Monday, November 8, 2010

Direct descendents of Adam and Eve

Roman: "Mom, who were the first parents?"
Me: "Adam and Eve."
Roman: "And then they had kids?"
Me: "Yep."
Roman: "Yeah! And then they had kids and that was grandpa and then there was us!"

Sunday, November 9, 2008


Halloween was sort of a bust this year for us.

I planned to have a Halloween party for the neighborhood, and solicited volunteers in our neighborhood newsletter and through email, but only a couple of people replied that they could help. So I ended up planning, buying, and building for this party for pretty much the two straight weeks before Halloween. It took over my life and I was so glad just to get it over with.

I have no pictures of the actual event because I was running around the whole time, but lots of people came and it ended up turning out okay.

This is my kitchen before the party, but most of the stuff was already packed up. Because of all this party planning business, we put off carving pumpkins with the kids until the day before Halloween. This was okay because we learned the first year that we moved to Texas that if you carve them too early they will mold and collapse before the big day. However, Dario Jr. had a birthday party to go to that day, and we were going to carve pumpkins after that, but then big Dario got held up at an appointment and wasn't going to make it home until after I had to leave for my class that night,(community college-whole 'nother story), so instead of carving the pumpkins with the kids myself, I had to scramble to find someone to watch my kids until Dario got home. I called a million people before I found someone who could help. By the time I found a babysitter, it was time for me to leave. So Dario carved pumpkins with the kids when he got home. He was tired and grumpy, and it wasn't the fun it should've been. (He said.) I was upset that I hadn't gotten to do that with my kids, and anxious to see the pictures of Gabby, Dario, and Roman digging out the pumpkin guts. So I turned on my camera and this is what I saw.

Dario had taken lots of pictures, but the memory card wasn't in the camera. So disappointing.

So I missed that, but the next day was Halloween and we were going to have fun then. The party was over with and we were ready to just enjoy the holiday. But at 4:30am on Halloween morning, Dario Jr. came into my room feeling sick, and he ended up vomiting the whole morning. He had to miss school, where he was going to get to dress up as a storybook character and share a book with his class. I was supposed to go to a Halloween lunch with friends, but couldn't because I needed to stay home with Dario. And of course Dario Jr. and I then missed the Trunk-or-Treat party at church, because we definitely did not want to spread that around. What a bummer.

So big Dario took Gabby and Roman. Here they are in their costumes. Dario Jr. didn't feel well enough to even put on his costume. (We did end up putting pants on Roman by the way. Oh, and yes that was Dario's costume from last year or the year before that or something. Again, because of the neighborhood party planning we didn't find him an original costume this year.)

Little Dario and I set up a table in the driveway with leftovers from the neighborhood party. We had cookies and stuff to decorate them, cupcakes, and apple cider for the trick-or-treaters. We pulled out the back seat of my van and set a scarecrow on it, and surrounded that with hay bales and pumpkins for decoration. We turned on some Halloween music and sat next to the scarecrow and gave out treats to the trick-or-treaters. Again, no pictures, and no good excuses this time. But here he is trying to look happy while I am setting up.

Here are the pumpkins the kids carved with Dario. They took them to the Trunk-or-Treat. It just occurred to me how appropriate it was that we had one vomiting pumpkin.

When Dario got home with the other kids, little Dario slipped on his costume and went with them for a couple of blocks of trick-or-treating, but pretty soon his stomach was hurting again and they came home. This is the only picture we got of him. He was a ninja. He had a mask and hood and weapons, but didn't use them.

So that was our Halloween. Bleh. I'm glad it's over.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Why hello again emergency staff

Tonight was the night for our bi-annual visit to the emergency room. We do our best to stop by at least two, if not three times a year. You know, just to say "hi" and can my kid please have a ride in one of your x-ray imaging type things, and yes I'd like to make a large donation, as our savings account has been getting much too large recently and we need to keep that under control. Also, I really like to use these opportunities as a friendship litmus test. If you're willing to take my non-injured children for hours on end at a moments notice, then I give you the honor of being my official friend. And the privilege of doing it again in a couple months. It's a coveted spot, as I'm sure you can tell.
It has been at least a couple of months since our last visit, when Roman chewed up an old Vicodin and got to have tons of fun drinking "chocolate milk" aka charcoal, in the ER, so Dario Jr. thought it was about time we take another trip down to see our old friends at the hospital. The method he used to get us there was to run and slide across the tile in my newly mopped kitchen, thus resulting in his feet flying skyward and his skull crashing downward. He cried and I iced the goose egg and told him he would be fine. I was even nice enough not to take any pictures of his misery. I sent him to his room to rest, and then woke him up a couple of hours later because I needed to go to the store to get an ingredient I was missing for dinner. He cried some more and told me it hurt, but frankly, Dario can be somewhat of a drama-king so again I told him I knew it hurt but I thought he would be fine. The guilt set in a little when he started vomiting. So I called my neighbor Carol, aka "my new best friend", and she took my other kids while I rushed Dario to the ER.
Many hours, more vomiting, some stickers, some cartoons, and one CAT scan later, we have arrived back from our visit. He has a concussion, and luckily no bleeding or skull fractures. Although, can I tell you one thing? There was a moment there when the doctor was telling me he needed to check for a skull fracture and I was kind of thinking that if he actually did have one, that I could use that to my advantage. I could say, "See? I was right. You cracked your head open just like I always tell you will happen." I think I can still use it though. "Be careful! Remember that time when your brother almost cracked his head open?!?" That's still pretty good, right? Not quite the same ring, but possibly still effective.
Anyway, we got to see all our old friends again. We really missed Admitting Chick, Registered Nurse, CAT Scan Guy, ER Doctor, and especially Billing Lady. It was a nice visit and we promised to come back and see them real soon. Dario especially liked it. His statement as we left the ER-and I quote- "That was great! I had so much fun! Except for the puking." Good times, good times.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Apple baskets no more

You know what I hate? Ingrown toenails. That, and apple baskets. And that crust that develops around my faucet handles. But mostly apple baskets. But who doesn't like a delicious basketful of apples you ask? Me. That's who. Because I've been looking at flippin apple baskets pasted on the walls of my kitchen for the last four years of my life. Apple baskets and blue plaid country curtains. Oh, how I loathe apple baskets. But finally I have decided to do something about it.

Witness Exhibit A:

Witness Exhibit B:

I don't know why I didn't do this sooner. I actually prefer the look of raw drywall to the hideousness that was the wallpaper.

My daughter actually thinks removing wallpaper is fun. I've got a wallpaper remover and a meatball maker. This sort of free labor makes me rethink my decision not to have any more kids. Just think, if I pop enough of those suckers out, I could run me a plantation....

This child was not joining in the fun. He was too busy crying about some injury. So, like the good mother that I am, I comforted him by taking pictures of him crying.
Hey, it actually worked. I told him he could see the pictures but only if he stopped crying. So the crying stopped and he got to see what he looks like in full drama-mode, which is something most people don't get to do, (except for my sister who used to stand in front of the mirror while she cried so she could fully wallow in her own pity). Win-Win for everyone, see? Them's good parentin' skillz.

So fare-the-well apple baskets. Your ugliness shall not taunt me another day.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

What happens in Vegas...

Oh Baby. When I went to Las Vegas to see my little sister Brandy get married, who'd a thunk I'd have my very own celebrity wedding? Here's how it all went down....
My sisters and I were doing a little sexy picture posing in one of the hotels on the strip. Well, as we were taking photographs, a casting director for The Blue Man Group walked by.

He told us he had been searching for some hot sexy ladies such as ourselves to perform at the next show. It was a smashing performance. We brought the house down.

And as it turns out, Governor Schwarzenegger was in the audience that night. (He was relaxing a little before the Republican National Convention.) He was so impressed by my performance that he came backstage after the show and invited me to a party that night.

The party was filled with celebrities. I met Cameron Diaz, and it turns out we have a lot in common. (I mean, besides the fact that we're practically twins.) We swore to be best friends forever. She gave me half of her heart shaped BFF necklace, and we cut our fingers and rubbed them together so we could be blood sisters. Our bond will last forever, I'm sure.

All night at the party, Johnny Depp was totally coming on to me. Frankly, it was starting to get annoying, because he's hot and all, but I was getting tired of him telling me how great France was and asking me to run away with him to Paris. Finally, I gave him a peck on the cheek and told him it just wasn't going to work out for us. (That's why he looks so upset.) Later on that night, Brad and Angelina stopped by. I have to admit, I've had the hots for Brad for a really long time, so I took advantage of finally seeing him in person.

I mean it. I really did take advantage of finally seeing him in person...

He was totally enamored of me after that though. He likes aggressive women. (Hello? That's why he's shackin' up with Lara Croft!) Angelina only stayed at the party for a few minutes because she had an appointment to give a speech at the United Nations later. When she left, Brad found me at a VIP table and professed his undying love. He said that the way I nearly licked him when he walked into the room just set his heart soaring. He went on to tell me about all the arguments he and Angelina have been having over their interior decorating issues, and begging me to hop on his jet and fly away with him. Anywhere, just as long as he could be with me. I have to say, I seriously considered it, but after some soul searching I decided that I didn't want to be the one to come between Angie and Brad. I mean, come on! Think of the twins! So, our romance was not to be.

I was heartbroken for at least a half hour. But then I really did meet my true love. He and I locked eyes across the room and we didn't have to speak a word. We just knew. And we decided to get married.

That's when things started to get a little crazy. Al Roker came and interviewed me right away. You may have already seen the segment on "The Today Show".

The ceremony that night at the "Always and Forever Wedding Chapel" was beautiful, and so romantic. The inscription on my ring said, "I love you Sheyenne, always and forever. George."

After the ceremony we had an amazing reception. And I was surprised, although I shouldn't have been, that even as hasty as the wedding was, the paparazzi still managed to find us.

I was thrilled that Michael found time to come by and congratulate us. He even showed me some dance moves. (I'm still learning, okay?!?)

Our cake was scrumptious. George let me pick it out. And of course I chose chocolate everything!

The rest of the food was also divine. It was catered on such short notice by a celebrity chef friend of George's. The creme brulee was to die for.

The highlight of the evening was when Stevie Wonder serenaded us as we had our first dance. Later on, he invited me up to sing with him. It was awesome. And apparently he thought so too because he's invited me to do a duet with him on his next album. It'll be coming out sometime next summer. After a quick charity golf tournament the next day with Tiger Woods and some other golf guy, (George had already been signed up for a long time, and I wanted to support him), we jetted off to a private island. It's only me in this picture, because it was a private island, and George had to hold the camera. It was such a wonderful, unforgettable trip.

When we got back from our honeymoon, Oprah called. She wanted to be the first to interview me on my whirlwind romance with one of Hollywood's most sought after bachelors. That's how she said it, anyway. The show will be coming on soon. You can watch for it if you like. You'll probably miss it though, because you're so busy.

Unfortunately, though, since we've been back from the honeymoon, things have been pretty rocky. The paparazzi camped outside my house has been crazy, and I really think I'm more of a private person. I don't think I'm cut out for celebrity marriage after all. (Plus, I haven't told Dario yet, and the nerves about that are killing me.) So I've made a decision. I'm filing annulment papers tomorrow. I ask that you respect our privacy during this difficult time. Thank you.

It's the principle of the thing

I received this check in the mail the other day. It took a lot of time, energy, and frustration to get this check, and even though it turns out to be less than minimum wage, when I pulled it out of the envelope I was very happy. It's difficult to see, but on the top green portion it says "PYMNT REFUND BBB". The "BBB" stands for Better Business Bureau, which is one of the parties I had to contact in order to get this five dollars. In fact, I made 4 phone calls and wrote 2 letters to secure this measly payment. But it was worth it in my mind, because of the principle of the thing.

Long story short- When I ended my service with Green Mountain Energy to switch to another less expensive (but still green), power company, they sent me a final bill. At the bottom of the bill it said in big bold letters, "DO NOT PAY THIS INVOICE". It said that because I was set up on an automatic payment plan, and had all payments charged each month to my credit card. I was surprised some time later with a call from a collection agency, which Green Mountain had turned me over to for nonpayment of my final bill. They threatened me with damaged credit if I didn't immediately pay by phone, and also pay their $5 pay-by-phone fee. After contacting Green Mountain, and speaking to a representative and a supervisor, and being told "too bad", in so many words, even after they acknowledged that a mistake was made on their part, I got really mad. It was only $5 extra that I was asked to pay, and it didn't hurt me financially in any way, but I am so darn tired of lousy service everywhere I turn that I decided to do something about it. So I wrote to the Better Business Bureau. And then I wrote to the Public Utility Commission of Texas. I spent time, effort, and postage because I was that ticked off. And apparently that's what it takes to get these people's attention, because lo and behold, here's my $5 check. And I will cash it with glee.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Quotable quotes from Roman

"Mom, your legs hurt!"
As he ran his hand up my leg. I hadn't shaved in a while.
And after seeing his brother and sister losing teeth and being rewarded with a visit from the tooth fairy. (Or a bribe from me.)
"Mom, can you knock a tooth out?"
(then opens his mouth for me to do the deed)
And this one here gives me hope that someday my hard work caring for my children will be rewarded...
We were in the bathroom and I was helping him, and this was the conversation:
Me: "Roman, when are you going to be big enough to wipe your
own butt?"
Roman: "Um, when I'm older. And then I'll wipe your butt!"

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Summer vacation

We took a family vacation to Surfside Beach, Texas from July 14-21st and had a wonderful time. We invited Dario's sister Natalie and her son Tyson along with us and we're glad we did. The kids had a cousin to play with, we got someone to visit with, and I had and extra set of hands for cooking and cleaning and entertaining. We rented a little beach house called the "Sea Witch", which was only one house back from the beach. This is the 3rd house we've stayed in at Surfside, and it was the best, in my opinion. The location was great and it was decorated really nicely. The owners lived right next door and they told us they used to live there before they made it a rental, so I'm sure that's why so much work was put into it. All the kids in the living room.

The kids wasted no time getting to the sand and making castles.And finding shells.

Yes, we gave her boobs. We're bad parents. I only wished we had a bikini top to put on them...

Gabby as a mermaid.

Almost every evening at dusk we went out and caught sand crabs. They're fast little buggers so you have to keep a sharp eye on them and pounce quickly. And then you have to run screaming back to the bucket because they're little squirmy legs tickling the inside of your palms is freaking you out. That's the rules.

Here's a large crab that the people across the road from us pointed out. It was a female with egg sacs on her underside, and she was snapping mad!

My boys are even more handsome at the beach, don't you think?

The two Dario's flying a kite.

Gabby holding a shark head we found on the beach.

We took a side trip up the Schlitterbahn in Galveston. It was SO much fun! We only took a couple of pictures because we were just so busy going on all the slides and the lazy river over and over. We arrived at 10:30am and they had to kick us out at 8pm. Really. Me and kids were sailing down the lazy river and 4 lifeguards at different stations whistled at us and told us to get out, and Gabby was saying "Maw-om! They want us out!" and I just kept saying, "Look away Gabby. We didn't hear them!" Finally they turned off the waves and forced us outta there.
On another day we went back up to Galveston and rode the ferry. It was the first time my kids have been on any type of boat. We saw lots of other big boats, and a TON of dolphins. One of the neatest things we saw were a group of dolphins that were swimming in front of a huge boat and jumping out of the water. It was like they were racing. Can you see them out front in the picture below?On a couple of different days we went geocaching. It's another type of treasure hunt, like letterboxing, but you use a GPS unit to find the location of the cache. This is a picture of one that was actually full of prizes. It was called "Pretty in Pink" and it was a box full of toys and jewelery and other things that all had pink on them. The kids were so excited to find actual "treasure".

On the way home we stopped in Brenham to get some ice cream at the Blue Bell Creamery. It was delicious as always, and only $1 per huge-mongous scoop. It broke up the drive home and was a perfect ending to a wonderful vacation.