30 January 2013


i have 38 drafts in my blog inbox. 38 stories that i started. thirty-eight beginnings that need endings or maybe they have endings but no beginnings or dodgy in betweens i can't remember because there are 38 of them just sitting there waiting to be edited or published or deleted.

but i don't have the energy. it's been raining here today. flash flooding kind of raining. i spent the entire day moving from kid to kid being reminded of my profound weaknesses. as i sat helping one write a research paper, i put my head on the table and begged-literally begged god to help me. i read the few sentences he had written and cringed. the spelling. the run ons. the lack of capitalization{!}. and then i thought of moses, the terrible orator who was called to lead a nation. god calls the weak. and i am weak.

squirrel says, "weird looking bread, but it's still delicious!"
then the boys looked out the window. "mom, that squirrel is eating your bread!" the bread that i baked, but forgot to add the baking soda and baking powder. it was so ugly i threw it to the birds. and from what we observed, they loved it. as did the squirrels. i do love feeding people and animals alike. 

the 9 and 6 year old took off their shirts to wrestle. i made a mental note: "in our next home, add a boxing ring". and "hey, that 6 year old has some serious moxie".

at 4:18 i was finally done with edits for the history paper. the writer and i decided we would look anew at the paper tomorrow. the others begged for an alfred hitchcock movie which i put on, but no one except the 13 year old watched.

and just like that it was time to make dinner. the dog ran around in the mud. i chatted with a few friends who reminded me that my messy life ain't so messy. the Mister took the kids to youth group, my coffee date canceled due to inclement weather, i poured another glass of wine and logged on to the blog with 38 drafts in the inbox-and decided to keep them for another day.


28 January 2013


could somebody please come walk my dog? he has a huge fenced in yard, but for some reason, he just doesn't wish to stay put. that's why he frequently runs away.

i would pay you to help the 11 year old with his faces of history costume for his big presentation on friday. he's dressing up as jesus. no big deal. the thing is-i don't sew. he also has to think of some food to coincide with his presentation that also coincides with his research paper. by friday. wine, bread and{swedish}fish is what i suggested. sound good? okay okay, grape juice. geez.

the 13 year old could use someone to proofread his biology genetic map? he showed me the probability of my having another child with some kind of genetic abnormality today. he's a charmer that one.

i would love an extra hand in the kitchen. this morning i made my signature pumpkin bread like i have a million times before. only this time i forgot the baking powder AS WELL AS the baking soda. tell me, what kind of baker does that?!

the Mister is all kinds of crazy right now. calm and steady, but ever so busy. good thing he took me to dinner and a movie this weekend otherwise i might really be feeling neglected.

and then there's the crazy weather we have been having. snow. ice. it has me packing for the south-literally.

the littlest came to get in my bed last night{which was fine because the Mister didn't come to bed til 8am}. when i asked what prompted his night visit, he explained, "i was lonely". 

o, dear me. do you ever have days, weeks, months, years like this? our lives seem like they are getting crazier and more hectic and ever so frenetic. and i am just hanging on for dear life. you know that scene in the movie the incredibles when mr. incredible gets his bum kicked by that robot/drone? yep. that is so how i feel. like i am getting slapped over and over on a big boulder. and just as i catch my breath, whack. it happens again. 

today one of the boys had an orthodontist appointment. i spent 20 minutes scrapping ice off my car. left the other 3 with school work til i returned. hurried to the appointment only to realize she wasn't up for braving the ice. i left a very detailed voice mail as i drove back through the icy streets. upon my quick return home, the oldest sympathetically jotted down an outline for a software program{for 37$}that would enable this doctor to be able to access her appointment database from home{what a ridiculous excuse to give your patients on why you stood them up}. i plan to sell it to her tomorrow{with a markup}when we return for the rescheduled appointment.

perhaps life will slow down a bit. due to his lack of practice, our 11 year old was forced to quit guitar. we were paying for him to hang out once a week with a really cool guy. he can do that for free in nashville. but then last week he started fencing. so his electric guitar sits in the corner whilst he jousts with the fireplace poker{thanks, honey for that genius idea}

speaking of genius, today i was helping the 9 year old with what i thought was a simple math problem only to realize...i never taught him how to do THAT kind of math. funny how that happens. if you don't teach, your kids literally won't learn. and guess who i have to blame? not the public schools.

but that's okay. somehow the 6 year old knows how to do the 9 year old's math so he can teach him. well, when he isn't wrestling the dog. 

o, the dog. yes. the one who was bathed in my bathtub with my favorite aveda shampoo. and then was blown dry followed by a little sandalwood essential oil rub down. the Mister took a whiff as he pondered aloud, "if i ever come back as a dog, i want to be YOUR dog." my dog who smells great, but who rarely gets walked. and who runs away. a lot.

and it's only monday. 

your girl friday

25 January 2013

missing IN action

board meeting

hello, girl friday here-the lazy, irresponsible blogger. but if you could be a fly on the wall of my mind's eye, you might have called a week hiatus too. life has not stopped for one second even if my writing has. and truth be told i have about sixty stories percolating, but where o, where did i leave my secretary? the one who can jot down in shorthand my thoughts as i speak them-then translate them since i do not speak shorthand. o, goodness. i am reeling. i hope you can keep up. please try.

b)a working lunch. see my notes?

c)research and development
i've been missing in action. a week ago, i boarded a plane for a VERY quick jaunt over to tennessee for business. so quick i forgot to let some important people know i was coming. oopsie. i love you. please forgive. it was quick and for business.yep. we're calling it a business trip. you see i had to see a few people. for business. we called some meetings. sat for some strategy planning sessions. and then before i blinked three times, i was back in the arms of my wild ass monkeys and their ever darling father. i am such a lucky girl. and speaking of lucky, my besties took me shopping at lu lu lemon. still not sure if their gift card was a gift or a flippin' wake up call. standing in a dressing room under the neon lights whilst DARLING{young, toned} store clerks pass over too revealing workout wear that reminds you that perhaps adding a few cardio classes MAY not be such a bad idea. just down more ibuprofen and forget about it. goodness. and it didn't help that i was wined and dined at all my fav places from barista parlor to puffy muffin. wowsa. where is the number to that plastic surgeon? haha kidding. hell, no i am not.
d)working through logistics

e)the cutest alarm clocks

f)field development

g)and across a few states a similar thing was happening

and whilst i was away, those wild ass monkeys quickly changed MY cottage on the hill to a fraternity house. we'll call their weekend, "keepin' up with the joneses". 
h)member breakfast
i) oversight committee
on friday, the Mister asked our 9 year old, "if you could have any of your friends come for the weekend, who would it be?" without skipping a beat, he answered, "asher jones". and at 11:30pm he saw his bff at the door. i am told they were up til 3.30 am doing all kinds of crazy boy stuff. 
j)meeting adjourned
so here you have it. life is good. and full. and i am still hanging on for dear life. missing, but still in action. hope your weekend is full of love. ours is full of snow which means we're hunkering down with mugs of yummy hot goodness, a blazing fire and books glorious books.

your still relevant,

17 January 2013


truth be told i wish i had a more beautiful birthstone. don't get me wrong, it could be worse. it could be aquamarine{sorry march}. 

growing up i remember checking my free hallmark calendar every year to make sure they hadn't changed the january birthstone to something like, i don't know, sapphire, pearl or diamond. but every year when i procured one of those tiny square purse sized calendars and flipped to the back, there it read january:garnet.

and it's fitting i reckon. my father always said i look best in red. my husband loves when i wear red. my personality is rather red too. and i've been known to wear my heart on my sleeve.

my birthday was this week. my biological odometer turned over to 42. we had dinner with friends the other night. joking about our ages my friend asked, "how does it feel turning '30'?" i quickened, "goodness, i am glad i am NOT turning 30 because if 30 felt like this i would feel very discouraged." 

and speaking of discouraged. i am NOT discouraged by the pants i split the other day. split like right up the heiny. wowsa. the Mister convinced me the age of the trousers and not the girth of my arse was to blame. we had a great giggle as i shuttered to think what i would have done had we NOT been at home when this most hilarious incident occurred. 
"son, a trip to anthroplogie covers a multitude of husband fails."

you see these boys o' mine whisked me away to baltimore for a little sight seeing, a walk through anthropologie where we managed to charm the clerks{and pick up more of my favorite bowls}and on to an early dinner at woodberry kitchen where the darling waiter ascertained it was my birthday and sent over a scoop of lemon ice cream.{how did he know that is my fav?!}

as a mother, birthdays are usually a mixed bag. i mean i still wear my mother's tiara, so there are duties like checking math problems and reading aloud that simply must happen even if it is a family holiday for crying out loud. but then there are the amazing birthday cards and promised homemade gifts{the littlest gives the best back rubs}

and the Mister is the most generous. he's flying me to see some of my besties. and while i am away he'll be steady at the helm with life and school. whataguy!

split pants and ugly birthstones aside, my life is pretty sweet. i share a birthday with martin luther king, jr. for pete's sake! yep. same day. different year. and like this prodigious prophet, i too have a dream. but i'll have to share that in a later post. i'm off to enjoy some leftover birthday cake. hey, i am ever so proud of my tight fitting trousers. it's been fun getting there.


05 January 2013

a set up

well, here we go again. another post about that infamous tooth fairy. but this time she was set up-and failed. let me explain.
all fun and games til somebody gets hurt-or loses teeth

yesterday, our darling baby boy sat in the dentist's chair. the fourth boy in a matter of months to have stubborn teeth wrenched from his delicate gums. our delightful dentist whom we adore flippantly said, "those two teeth should bring in about 4$." i about came off my stool. 4$! what? since when does the tooth fairy pay 2$ per tooth? is there a tooth shortage? her going rate at our house is .25/tooth. and now this man had raised the bar-HIGH. 

so last night when the Mister brought home dinner, the littlest greeted him in the kitchen. bearing his box o' teeth and new smile, he broke the news that he would be expecting 4$ from the tooth fairy. and for the rest of the evening, the Mister tried to no avail to explain to our tiny tycoon that that was just not going to happen. in our kitchen a bidding war began. the Mister came in low. ".25 a tooth." the 6 year old balked. i chimed in, but drove the price too high too fast, clearly a novice at auctioning. wait, were we really auctioning teeth in our little blue kitchen last night? 

by the time we finally settled the barracks, it was late-like 11:00 late. the tooth fairy had a long night ahead so he{yes, sometimes an alternate is called in for late night or last minute visits}wanted to get on with the rest of the evening.

from what i heard from the tooth fairy, the teeth were no where to be found. a ruse? so he, the alternate tooth fairy, looked high and low for those little white pieces without success. he relented, leaving 8 quarters under the boy's pillow in the little plastic box that the tooth fairy had agreed to leave in exchange for taking the teeth.

this morning as i was filling my cup with caffeinated goodness, i heard the bumps that are distinctly his. the littlest was awake. the previous evening, the Mister, er i mean the tooth fairy and i had speculated at the response such a seemingly measly offering would evoke. i waited. he thumped down the stairs. it had been 30 whole seconds so i asked, "did the tooth fairy visit?" still waking, he whispered, "i forgot to look." all this trouble and he forgot to look. who is this for? don't answer that! shortly, he came back downstairs rattling his coins. he poured them out of the teeth shaped box and counted. then he looked up at me and asked to have a talk with the tooth fairy. i offered to draft an email. he discussed. i wrote.

Dear Tooth Fairy,

George no longer believes in you. He was disappointed with his compensation for his pulled teeth. He felt like those two perfectly formed baby teeth should fetch more in the 4$ range. For this reason he will no longer require your services.

Mommy to George

i read it to him. he was unsatisfied with the first email so he asked that i send an amended note.

Dear Tooth Fairy,

In regards to our last correspondence, George would like to have a refund. Please return his teeth. He will leave the 8 quarters on his dresser.

Mommy to George

two words: tough crowd. in other news, the tooth fairy is happy to have two less pillows to visit. despite the tough economy, she will not be looking for more work.


03 January 2013

fairly certain

when it comes to myths and legends, we are a little noncommittal. for instance our boys have never sat on santa's lap.there's something about sitting on a strange man's knee, telling him your secrets that creeps me out. 

and then there's the easter bunny.  again, weird. everyone knows a bunny can't carry baskets. but our boys do wake on easter morning to some candy in some kind of variation of a basket. so hypocritical. 

but the tooth fairy. well, we do have a very complicated history with the tooth fairy, but she is welcomed into our home and talked about like you do that infamous aunt of yours who may or may not be sporting a white jacket and off her meds. let me explain.

maybe it's because i had chronically bad teeth as a child. must've been from all that kool-aid drinking and candy eating i did. whatever the reason, i sported a mouth full of silver fillings until i was an adult. the tooth fairy was my only solace as a child-a reward for the remarkably bad luck i had with dental health. a trip to the dentist usually resulted in a nightly visit from said fairy of the teeth. it was my consolation. ill fate=reward. twisted, i know.

and to this day anything dentistry related makes me nervous{and paranoid. do you require your children to brush their teeth 6 times a day?!}. as do bossy, fast talking women. so it only makes sense to me that the tooth fairy is not the beautiful, winsome nymph whose wings are glittery and delicate. when i consider the tooth fairy, she's more like a chubby, stubby, ill tempered troll who may or may not drop a curse word here and there and is prone to drink-heavily, but can still be articulate.

yesterday our 3rd born found himself in the dentist chair having not one but two teeth removed. an inherited trait they received from their father-too many teeth is too small a space. he is the 3rd of our four boys to have teeth removed. the littlest is having teeth pulled tomorrow.

so last night we sat inspecting his recently pulled teeth with roots firmly in place. those little white enamels look like horns, and the 9 year old took to holding them up as such. a red badge of courage. i asked, "so are you going to put these teeth under your pillow?" he pondered the question. "nah. i want to keep them." and in our family the story goes if you want to keep your teeth, then the tooth fairy will pass you by taking her coins with her. unsatisfied with his answer, i pressed further, "really?! well, you know if you don't put your teeth under your pillow the tooth fairy WILL NOT{emphasis mine}leave you money." he assured me after 9 years, he clearly understood the dentin contract. i left his room incredulously, but hollered up the stairs, "you're going to tick off the tooth fairy." he loved that.

later when i was putting him to bed he wondered aloud, "well, i guess i could sell them. no wait. i would give them away for free, but charge for the box they came in. you know because it's such a mighty fine box. so yeah, the teeth are free, but you have to buy the box to get the teeth and the box is $25!" i assured him that the tooth fairy would not go for that, but he was too distracted with himself to hear me. "actually the box is now practically an antique since i've had for a day so i can definitely get $25 for my teeth." i sat in amazement at his seemingly iron clad ill-logic. the Mister asked him if he needed a job because he could use his sales tactics.

in the end, the 9 year old was put to bed with two teeth missing from his mouth and missing from beneath his pillow. his mouth healing from the earlier dental procedure bears a crooked smile that he affectionately acknowledged, "looks like a hippo". i am fairly certain the tooth fairy is penning a note to him that will read something like:

January 3, 2013
Dear Harrison M. Utley,

A notice came across my desk that you would not be participating in our teeth for cash swap. While I cannot fathom why you would wish to hang on to said teeth, I respect your wishes. But you must know that this will cost you so in lieu of taking your teeth, I took your cash.

T.Tooth Fairy

and perhaps when our boys mature into fathers, they will decide to do away with the tooth fairy after all.


01 January 2013


2013. ready or not, here it comes.  and i am still trying to remember what i had planned for 2012.

today while i sat racking my brain, i had a little interruption...him.

and this...

and then this...

yep. pretty much the cutest boy. ever. with a personality that is dangerously charming. 

of course, i am HIS mother so what do i know? except that i love him  more than words can express. and i cannot wait to see how he continues to flourish-as well as his 3 brothers.  

may this year find you ready, willing and able.