Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Dear Mother Nature,

Please send us some rain.  Pretty, pretty please?  And while you're at it, can you lower the temperatures by about ten degrees?  We are baking to death and going broke paying our electric and water bills.

Drinking Gatorade by the Gallon,
A Summer-Weary Texan

Dear My Poor Lawn,

I have failed you miserably.  You are half dead and scraggly and you look just downright pitiful.  I apologize for not being able to keep you as lush and green as you're used to.  I have faith in you, though, and I know once we get some good rain, you'll be back to your healthy self.  Hang in there.

Apologizing Profusely,
Your Brown-Thumbed Caretaker

Dear Tenant,

Good for you that you grew up in a place without roaches.  However, you live in Houston now and Houston has roaches.  Big roaches.  The drought is making them come into the house to look for water.  The exterminator's been out.  Twice.  Ryan has sprayed both the inside and outside of the house.  I've offered to make some bug bombs for you and I almost took a picture of a huge roach I saw crawling around our back porch to prove to you that they are everywhere.  I'm sorry it grosses you out, but you're just going to have to deal with it until this drought breaks.

A Fellow Roach Hater,
Your Co-Landlord

Dear Swim Lesson Mom,

I know you have three young boys, but do you have to be so loud all the time, especially in a concreted room that echoes so badly?  Even my boisterous and loud four year old thinks you're a bit over the top in the decibel department.

With Ears Covered,
The Mom Sitting Next to You

Dear Crotchety Old Minister,

If you chastise the congregation one more time for applauding after the choir's special music instead of saying, "Amen", I am going to stomp up to the altar and yell "AMEN" as loud as I can into your hearing aid.

It's Time to Retire,
A Fed-up Congregant

Dear P@t R0berts0n,

Haiti deserves a devastating earthquake for making a deal with the devil and the east coast gets an earthquake and then a hurricane because God is mad at them for being too liberal?  So you can read God's mind, can you?  Wow.  Arrogant, much?

Someone With Compassion

Monday, August 29, 2011


Sydney started 3rd grade last week (how am I old enough to have a 3rd grader?) and since, at least here in Texas, 3rd grade is deemed the "Year of Homework" due to stupid standardized testing, she's already had a few assignments.

One of her first assignments was to learn some vocabulary words.  Because I'm type A a former teacher, I have this thing about making her go a step further than her teacher expects.  All the teacher wanted her to do was study the definitions; I made her come up with sentences using the words to show me that she understood them.

One of her vocabulary words was versatile.  My example sentence for her was, "Tortillas are versatile; they can be used for fajitas, enchiladas, tacos and sandwich wraps."  (Don't make fun of me.  We live a few hours' drive from Mexico; we eat a lot of tortillas around here.)

Sydney's sentence was, "Mommy is versatile; she can cook, clean, do laundry, grocery shop and read a lot."

I don't know whether I should laugh or cry.  On the one hand, I'm glad she's aware that I do a heck of a lot around the house.  On the other hand, I want her to know that women can do more than just take care of a house and family.

Maybe it's time to seriously think about what I want to do once Evan starts kindergarten.  Then maybe she can add "have a career as a ______" or "make money to add to my college fund" to her definition of how versatile I am.

Definitely something to get me to thinking, that's for sure.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Little Things

Guess where Ryan was the last half of July and the first part of August?  Hong Kong!  I didn't post anything about it earlier because I'm not going to announce to the internet, "Hey, my husband's out of town for the next few weeks, please come rob us!", but I figured I could talk about it now that he's home.

Let me tell you, two and half weeks as a single parent of three kids is about two weeks too long, especially in the summertime when they're not in school and we really have no scheduled activities to fall back on.

I found that what I missed most while he was gone was the little things.  I missed him, too, of course, but I guess as a stay-at-home-mom who does 90% of the stuff around the house, I never took into account how much the little things add up.

For example, he gives the boys their baths every night.  He takes out the trash and the recycling (that bin gets really heavy!).  He changes light bulbs.  He gets creepy crawly things out of the house.  He knows the special trick to get the pictures off our camera and on to our ancient computer.  He makes Liam get up to pee before we go to bed.  He hangs up the hanging clothes after I do laundry since he knows I can't stand to it.  He moves the sprinkler around the yard (a nearly daily activity during this terrible drought).  He puts air in my van tires when they get low.  He changes the registration stickers on our vehicles.  He eats leftovers (I can't stand them).  He mows the yard.  He makes a killer mojito.  I could go on and on.

So, I guess I just wanted to let him know that I appreciate all the little things he does around the house because they really do add up and I know this from experience since I had to do them all while he was gone.

Don't worry, though.  I saved some of the fun for him since I couldn't figure out how to put the kids' towel rack back on the wall after they pulled it off.  And I let him change the air filters, too.  I know how to do that, but I didn't know that it was time to do it.  See?  What would I do without him?

Love you, Ryan!