Re-launched, but still slightly under construction. :-)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Five-Year Bitch

Saturday, November 28, 2009 By

Augusta, Ga. - While Emerson is visiting with my family, Scott and I take the opportunity to get some things done around the house. I wrap gifts, do dishes and laundry, re-purpose some leftover turkey into a turkey-cranberry-almond salad, and bake cookies. Scott tackles the lawn, the storage shed, and some other manly outdoorsy kinds of things.

Triumphantly, I hold up a perfectly baked chocolate chip cookie. But he scrunches his nose like something smells bad.

"What's wrong?"

"You're baking, I'm working in the yard. it's almost as if we're..."

"Married?" I finish for him.

He shakes his head and grins, faking a shudder of disgust.

I resist the urge to throw a cookie at his head. After all, I hate yard work.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Pre-Thanksgiving Desperation

Wednesday, November 25, 2009 By

Augusta, Ga. - Serving utensils. Weeks of careful menu preparation for a gathering that grew overnight from 8 to 13, and it will all be foiled by an inability to get food from cooking container to plate.

"Crap!" I said to my husband. "It was the ONE thing I kept reminding myself to do: Buy the frickin' serving utensils that go with our silverware."

"I'm sure we can find something," he said, mildly amused.

"Well, there's these that were a wedding gift, but I'm just not going to have the time to polish silverware."

Google to the rescue! (Hi, Rupert Murdoch. Hi, Bing. Not falling for your evil plan)

"It says that we boil this together," Scott says, dumping baking soda and salt on the counter, then filling a pot with water.

He stops, his heinie sticking out of a cabinet: "Uh oh."


"Where's the foil?"


"It needs the aluminum foil for the elec- elect- for the thing to happen."

Crap. We search. No foil. We think. Heh. Great, now the kitchen is filled with smoke. I begin to pout a little.

"HEY!" I exclaim, and begin to frantically search the kitchen. "How about this?"

Yes. We crumpled a beer can in with this concoction, set it to boil, and laughed heartily. No WAY this was going to work! But it was too funny not to try.

Before: The never-before-polished wedding silver

After: A husband who may be impossible to live with for at least three days.

Do ya see Sir Smug-a-lot there? Yeah, fine, genius-boy. Your plan worked. But it was MY beer can idea!

Publishing Presents a Problem

Wednesday, November 25, 2009 By

AUGUSTA, GA. - We're looking over the December issue of Metro Augusta Parent before it goes to press. The cover shot is of a bunch of kids playing with one of Parent's toy picks of the year: Elmo's Tickle Hands.

These furry gloves look just like Elmo's. Put them on, pop the DVD into your player, and put your hands in the air to feel them shake & move whenever Elmo says "Tickle Hand Groove!"


"Wait, they vibrate?" I asked.
"Yup," H.O. answered.
"Um... someone's going to come up with something dirty to do with these," I mutter, disconcerted.
"Oh, you think?" H.O. shot back.
"So... we're putting marital aids on the cover now?" I asked A.C.
"What? How do you think they got kids in the first place?" she deadpanned.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Paula Deen Halloween Costume for 2010

Tuesday, November 24, 2009 By

Augusta, Ga. - From our graphics dept. Only $19.95.

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Willy Wonka & the Weather Factory

Sunday, November 22, 2009 By

"Mama, dat cloud machine is makin' too many clouds today."

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Saturday, November 21, 2009

And Educators Everywhere Smack Their Foreheads in Dismay...

Saturday, November 21, 2009 By

Augusta, Ga. - Emmie asked me a question about the sun today, which lead to a discussion on gravity, which lead to some paper plates being thrown across the room (made sense at the time).

Suddenly, she said something genius: "Iss like da plate is da earf, and DAT plate is da moon," she said when one plate did a loop-dee-loop around the other.

"Emmie, you are so smart! How did you get to be so smart?!" I cooed.

"Wull," she shrugged. "I juss fink about smart fings."

I'll have to try that.

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

'Tis the Season... For Poopy Attitudes!

Saturday, November 21, 2009 By

Augusta, Ga. - It's a good thing that Emmie was engrossed in the idea that I might not take her to see the gingerbread village at the Augusta Museum of History. She didn't hear the two customers at the Deans Bridge Road Wal-Mart cussing each other out over who's cart had accidentally knocked into the other.

It's a good thing that Emmie was fascinated by the tiny Etch-a-Sketches on display at the checkout stand, so she didn't see the brief but tense standoff between a customer and a sales associate who asked her to abide by the 20 Items or Less Rule.

And it's a good thing the Salvation Army bell ringers were outside to remind me that not everyone is out for number one. Emmie gave them every dime in my pocket, and I was grateful to them for the opportunity. AND they let her ring the bell - bonus!

Thank you, Salvation Army - and thank you, Wal-Mart (ahem... Target...) for letting them collect for the needy on your property.

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Friday, November 20, 2009

This Video Never Fails to Amuse Me (Note: I am Easily Amused)

Friday, November 20, 2009 By

Is America's Army the Police Force for the World?

Friday, November 20, 2009 By

Nope. It's just Emmie.

"Honey, get off that and let's go, please."

"Mama!" She scoffs. "I'm tryeend to breetett da world!"

Oh. My bad.

"There aren't any aliens around, darling."

"Dat's cause dey're in space."

"But we're on earth."

"But dey're goeend be here."

"Not today."

"Yeahuh!" she squeals.

"Honey, if aliens reach earth by tomorrow, you can have mommy's car."

She grins maniacally. Uh oh. I turn to the graphics desk: "I might need a ride to work on Monday."

Walking the Social + Emotional Minefield

Friday, November 20, 2009 By

Em and I are walking out of the schoolhouse door when a little boy in her class stops us.

"Emmie got a said face," he sneers.

Instantly, her face collpases.

"Em," I warn. She's already had one crying fit over the bad mark, and I'm not looking forward to another.

"I not get a sad face. I got a straight face," she whines.

"Nuh-uh!" the boy protests.

"Yuh-huh!" Em responds.

I can see that exchange repeating for hours, so I lead her away as a teacher lectures the boy with, "Is that your business?!"

"Emmie, the best response would be to trun that into a joke," I explain, as we head to the car. "He wasn't totally serious - I think he was trying to tease you - but it didn't come across well. So you should try to think of a way to make it a joke."

"Ohhhhhh," she says, thoughtfully. "I mate a joke on him..."

"Yes. Laughter diffuses almost any situation," I believe that to the fullest.

"But he mate me angry," she says.

"No, no, no," I say. "You can't let what he says make you feel bad. Then he has power over you."

I wonder if this is too much for her. I wonder if it's too paranoid of me.

"Yes!" She says, her eyes alight. "I gotta keep my own power ober myself! So I mate good choices!"

What the - ... That's exactly where I was going with that! Letting other people control your emotions clouds your decision-making! She got that, instinctively!

"I goeend put my power in a box where nobody can find it," she says, crossing her arms and arching her eyebrows. I am a diabolical genius, the expression says. "I got a lot of powers."

"Um..." I try not to laugh at her literal interpretation of the word 'power.' "Why don't you keep them in your heart and your brain?"

She thinks about it for a minute, and then nods.

"Okay. I keep dem in my heart an' my brain, and den nobody can tate them."

"Not if you don't let them," I agree.

"I won't," she declares.

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile


Friday, November 20, 2009 By

Em catches me with her butterfly net.

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Morning Routine

Friday, November 20, 2009 By

Ah, the car line. My old frenemy...

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Do I Look Sexy?

Thursday, November 19, 2009 By

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Song Remains the Same

Thursday, November 19, 2009 By

So, in case YOU missed the very exciting PPA Editorial Roundtable teleconference today (ahem... You know who you are...), here's a wrap-up:

- Deadlines = hard
- Salespeople = evil
- Graphics = whiny misunderstood artists
- Publishers = editors who have sold out to The Man
- Money = scarce
- No one understands the integrity of a journalist
- Everyone is overworked and underpaid

I was sitting there thinking, "Why does this sound SO familiar? And why am I sitting HERE when I could be out working as an evil tool of The Man this very instant?!"

All-in-all, it was very informative.

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Grease is the Word? Or... Maybe not?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009 By

"How was school today," I asked Emmie over dinner.

"Good," She replied...

"... And what did you do?"


"Did you maybe learn a new song?" I chuckled at yesterday's Eight Days of Monica celebration.

"Yes!" She squealed. "Iss call 'Hand Job!'"

"Wh-what?" I choked on my chicken (hee!).

"Iss call 'Hand Job!'" She repeated.

"Do you maybe mean 'Hand Jive?'"

"No." She was definitive.

"Okay.... How does it go?"

She begins to clap her hands rhythmically.

Ha. It IS a hand jive. I'm so relieved!

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Cultural Awareness: FAIL

Tuesday, November 17, 2009 By

Augusta, Ga. - Emmie and I are talking about her music & movement class. She begins to sing a song she learned.

"Light the candle,
Light the candle,
Light the candle,
Monica is here."

"Monica?" I ask, confused.

"Yeah, we habbin a pardy for her."

"Spin the dreidel,
"Spin the dreidel,
"Spin the dreidel,
Monica is here."

... And she's staying for eight days.

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Turkey Daze

Tuesday, November 17, 2009 By

Augusta, Ga. - Pre-K students at Monte Sano Elementary School created bird feeders and pilgrim and Indian hats on Nov. 16 to learn about Thanksgiving.

These kids were so cute, and so proud of their accomplishments! I remember doing the same projects as a grade-school student. It's good to know that some things don't change... Although I would prefer that they used the term "Native American." But they're a little young for that kind of overthinking.

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Teachable Moment, or Run and Hide?

Sunday, November 15, 2009 By

AUGUSTA, GA - There are some moments, as a parent, when I struggle between education and embarrassment.

"Loot! Dat lady hab no hair!" Emmie shrieked at Kroger today.


The lady just turned and smiled a polite, tight smile. She was obviously torn between irritation and amusement.

"I'm sorry," I said, earnestly, and guided Emmie away.

Her smile relaxed a little and she said, "It's okay." I think she meant it.

But I was embarrassed. I should have had this discussion with Emmie long ago.

"I sorry, Mama," Emmie said. But she didn't really know why she was apologizing.

"Emmie, you're right that the lady has no hair -" I began.

"Yeah!" Emmie squealed. "I just tell da troof!"

I smiled. Ah, the fine lines of socialization. Sometimes it's hard to articulate why we do things the way we do.

"Yes. But there's something new you should know. It's not always okay to say the truth out loud. Sometimes, we have to think the truth," I tried to explain, sucking at it.

"I fink da troof? In my brain?" Emmie said. "But sometimes my brain just tell me to say dat. An' my brain tell me, and den I say dat! I hab to say dat!"

Impulse control: FAIL. But I understood what she was trying to say.

"Yes, and it's okay to whisper it quietly to mama," I said. "But it's not okay to point out that someone is different where they can hear you. And it's not okay to laugh or make fun of people who are different."

"Oh," she said, and I could tell that she didn't quite grasp it. But she was trying.

And at four-years-old, that's about all I can ask.

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Best Baby Names for 2009

Thursday, November 12, 2009 By

"Oh, you're so cute, Emmie!" I squeal over something she said, and I tackle her to the bed, covering her with kisses. "I'm going to hug you and squeeze you and call you George."

"George?!" She giggles wildly. "My name not George. My name a Sassy."

"Sassy? Who told you that?"


"Who else is called Sassy?"

"My little brother is name Sassy, and my little sister is name Sassy, and a grandmother is name Sassy."


"I'm goeend jump on dis pillow now."

"Okay, Emmie."

"My name a Sassy!"

Yes. It is.

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

High ho... Cherry-O!

Thursday, November 12, 2009 By No comments

Emmie sprints into the bedroom: "Will you please put your foots down?"

I'm lying on the bed, on my stomach. I lower my legs, and she climbs on, like she's riding a horse.

She raises her arm and commands: "A wave!"

"A wave?"

"Yeah. That mean go."

LOL! She means "Away!"

Happy Thanksgiving, Y'all!

AUGUSTA, GA. - So, I won a turkey from the Ft Gordon MWR Gobble Gobble Giveaway, and I'm stupid excited about it.

"Hey, did I tell y'all that I won a turkey?" I asked.
"Yeeeesssss," my co-workers moaned, nonplussed.

Aw, screw y'all.

"What kind of turkey is it?" asked the fourth-grade daughter of a co-worker.
"Um, the turkey kind?"
"A live turkey?"
"Yeah, a live turkey. I get to murder it myself."
"No. It's a frozen turkey. Pre-murdered."

"How did they murder it?"
"Um... I don't know. I didn't major in Turkey Murder."
"Did they stab it in the head?"
"And pull its brain out?"

I don't know. But that's a disturbing question from a 9-year-old (oh, excuse me: "But 10 in May).

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

How Quickly Nature's Bounty Turns to Bane

AUGUSTA, GA. - "Yay!" I thought, when we moved into our new house. "Two pecan trees! I love pecans!"

And we unpacked to general merriment.

As we settled down to sleep,  a noise unsettled us.

"Did you hear that weird noise?" Scott asked. "Like footsteps?"

"Uh, yeah..."


"Damn big ones!" And we laughed and drifted off.

Turns out it was pecans falling from the trees onto the roof, and bouncing down. But knowing that doesn't keep my heart from stopping every time it happens.

"Crap!" I thought, as I got out of my car in the rain today and lost my footing when something rolled under my pumps. "Two pecans trees?! I hate pecans!"

Miss Manners Would Be Proud

Wednesday, November 11, 2009 By

Scott cleaned and organized the house today, so I didn't want Tropical Storm Emerson to mess it all up immediately.

"Emmie, will you please pick up all the books we're not going to read and put them back?"

And she did! The first time I asked!

"Thanks, sweetie!" I said, when I came back in to a cleaned floor. "That's a great job!"

"Aw, Mama, you so sweet. But iss all my pleasure."

Who IS this child?!

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Clean air? Mmm... I have some exceptions

Wednesday, November 11, 2009 By

It's not pretty, but I heart this smokestack every time I drive by, because Emmie thinks it's "da cloud machine what mate aaaaaaall da clouds in da skyyyyy...."

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The 2009 Christmas List Will Not Include Smarty Pants

Tuesday, November 10, 2009 By

AUGUSTA, GA - Emmie and I are play-wrestling on the couch when she leans forward. I throw my leg up to catch her before she falls, but my big toe caught her chin. Right where she just got her stitches taken out. Galdang.

"Meeeeeehhhhhhhhhhhh!" She began to wail. "Mama! I was playing but you kick me in da face!"

Because I was in the bathroom but my leg whipped itself down the hall, around the corner, and poked her "in da stitches" with my big toe. So the play-by-play was very helpful in bringing me up to speed.

"Oh, sweetie, I'm so sorry!" I cooed, moving her hands to make sure I hadn't done any permanent damage. She wailed and glared at me, the corners of her mouth pulling down so far that they defy her very muscular structure.

"I'm wan' my daaaadeeeeeeee!" She wails, unconsoled.

"Okay, sweetie," I coo, plucking her from the sofa. "You can go tell on me if it makes you feel better."

She run-hops into the bedroom and begins her banshee impression for Scott.

"An' it wuzzunt an' accident!" She finishes.

"Hey!" I round the corner into the bedroom. "It was an accident, sweetie. Mama would never hurt you on purpose."

Mama always refrains from giving into the urge to bounce things off your head.

"It was SO on purpose!" She wails.

"Okay," I say, in what I hope is a soothing voice. I don't want her thinking I'd ever kick her in the face - nor do I want her telling other people that I kicked her in the face, because y'all know about some preschoolers' complete lack of conversational filters, right? "I think someone needs some family snuggle time."

I tuck her into bed beside Scott and snuggle in beside her for a big family hug.

"Honey, mama would neber eber hurt you on purpose. I'm so sorry."

"Mama," she turns to me, face somber. " Your time runned out."

Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

Monday, November 09, 2009

It's Not Wrong or Right, Black or White: Raising Kids is an Art Form, Not a Science

AUGUSTA, GA. - We were so bad. During the move, we let Emmie fall asleep in our bed. The two of us would snuggle, and read books, and tell silly stories, and drift off to sleep. When Scott came to bed, he had move Em to her room before he could lie down.

Now she has no intention of going back to her bed without a four-year-old-sized fight. She is a woman of many battle skillz.

Stalling - "Mama? Could you gib me a hug and a smooch, please?" "Oh, doodlebug, of course I can!" "Ahahahaha! I not goeend let go!"


Ninja tactics - "Mama?" A whisper. I look around. Nothing. "Mama? Can I stay wif you?" What the - ? And then, between the couch and the side table, I see her face poking out.

Creeping Barrage - Sometimes I look over and see something that makes me jump out of my skin. Last night, I look over to see a floating umbrella - only to realize that she was wearing it on her head. More often, something will catch my attention from the corner of my eye and I'll look over to find a blanketed bundle creeping across the floor.

Frontal Assault - Occasionally, she'll just mosey out of her bedroom and snuggle up beside me. "Mama, I lub you so much. You my bess frien'."

Tonight, she chose the less-frequently used Appeasement method. Out of favor since World War II, Emmie believes in a strong comeback for the tactic.

"Mama! Der's a bee in my room!"
"Honey, there's no bees in your room. This time of year, it's too cold for them. Bees are all sleeping in their hives."

(Editor's note: I did not major in bee-ology so just shut up)

"Noo! I telleend you der's a bee in my room! I saw it! An' it say buzzzzbuzzzzz."

"Honey, I think you just don't want to be alone in your room. Now, there's no bee in there. Please go back to your bed."

"Mama! I not telleend you a lie. Der IS a bee! I thint YOU telleend ME a lie! You say der's no bee, and I saw'd a bee! An' it say buzzzzbuzzz and I'm afraid dat it's goeend ta STING me in my stitches!"

I cover my mouth to hide the smile, and try to control my laughter. I did lie to her. I have no idea what bees are doing right now. But I am convinced she's just trying to find a way to stay out of bed. She sees me, knows what I'm doing.

"MAMA!" she bellows. "STOP LAUGHING! I SAW'D A BEE AN' -"

"Young. Lady." I pull out my MOM voice. "We do not talk to each other that way."

"I sorry..."

"Thank you. Now let's have one more hugs-and-mooches-and-zerrberts, and then: bed. I love you..."

She complies, giving me a look of what looks like real fright. There's a shakiness to her actions that concerns me. Hmmm... but she scrambles into bed quietly.

I wait... silence. A few minutes later, when I go to check on her, she's fast asleep.

Heh. I'm proud of seeing through her ruse, and relax on the couch to enjoy some zombie movies.... when out from the hallway, by her bedroom, a fly buzzes past my head.

Crap. There kind of WAS a bee.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Why I'm in Favor of Birth Control for Teens

AUGUSTA, GA. - Emmie's into hard-boiled eggs, lately. She likes to crack and peel them. This morning, I showed her how to boil eggs. We talked about stove safety, we talked about heat and why water boils, and what steam is. We let the eggs cool and while she sat down to eat them, I went to get our clothes ready for the morning.

I came back into the living room to find her mournfully gazing down upon two flattened, unpeeled, boiled eggs sitting in the palms of her hands. How quickly things with a child can go from perfect to shattered.

"What happened?" I asked, holding the bowl so that she could drop in the eggs.

She sighed: "I was tryin' ta be a chicken, and den dey smash and -"

I have no idea how that ended because my laughter drowned out her explanations. Oh, man, it was totally worth the effort to make her more eggs.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

The Quickest Way to a Co-Workers' Heart

I brought Krispie Kreme doughnuts to the office today, and everyone was engrossed in their meetings when I came in.

"Doughnuts!" I sang, and put the two dozen on the middle console.

No one moved. The sales department was pulling contacts and buzzing around the next deadline. Edit was talking about feedback from the new issue. Graphics was having a meeting in the conference room.

Are you kidding me? This is an office that practically mowed down a 9-year-old selling candy bars yesterday - and while I love me some dark almond, I have to say that, in all honesty, they aren't really the "world's finest."

I picked up the phone and dialed the intercom.

"We have doughnuts. I repeat: We. Have. Doughnuts."

A door clicked open and the entire graphics team filed out of the conference, sheepish grins on their faces.

"We literally stopped in the middle of a sentence," Dave laughed.