Sunday, August 31, 2008


So far it looks like Gustav will still hit west of New Orleans. From looking at our favorite weather source,, it appears that we can expect tropical storm to category 1 force winds & rain. We have lots of outside stuff, so we took care of it last night. All wind chimes have been moved in, hanging plants set on the ground, and all backyard toys are safely stored in the shed. Oh, and we turned off the gas to the grill, just in case.

We do have our hurricane supplies, mostly purchased when the season started: batteries, bottled water, extra cat & dog food. We do have some canned food. But, if it came to it, we would eat Thaw of the Day first. That's where you open the deep freeze, see what has thawed on top, and eat it before it goes bad. We could live for a month out of that deep freeze. Since we have a gas grill & stove, I'm not worried about cooking in a power outage.

Speaking of the dreaded power outage: when buying a home in a hurricane zone, make sure to check the power grid. Our house is located in the same grid as a hospital 3 blocks away. We are one of the first to get power restored after a storm. The longest we've been without power in the last 4 years was about 17 hours after Ivan hit. The transformer blew and another had to be brought in from Florida. Usually, we get power back within 12 hours at most.

In any case we've got our cell phones charged, the Coleman lanterns ready and waiting to go, and a fresh supply of toys from the Mommy Drawer for Paige. But for now, we're headed outside to let Paige drive her Jeep and swing before Gustav makes his apperance.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

End of Day 1

Not a bad start to potty training. Paige had 2 accidents all day. We did put her in a diaper for nap and bedtime though. I'm not ready to tackle this with her being sleep deprived. Once we get the rest of it down, I'll start with naps too.

I should probably clarify something. I read my first post and realized I left out the most important part: big girl panties. I don't believe in pull ups. I got the thick training pants that Mom used with me. I don't want to confuse her with things. Pull ups are just like diapers. I've got a large stash of big girl panties and the rubber pants that go over them. That's what we'll be using for the duration.

I'm back. Did you miss me?

Did you even notice I was gone? OK, at least you knew I was gone. I spent most of the past week in Jackson, MS. It was my firm's annual training/conference. I spent my days sitting in classes that would make you jealous. Things like How to Detect Fraud, and What To Expect in a Sales Tax Audit. I can feel the envy radiating out from your computers. Oh wait, that's the cat on my lap.

Things have happened in the past week. Like, Ronnie quit his job. He was working 10-18 hour days, 14-18 days in a row without a day off. And it was only getting worse. I won't get into it too much, so there's no mud slinging. But, he decided that spending time with us was more important than working himself to death in a job that didn't respect him. Let's just say that the HR department has their hands full investigating hostile work environment & retribution complaints. No idea what he'll do next. But, we do know that he's taking the next week off. We get a vacation week from daycare and don't have to pay. There will be lots of Daddy- Paige time in the next week while he starts searching for a job.

Also this past week Ronnie turned 36 and the new Cheeburger Cheeburger opened. I can't wait to go! If you've never heard of one, do a quick Google search. Check out the menu and commence drooling.

Finally, we've been threatened with a hurricane. Our preparations are done, since it didn't take much. But, looks like we'll be spared this one. If it takes a turn, I'll let you know!

Potty Training, Day 1

We're starting potty training today. We've tried off an on over the past few months. But, Paige loses interest quickly. This weekend I'm determined to potty train. I'm tired of buying diapers! Mommy is well prepared today: giant bag of M&M's from Sams, and a picture of a bike. Paige has been promised she can pick out a big girl bike (2 wheels) when she uses the potty & not diapers. We have a 3 day weekend, so let's see how this goes.

Friday, August 22, 2008

It had to happen

I was greeted at daycare today by Anne, the director. That's nothing unusual she's always there in the afternoons talking with parents. Today she handed me a little brown bag for me to see the treasure inside.

See, Paige has a thing for rocks. (Uncle Bobby will LOVE to hear that one!) I've found more rocks in my washer and dryer than you would imagine. We forget to check her pockets for her rocks and they get washed. We have a collection of them to give back to Anne. If Paige keeps taking rocks at this rate the playground won't have any left! I call them rocks, but they are smooth little pebbles mostly.

So, back to the rock Anne handed me today. It was special. See, Anne was on the phone with another parent when Paige was brought in from the playground. Anne's an expert at this and didn't panic. She politely told the parent she needed to go, that Paige had a rock up her nose. That's right, she finally stuck something other than her finger up her nose. And it got stuck. Anne put her finger on the other nostril and told Paige to blow. Anne doesn't think Paige will repeat the incident. She said there was deer in the headlights look on Paige's face.

It's a decent size little rock. I'm going to put it in her scrapbook. I can just see it. Prom night, cute guy at the door, scrapbooks laid out on the coffee table. "This? Oh, this is from the rock up the nose stage. Here, take a closer look!" Ahhhh, blackmail.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


I thought I would try to answer some of the questions people have emailed me with, or posted in comments.

  1. Are you looking for a new Grumpy? No. I'm happy with the one I have. Maybe one day Paige will share him again. Grammy too. She refuses to share her.
  2. Those are some cool green and white bowls. Yep. There are a couple of shots of them in some of my posts. The white bowl with green belonged to Ronnie's grandmother, Vera. He ended up with that one bowl. Aunt Glennis & Uncle Bobby had the rest of the set and gave it to us. Ronnie loves it and uses them almost everyday.
  3. How many aunts & uncles do you have? A lot. And cousins. Tons of those. I think I'll have to do a blog entry just to give everyone a quick run down.
  4. Does Paige really eat hummus? Yes, it's one of her favorite foods.
  5. Did you always want to be an accountant? Are you people nuts? Of course not! I wanted to be a broadcast journalist. And I was. But the hours suck.
  6. Where did you get the name Serling? It's from Rod Serling, the creator of The Twilight Zone. He was one of the best sci-fi writers ever. This gave Paige the monogram STP. Yep it's for the band.
  7. Are you going to have more kids? Definitely. I need to try to finish these last 2 semesters of college though.
  8. How are the cats? K-9 is fine. R-2 needs a shock collar to learn to stay off my counters. I've tried everything I can think of. If you have another suggestion, please post it.
  9. How much do you read? Tons and tons. I always have a book in my purse. The number of books I go through a month varies with work, family and school. But, I do read everyday.
  10. Bacon or chocolate? This came up in our house about a month ago. If you had to give up one of these forever, which would it be. My answer changes daily. Mostly I lean toward giving up chocolate. Then I remember Ben & Jerry's and just can't make up my mind!

I hope I answered some of your questions. I do need help with the cat. I've tried water, and vinegar water. I've sent him flying across the room when I sweep him off the counter. I've thrown flip flops at him. He still gets on my counters to look for food.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Grumpy belongs to Paige

Here's tonights dinner conversation.

Paige: "Where Daddy?"

Mommy: "Daddy's at work."

"Paige Daddy. No Mommy's Daddy."

"Yes, he's Paige's Daddy."

"Not Mommy's Daddy. Mommy get your own Daddy."

"Hey, Paige. Grumpy is Mommy's Daddy."

"NO! NO MOMMY'S DADDY! Paige's Grammy. Paige's Grumpy. Mommy get your own Grumpy."

So, I guess after all these years Grumpy is no longer Mommy's Daddy. And now I have to find my own Grumpy. I have a Paw Paw, I wonder if that will do.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Paige & Mommy Heaven

There are moments when 2 year olds are in their perfect little zone. Paige has just reached it. She has a notebook & crayon and is drawing, while watching Elmo talk about shoes on Sesame Street.

Paige has a shoe fetish and has since she first realized we changed those things on her feet and people said they were pretty. She has about 10 pair of shoes right now that fit. That's a lot for a 2 year old, isn't it? Elmo is a given at this age. (Although I think she's taking after me and Elmo is slowly being replaced with Mickey Mouse!!!) And well, she loves to draw. I hit the back to school sales and got her her very own notebooks (5 cents each at Walmart) and 3 new boxes of Crayons (20 cents at Target). I gave her 1 box and put the other 2 up.

Mommy got an email this morning. The fall consignment sale will be October 1st - 4th. Our local Junior League puts on this sale every spring & fall. They have a huge store they rent and set up rows upon rows of clothes, baby items, anything related to babies, toddlers, young kids, and pregnancy. I get most of Paige's basic clothes here. It's a lot of name brands and really cheap. At the spring sale I got a new looking Ralph Lauren Polo with pink and green stripes for 50 cents. I'll be counting down the days. We like to think of it as Mommy Crack. I'm already putting money aside to do some serious shopping!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Christmas came early!!!

I got an email from Aunt Glennis last week. She's a reader. Better yet, we have the same taste in books. She planned on going through her bookshelves over the weekend and did I want first crack at them. That's like asking a Red Sox fan if they like baseball! I mean, first shot at her bookshelves? DUH!

I let Paige miss her nap on Sunday just so we could be there! We made an afternoon of it. First was her grandson's 2nd birthday party. Then we sorted books, then we just sat and chatted for a while. It was a nice afternoon. And I came home with books. Lots and lots of books.

I'm so ready to dive in! There is only 1 book in there that I've read before. The Eyes of the Dragon, by Stephen King. It's actually my book. It's a first edition hardback. I had loaned it to Aunt Glennis' sister in law Jennifer a few years ago. Her home was destroyed in Katrina and I thought it was still there. I never mentioned it because it didn't seem worth it. It's just a book and could easily be replace; Jennifer had just lost her home. Aunt Glenny started clearing out books and I spotted it behind some others. I was so happy!!

I'm set for months now. I have started re-reading The Dark Tower series by Stephen King. I'm on book 3 of 7, so I'm making some definite progress. As soon as I finish I'll start working on this stash of books. I keep looking at it and drooling thinking of the hours and weeks of enjoyment that are just sitting there waiting for me.

The problem? Here's what my bookshelves already look like. Most of my books are in storage.

I think I'll get more Rubbermaid totes and make room for these.

Monday, August 11, 2008

My to do list

I made myself a Honey Do list for when Ronnie was out of town. I was pretty ambitious too. Originally my list was:
  • Start a new thread on the Mommy board
  • Upload Facebook pics
  • Clean out fridge
  • Start some ebay auctions
  • Complete at least 2 scrapbook pages
  • Decorate paper lanterns for Paige's bedroom
  • Work on Christmas gifts for daycare
I did OK with it. I finished all but 2. I still have the 2 scrapbook pages & the paper lanterns to do. I worked on the Christmas gifts for daycare, and finished 12 necklaces. They are gingerbread man lip gloss holders. They're really cute but they took me 2 nights to do them. It took about 3.5 to 4 hours to do all 12. Since I couldn't start until Paige was down for the night, I didn't get started until 8. I like to be in bed by 10, so it was 2 full nights. But, I have 12 necklaces done so I'm happy!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

He's home!!

Ronnie made it home yesterday. Paige was excited to say the least. And so was Mommy. She's been firmly attached to her Daddy's leg since she saw him. They went to the park this morning, came home ate lunch, she took her nap, then went back to the park. She keeps going on and on about wanting to play with her Daddy.

Mommy has put the time to good use too. I got my haircut, eyebrows waxed & a pedicure. Definitely some long overdue pampering. The lady doing the pedicure threatened to charge me extra my feet were in such bad shape. :(

Ronnie had a good time in Chicago. The class itself was boring and repetitious. Monday night the instructors took everyone out to a really bad dinner at an Italian restaurant. Ronnie skipped that and went to a Cubs game. Of course there was a huge storm and 2 tornadoes touched down in the area where he was. (Someone remind me to UP his life insurance!)

Arriving at the field:

Rain delay:

After it started up again:

He wanted to have a Ferris Bueller's Day Off style outing, but just couldn't manage it. Stupid work kept getting in the way. This game was the highlight of the trip, even though we're Red Sox fans. He keeps saying he's glad to be back home and by looking at him, he definitely is. I know 2 girls who are happy to have him back too.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Mexican Goulash

Here you go, Beth! This recipe makes about 3 meals for us including the leftovers I take for lunch. Sometimes we end up freezing some of it.

1 lb ground meat
1 onion, diced
1/2 green pepper, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 can diced tomato
1 can mushrooms, drained
1 can enchilada sauce
1 can green chilis (optional)
1 package Spanish rice
1 cup water
Chili Powder
Salt & Pepper
Cracked red pepper
Grated cheese

Brown ground meat, drain. Brown your veggies (cook until tender), and add your beef back in.

Add cumin, chili powder, salt & pepper, red pepper, garlic. All is to taste.

Keep cooking until the mixture is "ooey & gooey."

Add remaining ingredients, except for cheese.

Turn down heat, cover & simmer.

It's ready when the rice is done.

Sprinkle cheese on top & serve.

The longest part of this is the rice. We make it in a large sauté pan. If you don't have one, I would suggest browning the veggies in a large pot while browning the ground meat in a pan. This will save you some time. Normally, fresh mushrooms are better, but for this the canned stuff works best. Spanish rice can be substituted with yellow rice. We were out of chili powder when I made it, so I added Mojo instead.



There are things you think you will NEVER say in your life. Words that, once they escape from you lips you say "Oh my gosh, did I just say that?" I had one of those moments this morning. In the past I've said things like "Don't lick the dog." Or "Don't bite the cat."

This morning was something special.

"No, Paige, cats don't wear chap stick!"

Poor R2.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Hello, Roland, old friend

I'm a reader. One of my favorite episodes of The Twilight Zone is "Time Enough at Last". It always sticks with me that the main character is called a reader like it's a bad thing. I just love to read. I always have. My family says I take after my Aunt Glennis, and I think they're right! (Yes, Aunt Glenny, I take it as a compliment!)

Stephen King is one of my favorite writers. Some of his books I read once and go on. There's even one that I can't finish. Maybe one day, but this isn't it. My favorite single book by him is The Eyes of the Dragon. It started as a bedtime story for his daughter when she was small. My favorite series is The Dark Tower.

The Dark Tower is a series of 7 books. The first was published in 1982, a few years before I was old enough to read Stephen King. It took King 22 years to write the series from first word to last. I started reading the books in 1991 just after the 3rd book was published. The final book was released in 2004. During that time he did a lot of drugs, drank a lot of booze, sobered up, and was almost killed when hit by a van drove by someone on lots of drugs. He has also been diagnosed with a degenerative eye disease. He decided he had to finish the books before he died or lost his sight. The telling of the story has always followed his path in life, and can feel a bit disjointed. Overall, it does flow well together.

Since the final book came out I've said that I wanted to go back and read them, all 7, from start to finish. No 22 years in between. Absolutely no stopping. Put one down and pick up the next. Since 1991 I have re-read the books here and there. But never all at one time. It's something I did when I finished the last Harry Potter, and it's something I want to do with The Dark Tower.

If you aren't a Stephen King fan, I understand. Not too many people out there are like me and think he's good bedtime reading material. I will say that this is not his usual type of story. It's not The Shining, or Carrie, and definitely not Rose Madder. This is the story of a man who is the last of his kind. And he's out to save the world, all worlds, his and ours. See, worlds turn on pivot points that line up. They are stacked on top of each other and can flow into each other. One such pivot point, the last to hold, is the Dark Tower. To save one world is to save all. Roland, the gunslinger, is the man to do it, or die trying.

I hope the first words of the novels will grab you like they did me and pull you into this fabulous world.

"The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed."

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Night 3 of no hubby

I think I'm doing pretty good with this Single Mom thing. I can handle it for a week. Tonight has been a busy one for me. As soon as Paige went to bed I started my Tuesday night to do list. It went something like this:

  • Clean litter box
  • Clean cats water fountain
  • Make Mexican Goulash for dinner tomorrow night
  • Clean kitchen
  • Download pictures from camera
  • Do standard evening chores: make sippy, cereal, pack lunch, set coffeepot
Not too bad for an evening. So far I'm just waiting for the goulash to finish cooking.

Now, of my original Hubby's Gone To Do List, I'm doing pretty good on that one too! I still have my last 3 items to go.

  • 2 scrapbook pages
  • Paper lanterns
  • Christmas gifts
I did make a start on the gifts. I didn't like the way things looked, so I'm starting over. Once I've finished some I'll take a few pictures and post them on here.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

He's traveling- again!

Summer is the time of year Ronnie travels with his new job. Once the school year starts he's too busy to travel. So, all of the management staff have to get their training done during the summer months when things are slow. So far Ronnie has been to Nashville, Ole Miss, and now to Chicago. His trip to Atlanta last week was canceled at the last minute.

This trip is a full week. Paige and I dropped him off at the airport this morning at 11. I'll pick him up Friday night at 11 pm. Paige goes to bed by 7:45 every night. That means I have all of this time to myself. What to do with all that time? I have a list:

  • Start a new thread on the Mommy board
  • Upload Facebook pics
  • Clean out fridge
  • Start some ebay auctions
  • Complete at least 2 scrapbook pages
  • Decorate paper lanterns for Paige's bedroom
  • Work on Christmas gifts for daycare
That's 7 items so I think that's enough. And yes, I am working on daycare Christmas gifts already. There are 22 kids in both classes (they combine them for some activities & separate them for others), plus 4 teachers. I bought all of the stuff back in March. It was clearanced out really low at Oriental Trading. I got crafts that make 12, originally sold for $6.99 for only 99 cents. I shopped early and put them up!

I'll check in mid-week to see how I'm doing.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

The latest dilema

Who needs water? And while you're at it, do you really need sewer, phones lines & a gas line? Obviously the ditch digger working in our backyard didn't think so. It all started about 4 months ago. We got this really cool new shed for the backyard and had electricity ran to it. The cable needed to be buried. We took our time. After all, it wasn't like we were spending a lot of time in the backyard.

Now it's time to mow the glass every week, and the cable needed to be buried. Two weeks ago the line crews came out to mark the existing buried cables. Smart thinking right? We thought so as well, and patted ourselves on the backs. We have these nice bright, hunter orange lines spray painted on our grass. The electricity is clearly marked and even has little orange flags next to it. Go Alabama Power. The gas company wrote "Gas OK" on the grass. The water company? Once it's on your property they won't mark it. Man, I wish we had known that before.

The very nice man burying our cable hit the water, sewer and gas all at once. He capped off the gas pretty fast. Water and sewer? He scratched his head and said he thought he may be able to do something about it. At that point a professional plumber was called. He went back to burying the cable and hit the phone line.

Of course just after that it stormed the rest of the afternoon. There wasn't much the plumbers could do. I had planned a girls night out and kept to it. I bought 2 gallons of water for cooking, washing hands, fixing coffee & brushing teeth. Just after 5 Wendy called in a favor from a friend. He sent a crew out and fixed our water and sewer that afternoon. The also fixed the gas line. Phone? We have cells, but no land line. We can live without it.

Ronnie sent me a text about half way into my second drink: "Paige down, water fixed, taking a shower." Probably one of the best text's I got all week.