Tuesday, January 31, 2012

These Boots are Made For Walking

Have I mentioned that I love love love shoes?

yeah, maybe, oh, I don't know...1000 times?

Shoes are right up there on my "things that make me happy" list...

Along with:
My wonderful children (who will always top the list)
Red Wine
Stoli Vodka (especially in a dirty martini)
Men Who Drive Big Ass Trucks
Lilies
Angel Perfume
GOTT (and GOTTESS and GOTTSON)
D-Nice, AngelAmy, Trainer Girl, Twirler Girl and all my besties and friends...
George's Pastaria
Spin Class when taught by JayVee and Je t'aime Jamie
Dimples
Lululemon tops
Lacrosse (cause it means that wrestling season is over)
Glee, Modern Family, and True Blood
children singing
Raindrops on roses, and whiskers on kittens

OK, so that list is in NO PARTICULAR ORDER!!!!

The kids will always top the list...

And men who drive big ass trucks can hold my hand and tell me I am pretty...red wine and lilies cannot...and Angel perfume tends to be the way I get the attention of men who drive big ass trucks...and thanks to Dimples and my spin girls I have a body that lets me be worth looking at after they smell the Angel...

So they all go hand in hand....

Along with the SHOES!

I once wore some shoes that ended up being the subject of not one but 2 lunch tables at school one day when I subbed...I also hear they were the subject of conversation in the teacher's lounge.

And I am pretty sure Oprah admired them even though her Christian Louboutin's far surpassed my shoes for pure awesomeness (there FlowerVine I used it again...it is my goal to try and use that word every time...).

These are the shoes...the are "girl shoes"...men don't "get" them because they wrap around the ankle and tie up in a cute bow. But when I wear them I get stopped. Just like the girl in the DSW commercial...cause these are the shoes in the commercial...I have them in pink too...




Today I bought some shoes with the help of my fashionista friend AthenaGal...she never steers me wrong and her taste is impeccable and if I could have 1/10 of her style I would be a very stylish gal indeed.

I needed shoes for my navy gown for the Mardi Gras ball I am attending with GOTTESS and GOTT.

So I went shopping and texted photos to AthenaGal...it is a very good way to shop with a friend when your friend can't be with you!

Now being the stylista she is, she suggested I look for a pair of hot pink shoes...

Now why didn't I think about that...probably cause I am not as fashion forward and smart as she is...but what a great idea...a lovely pop of color under the dark swath of "hug the body" fabric.

So I found these...mind you I am totally removing the obnoxious bow:

Oh, and they were less than $17 on sale at DSW...

But then I found THESE little scary little heels:


So we are going to look at both of them with the gown and choose...

And then I found these hot fantastic heels to go with a really fantastic little red dress I have that I am saving to wear when some man in a big ass truck takes me out somewhere special...of course he is going to have to help me into the truck if I am wearing these cause they are kind of dangerous:


AthenaGal approved because she said they are totally 'va va voom" and that is what the dress calls for...

Ke$ha Barbie thinks they are horrible. She told me that I have yet to find a way to wear cheetah print and not look stupid or like a "Real Housewife of....".

I'm listening to AthenaGal...she has made the "Best Dressed" list...Ke$ha Barbie has not and would only make the "Dresses like a very strange art student" list...

I will admit I have too many shoes...

No, I take that back...

Cause a girl can never have TOO MANY shoes...although my ex-husband will tell you I did. I sort of fear that when I have a new man in my life that he will take a look at the shoe store in my closet and the Sephora-worthy countertop in my bathroom and he will run for the hills...and if he takes me on a trip and sees that my shoes almost need their own suitcase I think I might get left at the curb.

Love me...love my shoes...

Any man that is going to love me will have to accept the fact that I am the kind of girl who brought 3 dresses and 4 pairs of shoes with me when I packed up my stuff to go stay at the Rock Star suite with GOTTESS for her birthday and the Katy Perry concert.

My shoes have their own special places in my closet.

For my shoes I wear everyday, or that I wear often...well, those shoes live on the shelf:


For my shoes that are 'special" or dressy or ones I don't wear often, I have boxes. Nice little plastic boxes. And yes, I am anal enough about it that I take a photo of the shoes and put it on the front of the box so I know what is in there...


I am somewhat ashamed to admit that this is not all of my shoes.

Yes, I am aware I could feed a small Third World country with what I have spent on shoes.

Or I could have had a nice pair of Christian Louboutin pumps...or Jimmy Choos...or Manolo Blahniks...

But for the price of one pair of those fancy gorgeous expensive shoes, I have about 10 pair of really fun shoes.

As much as I love Louboutins, I am really more of a Michael Kors, Guess, or Steve Madden girl.

Since I am playing "show and tell" with you (or is it "shoe and tell"?), here are a couple of more pair that I find to be fun...

This pair I actually bought before I had a thing to wear with them. I just had to have them. So I bought them and found things to wear with them...they are ridiculous I know but I do love me the color purple...


I've done that many times...fallen in love with a pair of shoes that has no place in my closet yet I must have them and so I bring them home and if I can't find anything but black to wear with them....I go buy an outfit.

I know that is backwards...but it is me...

Now this pair is a fun little pair of black suede sandals. But what makes them special is that they are my only pair of shoes that I did NOT buy at a shoe store or in the shoe department. I bought them off the shelf in the tbd department at Nordstrom. I went in to exchange a top and my favorite salesgirl Anndrea (her real name...use her!) took them off the shelf when I asked to see them (they were on display with some other stuff). I told her "if those are a size 8 they are mine".

They were.

They are mine.

I wear them all the time...and yes, Andrea has found me a lot of cute things that I can rock the shoes with...



yes, I am a lot like "Carrie" from "Sex and the City" with the shoes...
And a bit "Charlotte" in demeanor...
And yes, I have had a love affair with a cake like "Miranda"
And as for "Samantha'...not touching that one with a ten foot pole...

My mother had a shoe obsession that surpassed mine...her shoes were also displayed as mine are and she had sone really fabulous pumps and stilletos...

I buried her in her Manolo's...I know she would have wanted it that way.

I still remember my first pair of heels...I was so proud to finally be allowed to wear heels...I think they were 1/2 inch high...but they weren't flats!

Speaking of flats...not so many of those in my closet these days...

I never understood how women would say "I only wear heels...they are the only thing I am comfortable in" when I was fat.

I get it now.

I love heels...the higher the better.

HGAG is tall...I could wear heels with him...might need them to be able to climb into his big ass truck.

Guess I better add "tall enough for me to wear heels with" to the bucket list for the man who wins my heart...of course I am so short that he won't have to be all that tall for me to wear heels. Although next to HGAG I am positively doll-like. Never thought I would say THAT about myself.

Trainer Girl and I can wax poetic about our love for Michael Kors shoes...once we took Dimples fiancee (who I call "Hottie Girl") out to dinner (the incredibly hotness she is) and before we went to the restaurant we made a stop at DSW and all 3 of us bought a pair of Michael Kors shoes.

Dimples was not happy with us.

Too bad...

Cause we had a lot of fun that night and frankly didn't care what Dimples thought.

I asked AngelAmy if she remembers any shoe stories from our high school days. We reminisced that shoes in the late 70's and 80's were all pretty ugly.

She said a horrible word:

Bass Weejuns



She said once she wanted a pair of navy ones (because she saw them in "Seventeen" magazine) and she couldn't find them so her mom bought her some tan ones and dyed them navy.

My mother was not capable of dying shoes. I envied AngelAmy for her mother's ability to fix and do things.

Speaking of dyed shoes...

I have one word:

UGLY

They were all ugly. It was not possible to find an attractive pair of dyeable shoes.

My very favorite shoes are not MY shoes at all...they are the little bronzed baby shoes that belonged to my children.

Yes, I am one of THOSE mothers who bronzed her child's first pair of Stride Rite shoes.

I proudly display them on my bedroom bookshelves.

My current "obsession" shoes are a pair of L.A.M.B. shoes I bought for less than 1/4 the retail price at Saks Off 5th. Trainer Girl totally approved when I showed them to her. I take them out for a spin whenever I can.


Once upon a time I was a fat girl and all I could wear was flats...and mostly crocs at that...so now I love love love to wear heels and fun pretty shoes. I love stilettos that show off my toned legs and calves.

And when I put on a really great pair I stand taller, walk with a little more sass and feel really great in them.

So yeah...shoes are a big deal to me.

Don't even get me started on my boots...

Inspiration Song: "These Boots are Made for Walking" by Nancy Sinatra...oh yeah...Nancy had some sass too...

Bye Darlings....we all need sensible shoes, but every girl needs a pair of heels that say "look at me...I am fabulous"...va va voom...

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Spinning Wheel

"What goes up....must come down.
Spinning wheel got to go round
talkin bout your troubles its a cryin sin
ride a painted pony
let the spinning wheel spin"

Ummm...why have I not blogged about those lyrics before?

They TOTALLY describe my life about 80% of the time.

The "what goes up...must come down" part...that is totally me and my weight...more on that later.

"Spinning wheel got to go round"...
That part I take 2 ways...

1) Sometimes I do feel like a spinning wheel...going round and round and just trying to keep myself and my life in control...and trying not to spin out of control. Having a teenage daughter makes it pretty out of control a lot...have I mentioned that I call her "Valdemort" and "Beelzebub"?

2)the second way is literal...and obvious...because you all know my obsession with spin class. Have a mentioned that I love spin class? Maybe...oh....a few hundred thousand times?

The new bikes we have at the gym are, as I told Hot Guy at the Gym (ok, let's just call him HGAG...he has a totally built-in blog-worthy name but not tagging him as such until he says the magic words "What time can I pick you up on Saturday?")...so I tell HGAG that the "Keiser bike is my drug of choice" when he asked why I like spinning so much...oh yeah...spinning is my gateway drug to fitness...

I probably ride that darn thing a minimum of 6 days a week...and I love every minute of it especially if JayVee or Je t'aime Jamie are teaching...but I also do a pretty damn good job of it on my own.

That bike is why I have lost over 140 pounds.

That bike is why my legs look good and I like to show them off in dangerous heels.

That bike is why I can now rock a pair of fabulous jeans.

That bike is why I have a really high level of cardio fitness.

That bike is why I wear a size 8.

That bike is why the only "big ass" in my life is the truck that belongs to the man who will one day win my heart...remember, I like a guy who drives a big ass truck...not a guy that HAS big ass...and I don't want mine to be any bigger...I'll keep the "Kardashian" butt thing going (genetics) but it won't be fat...thanks to that bike...

That bike is why HGAG keeps chatting me up, telling me sweet things about how I look, and walking me to my car when we leave the gym...then he says goodbye and goes and climbs into...his big ass truck...

So that spinning wheel that is my life...I'll keep it...

Now the "talking bout your troubles it's a cryin sin" part of the song...

HELLO!

Why the heck do you think I write this blog?

Yes...for some reason you people read this dribble I shell out to you and I'm pretty sure I spend MOST of my time complaining or whining about something.

Strangely you come back for more...and tell me you like it.

My friend...oh, she needs a name...I'm gonna call her "FlowerVine" (RV that is you...cause it goes with your name...you are pretty as a flower and it works with your real last name)...this week she called me "awesomeness" and told me to blog about it.

I don't always feel like "awesomeness" so I usually complain about it here...and you pour souls get to read about it.

Right now I have very few troubles...Ke$ha Barbie is in at least one college and it is one of her top choices, my son just took 2nd place in the middle school state wrestling championships (which means that wrestling season is almost over...woo hoo!) and is the perfect son, I'm rolling with my costumes for our spring show, my dress for Mardi Gras fits (except that it needs 2 feet cut off the bottom), hot guy at gym who drives big ass truck pays attention to me and is very sweet but moving s-l-o-w-l-y (ok, that is sort of a complaint but I also know why he is moving at the speed of a glacier with me and he is worth being patient for), and I had a very fun weekend (got to hang with Trainer Girl on Friday and my friend Rowdy Rhonda on Saturday).

My biggest complaint...well, I told you at the beginning of the blog that "what goes up must come down" and here it is...

MY WEIGHT

I'm actually tempted to see if I can go to medical school so I can have some understanding of how my metabolism works...and why my weight fluctuates so.

I know hormones come into play.

Goodness I hate hormones...they really can mess with a girl's life.

They can turn a perfectly good day into one that is fraught with grief, angst, and dispair.

Yes, those are the days I step onto the scale and the number goes UP...

Grief, angst, and dispair...

Not really, but it comes close.

Last week I was hitting some really good numbers and then BAM!

God says "Ha!"

well not God, but my body did...and my body wanted me to know that pasta, chips, and bacon horseradish dip are ALL not good ideas.

So that number that was in the 150's?

Back up to 162...

I blame the sushi on Friday night when I was with Trainer Girl...and the load of sake I downed with the sushi. We tried to be good but you can't avoid rice altogether at the sushi bar...and it was worth it because I always have fun when I am with Trainer Girl!

As for the bacon horseradish dip and chips...I blame nervousness over The Cutest Boy in the World competing in his wrestling championship...when I get nervous I make poor choices...and I was nervous...and the dip and chips were there.

Of course if I didn't have the "poor choices" in the house I wouldn't have the chance to make poor choices.

I could also blame the fact that my weight popped up because I did not train with Dimples last week...because he was on a well deserved vacation.

Of course I have now given him waaaay too much power and credit if I say it was my lack of training with him that caused a weight gain.

I can't give him that much power...

He already is the ONLY man in my life right now that I will take orders and direction from. (A little line I borrowed from Trainer Girl)

Well, him and my lawyer...oh, and GOTT since he is sorta my boss...

And here's the rub to that---

I PAY THEM TO TELL ME WHAT TO DO!!!!

(Except GOTT...I don't pay him...I just do what he asks me to do cause I lurrrvvvv him and the kids)

ummmmm...might need to rethink things just a bit in that case...but then again I really don't have a choice...I need both my trainer and my lawyer...and GOTT is one of my best friends so yeah I need him too...

And a hot guy (with a job) that drives a big ass truck that brings me lilies, holds my hand, and drinks red wine with me while we watch "Modern Family"...

Well, I don't NEED the hot guy (with a job) that drives a big ass truck that brings me lilies, holds my hand, and drinks red wine with me while we watch "Modern Family" but it sure would be nice...we can put that in the "want" column...

Trainer and Lawyer stay in the "need" column...along with GOTT...

So my weight is fluctuating...

What comes up must come down...

And it will...I just need a little patience...and maybe time with my trainer...and I'll be living in the 150's again.

And soon enough that magic number that is "150" will be on the scale and I will be half of myself...oh what a blog that will be...

In the meantime I will eat right, do my workouts, drink more water (and less Stoli and wine....nah...) and wait for it to go back down.

PATIENTLY

And for those of you who know me well...stop snickering at the screen...

I CAN be patient...I just don't like it very much...

And tomorrow...I'll probably complain about it again and eat that word "patiently"...

It will taste good...like chips and bacon horseradish dip...

Inspiration Song: "Spinning Wheel" by Blood, Sweat and Tears...cause that is what I do to lose this weight and stay in shape...I get on the spinning wheel...and I workout...and I work hard...and yes, there is blood, sweat, and tears involved but it is all good...all good...

Bye Darlings...what goes up must come down...for everyone...use a little blood, sweat, and tears and make it happen for you!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Sweet Talkin' Woman

You know...recently I gave men a bad rap...

Not that they didn't deserve it...cause they totally did

And every word I wrote was true!

But in all fairness, I, as a member of the "fairer sex" needs to be fair.

So....

Today I will give women a bad rap...

Not that we don't deserve it!

So here is my take on...WOMEN...

Here are 50 reasons women rock...

1) A man will say "I feel fat" and then eat chicken wings and drink beer and not feel guilty. A woman will say "I feel fat" and discuss it endlessly and will say that the carrots she just ate made her fat...of course she is neglecting to say that the carrots were in carrot cake...

2) Men go into a store to buy a bathing suit. They pick one up...and never try it on.
BUT....we, as women, approach shopping for a bathing suit like full-scale warfare. First, you must not feel fat...or bloated...and then you have to be sure you look ok because the dressing room lighting will distort everything. Women will try on 15 suits and MAYBE find one we sorta, kinda like. We will pay $75-150 for it. For a little tiny scrap of fabric. Men will pay $25 and never look back.

3) When a woman gets dressed to go out it will take quite some time. We need to shower, shave, use the RIGHT conditioner and shampoo, use 18 different hair products, put on 15 different moisturizers and prep products, load on the makeup, blow dry and style the hair, and change our minds about what dress and shoes we are wearing---15 times. Men shower and shave and throw on their clothes...and they don't change them. This is much worse if you are having a date...especially if it is with a very pretty man who drives a big-ass truck. Multiply the prep time and products to the power of 5.

4) Men don't ask for directions. They use GPS...or let "the force be with them". Women WILL ask for directions...but then we have to get into a full-scale discussion with who we ask the directions from and ask 200 questions...and then we forget how we are supposed to get where we asked the directions to.

5) Take a man to a restaurant. He looks at the menu...and orders the same damn thing every time. A woman will look at the menu like a radiologist looks at an x-ray...and then we have to ask everyone (if there are others) what they are ordering...and then a woman will change her mind 10 times about what she is having...and finally orders a grilled chicken breast or a salmon filet, dry, cooked with no oil, with steamed spinach on the side...

Ok, maybe that is just me...

6) Women need shoes. It is a fact of life. We need more than the 4 pair that men need (dress shoes, athletic shoes, loafers, and maybe a pair of boots). Speaking of boots...we need more than one pair of them too. We need at LEAST 4 pair of black dress shoes...and that is just the black. So dudes...give us the closet space cause those shoes need to breathe...

7) Speaking of closet space...yes, we need 75% of the closet.

I don't need to explain that one do I?

8) Men will go to the gym and workout in shorts or pants and a t shirt...and maybe a sweatshirt. Women on the other hand need to have very cute outfits from Lululemon, Lucy or Athletica. And it has to match. And look cute. Cause the hot guy at the gym is there and likes to chat you up after you workout...when you smell like a goat...so at least you look good.

Ok, maybe that is just me...

9) Men like to hold the remote. It is like an extra "organ" (if you know what I mean). It is an extension of their manhood. Women could care less about holding the remote.

Maybe there is a Freudian thing about that...

BUT...we will tell you to change the channel...often...so we can see "Grey's Anatomy"...

10) No self-respecting man would ever be caught watching "The Bachelor"...women on the other hand will disect it like it is a frog under a microscope.

I don't watch "The Bachelor" this season...he bores me...but I do read this blog...cause it is better than the show:

www.ihategreenbeans.com

trust me...it is better than the show...

11) Men can go into a bar alone. They can sit down and chat up a woman. They order manly drinks like Crown Royal and water or a dry martini.

Women on the other hand have to go in with at least 2 girlfriends and we order stupid drinks....that are pink...or have a cute name...

I myself prefer a dirty martini made with Stoli...so maybe I am "kind of" a man...

12) When a man sends a text it is short and to the point.

Women on the other hand have to send paragraphs as a text...and we have to say how we feel...

and we don't like "mmmk babe" as an answer...

13)When we travel, a woman must take a huge-ass suitcase. It will contain 4 pounds of makeup and hair product. It will have 10 pairs of shoes. It will have 2 different options for every day AND every night. It will weigh over the limit so we sweet talk the guy at the check-in and hope he doesn't notice that we are 2 lbs. over the weight limit.

Ok, maybe that is just me...

14) We watch stupid tv shows...men watch sports...stupid shows...

OK, maybe that is more about men than women...but I have to admit..and yes, I watch these...but men don't tend to watch "train wreck" shows like "Toddlers and Tiaras" and "Real Housewives of..." and "The Young an the Restless"...

15) How our hair works makes or breaks our day...not so with men...

16) We take the kids to soccer practice, cook a full meal, get the house cleaned, and help with the homework...

We don't need a parade for that...but we damn sure deserves some lilies...

17)Our weight for the day makes or breaks it...

OK, maybe that is just me...

18)Women need 5 black skirts...just sayin'

Ok, maybe AGAIN that is just me...

19) It is NOT a woman's job to take out the trash or kill the bug...especially if it is a spider or cockroach...and it is OK if we scream when we see one

Ok, maybe this is REALLY about me...

20) Yes, we need a "big ass" purse to carry all our stuff...and yes, it is as big as your suitcase...but we NEED to have 5 lipsticks, gum, a wallet, a mirror, perfume, powder, and our cell phone...and the crap you want us to carry...

DEAL WITH IT...at least we aren't hitting you with it like Ruth Buzzy did on "Laugh In"....

And if you are too young to remember that maybe you shouldn't be reading this blog...

21)When men get drunk they think they are funny...and charming...and the hottest guy in the bar...and that you WANT them...

Women, on the other hand, get drunk and feel compelled to tell EVERYONE that they are loved by them...we tell our girlfriends: "I luuuuuurv you"...and we drunk text the man we love if he is not with us...

Please forgive us for this...there is no stopping it...

22) This is for the "singleton" gals out there...

If you tell us you are interested, and ask for our number, and take us out and kiss us...

WE EXPECT YOU TO CALL US AGAIN

yes, I am reaching back to the college days but I don't think much has changed...even when we are in our 40's...

so you have our number...call us...don't be a....well, I don't have a polite word for that

23)If you drive a big ass truck and we are wearing stupid heels...we are wearing them for you...and we are looking cute for YOU...so help us into the big ass truck (or suburban...or whatever)

24)Women will buy cute lingerie...it is for you MEN...don't tell us we don't look like Heidi Klum or Molly Sims or a Victoria's Secret Angel in it...

JUST APPRECIATE IT

Cute lingerie is not fun to wear...neither is Spanx...but we wear it for you...

25) We dress up fancy for other women...not for men...but to make the other gals at the party think we are really pretty....it is not a "I like women" thing...it is a girl thing...we want to be the envy of the other gals

And yes, we get ticked off when another woman shows up in the same dress...

Although tha happened to me with a dear friend and frankly I loved it...and yes, she looked prettier than me in the dress (DJ that is you...you rocked the dress)

26) Bunco is necessary for life...deal with it

27) Girls Night Out is necessary for life...deal with it...you have "Boy's Night"...ours usually involves silly drinks and maybe a trip to the psychic (don't ask)...

And yes, we will tell each other we love each other...because we have been drinking silly drinks...

28)Our spin class or tennis game or yoga class is IMPORTANT...

29)Yes we would like to know sooner than 2:00 if you have invited clients to dinner...

30)That $50 eye cream works....and yes, we buy into the propaganda...let us

31)That portrait that we spent hours prepping for and dealing with the kids for will be the FIRST thing we save if a hurricane comes...so don't tease us about it...cause you never will know the pain and suffering it caused....to us and the photographer...the kids just posed...after they pinched each other and complained endlessly about how itchy the clothes are and how much they hate it...

WE LOVE THAT PORTRAIT!!!!!...

31)WE will hide the shopping bags from men...cause men will bitch about them...of course they still see the bill but for the few minutes that we think we got away with it...we think we got away with it...and yes, we needed one more black skirt and another pair of silver shoes...we NEED them....

32)We like flowers...a lot...

Lilies for me....thankyouverymcuh...

33)We will tell you that we like the ugly sweater you bought us...but we are going to return it and tell you it is the wrong size...because you bought us an ugly sweater...

Yes, that is what we do...

34)Our cars are our extra purse...that is what my kids call my car "purse on wheels"...

They also call my call "Oprah"...I won't say why because I love Oprah

35)Speaking of Oprah...we like her...don't make fun of her...

Ok, maybe that is just me...

36)When at a cocktail party men will discuss sports, lawnmowers, and...sports...

Women will discuss their kids, cooking, and our gyno appointments...and how our man thought he was "so sexy" when he did something stupid...

It's what we do...deal with it...

37)Women will dance with other women when no man will dance with us...it is FUN...

38)Meryl Streep is relevant to women...so is Oprah...

39)Women will tell their personal trainers things they won't tell their husbands or boyfriends...

40)We like to be told we are pretty...we NEED to be told we are pretty...it makes us breathe...

41)We like to kiss...we don't always want more...

Men on the other hand think if we kiss them it is a green light for more...

Noooooo.....

Romance us a little and maybe you will find it to go your way...

42)If you come and talk to us when we are cooking dinner it is basically foreplay...

43)Women like to hear "you really look nice tonight...I think that dress is pretty and your hair looks really nice tonight"

Don't say "Babe you look fine"....

That will get you nothing...

44)Women want to discuss what the teacher said...or what happened at spin class...please don't interrupt us to tell us that you need to check the score of the game...listen...you have a DVR for a reason...

45)A pedicure can change our day....

46) So can a facial...

47)Saks 5th Avenue, Nordstrom, Macy's, and Neiman Marcus are very special places to women...they are our churches...

Ok, maybe that is just me...

48)When we find the perfect dress for that special party we want to tell our friends...it is like an "A" on a report card...

49)We cry at movies...and Hallmark Card commercials...and the last episode of "Grey's Anatomy" for the season...it is all good...

50)We are complicated creatures...we are worth it...

Ok, that is NOT just me...that is all of us...

We are unique, special, fabulous, and amazing...

Many of us hold down full-time jobs and still run a house...

some of us do it by ourselves...

We don't need a parade...we just want some lilies...and to be told we smell nice and look pretty...

It's not much but it will get you pretty far if you are a man...

Thinking about all of this makes me wonder if I shouldn't just switch to women...but I like men who drive big ass trucks too much...

And hot guy at gym...who drives the big ass truck...I'm waiting...I don't need the lilies yet...but I WILL need you to help me into that big ass truck since you don't have running boards cause your legs are so long...

Ok, that is FOR SURE just me...

I'm a sweet talkin' woman...just tellin' the truth...

Inspiration Song: "Sweet Talkin' Woman" by ELO...and if you don't know who ELO is by the initials then you CERTAINLY don't need to be reading this blog...

Bye Darlings...don't regret the 20 pairs of shoes (and counting) in your closet...you NEED them...and I'll let you know if hot guy at gym who drives big ass truck makes his move...

Monday, January 16, 2012

Dog Days are Over

Yeah...I'm still not happy about the whole choir tryouts debacle from the other day.

The monkeys are still flying...they don't seem to want to come back to the castle.

I heard from my friend Marvelous Maggie that when her daughter told her that when she and another girl were witnessing my blow up at the Region director that they overheard me mutter the following as I passed them:

"This is NOT over!"

Then the girl turned to my friends daughter and said:

"and here come the flying monkeys---better duck!!!!!"

Well said child...well said...

There are still monkeys flying all over that gym and I hope they are haunting that woman still...

And Excellent Emma is still my hero...

When Marvelous Maggie asked GOTT about it he confirmed that there "were no bodies" but I'm not so sure about that.

Sunday was a high/low day...

JayVee taught an AMAZING spin class at noon...the club even provided a tv so we could watch the Texans game as we did spin. We were a rowdy bunch and it was a lot of fun to watch the game while listening to some good old rock and roll.

But alas, my poor Texans got bested by the Ravens...and so ends the season.

A moment of silence here for my Texans...

ok, I'm not THAT much of a football fan but it was fun rooting them on and having Houston so excited for the team. I enjoyed the first half of the game and the second half of the game at JayVee's house where her husband The Hunk (cause the man is pretty pretty pretty) proved once again why he has the title of "Grill Master". I pigged out on his ribs and chicken and...

chicken wings...

you know, there is really no excuse for chicken wings.

Ke$ha Barbie calls them "football food" and yes, that is what they are...and the only reason to eat them is if you are watching football.

The weather here was mild so The Hunk pulled the tv outside (as we have done before) and Trainer Girl joined us and we had a good time...other than the loss.

I stayed and watched most of the Green Bay/Giants game and headed home to enjoy an empty house occupied only by me and my cats. I got to watch my silly Sunday tv shows, took a shower and had a nice visit by phone with Jane.

But the BEST part of the day...the BEST part of the week happened in the middle of the day Sunday.

Cause...

Ke$ha Barbie

GOT IN TO COLLEGE!!!!!!!!!

Woo hoo!!!!!!

She got into the program in Boston...and since it is a toss up with Cooper Union as to what her favorite is, we are pretty darn happy about it.

I have been dancing non-stop.

I love Boston...

And I am very proud of her. She got an early answer from the admissions committee. I had a feeling while we were there that she was being courted...and how very nice it is to be so wanted by such an excellent program.

Ok, have to stop writing for a second and dance some more...

Dancing done...back to blogging...

Today I hauled myself out of bed early and had a little ride on the spin bike on my own. Visited with hot guy at gym who drives a big ass truck...damn the man is pretty and funny...I like men who make me laugh...and then climb into big ass trucks to head off to work...3 things on my bucket list (truck, funny, has a job).

Then I met Dimples for some punishment. I told him a male friend of mine (not hot guy at gym...just a friend) told me he did the leg press at 320 pounds.

Dimples decided I need to beat him.

I did 355.

10 presses.

Did it twice.

Hurt like the dickens...

My friend isn't gonna be happy about the fact that he got bested by a chick.

We did more punishment and he went light on me and only made me squat with 115 pounds today. And since I was doing Body Pump tonight I didn't press him to add more weight.

Now the real highlight of my day (other than my high of Ke$ha Barbie being accepted to the Tufts program at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston) was what followed when I got home after the Dimples workout.

So I'm on the phone with a friend and the doorbell rings.

Standing on my front porch is a man and woman. They introduce themselves as my neighbors a street over.

The inform me that my dog had run into the back yard and that the man had shut the gate to lock him in.

One problem with that:

I DON'T OWN A DOG

So I tell them:

"Nooooo...that is NOT my dog. I have cats."

I look into my back yard and there is a very happy and excited yellow lab running about.

Not.My.Dog.

I don't have a dog...just 3 very lazy cats.

They start laughing and tell me that the dog has tags. We go into my back yard and corral the dog and look on the tag.

I try to call the numbers on the tag but there is no answer. However the vet office is listed and it is the vet office I take the kitties to so we decide the best course of action is to take the cat over to the vet.

I get the dog loaded into the suburban and he is excited to be going for a ride.

Until we get to the vet's office and he becomes a little unhappy and freaked out

I run in, tell them about the dog, and Robin (one of the gals that works there) hands me a leash.

I try...to no avail...to get the dog to let me leash him up.

Every time I open the back hatch the dog runs to the front...every time I open the front the dog leaps to the back.

So Robin comes out to help.

I open the back hatch and...

WHOOSH

the dog leaps out of the back of the suburban and begins to run down the street.

Robin says "I hope he doesn't head to the freeway"...

And of course the dog doesn't have the sense to stop at the 4 way stop so we were happy that there were no cars approaching. If I ever see that damn dog again I will teach him what a stop sign looks like...

And we took off running after the lab.

At that point I was very grateful that I was no longer a 300 pound woman.

I chase after him for about a quarter of a mile.

Remember, I don't run...but this time I was sprinting...

after a yellow lab

that was not mine

I have 3 kitties...

So a guy in a truck stops and tries to help us get him but by then the dog had run across the street.

Then he runs over to an apartment complex.

I'm still chasing him as is Robin.

I'm pissed...

This.Is.Not.My.Dog.

I don't have a dog....

I have 3 very lazy cats...

So I lose the dog in the apartment complex but continue to look for him.

Another gal from the vet clinic comes and finds me...she is in her car...so she continues to look.

Robin and I decide to go back to the office and try and find out who the damn dog belongs to.

I still had the numbers on my phone so I tell them the numbers and the gal looking it up starts to laugh and says:

"Oh! It's CORNBREAD!"

The damn dog is named Cornbread...

yeah, it fits...

cause if I ever see him again I'm gonna crumble him up...

So the gal in the car comes back and has him and I leave the vet office having had my 3rd workout of the day.

And I still had Body Pump ahead of me.

I called Dimples on my way home and told him:

"I have a new workout...it's called CHASE A DAMN DOG!"

he laughed...

I came home, did some stuff around here and headed to the gym for workout #4...Body Pump.

Good class but now I am pooped.

So tonight at dinner I tell The Cutest Boy in the World and AngelAmy about my adventure with the neighbor's dog.

And I say:

"The damn dog is named Cornbread"

Well, TCBITW starts to laugh...he knows the dog...belongs to a friend of his that lives behind us.

I told him to text his friend and tell her that I hate Cornbread...

So please, dear Lord, if hot guy at the gym has a dog...please don't let it be a yellow lab that likes to run away from home.

Because even for a very hot guy who drives a big ass truck and makes me laugh I will not ever ever go running down Gaylord (or any street again) chasing a stupid dog again.

My knees hurt...and I'm tired...

And I hate Cornbread...

not really...he's just a silly dog...but I"m not sure I need to be the Good Dog Samaritan again...next time I'm just opening the gate and getting him out...

Inspiration Song: "Dog Days are Over" by Florence and the Machine...cause MY dog days are over...Ke$ha Barbie got into college!

Bye Darlings...chasing dogs is a good workout but I don't recommend it...

I'm gonna go and dance now...it helps to get the flying monkeys back into the castle...

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Sing a Song

I am not a morning person.

I HATE mornings...yes, I am a night owl.

So this morning, when the alarm went off at 5:00 am, I was not a happy camper.

But I hauled myself out of bed because I had a job to do. And since it was for GOTT and the kids...well, I wasn't happy and chipper (at first) but I fumbled with the alarm...ok, i hit the "snooze" button once...or twice...and THEN finally got out of bed and jumped into the shower.

And dang, Je t'aime Jamie (yes, I finally figured out I have been butchering the French word for "I love you")was teaching spin AND body pump this morning...and I was gonna be...on a bus...with twentysomething 7th and 8th graders.

Yeah, being the choir mom is not always fun...but strangely it is a job I love.

So today we had the auditions for the Region Choir. 1000 7th and 8th graders competing to make a combined choir. Actually they started last night with the 7th grade girls.

My sweet friend Broadway Betty (not her real name of course...but she loves Broadway musicals) was my partner for it. But bless her heart she pulled her back the night before. But because she is a dedicated choir mom, she skipped taking her meds (so she could drive) and helped me wrangle girls.

Not that these girls needed wrangling...7 7th grade girls that were no more trouble than a box of kittens.

Lucky for my Broadway Betty is sooooo dedicated that she let me leave early so I could see The Cutest Boy in the World fight for 3rd place in the city wrestling championships....oh yes, he got it...should have won the whole thing but got bested by a few points by the boy he beat last week (and had beaten before). Such is how wrestling goes. Further reason to hate it.

So I helped out for a few hours last night and today, because Broadway Betty was laid up with the back (and hopefully back on the pain meds), I had the help of the Marvelous Maggie---my sweet friend who makes me laugh and can wrangle kids with the best of them.

I got up, got a very tired and bruised and battered Cutest Boy in the World up, got dressed and we headed to the school.

The kids warmed up their voices with GOTT and because I am a glutton for punishment, I rode the bus.

I gave my kids the usual speech about behaving, and what to do, and where the bathrooms were at the school.

Then I gave them the witch speech.

The football team has heard it before...but this time I had to lay it on the choir kids. Not the choir kids need the same kind of managing as the football team but a good speech is a good speech.

It goes like this:

"Ok kids...I can be 2 kinds of witch. One witch is all "Glinda"...she sparkles...she wears pink and glitter and she is shiny and nice and pretty and happy and she makes good things happen. I"m all pink and sparkly when I am happy. BUT...if you do anything to embarrass us or cause trouble the monkeys are gonna fly and I will turn into a very ugly green witch and sparks will fly from my fingers. Trust me, you want to keep me pink and sparkly so don't misbehave and please do as I ask you. Cause Glinda is a lot nicer than the Wicked Witch of the West!!!!"

I forgot to add the part that it was useless to try and throw water on me if I turn green because I have proven that I don't melt...

But then again maybe I do because I manage to melt the pounds away with sweat...but that just makes the speech too complicated.

So the kids "got" it...and I am happy to say that the day was trouble free...

EXCEPT

for one tiny little thing...

We had a glitch.

And the monkeys flew.

Because the Region director wouldn't let one of my kids audition.

And I turned green.

Thankfully all the monkey flying was not directed at a child but rather at the director of the Region...cause she pissed me off.

We had a child, who I will call Excellent Emma, who had been given permission to come late to the auditions because she had something earlier that day she had to do.

Now the "what she had to do" is not important...well, it was important but I will not get into it here because it would delve into the boring to discuss it and I delve into the boring enough on this blog.

So let's just leave it to "she had something she had to do"...and it was important...important to her, to her family, and to her beliefs.

So when she arrived late (as scheduled) I took her to the check in desk and things seemed to be going well until the director arrived...

And then all hell broke looose and I let the monkeys fly when she informed us that Excellent Emma would not be allowed to audition.

Ummmm.....

NOOOOOOOOOO....

That's when the tears started.

Mine.

Not Excellent Emma.

She just stood there graciously and took it all in and said "that's ok".

I. Was. Pissed.

Mama was not happy...and when the Choir Mama is not happy...well, ain't nobody gonna be happy.

I argued with her.

I begged.

Excellent Emma kept her composure.

I did not.

More tears...

Huge frustration with the situation...

So I had to pull out the big guns.

I. Called. GOTT...

or rather, texted him...because he was done judging and I wasn't gonna go gently into that good night (or rather afternoon...).

He fixed it...

So we thought...

After a bit more "yes, she can..." and "no, she can't..." it was finally decided that she was not going to be allowed to audition for the Region Choir.

Excellent Emma showed poise well beyond her 8th grader years.

I behaved like a Kindergartener...

I don't accept "stupid" easily!

Once it was over, GOTT handled it perfectly and Excellent Emma accepted the hand that was dealt to her.

I"m still mad...hence this blog to relieve my frustration and anger.

She is not my child, but when I am in "Choir Mom Mode" or "Drama Mama Mode" ANY and EVERY child is mine...and at that moment she was as much mine as the 2 I gave birth to.

I rode home with Excellent Emma and her father.

She never uttered a word of complaint or sadness. She took it with all the grace and decorum of royalty. She was the grownup.

She impressed the hell out of me.

Not many of "my" kids would have handled it that way.

She did not pity herself. She did not cry.

The tears were all mine.

And I learned a lesson.

A year or so ago I learned a lesson from one of her classmates---the Magnificent Maggie when she showed grace and composure at her Bat Mitzvah and taught me a lesson then.

And Excellent Emma taught me a lesson today---that sometimes you just have to accept the things you cannot change...you have to roll with the punches...you have to play with the hand that is dealt to you.

I learned a lesson from an 8th grader...and she is one heck of a fine young woman.

I admire her.

I love her.

And I hope, next time I am faced with disappointment and a bitter pill to swallow that I can handle it with the grace and poise that she showed today.

So thank you, Excellent Emma...for being excellent.

But the choir mom still isn't happy...

And the monkeys are still flying...

I just hope I can get them wrangled back into the witches castle soon...because right now I have a large group of my daughters friends outside on my patio...having a cookout...at 10:30 at night. I really think my monkeys are tired and they don't want to fight anymore.

I think my next blog might be "Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting"...let's hope not!

And let's hope my house doesn't catch on fire...

Inspiration Song: "Sing a Song" by Earth, Wind, and Fire...cause today I had a lovely group of children sing some songs quite well thanks to GOTT...and the Earth, Wind and Fire part fits...because I am Mother Earth...and today when the wind blew...I reigned FIRE...

Bye Darlings...stand up for the kids you love...even if they are not your own...they might just show more maturity than you do.

And Excellent Emma...I love you...an I love the way you conducted yourself today...you are a credit to your parents, your school, and yourself!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

She Works Hard for the Money

I figured out the other day that 5 weekends of my spring will be spent in the service of GOTT and TTG and/or the choir.

Good thing I love GOTT...and I love the kids.

Between one-act play competition, choir trips, and our 8th grade musical I am pretty much at the service of the school.

For free...

Yup...I get paid nothing for it.

I take that back...I do get paid...

And the pay is pretty good.

I get paid in love.

GOTT loves me and appreciates all I do...so does TTG. And I have a blast working with them. They really are easy to work with and it is my creative outlet...especially the costuming part of it where I get to figure out how to make a girl look like a bird...or Cinderella.

And I get paid in love from the kids.

This year on my birthday I received the sweetest email from a former student. It totally made my day. And I was delighted to hear from her. I get those kinds of messages a lot...and I never tire of them and I am genuinely happy to hear from them.

Yesterday I ran into 4 former students when I went to watch my son wrestle at a nearby school that also has a high school. Sadly I got my time mixed up and missed his match (he won)...maybe not so sadly after all because it really makes me crazy to watch him. But in any case I saw 4 kids that I love on my trip into the gym.

2 of them were boys...they were sitting outside with 2 other boys I did not know. I said hello to the boys and walked on. Then I heard one the boys I didn't know say "wow...you know that mom? She's hot!"

Ummmmm...

mmmkkkk...

don't quite know how to feel about that.

Sweet?

Maybe...strange to hear it from a Freshman boy.

Of course the moment of conflict and feeling strange quickly ended seconds later when one of the boys I know says:

"yeah...she used to be really fat! But now she is pretty"

ummmmmm....

mmmmkkkkk....

hmmmmm....

It was the truth...and funny enough I totally expected that out of that particular child.

Just when you think you are hot you are brought back down to "lukewarm".

And no, I don't want to be thought of as "hot" by any high school boys.

Remember, I like men...who drive big ass trucks....

Those boys can't even drive.

And even if they could....ewwwwww....I am not Mary Kay Letourneau!

But it WAS a funny moment.

Thankfully I ran smack into a very sweet girl who I miss very much and then I saw my darling Sweet Sam so I was happy I went to the school even if I missed seeing my son wrestle...which again, was not a bad thing...

This weekend I get to run the show for our Region Choir auditions. Now mind you, I am not running the auditions...just our kids. My job is to make sure each of the little darlings is ready to go when his/her number is called.

GOTT likes me to do it because I am on top of my game for it...and I also fight like the devil if something goes wrong. You don't mess with the choir mom. Monkeys fly when one of our kids is wronged in some way or something goes wrong.

A truly joyous moment for me last year was when I received a call from a mom of a boy who had made the Region Choir. I spent the entire night before at the wrestling meet telling that child not to yell...and I kept him calm before his audition and told him I believed in him. She told me that right after GOTT called to tell him he made the choir he said "You have to call Mama D and tell her! She will be so proud of me!"...he was too embarrassed to make the call himself so she called...and I cried...and insisted that he get on the phone so I could tell him how proud I was of him. I love that child...a lot...

I also spend a lot of time taking care of coaches.

For free.

Lots and lots of time....being team mom and being equipment manager. Lucky for me the coaches are always very sweet and appreciative.

But they haven't taken the hint that I like lilies yet...I think I might have to leave a note. It will say:

"Hello Precious Coach! Yes you, you very nice man who coaches my son...I have spent the entire season sending out many many emails, I have kept up with the equipment, I have planned and organized and served team dinners, I have organized volunteers, I have created a webpage for the team, I have shot thousands of photos of the boys playing. I like lilies...you can get them at HEB...that is all I need...a few lilies...thank you!"

I'm kidding...

but maybe I'm not...

although last year some very smart mom got me a Lululemon gift card for the thank you gift and I literally cried.

Again, I don't need the lilies or Lululemon but it sure is nice. And it is payment enough.

I love what I do...I do it because I love it...not for pay.

But I keep reminding the head of school that she has until my son leaves the school for me to love GOTT for free.

She in turn keeps reminding me that I will love GOTT forever...

She's right...he's my brother from another mother...so yeah, I will love him for free always.

And the kids...loving the kids is the easiest part of all...

Because when a kid has the courage to hit the stage and sing or act...or when he gets up and auditions for the Region Choir despite a puberty fueled cracking voice...or when a shy girl tries out for the lead role...

Well...what is not to love about that?

And I'll do it for free forever...

just don't tell the head of school because I plan to apply for a REAL job there...but I will keep loving GOTT and the kids for free...

Inspiration Song: "She Works Hard for the Money" by Donna Summer...oh yeah...

Bye Darlings...sometimes a hug is better than any amount of money you can receive...it may not pay the bills but it sure pays the heart...

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Hazy Shade of Winter

You know, I'm not a fan of winter...

I'm much more of a summer girl.

I like spring.

I tolerate fall

I hate winter.

There is a reason I live in Texas...I like the warmth.

101 degrees and 70% humidity does not bother me. I like the heat. I'd rather melt than freeze.

Right now it is not very cold outside but as I type this, literally as I type this, the weatherman popped up on the commercial break saying that it will be colder tomorrow.

Brrrrr....

Me no likey the cold.

The only thing I like cold is my drink...especially my dirty martinis.

Winter brings cold...and ugly cold rain...

No snow here in Houston. We only get it about once every 5 years.

And we celebrate it...

And shut down the schools.

We get one little icicle and the city goes on shutdown.

We've actually had some spring-like days recently...the monsoon of rain we had Monday notwithstanding. Today was quite nice outside. Hard to believe it is January and the weather was lovely. When I walked out of the gym this morning with a friend we were both surprised at how nice the day was turning out to be.

Last winter Dimples and I spent our workout time at the park. Some days it was glorious...others it was complete misery. One day he was sick with a cold and it was about 20 degrees outside but my faithful trainer showed up and put me through my paces.

There are days I wish he wouldn't do it...like today...

Today we had "fun with weights" time. We decided to see what my limits were...to an extent.

He got me warmed up and then he pulled the bench under the weight lifting bar and said I was gonna do chest press.

mmmmkkkk

whatever...I do chest press in body pump for 4 minutes with 26 pounds (12 kilograms)...so I was a little intimidated when he said "just use the bar".

The bar weighs 45 pounds

No sweat...I probably couldn't do it for an entire Body Pump "track" (song...about 4 minutes) but I made my reps without a problem.

Next he added weight...65 pounds...

um...

mmmmkkkk

I did it. No sweat...10 reps and racked it.

Then he moved me up...I guess 75? Somehow we ended up at 95 pounds.

I did the reps...and gladly re-racked it.

For grins I asked him to let me try 115.

Um...

no can do

OK, so I am not as buff and strong as I think. And I"m not a man...

But Dimples being Dimples he says for me to think of it as a goal.

A little later we did the squats. Right now we stop at 135 pounds but he wants my goal to be to squat with my own weight on my back.

I want to get to 150 pounds before he decides we need to do that...so that is about 10 pounds for me to lose. I better get there before he decides I need to squat 160.

That is great incentive to get those 10 pounds off...

And that will make me exactly half my size.

I might have to apply to People Magazine...joking...not gonna do that...

Anyway, despite the heavy weightlifting Dimples is making me do I am glad to be inside a gym and not out in the park when the weather is not up to my liking. And I'll keep doing what he makes me do because the size 8 jeans I slid on today felt pretty darn good...and I think I looked pretty darn cute in them. Some day hot guy at the gym will have to see me in something other than my Lucy pants and Lululemon workout tops...but since he seems to chat me up despite my looking like the workout queen and smelling vaguely like a goat I guess it is fine.

But I do sorta miss the outside stuff...but not enough to stand out in it in January. But come spring I might just have to get back outside and enjoy the sunshine.

And trust me, as much as I love summer I will be happy to be in the air conditioning in July.

So this boring little blog is brought to you by the letter "s"...for "Summer" and "Spring"...because I far prefer it to the season we are in now.

And oh yeah...one more thing...hot guy at the gym....drives a big ass truck...cause when he walked me to my car the other day he pointed out his truck...and I almost laughed...

I wonder if he drinks red wine and likes to hold hands...

hahahaha....

Inspiration Song: "Hazy Shade of Winter"...2 versions...the classic slower version by Simon & Garfunkel...or the very fun 80's version recorded by The Bangles...I like the Bangles one better...a little more fun and great to spin to

Bye Darlings...If you like winter I'm happy for you....I'm waiting for spring...maybe by then hot guy at gym will be "hot friend"...I like his truck...

Monday, January 9, 2012

Rainy Monday

Wow...we got some rain today here in Houston.

It even made the national news.

We needed it but not as much as we got.

I had too much to do today for it to rain but God wasn't listening when I requested good weather. Someone with better connections must have asked for "rain".

Every time it rains here I get nervous. Well, not every time, but when it rains hard and fast I start to worry...

Because my house has flooded...

5 times

Only twice was it the whole house. Once after Hurricane Ike when the feeder band of rain hit the next day. The other was a bad storm. The other 3 were bad storms but that water only reached the living room and dining room.

The Ike time was God's little joke on us. While the entire city was out of power...some homes as long as 4 weeks...we got power less than 12 hours after Ike hit. It seems that some former CEO of Reliant Energy lives in our grid so basically we get taken care of because he gets taken care of. So the afternoon after the hurricane I had air conditioning, lights, and the ability to cook dinner and keep the food in my fridge.

But 36 hours later God said "Ha!" and the feeder bands of rain poured 10 inches down in our area in a very short period of time. That much rain combined with all the debris in the storm drains meant that my house became a little lake.

Ankle deep water

Distressed the hell out of my cats

Oh, and I was a little distressed too...

A few days later the wood floor in the den buckled and we discovered we had about 100 gallons of water under the den floor.

Guess that explains why it was so humid in the house.

We put down stone tile floors after that. No more wood.

So when the next flood happened I just squeegeed it out.

Of course that didn't work very well on the carpet.

Oh, and did I mention we were remodeling the house at the time? Yeah, that made it all the more interesting.

Houston floods a lot. Years ago, when we lived in a different house, we had so much water you almost couldn't tell where the concrete ended and the pool began. My friend was visiting and her dog went outside after the rain stopped and the poor thing kept falling into the pool because the entire back yard was just one big lake.

At that same "flood time" my mother was traveling with her friend Adriana and they got stuck in some high water. My mom had an Explorer at that time. They were driving down the road and came across some high water and got stuck. The water continued to rise and they couldn't move the car.

Now when Adriana gets stressed she slips back into "Espanol" mode...meaning...she forgets to speak English.

Her usual language was Spanglish anyway, but when she was excited or stressed it was full-on Spanish.

So the water is rising and Adriana is babbling in Spanish and my mom realizes that they are gonna have to escape.

But the water is rising quickly and it is up almost to the door handles.

And Adriana is still babbling in Spanish.

My mom unrolled her window and decided to just crawl out and make a swim for it. Not wise but what could she do.

Just before exiting her window she told Adriana:
"I"m going out the window. I suggest you follow me and hold my hand. But if you speak one more word of Spanish I'm going to let go of you!!!!"

Adriana got it together and returned to Spanglish.

My mom didn't let go.

They were best of friends until my mom passed away about 10 years later.

When my mom died Adriana lapsed back into Spanish with me. I let her. I couldn't understand a word of it but I knew the drill.

Sadly I will now admit to you my father spoke perfect Spanish...and almost perfect English.

I know...poquito

which is not much

translate that to: "Anice can't speak it to save her life and if she did she would probably say something like "I need to pass gas" when she is trying to say "Which way is Cabo San Lucas?""

I have many tales of my father's Spanish speaking abilities coming in handy but that is for another blog...this one is about "Rain Rain Go Away".

Just as an aside...I almost named this blog "Sunshine Day" after the Brady Bunch kids song...but it is not on my iPod...and why the hell would it be. Not sure you can even get it on iTunes but then who the hell would want to.

So the rain got in my way today but I still managed to give myself some cardio by jumping on a bike and spinning (giving myself my own class...I am a certified instructor you know...I just don't teach)...then working out, or rather getting punished by Dimples (uh yeah...had to do the 135 pound squats again today)...and I got to Body Pump with J'taime Jamie tonight so 3 workouts in one day despite the rain.

And a run to the airport to pick up a girlfriend...she was grateful...happy to do it...

But I"m happy to say the rain appears to be leaving us and now we will all have greener yards...and I don't have to squeegee my living room...

Although that could have been workout #4...

Inspiration Song: "Rainy Monday" by Shiny Toy Guns. I love that song. I really like the remix version...fun little song...fun little band...good for spinning or running...

Bye Darlings...don't let the rain get in your way...but please do stop and not let yourself get stuck in a flood...

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Low Rider

So today I got on the scale and found a number there that I have been praying for...

I'm 9.5 pounds from goal weight...

I can easily be there by spring break.

I'm not rushing it because I know I have some trips to NOLA (New Orleans) and rodeo to deal with so I am not going to give myself an unrealistic goal date.

But since this is the lowest number I have hit in over 18 years, I am pretty happy anyway.

It was easier back then...this losing weight stuff.

What happened?

Good metabolisms are wasted on youth...

When I was a freshman in college I weighted 104 pounds dripping wet.

Then I gained the freshman 15...but I was fine and still looked good and not fat.

Then I had to have jaw surgery and wasted away to 96 pounds because I was on a liquid diet.

That broken jaw was a good way to lose weight but it was not the way I would ever do it again.

My dad had a good friend who struggled with his weight. He was constantly trying new ways to lose weight.

He did the all protein thing (before it was known as Atkins)...according to my dad that lasted 2 days...

He went to the Pritikin Institute to try and lose weight. But then he discovered a hot dog vendor nearby and that ended that. Pritikin kicked him out when they discovered he was showing all the other patients where the hot dog vendor was...and that he was paying the vendor to be there at a certain time each day.

My dad told me that at Pritikin there was a sign at the check in desk that said:

"If it tastes good, spit it out"...

I don't agree with that statement...

My dad's friend even went as far as to have his jaw wired shut.

Now being one who involuntarily had that done (because of the jaw surgery) I can tell you that yes, you lose weight but it is a horrid way to do it.

Everything must be able to go through a straw...and the wires holding your jaw shut.

So according to my dad his friend got so desperate for a steak that he grilled one and put it in a blender.

Not a good idea...

I tried it myself...steaks don't blend...

I put a lot of things in the blender during the 6 weeks that I was wired shut. Steak was my biggest failure...but I became an expert at soup.

Tomato soup
Potato soup
Asparagus soup
Pureed vegetable soup

etc.

My doctor tried to make me drink something like Ensure...

Gross

Gross

Gross

To this day I can barely tolerate a protein shake because it reminds me of the liquid nutrition stuff they made me drink.

My inner fat girl was overjoyed the day he said "you need to gain some weight...drink some milkshakes"

Um...

yeah...

ok...

I did...but the problem is that I have sensitive teeth and so it was hard to have that cold milkshake hit my teeth...but I went to the ice cream place and dutifully got my "dinner" and had a sweet cream milk shake almost every day.

I wasn't trying to lose weight...but when you can only eat things that come through a straw you pretty much have no choice.

I lost so much weight that one day I put on a strapless dress and it fell off me.

That night my mother made me soup and put heavy cream in it.

She also got mad at me the day I decided to take myself to the Galleria. She was worried that if someone tried to attack me in the parking lot that because of my wired jaw I couldn't scream.

Really?

She left me unattended for 2 days when I was 4 days post-op but she worried that I would not be able to scream.

She also made me wear my wire cutters around my neck.

Trust me they came off the second my Honda left the driveway.

It was an enormous pain in the neck to not be able to take anything in except with a straw. Not only was my jaw wired shut but there was a plastic place between my upper and lower teeth. And they put the braces back on.

I'm a teeth grinder so I was faced with not only taking pain killers at first but the doctor also gave me a muscle relaxer so my teeth wouldn't try and grind while I was sleeping.

The muscle relaxers didn't come in liquid form. So every night I had to "melt" a pill in some juice to take it.

gross

gross

gross

Sadly the weight jumped right back on as soon as I could eat again...but I was never fat.

"Fat" didn't hit until I got married and turned into Susie Homemaker and started cooking non-stop.

And then fatter happened when I just gave up. And was unhappy.

Now that I know what I need to do to be happy, fat isn't going to be an issue.

And the next man I am with will like to eat healthy...and drink red wine...and drive a big ass truck....

just sayin'

Inspiration Song: "Low Rider" by War...where were you when it was popular? I'm not saying...

Bye Darlings...the only way to lose weight is by eating right and moving...no gimmicks, no tricks...

Thursday, January 5, 2012

I Like It (Debarge version)

Hello Darlings,

I'm still in "recovery mode" from what Dimples has inflicted on me...yes, he is still the King of Pain...

Yesterday he made me do the crazy squats again.

This time he got me up to 125 pounds.

Thank goodness it was only for 1 round of 10 squats...he had me work my way up to it and back down to lower weights after.

I'm sure tomorrow will bring more of the same unless we decide to enjoy the lovely weather and leave the gym behind and work out in the park.

The positive to all of this is that I'm back on a losing streak and things are tightening and toning up.

Sadly the loose skin in my belly is not...time to call the surgeon...just don't know when the heck I want to be out of commission for 3 weeks.

or more...

and she (the surgeon) has warned me that I won't be spinning or lifting weights for longer than that.

I know it will all be worth it but the thought of not being in the gym terrifies me.

I still have 10 pounds to go anyway until I am at "goal weight" so I feel ready for the surgery. I don't want to just hit that number, I want to stay there for a bit and let my body settle into that weight so I know it won't go right back up.

But right now I am feeling really good and am pretty happy with how I look. Could be better but when the hot man at the gym said "You look really great" this morning...well, I hope he drives a big ass truck and likes red wine...

I'm missing Oprah fiercely these days...this holiday season I really missed watching her "Favorite Things" show.

So I thought that today I would update you on my latest list of "Favorite Things" and share with you some stuff that I really enjoy or that helps me get through my day.

Now some things were on last years list...and if you want to see last years list look for the blog called "My Favorite Things"...December 20, 2010. They are all still my favorite things.

I still love my Dimples and his training sessions...
I still love red wine (duh...but I have some additions)
I still love salmon
I still love my Riedel wine glasses
I still love George's Pastaria and still think it is by far the best Italian in Houston
etc...

So if I don't mention them again, it's not that I don't still love them...I'm just trying to be Oprah here and give you some new ideas...

Bear in mind that I am a product junkie. My bathroom counter basically looks like a Sephora store. I pity the man who eventually has to live with it all. He better be willing to give me 90% of the counter space or I won't marry him. I'm afraid that some man will walk in and see my counter and run scared...but that won't change me...he's just gonna have to deal with it.

So here are the things that I really, really like these days...

1) Spin Class...just like my training sessions with Dimples, spin class is not work...it is fun. Yes, it is a workout, but it is a FUN workout. If you have not tried a spin class yet I urge you to do so if they offer classes where you workout. Or join a gym that offers spinning. It is a great aerobic workout and for me, with tweeky knees, it doesn't hurt. I have a very very S-L-O-W metabolism...moves at the speed of a glacier...or sloth...but in spin I can burn over 400 calories in an hour. The sad thing is that most of the rest of my friends burn about 700 or so...Give it a try

2) My Clarisonic Mia...I love my little Mia...if you don't know what it is, it is a vibrating brush that scrubs your face. My skin never looked better...it is worth the money...

http://sephora.com/browse/product.jhtml?id=P245414&categoryId=C19920

or:
http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/clarisonic-fuchsia-mia-sonic-cleansing-system/3267479?origin=keywordsearch&resultback=219

many department stores carry it too for the same price

3) My Clarisonic Opal...another great product from the company that brought us the best toothbrush...the Opal basically is supposed to help "force" your eye cream into your eye area. Now I don't know if it does that but what it DOES do is help to reduce the bags under my eyes with the vibrating action massaging the area and helping fluid drain. I could also probably help that with getting more sleep and drinking more water but I do love my gadgets. And yes, it is pricey...

here is the best value I found:

http://www.amazon.com/Clarisonic-Sonic-Infusion-System-Aging/dp/B004VJ56AK

or you can do this...comes with more serum but not sure it is worth the extra $:

http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/clarisonic-opal-sonic-infusion-system-nordstrom-exclusive-265-value/3236919?origin=keywordsearch&resultback=533

4) Lululemon workout gear....last year I raved on and on about Lucy...and I still love love love Lucy...especially my workout pants...but for cute tops it is lululemon all the way. Lately I have bought some very cute ones and I love the way they wick away sweat and don't stink. I stink but my workout stuff does not. Every time I see someone at the gym with a cute top on it is almost always from lululemon. Their stuff is pretty and lets you feel girly and cute when working out...that is until the sweat starts dripping...

Oh, and if you buy anything in "paris pink" color...watch out...it bleeds...I left body pump with a pink towel...the lululemon website has special instructions on how to wash that stuff.

Another thing I love...their tops come with removable cups so you won't look weird...just ask for them...they are free!

http://shop.lululemon.com/home.jsp

I have this one...was told I was "looking really great" today when wearing it...might just live in it:
http://shop.lululemon.com/products/clothes-accessories/women-tanks/Cross-My-Heart-Tank?cc=9895&skuId=3435260&catId=women-tanks

Hot guy at gym makes me glad I have cute workout stuff...just sayin'

5) "They're REAL!" mascara by Benefit.
Best. Mascara. Ever.
I've tried 'em all...trust me I have...from the cheapest drug store brands to the priciest department store brands I have tried them all...and I have the bills and mascara collection to prove it...but this one...amazing...Sephora or Ulta...and it makes your eyes quite lovely when you bat them at men who drive big-ass trucks:

http://sephora.com/browse/product.jhtml?id=P289307&categoryId=C10339

6) Red Wine...oh how I love thee...
I've discovered some REALLy good ones and had a few crummy ones (which I still drink). I have discovered I still don't really care for Merlot but I DO like malbec (some) and Pinot Noir (some) and I lurrrrvvv my cabernets and Syrah/Shiraz and blends (depending on the blend). And I have been love love loving zinfandels lately...especially those from Lodi tha are of the "old vine" variety.

Here are my favorites:
Michael David "Rapture"---yummy...perfect...pricey but worth it...
"Earthquake" by Michael David...yeah, I'm a fan...syrah or zinfandel...both are yummy...so is the cabernet...and the petite sirah...yeah...like I said, I'm a fan
Bonterra Cabernet...good for a $10 bottle and organic
Norton Malbec
"The Boxer" by Molly Dooker...Shiraz
"Blue Eyed Boy" by Molly Dooker...Shiraz
"Parlay" don't know the winery...blend...about $16
Klinker Brick Old Vine Zinfandel (if you can find it)

I have more...just can't remember them all!

7)Jeans...I'm loving jeans these days...now that I can finally WEAR jeans. Since I am basically built like a Hobbit or Ooompah Loompah (squatty little thick legs) I have a hard time. ALL jeans are long on me...just a fact. So I have found that I have to shop a little harder for them. I've tried the "Not Your Daughter's Jeans" but they don't work for me...some people swear by them though and they are worth a try. I do a lot better with Citizens of Humanity, 7 for All Mankind, and Lucky Brand Jeans work best for my body. The Lucky's are the best deal...AngelAmy found some at Marshalls the other day for a STEAL. I usually buy mine at the outlet mall but she got as good or better deal at Marshalls. My favorite style is the "Sweet N Low".
The best thing about Lucky Brand? They come in SHORT, REGULAR, and TALL inseams!!!!! (I still have to hem them...sigh).
And the men's jeans are very comfy too...bought some for a friend and he lives in them and swears they are as comfy as pajamas. He asked if I had witch powers since I got them for the same price as Levi's (outlet, thank you very much) and they are so comfy and flattering and fit even better than the Levi's. I told him that I knew how to use pixie dust when I needed to...

Lot's of places to buy them...online (luckybrand.com) but the best deals are at Marshall's, Nordstrom Rack, and the outlet mall (at the Lucky Brand store).

8)My bumpy little circulation stimulator. It is a round little body massager with little nubs on it that get the circulation going. I bought mine at Sephora but I no longer see it on their website. Bliss makes one called the "slimulator". I call it "miracle worker"...you just soap it up and massage away...gets the blood flowing. I swear one reason that I don't have a worse loose skin problem is my religious use of this little tool. Helps with cellulite too...

http://sephora.com/browse/product.jhtml?categoryId=C9402&id=P40693

9) Chicken sutffed with jalapeno cornbread or the jalapeno cream cheese stuffed pork tenderloin by La Boucherie. Ok, don't tell Dimples about these cause they are not on the diet...but...my kids love them and if you don't overindulge they aren't as bad as they sound. Here's the best part...they defrost quickly or you can cook them from frozen. The pork loin will defrost in 30 minutes in a cool water bath. You can get them at HEB and at Costco. They are in the frozen section. Delicious!

10) Agave nectar...I love it to sweeten my tea...also love it in a margarita...but it is better for me in the tea...

11) Ok, back to my obsession with the puffiness under my eyes...as much as I love my Clarisonic Opal, I have found a really cheap product that works really well on the puffiness...The Sephora Instant Depuffing roll-on gel. It is in a tube and has little roller balls on the end...squeeze a bit out and use the roller balls to massage away. Feels good...and it works:

http://sephora.com/browse/product.jhtml?id=P276324&categoryId=C11724&shouldPaginate=true

12) Again my eye obsession...I also use Peter Thomas Roth Instant FIRMx Eye before I put my makeup on...it works...it firms it up and tightens the area...like a little eye lift in a tube...

http://sephora.com/browse/product.jhtml?id=P283106&categoryId=C11721&shouldPaginate=true

13)Isle Pedi Spa...ok, it is a bit pricier than a lot of pedicure places but you can't find a cuter, girlier, and more pampering place than the Voss/Memorial location. They will even give you wine...

Go on a weekend, ask for Sophie, and you will find bliss...worth every penny...my bella Bella loved it and so do I...

http://www.islepedispa.com/
Isle Pedi Spa (Memorial location on Voss)

14) Serge Normant hair products. Last year I spoke of my love for Living Proof products. I still love them and I still use the "full making" shampoo. But the Serge Normant (he is Julia Robert's hair guy) stuff is awesome for styling. I use the dry shampoo as a way to pump up the volume (as do a lot of hairdressers for fashion shows and photo shoots according to Allure magazine) and the Meta Lush Volumizer really does make my hair look fuller and thicker.

http://sephora.com/browse/brand_hierarchy.jhtml?brandId=Serge+Normant

15) Thierry Mugler Angel Perfume. My signature scent. Attracts men and children. Not sure you want both at the same time. The kids I work with at school say they know Mama D is around when they can smell the perfume...and they usually run up and say "Mama D you are the best smelling person!". As for men...all I can say is that they seem to like it...a lot...a lot...

BUT...it is not for everyone. So be sure to get a sample (Nordstrom and Sephora will make you nice sized samples) and see if it works on you. It doesn't work on everyone. I have received several bottles from friends who gave me the bottles they bought for themselves only to find it is not good on them. So try it before you buy it. Trust me on this...do not buy it until you try it and see how it does on you.

16) Just like Oprah I gotta put a car on my list (along with a big ass truck but that one has to come with a pretty and sweet man who will drink red wine with me and hold my hand and bring me lilies and watch Modern Family...but that is HIS car, not mine...so if I could choose one I would choose my friend LovelyLisa's convertable Lexus...I lurrrvvv her car...I want her car....some day I'm gonna get that car. Just have to find a man who drives a big ass truck to pay for it. In the meantime she is always sweetly happy to let me drive it (with the top down!) when we are together. I luuuurrrvvv her even more than her car...but if I could, I would have one just like it...she has great taste...and she works hard for her money and deserves it. We look good when we drive around in it...but I also look good in a big ass truck...just sayin'

Ok, so that is my list for the year...go read last year's list too because all of the items from that list are also still my favorites.

Inspiration Song: "I Like it" by DeBarge...old school...

Bye Darlings....happy shopping...one friend calls me the shopping fairy...that is not a bad title...

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

King of Pain

Have I shared with you how much I love my trainer I like to call "Dimples"...

yeah...I thought so...

Right now me no likey Dimples...

I usually luuuurrrrvvv him....but today...notsomuch...

Cause he has a new title:

King of Pain

Yeah, he earned it fair and square.

It's what he did yesterday to me that makes me want to change his name permanently from Dimples to King of Pain. But once the soreness goes away I will probably be happy to call him Dimples again.

But right now...he's King of Pain...

So yesterday before I had my delightful little playdate with my bella Bella, I had a workout with Dimples.

He decided I needed to do some squats with the weight lifting bar.

The REAL DEAL one...you know, the ones that all the grunting guys at the gym use.

or football players...

or dumbass women who listen to their trainers...

Not one on one of those sliding rack things...nope, this one is the one where you get under the bar (thank goodness it was padded) and squat down...lift up...step forward to release it from the little hook things and then go to town on the squats.

We started with 55 pounds because that is what I load my bar up with for Body Pump.

No problem...

I do that for 5 minutes twice a week in Body Pump...that is when I am actually being taught Body Pump and not some archaic aerobics class by some crazy guy that wants me to grapevine with weights in my hands.

So in Body Pump the "tracks" (a song) are usually 5 minutes long and you squat away.

Like I said...no problem...

So I do 10 or so with the 55 pounds on...

So he says "let's do more"...

uh...ok...

so he adds some weight...

I tell him:
"Don't tell me what you put on until I am done"

So I get under the bar and start squatting.

No problemo...

75 pounds...

hmmm....not so bad...

he decides to be cute and loads it again...

I think it was 100...

um...that hurt a little but I managed to do 10 very easily.

He gets a little grin...and yes, flashes the dimples...I remind him not to tell me what it was...

I do 10...not easy but not un-doable...

115

yes, I typed that right...115 freakin' pounds on my back while I squatted...

I was proud and terrified at the same time.

He informs me that a high school boy I know can barely do it but does...

And then the King of Pain makes me do a second round...of 10...

the pad slipped and the dang thing almost fell off but we got it back under control and I finished.

He told me my glutes were gonna talk to me today...

No Baby, they aren't talking...

They are YELLING...

my butt hurts...and it hurts to sit.

Probably didn't help that I did Body Pump again last night (with the 5 minutes of squats with 55 pounds) and drove myself hard on the elliptical before Body Pump and used heavy tension.

Probably didn't help that I did JayVee's awesome spin class today and rode my patootie off...

I think I have mentioned before that wine and Advil are a great combination.

I will use that plan tonight...

and maybe a soak in the tub...with wine...

A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.

I've been here before...with the sore glutes...but that was from me overstretching once because I thought I was a ballerina and all totally bendy.

I mean, I am a ballerina...
in my bathroom...
when no one is looking...

But not a good idea to overstretch and pull your glute muscles.

That took A LOT of advil and wine...and ice...to get over.

This is not a pulled glute. Just sore from working.

Which is not necessarily a bad thing.

He says we have to "take it to the next level" to get the next bit of weight off and get me to where I want to be.

I totally believe him...even if he is the devil disguised as a really good looking personal trainer.

I don't need ice...just the wine and advil (cause I know that Tylenol will not help and you shouldn't drink and take Tylenol).

I'm just trying to work my big butt off...literally and figuratively.

I have accepted that my a$$ is large...and always will be. When I was working out last week I was talking with a male friend about how people can say things to a kid they never forget.

So I told him this story:
My dad once called me "Crisco". I asked "why?". He said cause I was "fat in the can".

Not nice, Daddy...that makes him the King of Emotional Pain.

He didn't often do things like that but when he did, it cut to the bone.

So I told my friend:
"You know what? He was right. I have a big butt. And now at 47 years old (Good God I just told you my age) I have accepted that I will always have a big butt".

He looks at me and smiles..this very good looking man friend of mine and says:
"There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with your a$$. It's good!"

Awwwww....how sweet...he speaks "woman" well...

Another friend of mine who also speaks woman well said "it's sexy..." when I was complaining to him that I was sore from the squats but want to tone up back there.

They both drive big-ass trucks...

Must be something to it.

Tomorrow he will probably make me do 125...and you know what? As long as some good looking man that drives a big-ass truck says my backside is nice, well...

Then yeah...I will squat with 125.

And love Dimples all the more...

But tonight...he's the King of Pain.

Inspiration Song: "King of Pain" by the Police or is it Sting...or is there a difference?

Bye Darlings...pain is good if it is not an injury...don't let a little pain from working out keep you from taking it to the next level...

Monday, January 2, 2012

Girls do What they Want

So today I got to have a "date" with my frothy little niece...my bella I call Bella here on the blog.

She. Is. Precious.

I have forgotten how much fun a 6 year old girl can be.

It has been 12 years since Ke$ha Barbie was 12 but that is not so long that I don't remember what little girls like to do. So we did "girly" things.

We started with meeting my Aunt Jane for lunch at Carrabbas. Jane and I behaved and had salmon (although I did indulge in bread and olive oil...shoulda shooed the bread basket away like I said yesterday but I was starved after my Dimples workout). Bella had fettucine alfredo and kept herself busy coloring in the activity book they provide.

I loved watching her color in the picture. She was so very precise and did it perfectly. Just like Ke$ha Barbie used to.

She told me:
"I always stay in the lines. That is because I make a "wall" with the color on the edges so that I stay in the lines. It is like a wax wall and it stops me!"

OK, that is almost as cute as "frothy"...

We also played tic-tac-toe.

She won.

I lost.

Not on purpose...she really won...

After lunch we headed to Isle Pedi Spa so I could treat Bella to a mani/pedi. I totally want her to have memories of having a mani/pedi with Aunt Niecy...

It is literally the girliest place in Houston. Silver floors, glittery walls, mirrored furniture, chandeliers everywhere, poofy seats with throw pillows, tons of polish choices, flower petals in the soak along with nice smelly stuff, and crystal knobs and pulls. Ke$ha Barbie says I am at home there because it looks like my bathroom...I even have the same knobs.

Here is my Bella having her princess treatment...




If you want a full-on girly time, go there. Go on a weekend and ask for Sophie. She's the sweetest and best. I lurrrrvvv her and my toes have never looked better.

Here are the 2 of us after the mani/pedi...note the girly couch and all the sparkle...sorry for the backlit photo but that is where Bella wanted to pose...and what Bella wants, Bella gets with her Aunt Niecy.


I texted her precious mommy and daddy photos of her and us at the spa...her mother was delighted that we were having such a good time. Have I mentioned how much I love my sister-in-law? Yeah, I thought so....but it never hurts to do it again because I lurrrrvvv her! And my sweet brother was in tears of joy that Bella and I were having such a grand time.

After Bella was soaked, scrubbed, rubbed, sparkled and polished to perfection...along with a toe ring and nail art, we ran to Fit Foods and grabbed some food for me and then ran by the house to let Bella say "goodbye" to Ke$ha Barbie.

Then we headed to the crack house.

ok...I got you there...you can now recover because NOOOOOO I did not take her to a REAL crack house...

We went to Crave Cupcakes...

I call it the Crack House or the Crack Den. It's all the same. It is crack...once you have one you can't help yourself but to continue with the addiction. It is total kryptonite to me. We did not eat our cupcakes but chose to bring them home...so I had a box made up for her, her daddy and her brother and I brought my crack home so my children can indulge...along with me...just one...just one...ok, maybe 2...but not today...one today and maybe one tomorrow if there are any left.

After the Crack Den I had to return her to my brother.

It was like handing over a precious diamond.

I kept the tears for the car...I will see her soon but letting go of something that adorable is hard to do.

I'm glad I get to be a fun aunt to my nieces and nephews. It makes memories for us all.

I have incredible memories of Jane coming to visit. We would impatiently wait for her to arrive because once Jane hit town the fun began. I am happy to say that (mumble) years later we still have a blast together but now we get to do grown-up things like drink wine together instead of the milkshakes we had when I was younger.

One time we decided to try and make "grown-up" milkshakes with liquor. Not a great idea. Ice cream everywhere and we discovered some liquors don't mix well together. And because they tasted like dessert we ended up getting tipsy...not plowed, just tipsy.

Jane also helped me grow up. She still does. I have fond memories of her taking me to see "Animal House" when I was ALMOST too young to see it. (OK, now you have a pretty good idea of my age if I saw Animal House in a theater). It took us 2 different theaters before they would let us in since it was rated "R". I had questions after the movie...she answered them.

And we both wanted to have a massive food fight after seeing it.

Jane often would arrive in town after driving all night from Kansas when she lived there in high school and college. My sisters and I would sneak into her room and would "accidently on purpose" wake her up...poor thing needed her sleep but we couldn't wait for the fun we had with her.

I also have fun memories of times spent with my Aunt Gayle. Since she is only 4 years older than me I basically gave her hell...because it was more like having a big sister than an aunt. I was horrible to her when I was 12 and she was 16. I told her she was a terrible driver. I wouldn't mind her. I gave her s&*& all the time.

Lucky for me she is the forgiving sort...

And now we have a huge blast together. One time when she was working for the "John and Leeza Show" I was in California so I went to see the show. I was pregnant with Ke$ha Barbie...about 30 weeks so I was huge. I turned into a 12 year old again and tormented her by being the enormous preggo lady calling her "Aunt Gayle"...

Lucky for me she is the forgiving sort...

I once went up to Kansas and spent several weeks with my grandparents. Jane and Gayle were still living at home. I tormented Gayle the whole time...refused to watch the shows she wanted to watch, picked on her about her hair, made fun of her obsession with Starsky and Hutch, and wouldn't mind her when we were at the swimming pool.

Lucky for me she is the forgiving sort...

I worshipped Jane...lavished my love upon her and she on me. She took us to the movies (The Pink Panther!) and to the pool. We went to the amusement park.

I refused to ride some horrible ride. I think it was called the Zambeezee Zinger. It terrified me....and I wouldn't ride it with Gayle no matter how much she begged.

Years later I took Ke$ha Barbie and The Cutest Boy in the World to California. We spent a few days with Gayle. We went to Six Flags.

I rode the roller coasters with Gayle.

We held hands and screamed.

It was one of the most joyful times of my life.

Because we got a "do-over" and we had a blast doing it with each other.

We didn't let anyone else (including my ex) ride those rides with us...it was OUR time and we were gonna do it. Gayle and Ke$ha Barbie rode one particularly nasty roller coaster called "Goliath" together...Ke$ha Barbie had watched a show on how they built it and was obsessed with riding it. it was a special thing for her to do with Gayle.

It was one of the most joyful times of her life.

Lucky for me...she is the forgiving sort...and she loves me with all her heart and I have an amazing set of aunts. Not only do I have my aunts by blood but my uncles have managed to each marry an incredible woman that I am blessed to have in my life and I love them so very very much.

I don't have my mom anymore but I do have my aunts...how lucky am I?

I have a great time with them...and they are my role models as to how I should be with my nieces and nephews.

And as for my bella Bella...shhhhhhh...don't tell anyone...but she stole my heart and might just be my favorite little girl in the world...

Inspiration Song: "Girls Do What They Want" by The Maine

Bye Darlings...you never know how your relationship with a child that is not your own might just affect them...I've been blessed to have my aunts...I want to be a blessing to my bella Bella...