Saturday, July 16, 2016

Let's not leave out the shirts

We doubled our budget-- I can't deny that. Up and down I loved not having a car payment....

But not quite as much as I love my new car.

It's ... swanky.
It's ... sexy.
It's decadent. Definitely decadent.

I looked at Tahoes, Denalis, Infinitis.... I even looked at Minivans when I got discouraged. Turns out, buying a car is not for me. I started to justify staying in my un-air-conidtioned car. August will be hot, but Hometown cools down about October-- that's only 75 days away.

When I discussed this idea with Husband, he said, "Hey- let's pop in here."

Here-- here being the Lexus dealership.

Salesman was ready for us. He tossed the keys at me and said, "Take it out to Grovetown. Go eat lunch on me. See what you think."

I looked at Husband. He nodded and off we went in this sexy white Lexus with *hear my words* air conditioned seats. Until this moment, I never knew I needed seats with air conditioning in them until


And, Lord Have Mercy, I needed them.

One trip around Hometown later, this was going to be in our future.

In we walk to start the process of the give and take of the price. He gives a little, we give a little.... he comes back with a number and I scratch it out. He comes back with a new number and Husband poker faces, writes a number down, and says, "We need the car to be here, and we will walk out of here either with the car or without it."

A little of this, a little of that and the car came in where we needed it to be. As the salesman started gathering his paperwork and I had my pen in the air to start signing.

Husband looked at me.
Salesman looked at me.

I sighed... and put the pen down.

"What's wrong?"

"Car's great. It's awesome. But, it needs a DVD player, a trailer hitch, all-weather mats... and I am going to need two collared shirts for my husband."

Salesman looked at me.
Husband looked at me.

I stared back and counted to ten in my head-- twice.

Husband stared at me.
Salesman stared at me.

I counted to fifteen in my head.

"Okay, let me make a couple of changes here and you'll be on your way."

Yessir I will. In my fancy new g-ride with a DVD player, trailer hitch, all-weather mats, and two collared shirts for Husband. Certainly, let's not forget those!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

It doesn't even have a name

I can't.

I'm too hot.

We have been at the beach for weeks. It's been awesome and breath taking to spend this kind of time with my three children and no. one. else.

In reality, it was really nice. I was a bit of a fool to think it would be a piece of cake, but we got into a rhythm soon enough.

On the way home, Bennie found a box of 250 envelopes and opened the lid. This wouldn't have been a big deal, sans one small detail.

Minor really.

My air conditioning went out in my car.

Let's back up.

Husband has been bugging me for months that I need a new car. MONTHS. "It's fine. It'll do until we debt down the student loans. I love my car."

And the truth is, I really do love my car. It's ten years old but it has everything I need-- DVD player, leather seats, XM radio... ya know, the necessities. But, the big thing is this: IT IS PAID FOR.

Which is mostly why I love it the very, very best.

Back to the moment:

Bennie opened a box of 500 envelopes. She was bored. And hot. Mostly hot. Those envelopes took off in a whirlwind of paper and flaps through the car, pouring out all windows into the 88MPH wind, hitting cars behind me- of that, I am certain. A semi pulled up next to me, laid on the horn and shook his fist. All I could do was look at him as I was driving, holding a box of envelopes, closing the windows and {ever so politely} asking my second in command, Birdie, to put down her ice cold drink to help me.

She had to take a sip first.

I wasn't so polite after that.

Sometime thereafter, Fuzzy fell asleep, those red cheeks jiggling in the wind. Bennie cried. Birdie put her head on a turkey sandwich and kept opening the cooler to cool off.

I dropped the hammer.

It was around this point that the temperature outside crested 100 degrees and I was realizing what a stupid idea this was. Stupid and very, very foolish. I reached my hand around to see how Fuzzy was feeling, fearful that he would be cold and clammy.

Nope. He was wet and saturated... with puke and sweat.


I called Husband and said, "Fuzzy just threw up. Do I need to take him to the emergency room?"

"No- you need to take them McDonalds or Chick Fil A and cool off for a while."

Next exit- I am off the road, making three wrong turns before I pull into a McDonald's... passing an Arby's, Hardee's, Waffle House, and probably a free hotel with the thermostat set at 64 degrees. But, Husband didn't say stop there. He said McDonald's or Chick Fil A.

Because that's how my mind was working in that moment.

Three children walk into McDonald's with only one wearing a pair of shoes and two wearing actual clothes. Fuzzy.... he was naked, sans the puke. And, let's take it one step further:

We were stinky.

Not like "we've been exercising in a beautiful park somewhere and I have nailed being MOTY" .... rather... it was much more "we've been on I-20 and smell like asphalt on a hot July day" ... that kind of stinky.

I ordered four large drinks and four cookies.

The lady behind the register looked at me with pitiful eyes.

"Do the kids want a toy?"

Let me say that a different way: The cashier at McDonald's felt sorry for the doctor's wife with the DVD player in her car who was on her way home from a month long vacation.

The cashier who probably makes $3.17 felt sorry for me and my children.

"Do the kids want a toy?"

"Ummm... yes. YES! They would love a toy! Can you throw in some free fries, too?"

-- don't worry, I didn't ask for the free fries. I was already embarrassed enough.

I post something on Facebook and a friend almost immediately said, "I think you just described hell."

A lot of people liked that comment. It was funny. I laughed. I bet a lot of people laughed, too. Turns out, I would learn-- that I was not describing hell.

Hell was getting back in the car with another hour to go.

That was hell.

Before we left McDonald's, with our four XL Powerades and tons of ice, I brought it in for a pep talk.

"Guys-- this is gonna suck. I can't sugar coat it. But, we are all in this together. Let's suck it up. Crank the music and get home! Once we are home, I promise there will be air conditioning, lots of TV, and pizza for supper. Bring it in. Bring it in.... put your hand on top of mine. Bennie, put your hand on hers- no, not on your new toy, on your sister's hand. Fuzzy, you jus-- yeah, you just sit there."




GO TEAM anddddd BREAK!

Morale was down, but the music was up. Somewhere between Snoop Dogg and Billie Jean at maximum volume with me fist pumping the whole way, my children would learn that their mother could drop it into a new gear of crazy.

We kept saying that I would drive this car until the wheels fell off. Turns out, I would, in fact, drive it until the wheels fell off. I would buy new wheels and keep driving it. But, once the A/C went out-- ohhhh, yeah- I'm done. Pack that baby up and call it good.

Game. Set. Match

Monday, June 20, 2016

4 o'clock

By 4pm, I am heading towards maximum capacity when it comes to MOTY applications. The kids get shooed outside and I follow a few minutes later with a speaker, a computer, and -- most importantly-- a beer.

qI break my cardinal guideline of drinking before 5 and have a beer. Let's not start judging, it's one beer, I'm here by myself with three kids, and well... some might say I am on vacation... though we all know that I am on a trip.

The yard was fenced in when Nephew was born, probably the greatest thing that happened to the beach house since the internet and the washer/dryer. Laugh all you want, but I know what it is like to live without cable, central a/c, and having to walk to a pay phone before cell phones. We had an ice box here for the longest time. No kidding.

I digress.

The girls run in circles, fight, forget what they were fighting about, play, have races, and in general- get the willies out. Fuzzy goes between chasing them before finding a ball and getting distracted. I sip my beer and write a blog, play on the internet, or think about my next move as a parent in this day. What will we fix for supper? Will we go to the beach this evening? Golf cart ride? Those sorts of questions are what I ponder while they continue to play on boogie boards in the grass.

The music is both the music I remember my parents listening to when I was their age (Allman Brothers, Al Green, Bob Marley, Marshall Tucker, etc) and the music from when I was a young (Dave Matthews, Robert Earl Keen, Counting Crows, and Outkast for good measure).

By 4 o'clock, regardless of what we have done, they are tired. Exhausted, really. For instance, today we slept in late and only spent about 2 hours at the pool, pale to the all day fiascos we are used to. After showers (which answered the question if we will go to the beach tonight. NO-- showers are few and far between here), we are outside for our 4 o'clock rendezvous with the yard. And I can tell that they are tired. Fuzzy will walk until he can't walk anymore, lie down- face first in the grass and stay that way for about two minutes until he has the energy to get up and walk some more. Birdie wants to drink about 17 juice boxes, which is her "tell" when she is tired-- she's thirsty. And Bennie, bless that sweet middle child. She is your typical three year old when she is tired-- bipolar.

It's 5:10 and I have ordered Birdie's school supplies for the coming year and her summer camp trunk. Fuzzy is starting to cry about a boogie board he is not being allowed to play with, per his big sisters, and Robert Keen comes on the radio. We'll be having chicken and cantaloupe for supper.

The day is winding down and they are telling me that are D-O-N-E with being in the yard:

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Putt-Putting at the beach

Fuzzy is sleeping right now. Bennie and Birdie are watching YouTube and I am procrastinating getting entrenched with another grant. We are at the beach house where we have been for almost a week. Husband basically hog-tied me last week. He told me to get the kids out of the house and go have fun!

We packed five sets of clothes and thanked my parents for investing in a washer and dryer a few years ago. When I was a kid, we had to walk up the street to get fresh water for Ora's Well. Okay, that is an exaggeration. The truth is that my DAD had to walk up the street to Ora's to get fresh water. When I was a kid, we had a large basin sink with hot salt water on one side and cold salt water on the other. We still don't have central heating and air, but we do have internet and cable television. ThankyouJesus!

Before we left for our summer extravaganza at the beach, I made a bunch of "tickets" (Birdie's word, not mine) and divided them into two categories: Inside and Outside. When we grow bored of the beach or it is raining, we pull a ticket. Today, the weather was not stifling so I changed our plans of heading to the pool and pulled a ticket.


When I was a kid, there was a putt-putt course just past where Ora's used to be and an arcade was next to it. Mama and Daddy would hand us old putters, cheap golf balls and send us up the street after hours (or during hours and we would hop the fence and play the middle 9).

Putt-Putt has evolved since the arcade was torn down and the putt-putt course demolished.

For one-- we have to pay and for two-- a parent has to be involved.

Off our foursome goes on our golf cart to the closest course. If there is one paying adult, the kids can play for free.

Excuse me? I can pay for myself to pick up a putter and the kids can play for.... free? Yes, please.

And I even had a coupon.

We were all having fun... until the shortest one found the water hazard... and then the kids started having a whole bunch-a fun and mom was a little, uh, soaking wet from the blue water.

I was assured by the guys who manned their stoner-summer jobs that the water is "extremely clean and the only reason it is blue is because of a very small dye pack." Yeah, sure. Whatever. I just need to know if Fuzzy is going to grow a third eye. If he is, I can bet money it will be a blue one.

Remember when you were a kid and your mom told you it was toilet water/sewer water/anything that tells you that the water is incredibly un-clean and your arm will fall off it you go near it? As a kid, you'd peer at it and wonder if Blinkie will pop out. at least, I did. Turns out, our moms were liars. {nothing personal, Mama. Love you!} You can't get ink poisoning. The water is "very clean with a very small dye pack." And strangers don't, in fact, put hypodermic needles with HIV in the Halloween candy bowl. They just didn't want us to jump in the blue water, color on ourselves, or be rude and grab a bunch of candy from a bowl. Go figure. I know these things now that I am a mother.

Nine dollars, 2 hours, and 22.4 holes later, Birdie made the starling discovery that when your ball drops in on 18, it is gone. She cried. At that point, it was trifecta. Fuzzy cried when I finally pulled him from water- every time I pulled him from the water-- because there was definitely at least four times. Bennie had cried because ... well, I don't really know why she cried.

Apparently, it was lunchtime.