Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Unstructured Pants (This is for you, Mis Padres.)

I have become THAT lady.

When I realized it, I hung my head in shame.

A tiny tear appeared in the corner of my eye.

I mourned my lost un-THAT-ness.

You see, a few weeks ago, it was late at night (read as "past Tucker's bedtime") when I remembered we were out of bread and meat for Drew's lunch (plus there were a couple of things I really needed at the store as well), so I decided it was late enough that I'd just throw on my Birkenstocks (Hello, 1998!) and head to the store in the clothes I had on. No biggie.

As I was pulling into the parking lot, I dialed up my bestie, Ashley.

"Hey, what are you doing?"

"Oh, just walking around WalMart."

"SHUT UP! I'm pulling in the parking lot now. Tell me where you are and I'll come find you."

It's only THEN that I fully realize the ramifications of coming to WalMart, even post 9pm, in kitty cat flannel pajama bottoms and a long sleeved t-shirt with Birkenstocks and wet hair. I might SEE someone I know. Or, more importantly, they might SEE ME!!!

Can I back-track for a moment? Some of you may not know that, though I work full-time, I work remotely. (Read as "My shower takes a backseat to everything else in the morning since I don't HAVE to before I go to work.") With a two year old and early start times at work, this usually means my showers come at the end of the day. Usually before T and the hubs get home, but some days, the time doesn't present itself until after I get the 2 year old in bed. This was one of those days.

I'll be honest though, a one-time trip to the store wearing less-than-lovely clothes and running into my bestie (who has seen me looking much worse at my house) does not a blog entry make.

But last night, I, once again, got my shower late and wasn't planning on leaving the house, so I threw on some exercise pants (read as "unstructured" - this being solely for the amusement of my parents), a tank top, a bra on which the straps kind of/sort of matched the tank top straps (and can I just interject at how irritated I am that I'm once again wearing cropped pants and a tank top in OCTOBER?!?), and left my hair wavy and wet.

Flash forward a couple of hours when, as I'm giving Tucker her antibiotics, I realize I have a prescription waiting for me at WalMart - the one I called to refill because I realized last night at bedtime that I was taking my last pill. So I throw on my tennis shoes, which always adds beauty to a pair of cropped pants; makes my legs look so long and lean. *eyes rolling*

I hopped in the car and started driving when it hit me.

I've become THAT lady.

I'm now making my second trip to WalMart in, let's call it "less than flattering" attire. I'm on my second trip with my hair wet and unfixed. I'm on my second trip wearing "unstructured" pants.

This can NOT be good.

When I was in college, I'd go to the store in absolutely anything, but when you weigh a buck 15 or a buck 20 and are in "cheerleader shape", you can wear absolutely anything and still look not half bad. This is not true with [an indisclosed amount of weight] pounds added to your frame and 10 years added to your face.

Don't mistake me. You won't soon be seeing my rear pasted on one of those "The Fashions of WalMart" emails or pages, but the thought did occur to me more than once that if someone had nominated me for "What Not to Wear", Stacey and Clinton would NAIL me for this footage.

Love & Shipoopies (and high fashion),

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

My Little Ham

Notes on this video:
*There's a mirror on the wall in which she is watching herself, hence the prissing.
*Note how she completely leaves her songs for other activities, but picks back up exactly where she left off when the interrupting activity is done.
*Normally there are precious motions with these songs, but the belt took hysterical precedence this night.

Love & Shipoopies,

Monday, October 25, 2010

Dylan Revisited

Last week, I discussed some mis-learned lyrics from my childhood. I generally compare my making up of words that sound similar to what's being sung because I can't figure out what's REALLY being sung to Bob Dylan or even Mick Jagger. "Get Off of My Cloud" is my favorite example of this. NO ONE knows the words to that song. Even my dad, who knows the words to almost everything, does the whole "I bih ni a pah mih on a ni bi ni fo my bah!" thing. (By the way, googling results say the first line, which I just sang for you there is actually "Well I live in an apartment on the 99th floor of my block," though I'm not sure even the Stones knew that's what the words were supposed to be.)

I knew, while writing last week, that there were probably close to a hundred songs for which I have some form of made-up words, but at the time, I couldn't come up with many examples of my own stupidity. This weekend, however, I was running some errands, and I kept hearing songs to which I knew my words weren't right. It was like the radio station had a playlist called "Songs for Which Leslie has Made Up Words". So I kept notes.

Ready to learn some VERY valuable facts today?

Leslie's Version:
Now review quick!
Now we're sharing the same dream!
And her heart said be there at one!
No more love on the run!


Carribean Queen,
Now we're sharing the same dream!
And our hearts, they beat as one.
No more love on the run.

*At least I got SOME of them right, I guess.*

Leslie's Version:

Blinded by the light!
Wrapped up like a douche,
another roller in the night!

Blinded by the light!
Revved up like a deuce,
another runner in the night

*I'd like to reiterate that I do UNDERSTAND that my false lyrics make NO SENSE. It's just about the sounds to me. Let's be honest. Sometimes the real lyrics don't make much more sense.*

Leslie's Version:
Gonna take alot to drag me away from you!
There's nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do!
I blessed the rains down in Africa!
Gonna take some time to do the things we never have.

It's gonna take alot to take me away from you!
There's nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do!
I bless the rains down in Africa.
Gonna take some time to do the things we never have.

*I must say I'm flummoxed over this one. I was actually right - almost exactly. I thought for sure my version was at least a little ridiculous. I guess every dog gets a bone occassionally.*

Leslie's Version:
Sheri don't like it.
Rock the cash box!
Rock the cash box!

*My mom's name is Sheri, so it's a pretty logical substitution for me for this sound.*

Sharif (shareef/sharia in other places) don't like it.
Rockin' the casbah.
Rockin' the casbah.

I guess the biggest lesson I learned today is that many of my ridiculous lyrics aren't that ridiculous. Maybe this is a hidden talent of mine. I wonder how I could cash in on it?

Sing on!

Love & Shipoopies,

Friday, October 22, 2010

Dress Up Days

As promised yesterday, today you get to see all the dress-up days. There were quite a few challenges this week (the majority of which involved hearing "No, Mommy, I DON'T wear those" about 4 minutes before trying to scoot out the door), but we still came up with some cute stuff. :) We also peed through a fresh diaper (and her clothes and a little on the couch) right before walking out the door one day. On that same day, a dead leaf on the ground near our picture-taking spot almost ruined it ALL. And then there was the day she cried from the moment I woke her up until she rode off in Drew's truck. You'll be able to pick that picture out from the lineup. Promise. :)

Country Day:
She wasn't ABOUT to pose for me, of course. But I got a shot before coat so you can see her cute little thermal shirt. In the second picture when I said, "Can you look at Mommy and smile?" I got "Nooooooo," and she turned away. ha!

Sports Day:
Poor thing can't ever just wear a cheerleader outfit. Got to mix up those two teams.
Roll Tigers Roll! (tee-hee)

Crazy Day:
They mean "Tacky Day" (which I was never any good at). This was the day we peed through our tights immediately after a diaper change.
And then, the conversation:
"Mommy, there's a LEAF down there."
"Ok. Can you look at Mommy and smile?"
"Noooo, Mommy, there's a LEAF down there. You get it, please?"

Orange & Black Day:
What a morning! (The blurry picture is the only one I got where you can kind of see her outfit.)

Halloween Costume Day:
*This is NOT her actual Halloween costume. It's not cold enough in the afternoons to send her to daycare wearing that, so maybe next Friday for the Halloween party. :)
This is a pretty cute backup costume though, no?

Love & Shipoopies,

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Things I Love Thursdays - Fall

I was inspired by my friend, Andi (or Andrea as she's called now that she's all grown-up and stuff) at Journey Again to express my love for the season that is upon us. Most of my life, I would've told you hands-down that Spring was my favorite season and it still probably squeaks into first place, but it's not the blow-out in the competition it used to be. The older I've gotten (probably joined with the fact that I am no longer a student or a teacher), the more I've come to love the fabulousness that is Fall.

Why, you might ask?

1.) As with any season change, I love the anticipation of getting to wear stuff in the closet that you haven't been able to wear for months. I love eyeing this cute sweater I bought on the clearance rack in late spring when it was too warm to be worn and thinking of all the great places I'll wear it. And those bejeweled ballet flats I found on a huge sale over the summer? I've already worn them 10+ times now that it's cool enough to need my toesies covered.

2.) Pumpkins. I love pumpkin patches. I love the cider they sell at pumpkin patches. I love carving pumpkins. I love painting pumpkins. I love my bejeweled fake pumpkin I made last Fall. I love the candy corn-painted pumpkin with Tucker's name that I made two years ago.

(I'm a little worried that I've already used "bejeweled" twice in this blog. Are you?)

3.) Dress-up days. When I was a kid, I was rarely a witch or princess or anything else normal for Halloween or for dress-up days during Homecoming at school. I was a playing card, a pencil, and a mailbox (all homemade and all pretty fabulous, if I do say so myself). And though I don't have dress-up days anymore and my 2 year old has been MUCH more difficult in the getting ready for dress-up days this year (pictures on Friday of the whole week), I still LOVE coming up with cute stuff for her little dress-up days.

4.) For the month of October, at Target, you can buy Frankenberries. You know, it's the "brother cereal" to Count Chocula and Boo Berry. I don't think I ever liked them as a kid, but a friend in college LOVED them and got me kind of hooked. You can't buy them year round. I yelp with glee as if I were an 8 year old the first time I see them each October.

5.) I LOOOOOVE that it's finally cool enough (and less moist) to be outside for more than 10 minutes without needing another shower. I love when it's beautiful enough outside to make you want to do whatever it is you're doing in a chair on the porch.

6.) Candy Corn. Enough said.

7.) I love the first day it's cold enough for me to pull out my slippers. I have this one pitiful pair. They're super-comfy and I'm on my third pair of the same slipper. They are super warm, but they tend to need washing pretty regularly and they don't wash well, so usually the bottoms start coming off shortly after the first wash. But I love them and I love needing to wear them.

8.) I love warm drinks. Mocha. Hot chocolate. Cappuccino. Latte. Earl Grey. And my two most recent favorites - Eggnog Latte and Toffee Mocha from Starbucks. Yum! Warms up my extremities when socks and gloves won't do.

9.) Years ago in PT time (that's pre-Tucker), Munner (my grandmother) gave us this Crimson-colored blanket. It's some magical mixture of silkiness and thickness with just the perfect weight. (For me, the right blanket or sweatsuit is finding the right balance between softness and weight.) It's so luxurious and cozy. I LOVE pulling it off the back of the couch and wrappign myself in it.

10.) Alabama football. I was raised a Bama fan. I'm sure I got into fights about how much COOLER Bama was than Auburn from a very young age (though I'm not a taunter anymore when it comes to football). But then I WENT there. I lived it for four years. I grew up there; came into my own there; learned to be less needy there; learned at least some amount of self-discipline there. It's part of me now. I love the school. I love the city. I love the campus. And I LOVE watching the football games. It makes that amazing and crazy time of my life come washing over me. Roll Tide!

What are YOUR favorite things about Fall?

Love & Shipoopies,

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Dear Old Friend

I don't consider myself "an old fuddy-duddy" very often. I'm generally a girl who likes to mix things up. I usually rather enjoy change. I like to try new things (as long as they don't involved staying up too late 'cause I have a 2 year old) and branch out. I like meeting new people and going to different places. I certainly wouldn't use "mover and shaker" to describe myself, but neither would I use "stick in the mud".

But sometimes, my stick gets stuck in the mud something awful! Occassionally I run into something that I love so dearly, I can not bear to replace it or get rid of it. Case in point - these.

When these first became popular, I called them "frat boy shoes" because, for the most part, that's who wore them. I was more a fan of white tennis shoes (kind of still am), so these gray ones seemed very strange to me. These crazy-looking New Balance shoes were worn by the same people who wore "John Boy Shoes" (named by me endearingly after "The Waltons"). You know, the tan suede anke-booties that tie in front with just the one-holed lace?
Yep, frat-boy shoes.
But then, I tried them on one day (in a moment of total peer-pressure relenquishment) and they were pretty fabulous. They fit well, gave good support, didn't squeeze my high arches. I loved them. I still do. I think, though I'm not totally sure, that these are my second or third pair of the shoes.
I've tried other tennis shoe brands and styles. Many times over. I have probably 4 pairs of virtually unworn shoes in my closet from attempting to love some other shoe to no avail. I would wear the new shoes a couple of times and they were just never as comfortable as my good-ol', broken-in frat-boy shoes, so I'd revert. For years (as is evidenced by the sad shape these shoes are in).
And alas, when I went to try and replace them recently because I KNEW I needed something that wasn't 20 years old (maybe an exaggeration, but you get it) to support my feet while actually exercising, I asked the lady (read: 17 year old) at the store if they had the old New Balance, gray, frat-boy tennis shoes.
Not only did they not HAVE them, she had no idea what I was even talking about.
It was a sad, sad day in my life, but I bucked-up and picked a lovely pair of tennies that are quite comfy and supportive for my workouts. However, I decided I'd keep my old pals, the gray shoes, for "walking around" shoes. You know, for when I'm not actually exercising, but want to wear tennis shoes as part of an outfit.
And I did for a while.
Then this Saturday happened. I wore them to an all-day craft fair at which I was a vendor. (More on that later). They felt kind of funny when I put them on - like they were so stretched out and the cushy part was so squished down that they barely even touched half of my feet. By the end of the day, my feet were SO SORE! My old pals had let me down (or at least my arches).
Apparently, my new "back-up plan/only-when-I'm-exercising" tennis shoes were so good to me that they overshadowed the love I had for my frat boy shoes.
I've decided I must say goodbye to them completely, not just for working out.
It's a sad, sad day.
Hey, maybe I'll go buy me some "John Boy shoes"!!!
Love & Shipoopies,

Monday, October 18, 2010

Excuse me while I kiss this guy!!!

I have ALWAYS been a lyrics person. Seriously. Ride in the car with me. I sing along with EVERYTHING!!! Most of the time, by the time it gets to the end of a new song, I've heard enough to be singing along.

I'm pretty sure this "talent" (that's what we'll call it for now, though I'll appreciate it more if one day it lands me a cashload on something like "Don't Forget the Lyrics") comes from my dad. He, like me, forgets many important things about daily life (like my name, for instance), but he can tell you some of the most obscure facts and lyrics from eons ago.

We always bonded over music and we still share the ridiculous passion for quoting stupid stuff to each other (lyrics, quotes from television - mostly Friends, etc.). He'll tell you that the most vivid memories of my lyric-knowledge always happened about 10 seconds before the curtain opened on me singing something live when I would look at him wide-eyed and say, "What's the first line? I can't remember it. If you can tell me how it starts, I know I'll know the rest!" (It happened more than once, for sure.)

However, the older I get and the more I listen to music, the more I learn that many of the lyrics I learned as a child while listening to the radio, were... well, just flat-out wrong!

We all know some of the standard wrong lyrics that EVERYONE sings.

"'Scuse me while I kiss this guy!"

"There's a bathroom on the right."

My favorite one that I learned all kinds of wrong (because I was too young to understand the concept being discussed, thus could not make sense of any words here) is "The Way You Make Me Feel" by Michael Jackson. I ALWAYS thought (seriously, until I was probably in my 20s) thought he was saying, "Wait a minute, Ms. Beal! You really turn me on!" The most ridiculous part of that one is that I sang it incorrect for so long that when it comes on the radio, I still catch myself serenading the ever-mysterious Ms. Beal sometimes.

A friend from high school spent many of his middle school years being TERRIFIED of kissing a girl because of the song "I... I just died in your arms tonight! It must've been some kind of kiss..." He always thought that meant that a good enough kiss could TRULY kill you.

And then, of course, there are the Dylan-esque lyrics that we all sing from time to time. You know the ones. It's a song where no matter how much you listen, you can't make hyde nor hair of any of it, but you FEEL the song, so you just sing syllables that sound kind of like the syllables in the song? Hey, Bob Dylan did it to his OWN songs. Why can't we do it too?

"Well, I bi da bi blah, bi da bi doop wa me out! Hey, YOU, get off of my cloud!"

But here's the conclusion to which I've come. (You like that amazing, though not culturally-acceptable grammatical correctness there? That's what an English degree will do for you.)

Know the lyrics? GREAT!
Don't know the lyrics? Who cares?!?

If singing makes you happy, DO IT!!! If you have to go all Bob Dylan, no one REALLY cares. I mean, he made MILLIONS not singing the lyrics, right?!?

So tell me. I promise I won't laugh (to your face anyway). What lyrics did YOU always hear incorrectly?

Love & Shipoopies,

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A Nutjob, An Exposure, Some Cops, and a Goose-egg

There are moments in my life when I think it's quite amazing that no sitcom writers have begun following me around for material. Not because I'm THAT funny. I'm not. I mean, I have my moments, but I'm not.

No, it's not my sense of humor or biting wit that makes me wonder how my life hasn't made it to TV yet. It's not my astounding beauty or winning way with words either.

It's the fact that I'm, well... ridiculous.

I am that person that at least once a week says, "You can't WRITE this stuff!" about something that has happened to me.

These instances date back for years and years. I'm sure I could think of some from childhood if I worked hard enough, but let's just go to college.

There's the day I was walking down the main thoroughfair on campus only to have the guy walking in front of me turn around, grab me by the shoulders and begin shouting, "STOP FOLLOWING ME!!!!!"

Then there's the fact that one of my stories from college involves a character I now lovingly *ahem* refer to as "P-guy" (think male genitalia). Yep, asked directions, exposed himself, then stalked me for months. (Cops asked me if I noticed what color his eyes were. Umm, NOT the most prominent feature at the moment.)

There's the time I had the cops come to my house because I (and my roommate) kept hearing someone humming the tune to "Nah-Nah-ni-Boo-boo" repeatedly in my house. (New screensaver that had a little girl doing this, which I obviously did NOT know.)

See? You can't WRITE this stuff!!!

Recently at a scrapbooking retreat, it was past midnight when our whole cabin decided it was time for bed. In the pouring rain and dark with no outdoor lights, we, as a group, walked to our cabin, got the stuff we needed to get ready for bed, and, as a group, walked to the bathrooms (in another cabin), brushed our teeth, etc. Then, while returning to the sleeping cabin en masse, Crazy Aunt slipped, slung her arm out to catch herself, promptly whacking me upside my head... or more accurately, in the face, knocking my glasses THROUGH my eyebrow (ok, maybe it just felt that way). We laughed. I cried a little. I tried to put my glasses back on, but noticed one of the lenses seemed out of focus. I figured they must have gotten bent a bit, so I held them in my hand as we walked the rest of the journey to our cabin, cackling loudly the entire trip. (Please remember it's pouring rain.) Once we got in the cabin, I took stock of my glasses, hoping to straighten them out and discovered they weren't out of focus because they were bent. They were out of focus because one of the lenses was knocked out during the thwacking. Crazy Aunt and I had to treck back out in the dark with a teensie flashlight and rain soaking us to look for my lense on the ground, in the woods, with no light and rain (which made every surface shine, thus killing our ability to find the lense that way).


And then there's yesterday.

I was sitting on the couch watching TV (and doing a little sewing) when my TV short of... exploded. It made this crazy sound, like when an 18-wheeler is put in park and the big brakes are put on? You know. Pssssshhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Then smoke came rising from behind the screen. The screen went black (though I could still hear Deputy Chief Brenda Lee Johnson's horrible rendition of a Southern accent). My first thought is "Is the screen going to bust and come flying out at me in shards?" My second thought is "Is the TV actually on FIRE and thus going to set my giant, wooden armoir on fire?" My third thought is "I MUST call someone and tell them what just happened."

So I called my Dad (aka Diddy). Now, it's not because he's a fire-safety expert or a wiz at electronics. I called him because a.) he's retired and, thus, available; b.) I wanted someone on the phone in case my house caught fire or my TV tried to attack me in some way; and c.) he knows just how ridiculous I am.

The conversation went something like this:

Diddy: WHAT?!?

Me: Yeah, it just sort of popped then went "Pssssshhhhhhhh" and smoke came billowing out.

Diddy: Well, the first thing I'd do is unplug it from the wall and from your DVR.

Me: (Thinking, Oh yeah, that's a REALLY good idea)

"Of COURSE I already thought of doing that.

(See why I called someone? I'm ridiculous.)

"I can't get the danged thing to turn off. There's only 3 things plugged in back here. I've unplugged them all and the red light is still on."

Diddy: "How can the power still be on if it's unplugged?" (Most likely thinking, "dumb-a".)

Me: "I KNOW. That's why I mentioned it. There's obviously a plug back here I'm missing."

(Pause while I dig around. There MAY have been a little football talk while he waited on me.)

Me: "OH, SH*T!!!!! OUCH!!!"

Diddy: (probaby a little panicky - thinking with it being me, it's totally possible the entire armoir has fallen over on me or the TV has wrapped itself around my neck, threatening to choke me)

"What happened? Are you ok?"

Me: "I hit my head. I need a minute."

Yes, in the process of trying to unplug my semi-exploded television, I managed to thwack my head so hard into the corner of a cabinet (focusing on the plugs I was aiming at, not what was between here and there) that by the time all was said and done, I had a scab inside a divot inside a knot on my forehead.

You can just imagine the conversation a few minutes later when I called the hubs in class and said (while still a little in tears), "Ummm, the TV sort of exploded and in my haste to get it unplugged, I may have given myself a teensie concussion."

Seriously, people. You can't write this stuff. HOW is there no one following me around and turning this ridiculousness into something to entertain the masses? Where's my contract for letting my insanity be exploited?

Love & Shipoopies,


Thursday, October 07, 2010


I remember a time, probably before kids, but perhaps even for a short while after Tucker was born, that I thought the one time I would be super glad to drop her off at daycare, would be the days where she was being Mrs. Cranky Pants - crying at the drop of a hat, can't be pleased, the wind changing directions is traumatic. I mean, who would rather deal with a day full of that than drop that attitude off with someone else and pick it back up right before dinner?!?

But here's the thing I now know. With my child, at least (and this may not be true for all of your children), when she's behaving like that, it's not a stubborn thing or a spoiled thing. Her weepy, emotional, traumatic days are never about her getting her way or being bossy or trying to have control. When she has a weepy day, I can always tell it's because there's something just not right. Either she's not feeling well or is scared of something or just truly needs Mommy or Daddy. (Let's be honest, we've all had days where you just need Mama or Daddy, right?)

Don't get me wrong. She's 2. We definitely have moments where a fit is about control or stubborness or getting her way. They're getting more frequent as we get further into 2.

But a day where she's clingy and weepy -- that's not what that's about. It's about needing something more than usual. It's what Holly Golightly would have dubbed "the mean reds" - when you just feel off and desperately hope to find something that can make you feel better.

And though I used to think on a day like this, I would rejoice in the ability to drop my crazy-hysterical child off at daycare, I now want to cry when I have to do it. I'd really rather take the day off and spend it on the couch hugging her and finding things that make her smile and laugh.

Hmmph. Surprising.

Love & Shipoopies,