Friday, September 18, 2009

Road Trippin

The last few months will forever be known as: The Summer of the Camry. My Camry, that is. Cause I can't seem to stay out of it. I can't keep the kids out either, or the dog. It gets pretty cramped in there.

This is M. M is punk 2's new best friend!

We left Montana in May. Bozeman, Montana had been our home for less than a year. I wasn't too sad to see it go. It was a hard year to say the least.

So we set off on a whirlwind adventure. From Montana we went to Chicago. Chicago Baby! The good ol' Windy City! There was so much to do and see- there was no way to try and fit it into 3 days. So we didn't bother. We checked out the Brookfield Zoo, my friend M's new apartment, and umm, the super cheezy hotel complete with ringed hot tub.

And when I say ringed, I don't mean intricate tile work circling the inside. Nope, I mean like dead skin cells and bodily oils of some sort. I did not get in. But I guess that goes without saying. At least I hope it does.

The only time we made it to downtown Chicago, the part you see in all the glorious glossy travel brochures was upon departure. I couldn't get into the other lane because people there are not courteous drivers and was stuck in a left exit only lane. It took me an hour to get back onto the highway.

My first and only impression of downtown Chicago was claustrophobic. There were sidewalks and then 10 or 18 story buildings as far as the eye could see; which it turns out wasn't very far cause even more building blocked the view. I couldn't see the sky, there was nothing green. It was monotone: Grey on Grey with the occasional Red Brick thrown in.
It was kinda scary. How does anyone live there? I decided that lack of anything organic and green causes whatever that craziness is that causes crime rates to be higher in cities than in small towns. Moving on.

This punk was all about kissing the goats.
Once we finally navigated back to the Interstate I knew I had an upcoming exit to get to yet another interstate. It didn't look all that far on the map. 2 hours later I decided I had missed my exit. Whoever was navigating this trip needs to be fired!

After a potty break I busted out "ye old atlas" to figure out where the heck I was and determine how I was going to get to where I needed to go. Yep, I said ATLAS. I don't have a GPS. I am old skool. And eventually I even made it to where I was going. But that’s a story for tomorrow.

One of these days I will remember to keep my eyes
open in a picture
I would like to add that I loved Brookfield Zoo. And I loved hanging out with M. She even brought us Chicago Pizza. She delivered it right to our hotel and everything. She didn't want to go in the hot tub either. She's clean like that.

M had a friend accompany us to the Zoo. His name is John and he took all the pictures with his super sweet camera. He is better at taking pictures than I am. He can even change his lens to fit what he is shooting. I wanted to try his camera, but it was intimidating. And scary. And expensive. And they don't call me Grace for nothin!

 Whale was swimming with the dolphins 

Stay Tuned: our trip didn't end here.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Because I can.

B-Dub; Tray; Beccum; and T

 These are my People, my Peps, my crew, ... my gaggle? my flock? my herd? Um, I should stop.
My people keep me laughing. Like when Beccum said
"My Grandma got my baby a little stuffed dog. Its black and white. I think its a dachshund." Only, I thought she meant that the little black and white dog was a "Dalmation" and it was pretty funny that she got all mixed up and called it a wiener dog... only joke was on me cause she really did mean a dachshund...
Or how about how Tray is letting me lean on her in this picture cause I had on a wet bikini top under my tank and it looked like I was lactating, only instead it made her hips stick out funny so she looks preggers!
My top was all wet cause  I did this all day:
This was a big ol' water slide. I haven't laughed so hard in all my life. And I don't think I could move the next day- I ain't as young as I used to be.  

This should put the slide into perspective for ya. See the blue and yellow part at the bottom of the picture.  Yeah, thats the wall that you crash into at the bottom of the slide. It hurt me, it hurt me real bad. 
But not as bad as Tray. She has a gargantuan bruise on her leg to prove it. I don't bruise very easy, so no one had any sympathy for me. Stingy Tray- hoggin all the bruising!

I would also like to add that this picture was taken only moments prior to your one and only me slipping; and taking out most of the  people below me. It was wet, and they put me in the middle. Did I mention that it was slippery? 

And as embarrassing as that was- cause then people didn't want to play with me anymore- it wasn't the worst part of my day. Oh no. The worst part was courtesy of my littlest punk. This deserves some background info:

Punk #2 loves to slide. She and her Dadda would take trips to the park so she could go "sliding." It was their bonding time. I was not invited. I tried to not let it hurt my feeling. But only cause I was at work and couldn't go anyways.

So here we are at Tray's and I am thinking "Huzzuh! I can finally top the Dadda sliding trips!" Now this particular slide is double sided. You can tell from the pic above that there are stairs on one side and the slide on the other. Well, imagine the backside being the exact opposite of the front. 

I was heading up the stairs with Punk #2. Kinda tricky, probably, I should have gone up once by myself so I would know what to expect. Nope, we just went. Up, up, up, we go to the top by crawling up those little purple rectangle shaped steps. 

About half way up my punk changes her mind and decided that it would be better to not slide. Sliding is suddenly Soooo yesterday. Nobody SLIDES anymore Momma, really!

So I did what I had to. I let her cling to me like a monkey and dragged her up the remaining stairs. Now balancing precariously at the top; I swung her around and had her sit so I could assume the position behind her. 
This is where things went wrong. Very wrong. I would also like to add that we separated the sliding time so kids had kid time, and adults had adult time. It was better this way. Adults are prone to doing stupid things to try and impress their friends; we could avoid most injuries through separation. So I was hauling my punk up the slide during kid time. Not adult time. Kids- mostly 9 - 12 year old boys. Boys.
So as I was swinging Punk 2 around she made the mistake of looking down. And it was WAY down. Like, she was higher up than she had EVER been before. She did not like it. She did not like it, not one little bit. And then she threw herself backwards cause she knew her Momma would catch her. 
And I did. I caught her fist right in my face, and down I went. I went down hard. On my belly, bo-bo-bo-bo- bounc-bounce- bouncing all the way down the purple rectangles.
I think I may have bitten my tongue. I thought my teeth were going to fall out of my mouth. I wasn't sure if my belly ring was still intact or if it had been pulled free. Only one thing did I know for sure. 
I had lost my top. 
I had lost my top, and I was surrounded by a group of 9 - 12 year old boys.
A group of 9 - 12 year old boys who were staring at me, and laughing, and I think one of them pointed his finger at me. 
A group of 9 -12 year old boys who were pointing and laughing, and pointing, and not helping. Not helping me find my top.
I was laying face down. I couldn't get up. I couldn't see Punk 2. Did she go down the slide the right way? Did I squish her like the little bug she is? I couldn't move. And then somethings happened: 
1. Punk 2 drifted into view- with my top.
2. I heard people coming to investigate. Like ADULT people. I still didn't have my top, and people were 
3. I grabbed my top and donned it in record time; while still face down on the cursed slide; still surrounded by pointing, laughing boys.
And once my top had assumed its rightful position I figured out what was taking everyone so long to rescue me. They were laughing. Like the hurting belly kind of laugh. Like Tray started snorting cause she was laughing so hard kinda laugh.
Ha. Ha. 

On the upside- Punk 2 soon figured out how to play on the slide her own way. On the down side- everyone at the BBQ knew I lost my top. And Tray snorted. 
All that put together is just about as embarrassing as this picture:
But I have to keep it real. And it doesn't get any real-er than this. 
ps. Ramon pushed me. Then later he brought me a hot dog. But only cause he knew I really wanted one.

Oh Janet.

Have you read the Numbers series by Janet Evanovich? It starts with One for the Money and continues up to Finger Lickin Fifteen. I think 16 is coming out soon. But thats besides the point. The point is that I have shared something in common with Stephanie Plum, bounty hunter.

This is someone's idea of a great cast for the Stephanie Plum movies. 
Too bad they don't actually exist.

No, I do not have a partner who is a former ho. Nor do I shack up with some guy named Morelli, or sometimes a guy named Ranger for that matter. My hubby IS thinking about going to Ranger School cause he is in the Army again and stuff. But, I digress.

So, I don't have some cool job that I screw up a lot. Or a sister named Valerie. But we DO share a love of Birthday Cake. And it doesn't even matter who's birthday cake it is. She will buy discount birthday cakes; the kind that was never picked up by whom ever ordered it and have the name already on it. Ya know, the kind they stock at the back of any WalMart along with other rejected bakery items.

I don't have to buy reject birthday cake. This has been the year of birthday cakes. I think its cause we normally don't get to hang with the family so much. We are making up for all the missed cake this year. Here we go; welcome to my life.

The girl's cake

The boy's cake

Trying to decide: Chocolate Brownie or Apple Pie...

Bunny's cake

Tom's cake

Feeding baby Lumpkins cake

TeaPot's cake
And here we will end my Plum homage to birthday cake. I just can't take it. I am hungry.
p.s. It is not the author's intent to imply that any birthday cake consumed over the last year and yet not pictorially represented in above blog (of which there were many) were of any lesser quality or lacking in flavory goodness than those shown above. Thank you.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Mafia

So speaking of the Mob, have you become addicted to Mafia Wars on Facebook? No? I'm alone... Much like I am alone in my love for FarmVille. FarmVille appeals to my inner hick. Anyone born in the great state of Texas has one. My favorite blogger, PW, has a ranch not a farm- the kind with both cows AND horses. Who wouldn't love that? Prolly me, cows are kinda stinky. But a farm! Well, as long as someone else is doing the whole manual labor part.

Probably, I should stick to the Mob cause then I can hire some one to do the dirty work for me! My Family, like the real ones that I am actually related to, could fit right into the Mob.

We have the Grandfather: Pierre. Wait, he is supposed to be Italian not French. Um, How about Dom Pierre. Kinda sounds like champagne, but close enough for a hick from Arkansas.

We could show you his true identity, but then we would 
have to bump you off.

Um, and no, he does not know his mask is on upside down. It runs in the Family.

Then there is Dr. John Doe: Medical Master of Mayhem. Bwahahahahhaha.

We can show you his face because when he comes for 
you he will hide behind a surgical mask.
When Dr. Doe comes for you, you will never know what hit you! Essentially, cause he will knock you out with his magic fairy gases. And you will be forced to sleep through the entire procedure. I mean hit.
Then there is this player:
The Muscle: AKA Manual Labor: AKA My Little Bro

Just the guy you need when in a fix. Resourceful, cocky, and full of piss and vinegar. He don't hate or discriminate! He is an equal opportunity Killa. Yep, with an "A," as in able to strike fear into the hearts of old ladies and roosters with a single text message. Don't mess with this bad boy.

And then there was one:
The TrueFather
The Father of our Family. The scowler of scowls. The grower of long hair (with matching goatee!) The sole stock owner in L.A. Looks Super Mega Ultra Stiff Hair Gel (in pink or green).  His slicked back hair admits him immediately into any self respecting Mafia, so long as he keeps his black comb in his back pocket.

His steely eyed gaze intimidates all within its presence. The muscular twitch emanating from his cheek is enough to inspire a hiney-twinge in every prepubescent child within a 2 mile radius.

His fashion sense alone in enough to inspire fear in the hearts of those with a lesser ability to accessorize. He can slip undercover in the blink of an eye. He is the designer of Halloween costumes and first day of school outfits.

Yep. We could step into Mob shoes any day of the week. You better watch out doers of good- we are coming for you.

Monday, September 14, 2009

My boy, the envy of every girl.

TeaPot came to visit us today and brought GrannyNannie with him. They are getting wood floors in their living room and couldn't stay at home. But I am sure they would visit anyways. I do have their great-grandpunks and all.

TeaPot needed some instruction on how to use the MAC. Trust me, if you are a PCer all your life and then try out a Mac its weird and confusing and lonely. Stupid Mac.

My parents own the Mac, not me. I am still a PCer- slow loading, viruses, crashes and all. And I secretly think a Mac could probably be easier to use than a PC but I won't admit it. PC all the way Baby!

My parents have a picture of my oldest punk and Bert's oldest punk on a swing set- it's their background wallpaper thingy. The punks were about a year old or so (hers prolly just a bit older, mine prolly just a bit younger). And TeaPot says:

"Who is that little girl in the picture with Alex?"

Really? I mean sure he was blondie, with big bluey eyes, and super cubby cheeks. But for your own TeaPot to say you look like a GIRL, even if you were less than a year old??? Is there any insult in the 9 year old punk language that could equal that?

The exact picture in question. 

(Secretly, I think my baby boy punk looked more girly than my baby girl punk. I just can't admit that out loud!)
This is my girl punk. See how pretty she is with her hair in a pony!
She just screams "GIRLY" right? Like, more than the boy?

So here it is, you get to decide. Does the baby boy punk resemble a girly punk?

Same boys, different outfits. 

His favorite car

We chopped the curls
But the eyes! They are still this blue 
And framed with the longest 
Darkest lashes EVER. 
No mascara needed.

Umm, and just as a side note:
Was he ever really that small??

Him today,  in all his 9 year old punky-ness

Sunday, September 13, 2009

"I carried a watermelon"

Have you seen Dirty Dancing? It is an all time favorite of mine. I used to stay up late with my Cousin watching it night after night. That was back in my first college days. We were roomies, and we mostly got along. If we weren't getting along we would still watch Dirty Dancing together. Nothing brings two teenage girls together quite like Patrick Swayze.


Yeah, this ol' movie is packed with great one liners that just about anyone can win the"Name that Movie" game with. Do you remember:

"Nobody puts Baby in the corner!"

... or my personal favorite:

"I carried a watermelon."

What you don't remember that one? Let me help: Baby gets invited to the staff party by Swayze's cousin. Ya know, the neardy one. He introduces her to the coolest guy around and she says:

"I carried a watermelon."

Like apologizing for being there or something. The look on her face after she spills that jewel of a line is priceless. Thats prolly why I will have it forever stuck in my head. Its a slap yourself in the forehead; did I really just say that out loud; yes, there really are other people in the room that DID in fact hear you ... kind of moment. I have a lot of those moments. Yessir, like, all the time.  Its sad really.

Luckily for Baby, all that happened to her was that she got to learn how to dance. How come that never happens to me? When I screw up I want someone to take pity on me and say "Here, let me show you" like I am not as dumb as my mouth just made me out to be...

I had a mental slap moment today. I was on Facebook, which I find to be totally addicting, and realized that there is an entire time in my life that is not represented. After I had Jaren and before moving to Fayetteville. I had TONS of friends, and I even went out sometimes, and people liked me!

 It just so happens that I never keep in contact with these people. I needed to rectify that oversight, the years of my life need equal representation on Facebook dang-it!

So there I was, searching for the few (and I mean very few) people who's names I could remember in full and it occurred to me (insert mental head slap here) that what I was doing was the equivalent of:

"I carried a watermelon"

BECAUSE, these people had moved on with their lives, and I was no longer on the guest list. Kinda like  I moved on- and got married, and had kids, and became a Montana resident even though all my people live in North Carolina.... I had booted myself off their guest list, and didn't remember to include them on mine.

So if you are one of those people who open up Facebook today and see that you have a friends request from some punk that you used to know like 8 or 10 years ago but haven't spoken to her in just as much time...

Please forgive me for intruding, even though I carried a watermelon. I leave the melon and all its watery goodness for you to enjoy, but please don't add me to your friends list unless you mean it. And then we can be friends for-ev-er! And I will bake you cookies, cause we are tight like that.