Monthly Archives: March 2013

And I’m Spent


So in just six short hours we will be mid-frenzy trying to get out the door to the airport.  The children are nestled all snug in their beds, actually all having a sleepover in one room to accommodate the house sitter and her son who will be holding down the fort while we are gone.

It was a real treat getting the little dears into bed.  Nobody was happy, but we grimly soldiered on and stuck to our exhausted guns.  They all swore they would never be able to sleep like this, not in a million long, boring years, but half an hour later they were all asleep.

Once they were down, we sprang into action.  Six clever be-wheeled suitcases (one each to carry on, one larger one to check) stand in a row by the front door:

Rollin', rollin', rollin'!


And the surprise Disney extravaganza notification has been arranged:

spring surprise

And now we are expected to sleep?!


The eve of the thing in the place


So tomorrow morning at the most ungodly hour imaginable we will be harassing our children into clothes and stuffing them in our friend’s van for the quick trip to the airport.  The housesitter has been engaged, rides to and from have been arranged, tickets printed, clothing packed, lists checked and rechecked.  I’m not sure it took this much advanced planning to launch the first space mission.

This dramatization of actual events will give you both an idea of how things are progressing:

The Lovely Rhonda:  Did you pack your stuff?

Me: No.  I don’t like that bag.  I want the suitcase.  The one in the middle kid’s closet.

TLR: Ugh.  (sends kids out to play so we can sneak down hall and get suitcase)

Me:  This suitcase is tiny!  I can’t use this tiny suitcase!  What the hell!

TLR: Ugh.  (shows me where there is room in all the other suitcases for the rest of my stuff)

Me:  My stuff will be spread out all over the place!  This sucks!  Why can’t I have a real suitcase!

TLR:  Ugh.  (opens bottle of wine)

As long as our wine stock holds up, I should make it out of this thing alive.




So before The Lovely Rhonda and I got married in January, we toyed with the idea of having a shooting party as a bachelorette party, but the time just wasn’t right for that.  Plus it was going to be hella spendy.  So we went to a drag club instead.  Hurrah!

This does have bearing on current events.  Have patience.

A few days ago TLR began insinuating that she had mysterious plans for me on Sunday.

Unbeknownst to me she had been plotting and scheming for a good couple of weeks.  AND had ensnared one of my co-workers into her nefarious plans.

The past few days were spent contemplating what this could be.  I was told to reserve a couple of hours, so it couldn’t be driving out to the hot springs.  She wouldn’t be this mysterious over going to a movie.  She knows my feet have been bothersome lately so she wouldn’t probably be planning some kind of marching-about-in-the-headlands type of thing.  What could it be?

I asked a few pointed questions.

There will be other people there?


Would there be nudity?


Is it going to take place out of doors?


What sort of terrain might one expect to encounter?  (This is a valid concern due to aforementioned foot problems, but also totally a ploy to get her to spill some clues.)

Um, I’m not sure.

What about —


She did tell me, wear sturdy shoes and a crew-necked shirt.  With long sleeves.

Finally the day arrived and I dressed accordingly and climbed, rather trustingly I thought, into the car.  We drove off, TLR fussing along the way about getting lunch and oh we need gas and so forth.

And then we turned into the parking lot bearing a curious little sign: “ENGLISH PIT SHOOTING RANGE.”

There we met up with one of  my coworkers, Sandy, who was busy renting guns and purchasing ammunition.  She’d brought her own weaponry with her also.

So it was that I spent a good couple of hours shooting the absolute crap out of a couple of posters of zombies.


TLR enjoyed some of the mayhem as well.


And of course Sandy showed ’em a few things too.sandy shooting zombies

Did I enjoy it?


This gun range is pretty interesting.  I especially enjoyed how the gravel around the doorway to the stand you fire from was not gravel.  It was spent casings.


Also I liked the way the wall was pockmarked with dings from the spent casings flying through the air and hitting it.  walls

I know what I want for Christmas.

Mustn’t. Tell. Children. Yet.


So we ultimately decided to spare the hapless travelers at the airport and tell the children about Disneyland when we wake them up to go.  We’re pretty certain that the shrill cries of girlish delight will grate on the ears of persons unrelated to the girls in question, particularly at that hour of the morning.

So we decided to do this in kind of a “Christmas morning” style.  We’ll wake them up and ask them to come to the living room, where there will be little bags on the couch.

pic dump march 2013 383

And the first thing they will see inside the bags will be neon pink t-shirts, lovingly crafted by yours truly.  Under these will be their own personal copies of the tickets to Disneyland and LegoLand.

Since we’re not stupid most of the time, we will have our own copies of all the tickets.  Because children.

Their bags will be packed and all that will be necessary to do is to put clothes on them, brush their hairs, and herd them and all the luggage out the door into the waiting van of our friend The Amazing Kirsten.  We will get to the airport, become caffeinated, feed everybody, and hop aboard the bus with wings.  A few hours later, it’ll be all about the mouse!

Why My Mom Is The Best Ever.


So for some reason The Lovely Rhonda received a genuine Barbie® doll catalog not long ago.  We have no idea why.

My daughter, who is 8, has never been a huge Barbie® fan.  She just never was that interested in them.  So you can imagine what a surprise it was when she got all excited about this one doll in particular.  Of course it was a collector doll.

african barbie

I’m definitely  not inclined to shell out a hundred and twenty five dollars for a doll of any kind, but if I was it would have to be a hell of a doll.  So when she started mooning over it I told her that that was way too much money to spend on something like this — but we certainly could make one.  Regular Barbies can be had for six bucks, and how much fun would it be to make one?!  She was ALL. OVER. IT.

A short while later we ended up at a craft store getting fabric for a school thing she’s doing, and we got a couple of extra fat quarters (precut hunks of cloth for quiltmaking and such) since they were on sale.  She disappeared into her room and emerged some time later bearing two pieces of fabric, raggedly cut with school scissors, and asked me to sew them together to make African Barbie’s skirt.

My sewing skills are pretty limited.  I can repair a stuffed animal, I can sew on a button.  I can make a pre-fab felt ornament.  But this was kind of outside my skill level…  So I did what had to be done.  I took it to Grandma.

My mother likes to sew and she makes beautiful things — mostly quilts, and pajamas, and the occasional tote bag.  She hems curtains and makes other little odds and ends for her non-sewing children.

Okay, for me.  I have no idea if she does it for my brother.  His wife is crafty so for all I know she does her own.

Anyway, I got a package today.  I had brought her some curtains I needed shortened, and also Delia’s little Barbie skirt.  When I took those things to her, I told her about buying the fat quarters for Delia’s school project and lamented that we really didn’t have loose fabric laying around since neither of us sews. I told her how the girls were all interested in the material once we’d gotten it home.

So along with the curtains and the skirt, Mom sent a couple of stacks of material, tied in little bundles, for the kids to play with.  There was even a little bag of odds and ends — little ribbon roses, lace, crocheted embellishments.

fabric bits

This is why my Mom is the best ever.  Just one of the reasons.  There are so many.

Listen to my butt song


So this morning the middle child, hereafter referred to as “the middle child,” woke up all giggly and came into Grone Up Land to roust me and the wife out of bed.  I mean, it was already like SEVEN O’CLOCK IN THE MORNING ON A SATURDAY, get up already!  Guy!

Anyway she clambered up onto the bed and thrashed around singing and cajoling The Lovely Rhonda.  Because she is a long, skinny insubstantial child, I actually mistook her for one or both of the dogs.  Until I heard her say:

“Debra’s butt is making music!”

I am reasonably sure that I would not hear this out of one or both of the dogs, not without powerful mind-altering substances on board.  And we rarely let the dogs engage in that kind of thing.

At any rate, TLR and I both laughed and I was promptly accused of cutting the cheese, which I denied.  And then she said it again: “I hear Debra’s butt music!  It sounds like a guitar!”

As God is my witness, I have no idea what she was talking about.

TLR said, “Debra’s butt isn’t making music!”

“Sure it is,” says I, “Come on over and listen to it!”

But no, the wife is slightly too savvy to fall for that.  Which is probably just as well since I didn’t really have anything at the ready.

So all day the middle child keeps sidling up to me and saying, “Let me hear your butt song!”

I keep protesting: “THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS A BUTT SONG!”

The youngest has even taken to pressing her ear to the side of my buttock.

Eventually she may come to regret this.  Just sayin’.

Sneaky Planning is Sneaky


So we got the Collective Spawn some rad little be-wheeled suitcases today and after my kid is shoveled into bed, we will smuggle them into the house and conceal them, probably under our bed or something.

Our bed is kind of low-lying, so I sure hope they fit.

If not, we will conceal ordinary shopping bags under the bed and transfer the items therein to the suitcases on the night before the trip.

We plan to pre-pack most of the stuff they’ll need — clothes, mostly — so that once they are all asleep, we can get our stuff all packed up and ready to go.  I think we may even throw the bags into the back of our van so that when our friend The Amazing Kirsten arrives, one of us can be herding the children into their shoes and coats while the other one flings the bags from our van into Kirsten’s, out in the driveway.  The curtains will be closed so the little buggers will be none the wiser.

Thus will Sneakitude: Maximum Level be achieved.

Sneaky Moms


So we have a lot of children.

Okay, we have three.

Three is like a lot if they are girls.  These girls.  These three girls.

We also happen to have a small amount of “extra” money due to unforeseen circumstances, and we have spring break.

And we are sneaky, especially The Lovely Rhonda.

Sneaky Rhondas plus internet = vacation fun times.

So, we are packing up some stuff in bags and then we are going to this place we’ve heard about in California.

We’re not telling the Collective Spawn.

We have to get up super early on the day of departure, so we’re going to tell them to plug in their various electronic babysitters the night before, because “we have a lot of super dull grown-up errands to run tomorrow so we don’t want you to be too bored.”  We will apologize in advance for all the tedium and say that perhaps, if everyone is well-behaved, we might go to the dollar store or something along the way.

Then in the morning we will get them up at the crack of dawn and our friend Kirsten will pick us up and take us to the airport, and so it will come to pass that they will learn that we are going somewhere, possibly on an airplane.

Probably when they learn that we are going to Los Angeles the oldest child might figure out that we are headed to that one place we’ve heard about.  She will then inform the others, and we will neither confirm nor deny.

I plan to play dumb until the great big gates hove into view of the shuttle, saying instead that we are no doubt visiting the World’s Largest Ball of Twine or something.

And then we will enter the Happiest Place on Earth, and the magic will begin.