Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Dog

Anyone who knows us gets that we are animal people. We love the yard dogs (see older posts). We love romping with them, playing with them, loving on them--the whole works. In fact, we have a new round of them sleeping in the driveway at this very moment--Leroy, Big Fella, and Sassy.

The beauty of these dogs is that none of them belongs to us, they just come over to sleep, eat, and have play dates. The rest of the time they belong to our many neighbors. It's like having dogs with none of the responsibility of having dogs. The Husband thinks this is a brilliant deal.

I, on the other hand, have always wanted an indoor dog that we actually own ourselves and claim as a family member. So, The Husband finally 'caved' and set forth a list of complicated criteria, that appeared at first glance to be the unattainable dog. (And if you think that's true, you have obviously never met moi.)

Small--under 10 lbs. Non-shedding. Potty trained (or easily potty trained). Cheap or free.

Introducing Mellie (as in Gone With the Wind). She's a shia-poo: a toy poodle/shiatsu mix (this means "mutt" if you're from the country and "designer dog" if you're from the city). Non-shedding, smart as a whip, good mannered, working on her potty training (this means that she hits that pad like a pro 80% of the time and 20% of the time her head is on it with her butt hanging off the back--hey, I didn't ask my toddlers for that sort of accuracy). And I'm in love! So is the rest of the house. Even The Husband. :-)

Monday, October 19, 2009


Our Grand Adventure to Tennessee...

I wish that I had some thrilling reason for not blogging on a regular, but I think it boils down to this one thing: being at home as a full-time mom is DEMANDING! I was laid off from my job in June and one thing led to another (or yada-yada-yada) and now I can't find time to do anything at all. I'd like to just accomplish one blasted thing and have it done, but no, I keep wandering around starting a bunch of stuff that never comes to fruition. What is up with that?

I think my time has actually dissipated since coming to the house. It's like some sort of weird time warp where you have six hours of home time with kiddies at school and it vaporizes right in front of your face while you keep doing the same activities over and over and over. Lunches, dishes, clothing, mop floors, put away groceries, cook dinner, do homework, go through backpacks. It's like I'm living in that movie Groundhog Day. Same stuff; different day.

On a brighter note, we traveled to Chattanooga and had a big time of it. My plan is to post some photos of our trip (but you know how that will actually work out, don't you? I'll write it in my calendar as a to-do entry, but will never find time to do it. The people at Franklin-Covey are as I type this tearing my face off of their advertisement as Poster Girl for Getting It Done.) (Sigh.)

So, the recap:

June: Disney World. Laid off from work. (Big Month)

July: Swam. Gained four pounds. Summer camp.

August: Became addicted to Facebook. Swam. School started. Began walking again three times a week. (Thought I was going to have a heart attack that first week.) Had to work three full days on the computer updating the church website because it had gotten so far behind. I used to do it before/after/at lunch when I worked. Now, no work, no time. (The Vortex again; it's weird that way.)

September: Started as a part time lunch lady at the kid's school. (Questioned all of my life choices up until this point that caused me to become a part time lunch lady at my kid's school.) Went on a retreat to Georgia with The Husband. Probably gained another five pounds. Kept walking.

October: Loaded up for fall break and went to Mississippi and Chattanooga. (Remembered why we stopped traveling with the kids.) Camp WorldSong overnight adventure. Fall Festival. Journaled multiple entries with the thematic question--how in the world did I get ANYTHING DONE when I worked full time?????

Which brings us up to speed. For now.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Lily Mermaid

Lily playing mermaid in the tub. Just thought it was funny. I fill the tub up and she floats there awhile until she sits up and says, "I'm done swimming!"

Monday, July 20, 2009

Fools of the World and the Flying Ship

This is my precious son, Carter, in the play "The Fools of the World and the Flying Ship". I'm so proud of my boy! Theater camp in the morning; football practice in the afternoon. Nothing like a well-rounded man child. :-) (He's on the front row in the white socks. Spiffy.)

Link to the article:

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Starshine Faces

We took the kids to the library for a Starshine Faces event. Fun, fun! Carter was even part of the show, taking on the role of Tim the Tiger to have his face painted professionally as part of the program. How cool is this?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Books Gone Wild

The library is about to have a significant Sister Sunshine Charlotte Moment on its hands.

We were checking out books at our local library (the bigger one) and hanging out in the children's section, when my 5-year-old handed me a comic book and said, "This is nasty, Mommy. Very nasty." I took it from her, and this is what I gazed down upon.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Graphic Novel. Like a fancy comic book. With pictures and text.

Naturally, I flipped through it. (You would have too.) I'd give anything to get that 20 seconds of my life and hit rewind. Nasty isn't the half of it.

I want to be crystal clear about this so that I am not misquoted. I am absolutely and completely in favor of the library carrying this smut. It's free speech in action. We should not be in the business of banning materials, books, videos, etc., based on any set of subjective criteria. It's dangerous and leads no where good, because if They can ban one thing They will ban Your Thing eventually. Adults should be able to make informed decisions about what we view and read without being prevented by the Government or Religion.


We need ratings like "R" that (at least attempt to) prohibit 12-year-olds from going to see certain material/movies/etc. without parental consent. It's just a good idea and helps us make better decisions. You can't drive or drink or vote until a certain age; guidelines aren't the enemy. They are a tool, a help.

So, before anyone gets in a twist, I am all for you being able to check out a graphic novel where half-naked women are sawed up and cut up and hacked to death by a homicidal maniac. Knock yourself out. (And stay away from my house.)

When I picked up the comic book and hauled up to two library workers, I wanted to know how and why it is being stored at eye level where my preschool child had instant access to it.

Why? Because it's in the Young Adult Section. And the Young Adult Section in the library is right next to the Children's Section. (On top of it, in fact.)

I asked what qualifies as "Young Adult". The Librarian told me 16-24 year old people are "Young Adult Readers".

No, Sister, not exactly. You might recall that stink when The Golden Compass came out? Well, I distinctly remember that the qualification "Young Adult" can refer to anyone TEN YEARS OLD AND UP.

WIKI says:
The distinctions between children's literature, YA literature, and adult literature have historically been flexible and loosely defined. This line is often policed by adults who feel strongly about the border. [5] At the lower end of the YA age spectrum, fiction targeted to readers age 10 to 12 is referred to as middle grade fiction. Some novels originally marketed to adults have been identified as being of interest and value to adolescents and, in the case of several books such as the Harry Potter novels, vice versa.

So, my next series of inquiries involved asking pointed questions about restrictions on checking out this sort of book to minors, you know, since every single filthy word that has ever been thought of appears at least once per page. And I'm talking the choice, four-dollar words. The ones that are reserved for Very Special Occasions like you wind up on an episode of Cheaters or you come home and find out your wife has left with your best friend. Stuff like that. The page I flipped open to? F-bombs to the left and right. Lovely.

No, the librarian informed me, there are absolutely no restrictions for checking out any book in the library. I mentioned that children can't rent R movies, so there are some restrictions in the library.

(This is where it gets rich.)

Librarian: "No, there are no restrictions on checking out print materials. We rely on the parents to police their own children and their reading materials."

Me: "Well, what about the self-check-out station? Anyone can take his/her library card and books and simply check them out without a librarian's help."

Librarian: "Again, we rely on parents to handle this."

Pause. (Because I know that isn't the answer she meant to give me. Surely.)

Me: "You just had 20+ children in this building with the Boys and Girls Club of America. No parents at all--two childcare workers who were browsing around for themselves. Not a single parent in the building with that group. And yet I watched every one of those kids use the self check out. So, you're telling me that every one of those children can check out anything in this library, and that The Texas Chainsaw Massacre can go home with any of them?"

Librarian: "Yes. Again, we are counting on the parental supervision to take effect."

Me: "But they can check out without having a parent sign or present the family library card or whatever, so you're counting on their 'figurative' and not-present parents to supervise them?"

Librarian: "Yes."

Okay then.

Me: "Who is in charge here? I mean, specifically, who do I address a letter to?"

Librarian: "Me. I'm in charge of the Children's Section."

Of course you are.

And now, when boys come to call on my daughters, in order to leave the house, they are going to have to bring a list of every single book they've checked out from the library. Ever.

A lot of Somebodies are getting "A Letter" today.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Fruit of my Loins.

So, during my unemployment phase, I've learned a lot about my children. Who knew that spending all of this time with them would be so educational?

About Elise:
We're at the pool. She's paused on the edge, ready to jump in. And that's when the singing began.

My name, Elise, yeah
Get out my face, yeah
Cause when I shake it, yeah
It's like an earthquake

(Cue leap into pool while shaking your money maker.)

The other night she printed and filled out an application to be on Project Runway. I mentioned that she might want to take some sewing classes this year to get ready and she rolled her eyes, hands on hips, "What does sewing have to do with fashion?" As if.

She's a lovely child. I'm so proud.

About Elaina:

We were at the tiny, little, itty-bitty library in Jemison. It's basically one big room. Seriously--one room. Like the size of my living room. And the librarian is something out of a film. Like she's participating in a documentary about small-town librarians. She looked and spoke and walked and slipped around exactly like you think she did. Down to the sensible brown loafers and white fleece-lined, button-up jacket.

She followed the kids as they browsed around the room. She was clearly in some discomfort. It's understandable. I'm pretty sure they haven't had six people in there at one time like that. (And the Shorties were being EXCELLENT, if I do say it myself. Whispering, skulking, putting markers in their place on the shelves. They were rocking it Johnson style.)

So, the fifth time this bird woman, who was wringing her hands and hovering over Elaina, asked the baby if she could help 'narrow her search down', Elaina turned to her and said in this I'm-talking-to-a-difficult-patient-in-the-sanitarium tone, "I'm pretty sure that I'm going to like everything in here, but I like to touch them and see how they smell before I decide, so I've got it from here."

That's my girl.


About Carter:

He's finally learned the fine art of sarcasm. Turned to me just now after I told him no, he can't build a fort out of the living room pillows again and said to me, "I guess I'll just die in this house without ever having one thing of my own. That's fine, that's fine. I like never getting my way. It's too much pressure."

And another time, another place...
We're riding up the road and The Husband is wailing along with the Bluegrass channel on the XM. I mean he's getting with it, singing through his nose, whining, carrying on something awful. It sounds like an animal is dying in the front seat.

Carter yells over the 'singing', "Dad! Dad!"

Instead of turning the radio town, The Husband yells back, "What? I'm singing here!"

Carter: "What is that?"

The Husband: "Bluegrass music."

Carter: "And what are you doing?"

The Husband: "I'm singing with it. It's good."

Carter, completely deadpan: "Well, could you please stop it?"


About Lily:

She never stops eating. Ever. And she eats anything. oak-ma, ah-nah-nuhs, eep-nuts, torn chips. (Let's see if you have your degree in Mom Speak.)

She turned to the librarian today (same library, same librarian), put her stuffed toy lion on the counter next to a stuffed dalmatian that "lives" at the library and said, "Can we make a twade? I weally want dis dog. And dis tig-wah doesn't bite not one time. I will leabe it and you can see. It's a good twade. Okay? Okay."

(Cue small child nodding and backing away slowly from the desk, clutching the dog in a death grip, warily eying the librarian.)

I shrugged at the librarian who was looking at me (probably for some sort of help, but anyone that annoying is on her own) and I said, "Looks like a good deal to me."

The librarian conceded defeat after 10 minutes of verbal wrangling and trying to talk Lily into a do over, and of course, we came home with the dalmatian.

See what I've learned? They've all turned out exactly like me. Lord have mercy.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Salvation=No Shots

It came time for the Shorties to have booster shots. The Little Flower had her five-yr-old check up and came out exactly as we expected--just perfect. Amazing!

Well, Carter wasn't too cheesed up about having shots, necessary or not. He calmly informed us that he wasn't having anything to do with it. No sir, no way. I tried to use reason (I'm still an idiot that way) and told him that without vaccinations, you can become very ill and even die from different diseases.

He shrugged, "Ah, that's okay. I'm saved. I know where I'm going."

Okay then. Argue your way out of that paper sack.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Snazzy Pants

Here’s the big Sister Sunshine Charlotte Moment on the trip. (You knew there had to be one.)

We were at the Crystal Palace (the Pooh Bear photos), and we were eating these things called "Pooh’s French Toast". They looked like tree bark or something, but were SOOOO good. Fried dough with cinnamon sugar on them. Really spiffy. So, the four adults are eating them like it’s some sort of contest, and I made this funny, off-hand comment, "How many of these things can you eat before it becomes obscene?" Everyone laughed and kept right on eating.

So, a few minutes later, Pooh Bear comes around to the table, and I get up to hand him the autograph books and to take pictures of the kids, and suddenly I notice that it’s a little breezy around my rear end. I feel around there with my one free hand and sure enough, my Capri pants have torn in the rear, and I don’t mean like a little seam issue or something like that. They were this Florida sort of linen material. I hadn’t worn them since last summer, and the pants were a couple of years old. We were sweaty and hot and rained on, and the linen got so wet that it simply disintegrated. Dry rot. The entire back of the pants was just gone. It just separated and fell apart. Like Spanish Moss clinging to my bottom.

No one else had noticed this, so I quietly sat back down and turned to the table and said, "The answer is two." Everyone looked at me like what-is-she-talking-about, and I said, "It’s two Pooh French toasts until it’s obscene. I know this factually because the back of my drawers are slap gone."

After everyone quit laughing, I made the idiot move of the century and sent Steve and Shelley to get me some pants at one of the zillion gift shops on the main drag in the Magic Kingdom. Within 100 yards of the dining room are maybe 25 places to buy stuff. I told the Dynamic Duo to buy XXL, so that we know they will absolutely fit. I probably could have squeezed myself into anything in a large size, but sizes can be tricky, so I’ll tie them up, pin them, let them sag, whatever, but I don’t want you bringing back pants that don’t fit and have to go back to the store not only with torn britches, but also humiliated because now it’s confirmed--I’m a cow. Sweats. Shorts, Cargo pants, Capri’s whatever. Doesn’t matter. Bring pants.

I’m stuck in the chair and don’t have a clue how to get to the bathroom without flashing the entire restaurant. Michael (who stayed with me to watch the kids and out of sick amusement) has the idea that I can tie a rain poncho (clear—-of course) around my waist and get to the bathroom that way. So, I sort of scoot up and slide the poncho underneath me and wad it up like I’m making a homemade toga. Project Runway right there in the restaurant. In the middle of this interesting maneuver, my cell phone rings and it’s Steve wanting to know what color shirt I’m wearing. I’m like, who gives a crap? I’m naked in a restaurant. BRING ME SOME DRAWERS! I get the poncho around me and Michael walks behind me to the bathroom to run interference and provide one more block, because the pants are now gone. How gone, you ask? One leg is hanging off and everyone in the restaurant could have a marriage vow sort of moment with me.

So, we waddle up the aisle, and I make it to the toilet. I’m in the bathroom stall for about 10 minutes when the phone rings and it’s Shelley. The store they are in doesn’t have XXL pants. I’m like what? WHAT? Are you kidding me? Look out the window, Shelley! There are a thousand fat a$$es in the park. No way do they not have some dadgum 2XL pants! I hang up in a tizz. (Why she still loves me and puts up with me is a mystery unknown.)

Steve calls back 5 minutes later and tells me that the clerk has gone to the back to find the right size. They’ve found ONE pair of pink pants, but they are long and should they cut them off with scissors or just bring them to me?

I can’t type the words that I said then. To summarize, I’m pretty sure that if you edited it for TV it would be something like "please bring the pants to me right now." (25 minutes in the toilet with no pants on will do that to a girl.)

So, Shelley comes into the bathroom and hands over a plastic bag containing the britches. She very kindly adds that if they didn’t work we could go back and exchange them. No, no, just let me get them on. Evidently, they went shopping in a PETITE shop where everything was Size 4, Size 6 (think supermodels and head cheerleaders). I haven’t been a Size 4 ever in the History of Me. I don’t know any women who are Size 4’s. No wonder the sales lady in the petite store couldn’t find an XXL. She’d probably never seen one before.

Anything I write will not do these pants justice. You’ll have to see the photos. Because the moment that I appeared out of the bathroom stall the entire trip became about taking pictures of my rear end in my "Snazzy Pants" as Steve began to call them (much, much later in the day. I’m not married to an idiot, you know).

The pants, my God, the pants. Sweat pant material. Bright pink. Had this sparkling thread throughout the fabric that glowed in every ride like I was a human disco ball. Elvis bling on the shins. I’m talking from the knee down to the hem was covered in thick, silver Hispanic hot rod detailing with bedazzler business and glitter all over it. Rhinestones on the pockets. Lots and lots of rhinestones on the pockets. And as if that weren’t enough, in huge silver script letters across the backside accented with rhinestones and pink jewels? The word “Princess”.

Naturally. Because if you’re a woman who needs to wear XXL pants, you want to draw attention to the size of your inordinately HUGE derriere.

And I was once again right. I assure you that the color of my shirt didn’t mean jack with the word Princess written in silver across my butt like a big billboard. I felt like those ugly girls with personalized tags that say "Cutie Pie". I’m sure all over Disney World there were mutters and giggles of "Princess? Is she kidding with that or what?"

I did roll the pants legs up to the knee to eliminate that part of the deal. Small victory with my pants sparkling and reflecting all over the place in the middle of Peter Pan’s Flight. Oh, Charlotte, surely they weren’t THAT sparkly! At one point on a ride, I turned to Shelley and said, "Hey look; I’m Edward," and she laughed so hard she snorted Coca-Cola out of her nose. (Read the book.)

Snazzy Pants. He’s lucky I didn’t kill him on the spot. I just busted out laughing, because what else is there to do, really? It beat the fire out of being naked. That or touring with a clear poncho draped artfully over my hooch.

It’s fun being me.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Blurry Around the Edges

Okay, so my very full life has been reeling out of control for awhile now. Just too much of this and that and the other. I'm going to make some effort to get myself back into the blogosphere and get caught up. Have soooo many things to post here! Piano recitals, birthday parties, Disney trip...I'm going to get with it this weekend (thank God for the laptop where I can recline in the bed like a total bum while typing, eh?).

I've been a reading maniac too. That'll cut into your free time. Enjoyable, but like going into a vacuum where dishes don't get done and laundry doesn't get moved around. :-) Ahhh...domestic bliss. (Go figure I can't get my head out of a novel.) This working full time, kids, husband, church, sports, etc., is kicking my rear. I guess I'm getting old. Ugh.

So, if you're missing new updates, never fear, Super Charlotte is getting it back in gear.

Onward and upward...

Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Mississippi Queen

Yes, I know she's sideways, but I inadvertantly filmed her that way and don't have the softwear to spin her around. It's still funny sideways.

Mississippi is Coming!

Today has been a quiet, rainy day around here. We are anticipating a visit from the Mississippi cousins for the weekend. They are arriving tonight late, late, late (or early, early, early depending on your time zone) and staying through Tuesday. I think we are doing church together tomorrow. Monday, The Husband is hauling them to McWane (if you are in the B'ham area, you should definitely go there just to see this amazing thing we have access to).

Last year my kids went to stay with the Mississippi Cousins for the week, while The Husband and I were at the SBC, (this is where they learned the Apple Bottom Jeans Song aka Lo). While there, Lily thought that Sandra's actual name was in fact "Mississippi". When we announced late this week that Sandra and James and their two not-so-small-anymore children were coming for a visit, she jumped up and down and yelled, "Yea! Mississippi is coming! Mississippi is coming!"

As much as I love all of the good people in the state of Mississippi, I sincerely hope that only James, Sandra, Jimmy, and Emily show up in the driveway at 1:00 a.m. and not the entirety of Mississippi. I'm not sure I can host that many at one time (but I'd give it the ole college try).

And if that's not enough company for you, the in-laws are coming on Sunday to see the relatives, so, I'm cooking for a small army tomorrow. Culinary Goddess that I am, that'll be fun. Let's pray now that I don't poison anyone.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Wii Wii Wii All the Way Home

Another Wii tale...

Lily has decide to populate the Wii World with Lillians. There's 'Regular Lily' who vaguely resembles the 'Actual Lily' with dirty blond hair and blue eyes. Then there's 'Brown Lily' or 'What Lily Would Look Like as an African American'. And there's 'Big Lily' where she's made herself the tallest and fattest Wii player on the board. Let's not forget 'Asian Lily' wearing large sunglasses. And not to be outdone, there's 'Gay Man Lily' featuring Lily as a dude complete with lipstick and a beard, wearing a pink shirt. In fact, making Lillies is by far her favorite game on the Wii.

And her latest trick, if you peeve her off, she deletes you on the Wii.

That's my girl.

Well, We All Just Wanna be Big Rockstars

So, we have the Wii Rockband hook up and the kids have been rocking out to all of these fabulous Big 80’s Hair Band Songs. It’s like a surreal rock concert in my living room that occurs every night where I watch the Shorties murder some of my favorite songs.

A microphone, drum kit, and guitar came with the kit--if you're doing the math, that's one baby short of instruments. Now, the older three obviously want those toys, so they’ve convinced the baby that singing into a plastic ear of corn is exactly the same thing as using the microphone. So, Lily has developed a traveling rock star persona that she carries anywhere the plastic corn goes.

She flings that singing arm up high in the air and rocks back and forth in a dead on Axel Rose impersonation singing Mississippi Queen at the top of her little lungs. It’s something to see alrighty. You just haven’t lived until you see the Shortie Band throw down to Should I Stay or Should I Go? By the Clash. And you start evaluating some of those lyrics coming out of your 5-yr-old's mouth too.

Mississippi know what I mean.


Sunday, March 1, 2009

Happy Birthday

So, it's snowed in Alabama about three times in my entire lifetime and now it's snowed twice in two years. Must be all of that global warming they keep talking about. :-) And it's memorable because today is my birthday! Yea for me!

The Husband has been harassing me for several weeks about what to get me for the big occasion of turning 39, and all I could come up with was, "How about a day in bed?" He was REALLY enthusiastic about that suggestion until he realized that meant that I wanted him to take the kids away so that I could spend the day sleeping, reading, watching movies on Lifetime, and eating chocolate. I'm not sure that's what he had in mind exactly. :-)

We are tearing it up this morning in the yard with our favorite Bonus Child in tow. (Hannah--hint, she's the blond one). We went to sleep shrugging our shoulders and rolling our eyes when the weather dude said that it was going to be 3-5 inches and then woke up to a white, white world. (Incidentally, why do the weathermen south of Tennessee act like aliens have landed 30 miles east of Atlanta or something. Craziness.

Of course, we geared up in our Alabama Snow Clothes. This means that we had on pajamas under sweats, two pairs of socks, hats, and socks for gloves. (Hey now, those socks dry up quickly in the dryer.) The kids were cold and wet and tired after about 30 minutes, and in we came for hot chocolate and breakfast. Now, they are back at it, running around the house like a bunch of lunatics. (That part isn't unusual--that's a regular day around here.)