march madness


Let me tell you something that made me feel old. Like really old. Generational gap old. I turned on the tv and Let's Make a Deal was on, and due to spring break it was college week. The contestant was probably eight years younger than me. Her puzzle listed four names and she had to choose which three names attended Bayside High. And she didn't know. But then again, if they asked me something about pop culture today I wouldn't know either.

And can we mention 'mom jeans' for a moment? Gag me, please. These are flattering on absolutely no one. What's next? Those matching applique sweatshirts my mom/memaw/aunt used to make for all the females in the family? But at least the hipsters are moving on to something else, and I can go back to wearing my flannel and colored tights without looking like I'm trying too hard.

Oh March, you are almost over. I started two posts in my draft over the past month, but I just wasn't feeling it. And I checked my email for the first time in weeks yesterday and realized I had some emails from folks checking on me. I promise I will get on those stat! (Probably when Gage goes back to school on Monday.) But the month itself flew by for various reasons:

*My niece was born! And for a first time mom, her mother was only in labor for FOUR HOURS. Umm. Jealous just a bit about that one.

*Gage and I had (separate) cases of food poisoning. No need for details on this one. He also missed slicing his nipple off by a millimeter. That would have been an adventure.

*I figured out how to keep Pepper from scratching on the patio door. She will want to come inside, and ten seconds later she'd be ready to go back out. Her incessant scratching on the door was driving me mad, not to mention destroying the glass. She hates the sound of bubble wrap, so I taped bubble wrap all over the portion of the door she could reach. Now she refuses to scratch on the door. Deanna-1 Pepper-0

*Peppy had to fly out to Arizona for four days to be a character witness over his mother's death. I made the conscious decision not to talk about the details of her death when she passed away, and I'm so glad I did because I learned that the defense attorneys had googled all of us and were reading my blog for some sort of incriminating evidence. So hey there, ya creeps!

*Mardi Gras and St. Patrick's Day parades. The boys made out like bandits at the St. Patty's parade. Probably because they look like little leprechauns.

*Gage had his spring break and we had plans to go camping. But the weather in March can be a bit of a fickle thing. We cancelled our weekend plans because the predicted weather was stormy, but it turned out to be beautiful. Then on the day of our actual camp out, the high was 35. But we went anyway, because apparently we are effing lunatics. I mean, the boys would play outside in negative weather, they don't care. But it actually wasn't too bad. And the next morning was sunny and warmer, so the boys had a blast exploring. (This just makes me yearn for a large backyard even more.) Plus, outdoors is the great equalizer around here. The kids can find anything to argue about indoors, but once they are outside they will play together for hours.

And a couple pictures because I have kind of stopped taking pictures. It's really nice to live life without a camera attached to my face. I don't know what clicked in my brain, but the idea of incessantly taking photos for blog substance seems a bit silly to me right now.
 I made a penguin cake for our cousin's birthday. I was actually pleased with the way the shape came out since I didn't have a mold and cut it directly from a sheet cake.
 This fireplace was our saving grace while we were camping. I want a fire pit at our next house.
And a huge hammock too. Yeah, that would be great.

ben's my friend


Gage's sea monkey's died an untimely, albeit peaceful, death.

Death by klonopin.

Yes. I'm serious. And I am the murderess. Or drug dealer. Whichever way you prefer.

So these little dudes have been so much fun to watch since we hatched them shortly after Christmas, although I will mention that I was the only one who was still continuing to look in on the daily. I think once they hatched and began to swim around where we could actually see them, Gage's interest waned a little bit. I thought they were pretty interesting to watch. I had actually caught two of them violently mating. Or at least it looked pretty violent to me. I read that their mating acts can last days at a time.

Every few days you feed them special food out of a teeny yellow spoon that I kept in a container with their food. I also read online that it was good for them if you would stir the water around with a plastic spoon every couple of days. I kept the stir spoon in a coffee cup at the top of our cabinet, so that I wouldn't have to throw it out and use a new one every day. (Let it be known that we have around 40 coffee cups in our cabinet. They actually take up two entire cabinets. I don't know if we expect to have 38 breakfast guests one morning or something, because we basically stick to the same couple of cups every morning.)

Well I went to stir the water when I noticed something yellow falling into the bottom of the tank.

Huh? The sea monkey food is green. What is that little yellow circle? Wait a that a klonopin?!

I tried to fish it back out as fast as I could, but those little wafers dissolve quickly! I was only able to remove a teeny scrap before the entire pill fell apart.

Apparently it was left from two years ago when Suzie passed away and I had to fly out to Arizona (like an anxious, spastic freak) alone. Because had I known it was up there, I'm sure I would have found some ideal time over the last two years to have taken it.

I waited a couple days, and sure enough those healthy guys passed on. But I did see some black eggs that hadn't hatched the first cycle. And after a few days I began to notice a couple new swimmers. So at least it wasn't like I killed the entire species of sea monkeys.

Now a new brine shrimp must be named king of the tank.

adventures in owsleysitting


I'm going to leave comments open on this post to see if there would be any interest in Spring Fashion Week. Are you in?

I know I said a couple weeks ago that I wanted to slowly stop posting about my kids. with Owsley is interesting. And I'm sure someone reading this is also dealing with a rambunctious kid. (So hang in there mama!) I didn't expect my two boys to be just alike, because my brothers and I are pretty different when it comes to certain things. But anyone that has spent time with both of my kids will always comment on how my boys are polar opposites.

When Gage was Owsley's age, he was still timid and scared of everything. I could trust him to entertain himself and not get into trouble if I was in another room. On the other hand, Owsley is absolutely fearless, and I cannot take my eyes off of him for ten seconds. He's always had a mischievous nature, but it seems like over the last couple of months it has really hit an extreme. The following bullet list has occurred over the past week:

*I flushed the toilet and it immediately began to overflow in the bathroom floor. So I plunged my arm into the toilet, elbow deep in my own pee, and pulled out a clump of about ten wipes that he had tried to flush five minutes earlier.

*I went upstairs to put up some laundry. When I came back down Owsley had gotten out a carrot smoothie and tried to pour it into a cup with a tiny hole at the top, resulting in a colorful, sticky coating all over the kitchen floor.

*One day Owsley locked the bathroom while he was in there. By the time I grabbed the key to unlock it from the outside, he had poured out all the brand new soap, refilled it with water and was drinking from it.

*Another time he dumped out all my new lotion into the toilet. That was when I decided that he was no longer allowed to go to the bathroom alone. One day as he was washing his hands, my phone started ringing, so I ran to get it. A minute later the bathroom was covered in so much foamy soap that it looked like snow.

*One evening the four of us were in the living room and I noticed Owsley kept giving me side glances. He had hidden a pair of children scissors under his shirt and was cutting through a computer cord.

*Grocery shopping one day, Owsley was sitting in the back of the cart singing to himself. An older man stops next to us in his motorized wheelchair and out of nowhere Owsley jumps up, leans over directly in the man's face and sings, "AND FARTS WILL SMELL LIKE FARTS!!"

*Owsley is also somewhat of a nudist. He can strip down in less than ten seconds. One morning he wore nothing but a furby hat. And he has tried to poop in the backyard more than once. He is also a gymnast and a mountain climber. He is constantly doing flips off of everything, and he can think of the most creative ways to climb onto things that are purposely kept out of his reach.

So like I said, life with Owsley is interesting. I never know what crazy thing to expect. Whenever he is caught in the act, his reasoning is, "You weren't watching me, so I did it." I told him how good he was on a long car ride one day, and he responded with, "Thank you. Next time I promise to be so mean for you!"

The worst part? He's just like me.

EDITED TO ADD: I watched our neighbor's daughter for a couple hours after school this afternoon. They played in the dirt and got super dirty. When she left I sent Gage straight to the shower and I went to my room to take off my bra. When I returned to Gage's bathroom Owsley was standing inside the toilet. Because Gage told him to. At times I really think my kids are out to get me. Thank you Lord, for the abundance of patience you have thrown my way lately.

snowy treehouses and homeschooling ghosts


Last week we had a snow storm. (See: Overreaction in Alabama) If you're not from the south and live somewhere that gets real snow, you will probably laugh us out of the nation if you saw how people from north Alabama react at the 'threat' of  'potential' snow. To the weatherman's benefit, we did end up getting 3 inches, which is basically a blizzard for us. Gage was out of school for four days and many of the roads were shut down. Stores closed, and the news recommends that you STAY INDOORS! Do not get on the road unless it is ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY! At the thought of impending snow, locals rush to the store for milk/bread/beer (those are the aisles that have been ravaged through.) Then they close their doors and don't leave their houses. I mean, how can you actually go about life when it is snowing!?!
This week is a different story. After Gage gets on the bus I can hear the birds singing their spring song, and it's been a while since I've heard a happy bird around here. As much as I am looking forward to some warmer weather, I have to admit that I hate saying goodbye to my beanies for a while. I am one of those people who wears knit hats indoors. (I am hanging my head in shame.) But see, I hate washing my hair. I hate fixing my hair. And I get bad migraines from wearing my hair in a ponytail too often. So a loose hat is a perfect solution. Maybe this year I'll make bandannas my thing.
Sometimes my migraines call for a headwrap, you know, to make it feel like I'm holding all my migraine brain guts in place. I think I pull off a nice Willie Nelson.

A few weekends ago I attended an education expo and spoke to a woman who was manning a homeschooling booth. I guess I've never given much creative thought to homeschooling. I was floored by the amount of options I could have with teaching my kids. There were so many different samples that she showed me of how I could customize the schooling with my boys' personalities and interests. I left the expo thinking, "Yeah, I got this."

Right now the kids are obsessed with two things: Treehouses and Ghostbusters. One night I had the grand idea that I would make some books about Gage and Gilbert. (Owsley changed his name last month. He refuses to go by Owsley now.) They are two brothers who solve mysteries of haunted treehouses. They don't know about it yet, and I can't wait to finish the first book for them.
Homemade Proton Pack.... bustin' makes me feel good.

i bet you didn't know that i was dangerous


I have been thinking, which as you know can be a bit of a scary thing. I've been thinking about dun dun dun....internet safety. Specifically the safety of my children and the plethora of information I have publicly posted about them in the past three years. And I am hanging my head in shame.

Granted, I never imagined anyone outside of my family would read my blog. My livejournal was always 'friends only,' my tweets are private, and when I had facebook I never added anyone I didn't know. But I find myself asking why. Why would I post so much information about my children so that a creep could learn so many of their personality traits that it would be SO EASY to convince my children they were an old family friend.

I am an idiot.

And although my blog is small, there are weirdos everywhere. Creepin' and a creepin. They are up to no good. I think about these huge, enormous, professional bloggers. Do you know how easy it is to find someone's home address with just a teeny bit of info? And these pro-bloggers with all their insane fans....sure, some of them are sincere, but for every normal fangirl there is probably her evil twin counterpart out there. How can these big bloggers sleep at night knowing they have 100,000+ strangers out there who think they know them?

Remember Robin Williams' character in 24 Hour Photo? Yowzer.

And don't get me started on people who publicly 'check-in' to places. When my buds and I went to Nashville for our girls' weekend, Roxann would check us in to random places on facebook. Corri and I would half joke that she was alerting all the rapists and murders to the whereabouts of three women on a mini roadtrip. Here's our neon flashing sign. Come get us! Here we are!

I think in this era of instant gratification, we all look to online social media for that virtual pat on the back. I totally understand the desire to make online friendships. That can be so much more convenient than real life. But at what cost?

Let me quote some lyrics from the song Dangerous by Big Data. This song in particular is actually about the dangers of sharing too much information online.

"How could they know
what I been thinking?
But they're right inside my head, 
because they know.
Because they know
what I been hiding.
They're right under my bed,
they're in control."

I think maybe I'll be moving the portions of my blog that solely feature my kids back to the draft section. I mean, really, why would I be posting so much private information about them to begin with. What was I thinking? 

the dream team


Last week I was tired and ready for bed. Peppy crawled into bed with me....with a real estate magazine in hand. This is really happening. We have a dream. We have a goal. We are planning, and scheming. And it is so amazing.

Our plan is to put our current house on the market (or maybe just rent it out, we haven't decided that part just yet) and buy some land with a small older house. We'll live in our 'new' house, while we build our dream house. To say that we are ecstatic would be an understatement. Everyone is throwing out ideas, and we have a list of musts for our future dream home. Me? I want a wrap around porch. I want a tire swing. I want a treehouse for the boys.

The boys will go to school for a few years, to get their basics underway. And then I'll home-school. We'll buy a used RV and take family trips and go camping whenever we can. Peppy and I have realized that we need to take full advantage of the time we have left that our kids are still children. We want to do so many things with them while they still want to spend time with us.

It's funny when you think about how Peppy and I both had grand dreams of moving to the city when we were younger. Growing up I never knew what I wanted out of life, but I knew I needed to be in the big city. I was a city girl at heart. I hated small towns. And now I want the simple life. I want quiet nights, swinging on the porch swing while watching the sunset. I want dinner outside. I want to be the exact opposite of the city.

I heard about Philip Seymour Hoffman's death earlier today. To say I am devastated would be a bit of an exaggeration, but I am pretty bummed out. And it's not like I was a big fan of his either. I'm not sure why his death has touched my heart so much. He was interviewed in a documentary about J.D. Salinger I watched last week. Maybe it's because his image was fresh in my mind. I get addiction, I really do. His situation is so sad. My heart aches for his young children. We all have struggles with various things, and it's easy to succumb. Everyone is addicted to something.
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