn't have a huge selection)
Then in February I pick back up with a whole bunch of fun. Not every class is the whole year, but it would be a mess to try and explain exactly when I have what, but suffice to say from Feb to October, at some point, I will learn about the following: Moot Court Trial, Juvenile Practice & Procedure, Advanced Legal Writing, Ethics, TN Constitution, Wills & Estates, Estate Planning, Business Associations, Immigration Law.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Oh Happy Day!

Since I am relatively new at this who blogging thing, I sometimes wonder if anyone is reading anything I say. But sometimes I say it anyway, and maybe someone stumbles across it.

But today, after the dreadful event that is called an orthodontic appointment, I now know someone reads my thoughts- and actually likes them! :)

So, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You to Twisted Lisa! She gave me this Kreativ Blogger award!
In honor of this award I am supposed to list 6 things that make me happy, and then ask 6 other blogger buddies to do the same. So.... here ya go!

1. My husband and children (if I listed them individually that would be 6 and I would be done, but that would also be a really boring list)
2. Coffee (especially Starbucks)
3. Law School (yes.... I know.... that is sick and deranged, yet true)
4. Peanut Butter Fudge Ice Cream (mmmmmm........ I can be bribed)
5. Sunny beaches (this one is self explanatory)
6. Peace and quiet (probably because I don't get enough of it)

And now.... 6 other bloggers:
1. Lipstick at the Mailbox - because I still know her husband better than her
2. Back to Barnwell - because he reminds me of some people I knew in high school
3. Maybe Musings, Maybe More - because she is a talented writer
4. Free Range Kids - because I refuse to shelter my children
5. Hillbilly Housewife - because I love to save money and be cheap
6. STLMurderBlog - because he provides a novel community service

Its raining, its pouring...

7:00 a.m.
Child #1: I don't know why you made my orthodontist appointment for this morning at 8:45.
Me: I don't know either.
child #1: You know we get out of school early today.
Me: What?!?! I know of no such thing! Are you sure? Who said this?
child #1: yes, its report card day, we have a half day.
Me: sh*%#*$
child #1: by the time you get me to school, it will be time to come home.
Me: then I guess you aren't going to school today.
7:30 a.m.- leaving for orthodontist appointment
The entire drive along the winding country roads it was pouring rain.
I think the heavens are still crying over the less than thrilling debate last night.
I am kicking myself for:
1) not knowing it was a half day of school
2) not finishing the freakin evidence paper last night
3) making this stupid appointment in the first place
10:15a.m.- returning home from orthodontist
The sun has come out now.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


To: Fellow Bloggers
From: Legal Diva
Re: Evidence Memo, Kiddie Commutes, and Debate Drudgery

Today while all the kids are at school, my mission is to research and complete an evidence memo regarding hearsay expert witness testimony and how Crawford v. Washington applies. The remainder of the week will be spent: 1) getting child #1 to orthodontic appointment, 2) delivering class snack on behalf of child #4, 3) packing clothes for children #1-5 for trip to florida, and 4) separating Studies Weekly on behalf of teacher for child #4. In the midst of all this, I will be deeply saddened about missing the debates this evening which will be occurring less than a few miles from where I will be sitting, listening no doubt to some dull commentary on American Legal Remedies.

I've spent hours reading cases and law review articles in preparation for this evidence memo. I feel that because this assignment is for extra credit points only I am prepared to write the memo at this point. I dread writing the memo, even though it will likely only take me 45 minutes, because I think: 1) I will only get 1-2 extra points for this, 2) my grade in evidence is good going into the final exam, 3) I've probably wasted 5 hours on this that I could have used studying for said exam, and 4) had I used said 5 hours I wouldn't need the extra credit in the first place.
As far as kiddie commutes, I don't know why I thought it was a good idea to get this stuff out of the way before our trip. In hindsight, I should know better than to schedule any appointment or commitment for the week leading up to a big trip. Mental note: do not do this again.
Were this not the absolute last night of class, I would be willing to skip class and come home to watch the debates. Unfortunately, the class begins at 8:10 and no amount of abbreviated class will help me get home (or anywhere else with a TV) before they end. Our final for this class also happens to be on Election Day- not as big of a deal though, since I have a feeling we are going to have a repeat of Election Day 2000 and the returns are going to be coming in late in the evening. By a miracle of the Gods, our class that day will also be ending at 8pm, which leaves plenty of time to see the west coast returns at the very least.

Today, and this week on the whole, are filled with busy drudgery. When I was little, all I wanted to do was be a grown up. Now that I am a grown up (which is still subject to debate), I just want to have a simple easy childlike life. Is that too much to ask? Apparently not, according to Walt Disney... he is going to make me a kid again all next week.

Monday, October 6, 2008

A Very Merry Unbirthday

Sunday at lunch we had the long awaited birthday party. There are several reasons it was long awaited- 1) because when you are 4, you don't need a "stinky blanket", 2) because when you are 4 you get your favorite toy in the world- a Leapster, and 3) because when you are 4, you don't need a "stinky blanket".... wait did I say that twice? Obviously, child #5 and I have differing opinions on why its important to be 4. I am sick of his 4 year old, highly chewed on, raggedy, stinky blanket which is aptly named "blue stinky", and he is thrilled to get a Leapster. We made a deal. Sort of. For the last couple months we have been working up to this. When you are 4, you are a really big boy. Big boys don't need stinky blankets. Big boys love the Leapster we played with at a friends house. Big boys can trade in their stinky blankets for a new Leapster. Stinky will be put up "somewhere safe" and Leapster will take his place. (Yes, Blue Stinky has a gender, and it is a boy blanket). Because it was chewed on, it was always wet on the corner, and it smelled bad no matter how many times you washed it. Four years of chewing will do that I guess. Here you can see the damage done- the blanket was hand knit by my mother and used to be blue and sparkling white...

So, even though his birthday is not until next week, we did the party Sunday because we will be out of town on the actual birthday. Not that being out of town is a bad deal either- we are going to Disney for 5 days and then to Destin for a wedding. And Mickey Mouse won't let you visit his clubhouse if you are a baby who won't go potty and carries a stinky blanket. (Yes, I had several things I was using against stinky blanket). Anyway, its a good thing he doesn't know what day it is, because it sure wasn't his birthday, but we had the party and now he thinks he is 4 and a big boy. Stinky disappeared (into my closet), and Leapster is the new addition to our family. Just in time for a long car trip. Some of the other kids were none too thrilled that he got a Leapster, and I heard a lot of "you never get me (fill in the blank)". Yeah, well, its not your birthday.

We had one small issue with the new Leapster- it worked for a few minutes, then locked up, then quit. I could not get it to work. I took out the brand new batteries, tried other brand new batteries. No luck. So, I sent all the kids swimming with Daddy, and I hurried back to Target with a nonfunctional Leapster to exchange it. I went to customer service, explained the predicament, went and found a new one (which happened to be the last one in stock), and exchanged it to hurry back just in time. I did open the new one and put batteries in it and check it before I left Target just to be sure it was working properly. The new one works fine, and all is well again. It was a very merry unbirthday after all.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Was it Really a Debate?

Well, I suppose so. But I think it was mostly a test of Sarah Palin. To see if she was everything that the Republican party said she was, and everything the Democratic Party said she wasn't.

So, because I really enjoy polictics, and I really enjoy bantering, I got myself a bowl of peanut butter fudge ice cream, a cup of tea, and sat down to enjoy the show.

Overall I think she did pretty well. She had intelligent answers, and the more comfortable she became the better her answers became. Some of the things I enjoyed:
1. At one point, she caught Biden in a misstatement. He answered a question, and she corrected him in a very Mom way- sort of the way I would when I know my kids are not giving me the whole story.
2. She gave a shout out to a bunch of 3rd graders- how many VP's have you ever known to give a "shout out"? Impressive.
3. She used plain language instead of senate-speak. I think this will go a long way with the average person. Technical answers in everyday words- something we all wish doctors could do more often. And sometimes attorneys.

And just to be fair to Biden, I really enjoyed an answer of his in which he said, "fun-damental". Go Biden- put the "fun" back in fundamental. I'm pretty sure he didn't mean it like that, but the emphasis he used made me laugh anyway.
One thing Biden said that didn't make sense- his party is against a troop surge. But then again, his party wants more troops in Iraq. Wait a minute.... isn't a surge the same thing as more troops? Is "more" less than "surge" like "a couple" is less than "a few"? Isn't it really the same difference? *sigh*..... politi-speak.

Next week is the big presidential debate here in Nashville. My mother in law lives about a mile down from the Curb Event Center. I wanted to go to her house and walk around and see the action- the news crews, the security, the demonstrators and protestors. Unfortunately I will be sitting in class that evening.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

My Mother Is...

Mine. According to the book at least. Unfortunately, My Mother is.... Crazy. And Crabby. She also lives next door. She also happens to work in the same industry as my husband, at a company partially owned by my husband. Therein lies the "drama of the day" with my mother.
Business has slowed down. The economy sucks and we work in real estate. People can't get loans to buy houses, so we are slower than usual for this time of year.
The majority owner of the company my mother works for had a meeting with the 3 other owners this afternoon (one of which was my minority owner husband). To make a long story short, they decided that if business doesn't pick up, my mom is the first to go. Mind you, the ONLY employees are the owner (an attorney), my mother, and one other girl who happens to also be a paralegal. They basically said by December 1, you may not have a job. This put my mother into drama stage. She has a part time job somewhere else, so its not like she would be unemployed. And she lives next door, has no mortgage, no car payment, and no bills. She could make it on her part time employment if she watched what she spent.
But, the big reason she is first to go is: she is a sourpuss. And if you try to tell her that, well, her feelings get hurt. So she asks me the questions that she really doesn't want the answers to. That is it in a nutshell. More on this later. Kids are nearly home from school.