Sunday, June 28, 2009

CSI Has Nothing On Our Household

It's been awhile since I posted. This, I know. When I started to think about a topic, there were so many that came to mind. I'm not sure where this post will be going, but just know it may be long and scattered. I just thought you'd want to be warned.

So the first thing on my mind today is my daughter Raelynn. In the picture above she's probably about 3 or 4 years old. She's now 8. She is a bit bigger but her essence is still the same. I often say she's a hot mess on a's true...but boy, do I love her!

Recent frustrations:
For those of you who may not know, Raelynn is an only child. David and I were married for 6 years before we had her. (Side note...I was too freaked out to have a kid because I was sure I would mess the kid up. I finally got over that by realizing that you DO mess your kids up, but it's the intent that matters. If I do it accidentally, without the intent to harm, that just makes me normal.) We tried to have a another one a couple of years ago but things didn't work out. So that makes Raelynn the center of attention both at our house and at my parents'. She has no competition. I know this, and accept complete responsibility for her often times spoiled nature. But there are times that I really just don't get where she's coming from. Let me elaborate...

A couple of weeks ago, I was in the kitchen or living room or wherever and I suddenly realized that Raelynn was quiet and I hadn't seen her in awhile. (For all those parents reading this, you know what I mean! If you don't have kids but plan on it one day...take note: if your kid is quiet and they're not sleeping, you better check to see what they're doing.) Back to our story.... I quietly walked down the hallway and into Raelynn's room. She quickly tried to get up from the corner she was hunched over in. After looking at what she was doing, I know why she was acting so strangely.

See, she was in the corner of her room, between the wall and the foot of her bed (it makes a snug hiding place) and she was busy mixing something in a metal sand bucket with one of my wooden kitchen spoons. After I got her to move, I couldn't figure out what she was mixing. During my interrogation, I discovered that she had taken two kinds of toothpaste, her fluoride rinse, bubble bath, liquid soap, water, and pieces of Styrofoam and was "brewing" them together. Her only defense was that she was trying to pretend to be a scientist. We had a long talk (after I calmed down) about how if she wanted to mix something together, she should ask me about it first. I would totally be okay with her mixing stuff if she had some guidance. The next morning, she did just that. I went and got a bucket and mixed a weak solution of spray cleaner and water together and had her "clean" cabinets. It's really more like smearing but she enjoys it. Which leads to......

A few days later I wake up to find about 20 or 30 opened Splenda packets on the kitchen counter. After THAT interrogation, I found out that she had taken the sweetener and mixed it with water and then "cleaned" the cabinets again. (I can only imagine the gratefulness that the ants will have for her..) When talking to her, she understood what Splenda was and could tell you what it was used for. I asked her if she had ever seen me clean with Splenda. She again correctly answered that she had not seen such a sight. Pressing further, she told me she had no idea why she did that. Which led to.....

A couple of days later I found her using a Spray and Wash stain stick (it looks like a stick of deodorant) and she was rubbing it all over her chest of drawers. Again, she knew what it was and what it was used for. Again, she knew that it wasn't meant to clean furniture. And yes, in case you're wondering...she was correctly able to tell me the tools needed to clean the furniture...a clean rag and spray (Pledge for wood and Windex for other surfaces.)

Some of you may be reading this and thinking that I wasn't hard enough on her. Trust me, she knew how unhappy I was. She got a little "special therapy" in addition to losing privileges. I praised her for the times she showed the right course of action. I'm just out of answers.

There are other things I didn't mention: like the times I've found her gum stuck underneath the coffee table, the stamps ($2 worth) that she used to decorate a piece of paper with, or the countless number of wrappers and food scraps I've found in all the nooks and crannies of my house--I swear she's saving food for the winter. It's all pretty frustrating...but I admit that I have a good laugh when she isn't looking.

There is one other thing that comes to mind as I mention all these antics....In the back of my closet, in the darkest corner, Raelynn got into my lipstick and left me many, many kisses on the wall. I was upset about that when it happened, but that's one case that made me smile. Someday when I'm old and Raelynn has moved out, I'll still have her innocent kisses buried deep in my closet that I can visit any time I want to.

In the meantime, I'm keeping an alert eye to the happenings around my house. Who knows....I may get so good at detective work that I'll have a second career waiting for me when I retire from teaching!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Putting Off Working

Hello followers of my blog....thank you sticking in there with me. Life is busy....but, then, when isn't it? I think that the answer to that is death. Life isn't busy when you're dead. So I'm grateful for everyday that I can "complain" about being busy.

So I'm working on some stuff for a project that's coming up next Tuesday. Of course, I think I chose the wrong topic and I'm doing way more than what I should for it. But that's how I roll. According to David..."Overkill is just about right." He totally gets that about me! So today I'm sitting here at the computer and I should be working but instead I had to check Facebook, and then check other people's blogs to see what they're all up to. I think when I get done here I may check out what's playing at the movies. I love going to the movies. When I was in college, I worked at the movie theater back home for a couple of years and loved it. It's been the best job I've had so far. After college but before I had Raelynn, I got a second job at the same theater again. Still loved it. You get to see everybody and the perks of watching free movies is great. I've considered getting another movie theater job again, but I fear that my family might miss me. And if they didn't, I wouldn't want to know that in the meantime, I'll just go the movies when the mood strikes.

Well....enough stalling....I need to get back to work and of course.....check the movie schedule. Ciao!!!!!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Kiki, Lori, and Annette....thank you!

It seems that I'm having panic attacks and stress related freak-outs more often here lately. Some of it is related to the class I'm in right now...lots of things that need to be done and I'm not finding time or motivation to get it done.

Today was a classic example. For awhile today, I was convinced I was having a heart attack. I was having pains in my chest. I've had lots of panic attacks before so I know the symptoms.

I owe a big thank you to Lori, Kiki, and Annette for coming to my rescue and helping me find my inner peace today. They sat with me and talked me through my stress. For this, I'm grateful. It only took several looks for Kiki and a couple of sarcastic "Shut ups" for me to feel better.

And I do.....until the next time. Hopefully, these ladies will be there again and they won't think I'm a total freak!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Making My Life Harder Than It Has To Be

Sounds like a good tag line for the bottom of my business card, doesn't it? Today was rough. I had a couple of anxiety attacks, mostly due to the projects and things I need to do for my class. I won't go into details, but let's just leave it at saying that I feel like I made some people in my class stressed. Maybe not....they seemed to be telling me to chill out and to bring it down a couple of, if I had a dollar for every time someone told me that, I'd be independently wealthy.

Here's a breakdown of the days since I last posted:

Friday, June 5th

It was my birthday. It was a big one for me, as they all seem to be after you've hit 30. The people in my class were so great....they made me a hat with personalized messages, they bought a cake for me, David took me out to lunch at the Bistro, and then took me to dinner at Umi, the new Japanese steakhouse in town. It was just like the Benihana experiences I had in Key West. My mom bought me some charms for my Pandora charm bracelet and a sapphire pendant on a chain that I love. Take note people: sparkly always fits, goes with everything, and is always in fashion.

Saturday, June 6th

I got up a little late, got dressed and came into town. I went to City Bagel for my lunch. I had a red roasted pepper bagel toasted with Mediterrian cream cheese. After this, I went to the library at MSU for about 4 hours to work on some stuff for my classes. Afterwards, I spent several hours and much money at the evil Wal-Mart getting groceries because this Wednesday, I'm scheduled to bring food. Did I mention that I don't cook? I think I ended up staying up late to read a book, since I couldn't get the plans nailed down for a movie with friends.

Sunday, June 7th

We got up and went to church. Afterwards, we went to visit David's sister in the hospital but found that she'd been released. We went to lunch at Huddle House with his dad and step-mom, and our nephew Christian. After that, I went home and changed and then spent 4 more hours at the MSU library. My friend Wendy invited me over to swim but I couldn't because of all the stuff I had to do. I went to bed early but when I woke up today, I still felt like I'd been run over by a truck.

Today, Monday, June 8th

I had class. That's all I'm gonna say about that. Afterwards I went shopping at the evil Wal-Mart and now I'm home cooking my macaroni and cheese for supper. There's a lot that happened in between today's events but they aren't very exciting, even to me, so I won't bore you with them.

All I can say is I'm tired. I'm sure I'm over analyzing everything and making it harder than it has to be, but I think that may be one thing that I'm actually good at.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

A Different Sort Of Treasure Hunt

I have a pretty large couch in my living rooom. My living room is also pretty large. My sofa is a sectional and is the only sitting surface in the room. For some reason, Raelynn decided to look for treasure under and inside the couch. She started by digging under the couch with a wooden kitchen spoon and then progressed to a longer tree branch she had made into a mobile. After digging under the back part of the couch, she then proceeded to do the same thing to the front of the couch. Her last area to scan was under the cushions. She didn't retrieve everything that was under or it in, but she did take the "treasures" she found and put them in a shoe box that she then gave to me. I still have no idea why she started this adventure but she really had a great time and was sad to see it end.

Here is a partial list of the things my couch was hiding:


*assorted loose beads

*purple plastic lizard toy

*nail clippers

*a plate from Raelynn's tea party set

*toy cell phone

*11 paperclips

*Hello Kitty sticker book

*3 pencils

*necklace (hers, not mine)

*plastic star shaped ring

*flower pendent


*bobby pin

*purple jelly ring that lights up (hers, but now is mine)

*dryer sheet

*3 wash clothes

*Hello Kitty hair accessory for her doll

*retractable tape measure

*2 pens

*juice top

*Hello Kitty handbook

*soda top

*tab from diary wrapper

*2 books: The Giving Tree and Sleeping Beauty

*pink doll shoe

*3 rubber bands

*small blue beanbag

*plastic lifesavers candy tray


*assorted candy wrappers

*bunny cupcake decoration pick

*red crayon

*1 sock

*yellow back scratcher

*purple Mardi Gras beads

*doll brush

*jingle bell

Aren't your curious what could be found under and in your couch right now? Maybe you'll be luckier than me and find more money.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Deep Thoughts

This post was going to be about some deep thoughts I've had recently. I'm currently in a writing class this summer and have had a few epiphanies that were described by some as deep and profound. Hmmm... Maybe. It got me to thinking about the segment that ran on Saturday Night Live years ago called "Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey." I remember laughing at these so hard that I went out and bought the books. I went and dug out the books again and find that they are still funny after all these years. You may not be familiar with Jack's work, so I thought I'd list some of my favorites here. If you are familiar with his work, it'll still be funny.
*If you ever fall off the Sears Tower, just go real limp, because maybe you'll look like a dummy and people will try to catch you because, hey, free dummy.
*Contrary to popular belief, the most dangerous animal is not the lion or tiger or even the elephant. The most dangerous animal is a shark riding on an elephant, just trampling and eating everything they see.
*If you're a horse, and someone gets on you, and falls off, and they get right back on you, I think you should buck him off right away.
*If you go parachuting, and your parachute doesn't open, and your friends are all watching you fall, I think funny gag would be to pretend you were swimming.
*The face of a child can say it all, especially the mouth part of the face.
*If you're in a boxing match, try not to let the other guy's glove touch your lips, because you don't know where that glove has been.
*Most people don't realize that large pieces of coral, which have been painted brown and attached to the skull by common wood screws, can make a child look like a deer.
*I bet one legend that keeps recurring throughout history, in every culture, is the story of Popeye.
*Today I accidentally stepped on a snail on the sidewalk in front of our house. And I thought, I too am like that snail. I build a defensive wall around myself, a "shell" if you will. But my shell isn't made out of a hard, protective substance. Mine is made out of tinfoil and paper bags.
*If the Vikings were around today, they would probably be amazed at how much glow-in-the-dark stuff we have, and how we take so much of it for granted.
*If you ever go temporarily insane, don't shoot somebody, like a lot of people do. Instead, try to get some weeding done, because you'd really be surprised.
*If you ever drop your keys into a river of molten lava, let 'em go, because, man, they're gone.
*Of all the warning sounds that animals make, I think the one that's the least effective on me is a kind of clicking noise.
*It seemed to me that, somehow, the blue jay was trying to communicate with me. I would see him fly into the house across the way, pick up the telephone, and dial. My phone would ring, and it would be him, but it was just this squawking and cheeping. "What?! What?!" I would yell back, but he never did speak English.
Now I ask you.....aren't those funny and deep????

Monday, June 1, 2009

Making the Pieces Fit

I'm not one for puzzles. To me, all the pieces look the same and looking at the box doesn't help. The exception to this is the little kiddie kind of puzzle that has like 25 to 50 pieces. For those puzzles, I don't need to look at the box. (Side looking at the box when completing a puzzle considered cheating? You tell me!) The picture on the puzzle is usually easy to figure out and the pieces are big enough that you can tell by just glancing at it whether or not it will fit. Hence, the frustration factor is lower than those puzzles with 1,000 pieces. Since I'm not one that handles frustration really well, it's best I stay away from these puzzles.

There have been times that I worked with other people to put pieces of a puzzle together. We're talking the kind of puzzle that has over a thousand pieces and the picture is a collection of kittens that are all the same color. Not an easy task. I know the strategy of doing the outside pieces first. This much I can do without much trouble. When the outside is done and I start working on the inside, my troubles begin.

First, I'll sort the pieces by color or design in the picture. If I happen to be working with the kind of puzzle where the entire thing is the same color, this strategy doesn't really work. I find that being with a new group of people is very much the same as putting a puzzle together. Once you find out where you supposed to be and why you're supposed to be there (this is like the outside pieces) then you mentally sort through the people in the group by categories of your own making. This usually is the process of observing people and figuring out the ones you think you will get along best with. After sorting the pieces, you start to work on the inside and making all the pieces fit together.

Once you've got your people pieces sorted, you chose a group and start seeing if the pieces fit together. Usually, you start with one person and break the ice by participating in small talk. If that progresses well, you carry on a conversation and try out the person piece to see if it fits with you. Forcing it to fit usually creates unnecessary tension, so if you find the person piece doesn't fit, you put it down and try another person piece. The cycle continues until you find pieces that fit you on all sides.


What if all the pieces already fit together and your piece doesn't fit anywhere? Have you ever felt this way? You walk into a group of people that appear to know each other already and you gently try your own piece out to see if it will fit them. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't. Over time, your ability to make the pieces fit determines whether or not you keep working on the puzzle or if you quit the puzzle and start a new one. Or start a Sudoku puzzle instead because you don't have to fit with anyone to do that kind of puzzle.

So that's where I am today.....trying my best to make my puzzle piece fit into a puzzle that appears to be pretty much on its way to being completed. I tend to be the kind of person that frustrates easily so I'm trying real hard to stay with it. It's a little hard for me because for the most part, I don't have a lot of trouble fitting in to any group. I think I'm relatively interesting enough, I'm very accommodating, I'm not confrontational, and on occasion I say something that makes people laugh. Yet, at times, this doesn't seem to be enough.

You might be reading this and thinking, "So what? Who cares if they like you?" I'd agree with you....whether people like me is relative. It's not necessary for getting the job done but certainly makes the work much easier. I can deal the whole "Do they like me stuff." My concern is will I find where I fit in?

Finding a safe place that feels like home no matter where you are is very important. I've got that at home and at work. There are a few places that I don't have this comfort and I'm looking very hard at all the people pieces to see if they fit with me. If you see me looking, please be kind. This puzzle is going to take awhile to put together and I'm trying to not give up on it. Because if I don't stick with it, I'll have to start on a Sudoku puzzle and those frustrate me too.