Saturday, February 28, 2009

Ears Pierced!

Caroline has been insisting she wants to get her ears pierced, and today was the day! She looked at the display case, and right away picked out the earrings she wanted. She sat in the chair, held their "piercing buddy teddy bear," and when it was all over, she did NOT cry but it looked like she wanted to. She toughed it out though, and no actual tears fell. I think she was surprised that it hurt, even though I told her ahead of time that it would. She looks a little woozy in the first "after" picture!

I remember getting my ears pierced in South Carolina the summer before 4th grade. They used tweezers back then to squeeze the earrings together, and did them one at a time. In these times of modern piercing, however, two different ladies use two clicker guns and they get both of them done in one click.

I'm not sure who thought it was a bigger deal - me or Caroline! :) I am very proud of her, and her Daddy told her that she looked beautiful.

After we got milkshakes and Chick Fil-A, I took some more pictures of both of them so I'd have a current photo.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Today is a new day

Right before Chicken Little hit the game-winning home run, he said to himself, "Today is a new day." After that game, his life started to change for the better.

Since most everyone around me feels quite free to comment on and discuss my mental health status, I'd like to announce that today is the new day for me wherein I will attempt to achieve better living through prescription chemistry. We shall see if the results are positive. I understand it could take between two and four weeks.

After this area of my life gets handled to everyone's satisfaction, I'm thinking that all those other areas over which I have no control but that also need attention will be the top priority for others.

In other words, once the nut job isn't a nut job anymore, perhaps it will become evident who else needs to do a little work, and we'll see if they have the stones or moxie to get 'r done, too.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

I got the curl!

Today I opened a new tub of butter. I took my fork, scooped out the cute little curl and laughed to myself.

When we were kids, my sister and I used to fight over who would "get" the curl. I know, it's not like it tastes any different from the rest of the butter in the tub, but when you're a kid, you'll fight about anything. We'd even sing it like Eddie Murphy sang about the ice cream: I got the curl, I got the curl. Once in a while, just to get one up, I'd open a brand new tub and sneak it while I was helping put away the groceries, even though the old butter wasn't all the way gone. Yes, it was cheating a bit. Big sisters are mean like that. ;-0

I'll probably chuckle about that for the rest of my days. It's part of what Joan Didion called "family shorthand," the strange and wonderful little things you do in your family that other families don't do and don't know about. (Hmm, that sounds like another great blog entry!)

So sorry, Sissy, but this time--I GOT THE CURL!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Fat Tuesday

Whoo-hoo, it is Fat Tuesday and it certainly lived up to the hype. Basically I have been eating junk all day, ha! Took the kids to Olive Garden tonight and I ate so many breadsticks with alfredo sauce that my stomach hurts. Hoping there is enough room in there for that 3 Musketeers bar I planned to have tonight . . .

I think I am going to try to give up the "F" word for Lent. So I have been saying it plenty of times today to get it out of my system, hehe. If I can keep myself from saying it for 40 days, then I can stop saying it altogether.

Another thing I want to give up is my salty snacks. I've been putting on weight and I don't feel good about it. Health-wise, it also would be to my advantage to get rid of the weight before it gets insurmountable.

There are probably bigger sins I need to give up, but I am going to start with these two and then we'll reevaluate after the 40 days.

Long Live Mardi Gras!

Monday, February 23, 2009

You Are Special

Tonight John Sam and I were reading Max Lucado's book You Are Special. It's about wooden people called Wemmicks who go around giving each other stars for being "good" and dots for being "bad." As John Sam read the story aloud, I just watched his face.

When we got to the part about Punchinello going to see Eli, the woodcarver, the story says that Eli calls Punchinello's name in a deep, strong voice.

"That's God," said John Samuel. Only 8 years old, and already he knew--without my even explaining it to him.

Wow, just wow.

And oh, how I needed to hear that today!! :)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Two TVs in Two Days

The free TV we got from one of Sam's lawn customers was way bigger than the nice Samsung we used to have in the living room, but the picture wasn't that great and the plastic housing around it would crackle and break if you breathed on it. But we had it in the living room because it was BIGGER. The littler Samsung with the awesome picture was in Caroline's room and the kids used it for Pac-Man and watching videos.

The DVD player hooked up to the bigger TV would not play DVDs after we hooked up the digital converter box. We got a huge black line in the middle and two screens. So I thought it was because the TV was older.

Tried to switch them yesterday and the housing on the big TV cracked so much that the bottom fell out of it. So the kids have a huge broken TV in Caroline's room that does not work. But hey - at least it was FREE, right?!

The Samsung was in the living room and I was pleased as punch that once again I had the nicer, more colorful picture. Hooked up the converter box and DVD player...... and still got the huge black line and split screen when trying to watch a DVD. Then I spent about 3 hours online on Friday night trying to find the reason for this with no success.

Today I was in the bathroom while the kids played Pac-Man on the Samsung. Heard a huge crash and everyone was screaming at poor Tokyo. Seems she tried to jump over the Pac-Man cord and caught one of her paws on it. It pulled the Samsung down onto the terrazzo. The only good thing was that the glass on the front of it did not break. The kids were so excited when it turned on, thinking it wasn't damaged. But from the unusal colors, I could easily see that the Samsung was a goner. About 15 seconds later, it cuts itself off. Oh, and there's no sound anymore.

So now the only TV we have in the house that works is the oldest one we have, and it's in our bedroom. Yep, I'm spoiled from always having 2 televisions. I'm guessing I should be thankful, but right now I'm just too pissed. I don't spend a whole lot of time in the back bedroom except when I'm on my way to dreamyland late at night. Mighty inconvenient. And my "selfishness" just pisses me off more.

All of this because I just wanted to watch a DVD in the living room. Grrrr!

Friday, February 20, 2009


After I watched Obama's inauguration speech, I came away feeling uplifted and optimistic about the direction of this country. Nobody said it was gonna be easy, and, because we didn't get into this fix overnight, the solution isn't going to be an overnight one. But I'm not happy about not rewarding the group of people who have met their obligations--quite a large group, we are. Nothing in the stimulus package helps me or my family. I don't expect a ticker tape parade for doing what I said I would . . . but to give the lion's share of benefits to those who made reckless, poor, or indulgent choices - may I speak candidly? That pisses me off.

As a parent of young children, I try my hardest not to reinforce bad behavior, lest it become an undesirable habit for them. Yet the leader of our country is doing exactly that, much to my chagrin. That unpleasant sound you hear in the background is my waning confidence in our new leader's abilities to steer this country and economy in a positive direction.

Hmmm, I wonder what will become of the unruly offspring our country is now creating? :(

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Waiting for CSI

Just waiting for CSI to come on.

Making a note of today's date and will blog about it later on when I am good and ready.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Buh-bye to Tooth #2

Little Green lost her second tooth today. I think the Tooth Fairy might need a line of credit from her bank at the rate these teeth are coming out.

Caroline's eyes look very green in this photo, don't they? What a cutie, even minus two teeth. Her teacher gave her the sweetest, tiniest box shaped like a tooth for her to bring home the tooth so she could leave it for the Tooth Fairy. It's all about the cash, you know! Ha!

John Sam got his progress report today. He got four A's and one B! He improved in every subject except social studies, which was already an A last time. He continues to read every book he can lay his hands on, and he wins a free pizza each month when he reaches the goal he sets for himself.

We sure grow 'em cute and smart in this branch of the family tree!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Heart of Gold by Neil Young


They don't call 'em "oldies but goodies" for nothing~

Monday, February 16, 2009

I Hate Wal-Mart

Yeah, yeah, so I know I'm not the first to reveal I'm a Wal-Mart hater. But that "American institution" has ripped me off for the last time. This is a warning to everyone: they will rip you off if you aren't careful.

Went there Saturday with the kids and got a few things, and the cashier double-charged me for Flintstones vitamins. Due to the rude customer behind me who was crowding my personal space (I thought she was trying to lift something out of my purse), I wasn't able to watch the cashier as closely as I should have. So on the way home, I reviewed the receipt and discovered the double charge. With the kids in the car, milk and eggs in the trunk, and us being more than halfway home, I called to complain and was supposed to get connected to the manager, but they just left me on hold for over 15 minutes.

Tonight I went back to get a refund, and I took in two other old receipts where I was double-charged for a single item. At first the co-manager said she looked at the videotape from Saturday, and decided that I was lying. When I told her she was ripping me off and I wanted to see the tape myself, she went away a second time and came back with a photo that plainly showed I was NOT lying. Then she had the nerve to tell me she wasn't going to fuss about it for $7.

No, she wasn't going to fuss about it after making me stand there for 35 minutes and calling me a liar.

That never happens when I shop at Target or K-mart. So from now on, guess who's getting my hard-earned money? Here's a heads-up, Wal-Mart: Word of mouth works very well when you have as big a mouth as I have.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

On this day about love, I'm sharing one of my favorite poems ever. It was written by Michael Ondaatje, who is the author of several works of poetry and books, the most famous being The English Patient. I first heard the poem in a writing class at Rollins College, and the copy I have was given to me by the professor, Mr. Deaver. He was one of the best teachers I ever had--honest and encouraging. After he read the poem aloud, he asked if anybody wanted a copy. I think I almost broke my wrist raising my hand so quickly! When he handed me the paper I remember saying, "God, I want to write like that." I hope you enjoy it, but here is the warning: if you blush easily or are easily offended, you might want to skip over it. Happy Valentine's Day, everybody.

The Cinnamon Peeler

If I were a cinnamon-peeler
I would ride your bed
and leave the yellow bark dust
on your pillow.

Your breasts and shoulders would reek
you could never walk through markets
without the profession of my fingers
floating over you. The blind would
stumble certain of whom they approached
though you might bathe
under rain gutter, monsoon.

Here on the upper thigh
at this smooth pasture
neighbour to your hair
or the crease that cuts your back. This ankle.
You will be known among strangers
as the cinnamon peeler's wife.

I could hardly glance at you
before marriage
never touch you
--your keen nosed mother, your rough brothers.
I buried my hands
in saffron, disguised them
over smoking tar,
helped the honey gatherers . . .

When we swam once
I touched you in water
and our bodies remained free,
you could hold me and be blind of smell.
You climbed the bank and said

this is how you touch other women
the grass cutter's wife, the lime burner's daughter.
And you searched your arms
for the missing perfume

and knew

What good is it
to be the lime burner's daughter
left with no trace
as if not spoken to in the act of love
as if wounded without the pleasure of a scar.

You touched
your belly to my hands
in the dry air and said
I am the cinnamon peeler's wife.
Smell me.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Girl Scout Cookies

Outside my local Publix this afternoon, I couldn't resist the little snaggle-toothed girl with her brown beanie asking me if I wanted to buy some Girl Scout Cookies. Here's what I got:

Peanut Butter Sandwich
Thin Mints

Being a Girl Scout was one of the most fun things I did as a kid. I may not be able to remember stuff that happened last week, but I have memories from Brownies, Juniors and Cadets that I still think of with great fondness; it's as if they happened last summer instead of more than 20 summers ago. In my keepsake box, I have my green sash with all the badges I earned, together with the pins and the patches from each year of "Scouting." Back when I joined, they didn't have Daisies--the youngest level was Brownies. You better believe I was something else in my green jumper, knee socks and yellow flashers.

Time for some ice cold milk and a sample from each of the boxes :)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Sick - AGAIN

I'm sick again, and ticked off about it.

It's not so much that germs love me more than other people. But there are some people who honestly believe the Universe will shut down if they miss a day of work to recuperate. Do everyone a favor, people. If you're sick, stay home. And don't touch my phone or keyboard. PLEASE.

You probably think it's no big deal if you give or get a cold once in a while, but there are other people who have weak immune systems because they're tired all the time, and "one little cold" can turn into bronchitis, or, if they're really burning the candle at both ends, it can mean pneumonia. Double pneumona. Ever had it? You don't want it. I didn't want it either, but I'm headed in that direction. Again.

To the smarty pants who told me that people infect others before they know they're sick: you may be semi-right, but when you're wheezin' and sneezin' - YOU ARE STILL CONTAGIOUS. Go to bed and not the office.

Yes, I mean YOU.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Westminster Dog Show

There are only two things I really hate about not having cable. I don't get Bill Maher's show on HBO, and I can't watch the Westminster Dog Show on USA. Today I saw a little blurb about the dog who won Best in Show, and I didn't even realize the competition was the last two nights. I can tell you which of the seven groups virtually any dog falls into, and I'm spot-on with the pronunciation of even the weirdest dog breeds.

I long for the days of obedience training with beloved Beamer and precious Kismet. How we practiced and practiced, and what a joy it was to see the proverbial light bulb go off over their heads when they finally "got" their training and nailed it. Talk about mama pride!

Even so, I swear that behind my back Kismet used to tell Beamer, "Hey man, even if you don't do all that crap, she'll still feed us." :)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Weird Combo

Ever had Bugles and White Zinfandel together? It's not a bad combo, actually.

Salt-sugar, salt-sugar, salt-sugar.


Sunday, February 8, 2009

Run of the Mill

Today was about the most average Sunday around here.

Pancake day, big fat newspaper, loads of laundry, Stephanopolous; PacMan, iPods, arguing, screaming, lunch, Valentines, hugging, folding the clean laundry, Tom 'n Jerry videos, snacking, recycle, garbage cans, showers, pedicure (mine this time), another load of laundry, reading school books, reviewing school papers, stacking more onto my stacks of reading material.

Kids got their new Lands End backpacks and they sure are snazzy!! Sturdy, with their initials monogrammed and nice colors with strong zippers. We'll see if those strong zippers are Baumgardner proof, haha. Later, I wanted to watch a DVD, but I couldn't get it to work in the living room.

So after all that, off to bed. "One minute til night-night."

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Happy Birthday Nana B.!

All of BaumgardnersFour wish our Nana B. a very Happy Birthday!! Here's a little song for you:

We hope you have a very special Birthday! Love you with Hugs & Kisses!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Valentine's Dance

The kids' school had their annual Valentine's Dance tonight. It's hard to believe how much fun can get packed into two short hours. John Sam and Caroline drank too much soda, ate too much pizza and sugar, and danced their precious little behinds off. The cafeteria was gloriously decorated with Valentine colors and they didn't skimp on anything! The DJ was rockin' and he organized an American Bandstand/Soul Train kind of lineup where everybody forms two lines and one person from each line dances down the middle - I laughed so hard at all the students' style and reckless abandon. I wish I could post the pictures of everybody dancing, but since I don't have permission, I'll just post the ones of John Sam & Caroline. We are all pooped out and ready for a good night's sleep.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Hoping for a warmer weekend

This is my official announcement that I am COMPLETELY OVER COLD WEATHER. I've had enough. This morning it was 29 degrees when we had to leave the house for school and work. Yep, I'm done with all that.

Bring back the 70s!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Tooth Fairy, please stop here!

Isn't this the BEST picture you've ever seen of a little girl who just lost her first tooth?!

After getting cleaned up, Caroline was putting her PJs on and then she happily screamed, "Mommy, I got my tooth out!" She's been messing with it for days, but was just a little too scared to pull it out. Her new tooth was behind it and tonight was the night that there was no more room for the baby tooth.

John Sam was so excited for her, and reminded her that he was six, too, when he lost his first tooth. His memory is sharp--it was just about 2 months after his 6th birthday that the Tooth Fairy visited us for the very first time. Makes a mama's eyes water to share another milestone with one of my little ones.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Stanislaw J. Lec

"Every snowflake in an avalanche pleads not guilty." - Stanislaw J. Lec

Seen on Robinson Street on a church marquee on my way to work.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Perils of PMS

Whoever invented PMS, I hate her. It just ruins so much and frankly, I'm tired of being her victim. Not sure how much of it is psychological prowess--I actually think I have my fair share of mental toughness. (Maybe someone else's shares, too?) But it just doesn't seem to be about that. No matter how I vow that last month will be the last, each month it creeps up on me and shows her unlovely behind, despite my taking vitamins daily and the B6 which I believe must stand for bull#%$!

Again I melted down when John Sam acted up badly this morning. Instead of being the role model I'm supposed to be, I also lost control. More reinforcing the bad instead of the good. Overcast skies, rain, traffic, and then the cold front moving in all conspired to cement my irritation. That cough I have has signed a long-term lease with what's left of my lungs because no matter what, it ain't going anywhere! Groundhog saw his shadow, and more wintry weather to come. Big surprise.

In the few spare minutes I had today at work, I realized how much I didn't get finished this weekend. Calls, thank you notes, housework, "me time." That just irritated me more. I hardly got to watch any Super Bowl commercials, even though I did watch the last 6 or 7 minutes of one of the best Super Bowls in recent memory. (A small digression: Every year Sam and I try to remember, who won last year? So, for posterity: Steelers beat the Cardinals, but oh, what a game it was. Down to the last minute we watched!! ) Feverishly, I added to my to-do list (and, hold on here.... didn't I say I wasn't gonna do those anymore?!).

Then neither of the two packages I was expecting came in the mail today. I am using the rolling pin to get the foundation out of my tube just to have enough makeup to wear to work. Also hand washing the dishes - again - after I prepaid for 3 day shipping that doesn't deliver. More acting up from both chickadees when they got home, and what to make for dinner? For the last seven nights, I had dinner planned out, but tonight, I couldn't have cared less about making or eating dinner, and truly, do I have to clean up this kitchen one more time when I didn't even make the mess?! So the kids ate late, no vegetables in sight, homework was quite the chore, and apparently the children's bedtime is more like a guideline than a rule in this house.

Oh, and then, don't forget you have to do at least 2 loads of laundry so the kids will have warm clothes because another freakin' cold snap is nigh. Can't let the clothes sit in the dryer because then they'll be all wrinkled and what's the point of washing/drying if you don't get them hung up or folded and put away? It's always a reflection on the mother, don'tcha know.

And another thing. Why is there a new episode of House on Monday at 8 pm? Isn't it supposed to be on Tuesdays? So I missed taping one of the few shows worth watching. Geez. Can't keep up with everything. More accurately, I can't keep up with anything.

Would a Blackberry help with all this? Maybe next month will be be an improvement. Hope springs eternal!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

New Calendar Page on Super Bowl Sunday

One of the best things about a new month is turning over the calendar pages. The "glitter" calendar I got this year is so beautiful--how do you like this colorful page?

Was hoping to get a few items in the mail yesterday (Sat. 1/31): my Mary Kay order, and the part for my dishwasher that was supposed to be 3 day shipping which has turned into 5-6 day shipping. Nothing in the box but a couple of items for Sam and nothing for moi. Tomorrow, then, should be a great mail day for me. Later this week, probably Friday, the kids will get their new monogrammed backpacks from Land's End. You know, the kind with lifetime zipper guarantee! :)

To make a note of this day in history - GO STEELERS! I had to get the kids plain old "Super Bowl XLIII" balloons since all the Steeler balloons were gone.