Friday, September 29, 2006

That's The Ticket

10 Frivolous Things to Spend my Essay Writing Money On:

1. Hair cut
2. Pedicure/manicure
3. New makeup
4. New clothes
5. A maid twice/month
6. Babysitting each week (not trade)
7. New quilt
8. A girls' weekend away
9. A weekend away with Rex
10. A year round Disneyland Pass

10 Reasons Why I can't do this because I'm such a Dick wad

1. I got a speeding ticket going 55 in a 35 zone
2. In an attempt to be on time for my babysitting duties today, I left my make-up bag on my car hood. My ONLY make-up bag. At least some homeless lady is going to look spiffy. Nothing does a shopping cart right like Mac Burgandy.
3. I was fined 30.00 for turning in my library books late. Ahem... the kids' library books. I knew they were overdue a few weeks, but I was thinking "how much can 5cents/day be?" Not alot, back in 1983. Prices have gone up. (Irony was not lost on me that I'm trying to teach my kids to be responsible, but I then have to pay to keep their cards active.)
4. I lost two Visa Cards in two days. Perhaps the homeless person is also using my credit line for a new jogging suit.
5. I confused an Ebay order, therefore had to pay someone 15.00 to keep a good profile. As soon as I hit "send" I found the item I owed them.
6. More than a few pieces of chicken were left out overnight. Apparently Chicken A La Corpse is not that appetizing these days.
7, 8 9 & 10 to be inserted later. With my track record, this should take about 3 hours.

I am going to take it easy, put my kids to bed, and try to give myself a break. But this stuff just KILLS me.

Anyone have a similar story to make me feel better?

Thursday, September 28, 2006

The Body of a Big Black Woman

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I came home today to find the body of a big black woman strewn across my porch. To my relief, it wasn't an episode of CSI, but instead the plus size body form I ordered for my Ebay biz.

If these posts are not as consistent as you'd like (or perhaps you're jumping up and down in relief, in which case, screw you) it's because I'm getting busy sorting clothes and ridding my current inventory of knicknacks (anybody need a rusted gold pin from the Purple Hat Society? Come on.. in thirty years you'll be thinking "Damn, I coulda gotten a deal!")

I also am waiting on pins and needles to hear back about my essay. Although I know that rewrites are part of the game, I so am hoping to knock it out of the park first time around. If they hate me and fire me, at least I have 200 pairs of 1x,2x and 3x stretch pants to tie me over while I drown myself in Animal Cookies and do post office runs.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Knives, Hits and Farts

Ever have a day that you're so tired you can't think straight? Mine happened a few nights back. It's one thing for me to be confused, but it's particularly unsettling when I am in charge of two other lives.

Dropping the ball on the light bill? It happens. Dropping your child? Quite another. I didn't do that, but... I may have inadvertantly bumped Stink's head against the door while reaching for a dropped toothbrush. And while cooking that evening, I might have scared him when my chopping knife slipped through my hands - too close to him for comfort - causing me to shove him a bit forcefully out its path.

That night, while going to sleep, Stink lay in my arms, his back against my chest. (Translation: he got to put off going night night by suckering me with his sweet voice.) There in the dark, with the glow of the moon through his shutters, and the breeze fluttering through the two open windows, I commented on his uncharacteristic sullen mood, prompting him with, "Stinky, are you sad?" "Yes" he muttered, real tears starting to spring. "What made you upset?" I asked, hugging him closer to me. He replided, "When Gianni wouldn't share his truck with me at school... And when you shoved me against the door... and when you hurt me with the knife."

Wow. I'll take Social Services for 400?

I explained to him that Gianni probably didn't know how important that truck was to him. And how it wasn't my intention to bash his skull against the door. (Hell, the handles are new... why would I want them dented?) And the knife deal? I apologized for my clumsiness, but explained that I didn't want him hurt... I can barely chop garlic. His fingers are hardly more appealing.

He went on to hug me and say "That's okay, Mommy. I know you don't mean to crash my head in doors or slice me."

Not sure whether to laugh or cry, I passed some gas. Discreetly. Or so I thought. But he suddenly bolted away from my body, throwing himself on his pillow, shrieking, "Mommy, I don't want to lay in your fart! Please don't do that!"

No smashing heads, no cutting, no rippers. Who'd a thunk motherhood would be this hard?

Saturday, September 23, 2006

How Old Are You Exactly?

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Pip was 2 on July 17th. I don’t know whether to be impressed or completely freaked out by her. A little bit of both, to be honest. Here’s a sampling of some conversations/situations the past week. No joke.

1. Me: “Pip, pick up your bottle.” Pip: “No, you do it, Mom.” (How is it that Rex still calls his mother “Mommy” but I’ve already been downgraded?)
2. Me: “A chip for me? Thank you.” Pip: “You’re welcome. Da rest are mine.”
3. During dinner last night, snuggling up to Rex after a long week of him away at work: “I missssssed you, Papa. I want a bite.”
4. During our drive out to the in-laws, “It’s hot in here. I want my window rolled down.”
5. Taking off her own clothes and flinging her diaper across the room, post-nap: “I went poo poo in my diaper. I need change.” Me: “Do you want Papa to give you a fresh one?” Pip: (insulted) "No! Yoooo do it!
6. Turning to me after a few moments of silence “You’re the BEEEEST Mom!”

I will spare you more examples, but let’s just say they involve brushing her own hair, her own teeth, changing shoes ten times/day, doing everything “self”, including climbing in and out of the car, eating and sitting on the toilet. She’s also getting quite good at tattling on her brother (when she’s not hugging him to pieces and flinging herself on the floor in protest at leaving his classroom in the mornings.) But before I make her sound too diva-ish, let me tell you that this kid is the sweetest, biggest cuddle bug on the planet - quick to laugh, kiss and hug. But, like a cat, it's on her terms. And I'm okay with that, because she's not a pushover. And since I'm one of the lucky ones she deigns to shower with affection, it's hard to complain.

This fireball is who I strive to be: unabashed, unashamed, assertive, opinionated, and topped with charm, enthusiasm and oodles of love. A head of curls and two dimples don’t hurt either.

Am I a proud mama? Hell yes!

That stated, can someone please tell me their roadmap for dealing with tantrums? I get that I’m not supposed to feed into a child’s craziness. But how exactly do you calm a two year old down when she wants to watch Dora, but the DVD is missing, and they don’t get the concept? Times this by 20 and it’s what I’m going through on a daily basis, in between the lovey dovey above. And it’s not one minute of complaints. It’s down and out fist pounding sometimes. If we’re lucky, it’s ear piercing. In public. Or right when I’m on the phone or wanting to eat dinner. Suggestions? (Other than ear plugs and avoiding public places until she turns 20. Stink’s reaction? “Woman, my ears!” Then he turns back to whatever he’s doing.)

Friday, September 22, 2006

Group Hugs

I am officially part of a freelance writers group. I was invited by the fabulous Toni (Yes, I now sound like one of those BlogHer chicks with my "she's so fabulous" routine. But Toni!! Is!! Fabulous!! Why? Let me tell you.)

1. She's a mom of 3 boys, freelances, and organized/leads this group of 18 women from all over the country who make their living freelancing for magazines. I'm the latest to be invited (suckaaasz!)

2. She not only has this group, but it's all through Google Email. You can organize by topics and respond via these lists where everyone can see the topic, and everyone can respond. (Did I just say the same thing twice? Yes I did. Did I yes. I'm too punch drunk to change it so I figure I'll just keep on typing. If you're still reading than the joke's on you. On! You! Joke!) Back to my original point: Let me just say that 18 women commenting on 18 questions a day, which inevitably leads to 100000 more comments? LOTS of emails. I gotta tame that beast before I crash my computer. My new email? OnePublishedMamaWhiletheRestOfYouHaveAZillionCreditsJokesOnYou@MamaP.com

3. Toni is all about sharing contacts and giving out compliments. The big underlying theme of the group? You can't be mean. Only supportive. Huh. And these women make money? Is Toni nuts? Let's hope this is a revolution. We all need to do this. Right after we sleep.

4. She is heading up big retreat #1 in an effort to bring everyone together for a big girls' weekend/writing fest. If these gals keep emailing in sync, we're all going to be on our periods at the same time. That should make for a hell of a retreat. As in "I gotta retreat out of this place NOW."

Why is everything I am saying using slang like "gotta?" Could it be that it's 12:01 am and I can't sleep due to a million Ebay photos I just took? Also I'm thinking about my plus size shipment that just came in which I will be flipping on Ebay (more to come later. Any ladies out there size 12 and up... I have BEAUTIFUL stuff - Tommy Hilfiger, Polo, etc. You get the big ol discount for reading my shit for all this time. Or if you don't want to buy, which is fine, I am going to teach you how to Ebay so you can be self sufficient. What if your husband or partner got hit by a bus? That's Rex's and my official death vehicle of choice. You have to have a back-up plan. Mine was to write for Friends and then marry Matthew Perry, but now I'm onto Plan B. Marrying a computer geek and waiting to be flattened by the Metro.)

Why else am I happy? Even with talk about being mashed by public transportation?... I just finished my essay for Child Magazine. Two weeks early. I'm scared to turn it in for fear they will think I didn't take much time. Which I didn't. But I really like it. Seriously... it's pretty good. And if the editor is reading, let's all just pretend that I am working diligently on it at this very moment rather than wondering how a size 22/24 stretch pant equivalates to a 3X halter top.

I have a happiness headache.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Stink's Top 10

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Sometimes I spend so much time trying to keep my boy's fingers out of his nose, or showing him the right way to aim his whizzer in the toilet, or attempting to dislodge the whine chip that seems permanently lodged under his tongue that I forget how much he is growing. Emotionally, that is. Physically? It's hard to ignore. The kid is not yet 4 and wears a size 11 shoe. He's the size of a kindergartner. My little whiny gentle giant... I love him so!

But in achieving some much needed childcare in the past few weeks(Thanks to four additional hours of school, friend trading and Grandma help) no one was more surprised than me to find that the time off helped me not only appreciate my new accomplishments, but my kids' as well. In the past week alone, Stink:

1. Rode a horse without even second guessing himself
2. Started staying an additional 2 hours after school and made a new best friend. “I love Nat soooo much. I want to stay for nap time toooooo!”
3. Assertively introduced himself to every person that he walked by in Costco with a friendly "HI! Hellooooo!" If they ignored him with a "Stupid kid" grimace, he simply looked at me and said, "They must not have heard me."
4. Road a tram at Kaiser (The shuttle cart from the lot to the hospital). When the driver asked about the lollypop Stink was sucking, Stink replied, “Sorry, you can't have it. You can go buy one after you're done with your job.”
5. Stood up in class during circle time, when most kids refused to budge, and let the teacher sing to him, “Stinker came to school today! Stinker came to school today. Stinker came to school – hooray!” The whole time he held Pipsqueak’s hand like a proud papa bear.
6. After I told him, “I’m sorry for yelling at you” he offered up an apology all his own, “And I’m sorry for whining.”
7. Allowed the eye doctor to check his eyes with a computer scanner, not budging once from the screen. Why would he? He was too busy looking for “cars on the spooky road… oooh, the light! The light!”
8. Started sleeping in Pip’s trundle bed to let Pip start to sleep train in his bed (which is surrounded by walls in a corner nook which greatly limits falls.)
9. Put on his new Scooby costume without one hesitation (normally he’s tentative of anything that goes over his head, let alone his whole body.)
10. Told Papa this evening, who had just finished slurping down his soda, “Papa, please don’t make that noise. It’s not nice.”

I know this is a total braggy, mommy post. I’m sorry. But sometimes I just love this kid so much I can’t take it. CAN. NOT. TAKE. IT.

Is it too obsessive of me to sign him up for dance classes now so that he can always hold me close to him in perfect harmony? Can’t you see the mother/son dance already? Me, 6’1, swaying to and fro with my 7’2 charmer? Or will dance classes ensure that he’ll never have a wedding? Not a traditional one, anyway. But wouldn’t that be even better? We can always be best friends, shop and I’ll never have to deal with another woman who hates me.

Yes, I really am that weird. Am I alone?

Thank God for Pip. She’s so non bullsxxx. She’ll snap me right out of it. Goopy post on her to come later this week, so tune out now if you can’t take it.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Coming Back to Haunt Me

Cecelia is fond of telling me that my wry sense of humor with my children will one day blow up in my face. I am fond of laughing at her. I like to remind her that I don't remember anything from when I was 3. Why would Stink?

On this note, about six months ago, Stink was just beginning his whiny stage (a whole other post on this bain of my existence - he's still in it.) All I wanted to do was enjoy a gourmet dinner of scrambled eggs and toast in peace and he kept asking, over and over and over, "Where is my green spoon? I want my green spoon. Where did the green spoon go? Is it in the cupboard?" Apparently, if you ask two million times, in different ways, eventually your wishes will come true. I shall try this with my husband. "Where is the nanny? I want a nanny. Where did the good nanny go? Is she in the cupboard?"

In an act of complete frustration, incorporating Stink's new found fascination with all things Scooby and ghooly, I solemnly informed him that his green spoon had taken residence up the orefice of the Creeper.

My husband spit out his peas, I shot him a look of, "Comment, computer geek, and die" and Stink, very seriously, replied, "Oh." Lo and behold, he was able to ingest eggs with his pink spoon. He even survived the experience.

Flash forward to this evening. We're making dinner. Stink is on his metal folding chair about to stir the chicken I cut up for him, but before he does, he looks at me, very perplexed, and asks, "Mommy, is my green spoon still stuck up the Creeper's butt?"

Looks like someone got bit in the ass. And it wasn't the Creeper.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Get Your Phil Today

I know you can't live without this link I found today:

http://www.elite.net/~runner/jennifers/goodbye.htm

It features how to say goodbye (and a zillion other common phrases) in 450 languages.

Also, since my brain is about to pop from overdrive (laundry, dishes, dinner, a sleeping Pipsqueak and a martini drinking Stella reading Stink a Scooby book) I am going to blatantly steal a bitchin' deluxe quote from Toni. (Bitchin' deluxe phrase courtesy of K.)

"You know what you get in this life? I'm a real big believer about this: what you get in this life, at the most, is what you ask for. Think about it: you've got a car for sale and you say, 'I'm putting this car on the market for ten thousand dollars. The most you're gonna get is ten thousand dollars. Do you think somebody's gonna drive by and go, 'tell you what, I think that's a really nice car. I think I'll give you twelve?' If you ask for nothing, you get nothing."

The passage is from Dr. Phil. I showed the quote before I showed the name since word on the street is that some of you might not like this over confident Texan macho doc. I do. But the hand in hand walk to the stage each day with the wife that looks like she hit the three for one special from the Home Shopping Network? Not so much. Say hi to him, Sus, while you're lounging in the pool.

Sainara gente loco.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

ATTENTION WARBRIDE

I need you to email me your address again so I can have Herb send you the stuff from MXC. Leave your full name on it, too, so the actors can sign (or else you'll have a script that says "To Warbride." Whatevah you like, dahlink.)

Cowboys & Princesses

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We visited Hee Tee's horse today, Tango. She was a big brown lady with eyes like chocolate drops. As I leaned over the fence she gave me an affectionate nuzzle in welcome. (I chose to overlook the fact that she smelled the Granny Smiths in my pocket.)



In a rare flip of expectations, Pipsqueak hovered behind the gate flicking away flies while Stink asked to ride him. Tango didn't have a saddle, but Tee put on a roped bridle and up Stink went. As I held onto Stink's waist, Tango walked gently a whole three feet to the gate where she let Tee stroke her muzzle, Stink meanwhile grinning like a cowboy who just kissed a big breasted saloon girl. (No Mom, your grandson was NOT wearing a helmet. I was hoping he'd crack his head open so he and his sis could have matching scars.)

Later we walked through some empty stalls. The kids had a blast dousing themselves with water from the refillable drinking trays. They looked remarkably like the holy water stations at church, except this water automatically refilled itself - something the church should think about, no? One less job for the altar boys.

With a heavenly breeze against my skin, I actually pondered the idea of owning a horse: The stillness of routine cleaning the stables each morning. The intoxicating smell of hay. The peace that only comes from the physical exhaustion of mane brushing and shit clean-up.

I could almost taste the dream: Mama P and nature. Beauty and the Beast. (By this point I was sweating a very earthy odor, so by Beauty, I am referring to the land.)

One thing about a spinning brain is that while I can imagine the lofty dream of horse ownership, my synapses stay glued on the "shit clean-up" section, then quickly bee line to horse flies, manure, stinky water and the occasional shot gun as I put down a lame horse (first shooting down a neighbor's telephone pole - I'm not much on aim.)

Everything considered, I am opting to visit Tango with my mini ranch hands in tow. Though word to the wise: don't let your toddler wear a pink sparkle cowboy hat unless you want a goat attemping to hump her.

Leaving the ranch we looked like dust bunnies with eyes, so it was home to the elephant pool for a quick bath and shampoo. Ah, the elephant pool. The $7.00 gift that keeps on giving. It doesn't require stable fees, horse shoes and can be ridden without a harness.

As I type this, Queen Pip is happily trotting on the couch watching Dora, while Scooby Stink rubs his eyes and promises me he's not tired.

I'll believe that the day I buy a horse.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Just Your Ordinary Day

Today I dropped Stink at preschool, did some laundry, worked on a movie script with a friend who graciously offered to watch Pip for me for a few hours to prevent mind loss, started my friend's laundry as a gesture of thanks, did a new query, dropped off friend at her work, paid some bills, took the kids to the park and got an email from a national magazine editor stating that, after three months of correspondence she is indeed assigning me an essay.

HOLY CRAP!

Stay tuned for more details when they decide not to call and make me look like the biggest bragger this side of L.A.

Well, that's not possible. Everyone here is arrogant. So just wish me luck that this happens!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Adventures in Babysitting


If ten years from now Rex ever leaves me for our loyal babysitter, your job is to respond right away with the only comment you can think of:

DUH.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Growing Up

I have been a moody person lately. It's hitting me, at 36, that half my life might be over.

I could care less about a few wrinkles on my face. Well, I care a wee bit about my crows feet. I never did like birds. They poop on my car. Bird flu has taken its toll on more than a few babies and children. Big Bird is overrated. Fabio almost got his face pecked off by one. I can't even say the word 'woody' without giggling. The only fowl I like are chicken legs. Why couldn't they just call my eye lines that?

My point? I'm tired. And it gets me contemplating why we're all here. Yeah, yeah, most of you went through that in college, or your teens. You smoked pot, listened to Led Zeppelin, found religion, made hemp baskets and called it a day. Me? I was too busy getting knocked up by the wrong guy, getting married, getting divorced, breaking into tv, meeting the right guy, my show being canceled, popping out 2 kids then losing my dad. About two weeks ago on Tuesday I actually stopped running and had a moment to think about what life really means. I've come up with only one thing so far:

I'm scared.

Hugs?

Then I go online and find the most beautiful post by One Tall Momma. http://onetallmomma.blogspot.com/

It's a tribute to 911 that is different than any you've seen. Check it out.

Other insights are offered by Mandy, who has an amazing review of child rearing books, many dealing with Christianity (that many of you know I am delving more deeply into.)

And then there are women like Teri and Meno and so many more who are just trying to raise their daughters, clean their offices and find their place in this little world without condoms floating into their docks.

Any other insights into what keeps you all moving forward in this crazy existence? And the response “Grow up you baby” isn’t helpful. I’m working on it.

Friday, September 08, 2006

I'll Take An OB Gyn N Tonic

It's pretty sad that I had the best day ever thanks to my visit to the gynecologist. Here's a few reasons why:

1. It's one of those occasions that, despite it not being Sunday, my husband watched the kids.

2. He can't call me because cell phones aren't allowed within the medical facility.

3. I get to wait a long time in the waiting room, forcing me to read magazines that are almost one year old (which is more up to date than I normally am.) Hey, word on the street is that Miss Spears might be pregnant with #2!

4. Someone has a long conversation with me before feeling my breasts.

5. I get to put my feet in stir-ups without the pain of horseback riding, biking or spending money for a pedicure that my old socks are just going to peel off anyway.

6. While waiting in line at the laboratory, I get to talk to the old guy there for his colon cancer screening, as well as the young girl with the crop top and Paris Hilton shades. She's got her pimp daddy sixteen year old boyfriend with her, too, and he's soooo supportive of her getting on the pill for her acne. Sweet, huh? Also, according to Sheena, the receptionist, Walmart is running a special on White Stag.

7. Since Rex doesn't care about the details of a hair cut, let alone a small Asian woman with her hand up my vaja-jay chatting about America's Top Model, he doesn't ask for specifics. This includes questions related to why my one hour appointment took 4 hours. (Hey, a girl's gotta get a coffee when she can, leading me to number 8.)

8. I don't have a car (since Rex dropped me off) so I get to walk the .5 miles to the fancy McDonalds where I stretch out in the "lounge" and wait for my mom without having to negotiate sugar cookies, lemonade and explain the trauma of why this yuppie suburb doesn't have a play area.

9. I get a glimpse into the world of other women who aren't as healthy as I am and remind myself to stop bitching about things that don't matter.

10. When I come home, I get to freak Rex out by telling him that a weird thing happened. "That bladder infection? Not a UTI at all. I'm pregnant!"

No, I'm not really, you nosybodies.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

To Do...Errr... Over due

I think I'm overdue on library books.

I am late in taking care of a water and power bill/situation doo-hickey.

I have just enough milk to get the kids through their morning shakes. After that, we'll be adding water to the milk portion of all cake recipes (Not that I ever bake cakes. Well, not good cakes anyway.)

I have to call GE about our broken dishwasher still, leaving me to washing all dishes by hand. I wash dishes by hand about as well as I bake cake. See the conundrum?

My eyebrows are starting to look like those little bush animals in front of It's A Small World. (Milkmaid? Soldier? Oh, no, that's a harried mommy... my bad.)

I was early, however, in buying my new glasses today, since the old ones decided to break in half on me yesterday. Since insurance doesn't kick in until Sept. 20, I got to pay 279.00 of my own money.

But that's okay, since I did pretty well on Ebay this week (yeah, me!) However, I'm late in mailing out the packages, so if I don't step on it I might never get return business again. (Eyebrows now forming into frustrated housewife having to refund post pardum mother in Arkansas because her size 0-3 month Elmo shirt didn't arrive until Bubba turned 2.)

And yet, I remain calm. How is that possible? When other days I could win the lottery and have heart palpitations in the frozen section of Staters Brothers?

What are you people late with? (Come on, Meno, let's hear the sarcasm... you crack my ass up, you grinch. If you send me something funny, I will bake you a pie by October 1, just to show you how anal and excited I get over the holidays. If it's super funny, I might even make it in the shape of a gnat.)

Fa la la la!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Gone Fishing

Rex has gone fishing with his dad, leaving me to fend for myself here with the rug rats. I'm not really complaining, as its ammunition to go on a trip myself down the road. But it does leave little time for the small pleasures of life such as blogging, thrifing and stuffing my face without four little hands demanding a piece of the pie.

Since he's been gone, Stink started his year of preschool today, giving Pip and I some much needed mommy daughter moments. Time flew in between our trip to the dollar store for socks, throwing some random items up on Ebay, talking Pip down from the trauma of the missing Princess shoes and making the weekly shopping list. Taco shells? Check. Milk? Check. 1000.00 gift card to Costo for a year's supply of premade meatloaf? The jury is still out on that one.

No news from my agent regarding the two pilots. I'd be shocked if I heard. (Not being negative, Susan, but you know how those things go...)

No news from the big magazine yet.

No news from the wholesale lot I bought (which I intend to flip... news to come.)

This leaves me a big wide open space to:

* Get that writing done with Cynthia
* Get that writing done with Texas Lizzy
* Send out some more queries
* Paint the office
* Get into the exercise routine again
* Start thinking of Christmas (it's never to early to bake those pies... yeah right.)

I hope all of you had a restful weekend. My lack of humor in this post reflects my lack of excitement of revving up, once again.

Going to clean some floors now.

Just as soon as I stretch out on my couch. (which I desperately need to chem dry.)

Sleeping is the best alternative really.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Cause Ya Gotta Have Faith


Wednesday, pre-Walk to Arco time, post-kids-in-bed-or-I-will-beat-my-head-senseless-with a sippy cup-hour, I got a hurried call from my agent. "I am sending you to a production house in need of new material. Can you send me a few lines on your last few pilots?" I of course said yes, half joking that I thought it was the "I'm dumping you, you worthless client who spends all her time blogging and not making real tv money" call.

Okay, it wasn't a joke.

But she swore she loved my blogs, has hope for me, bla bla bla. This woman also lives next door to Dr. Phil and down the street from Tom Cruise, so it's possible she has stars in her eyes. But I bought it. (Kiss, kiss Susan... I know you're reading.)

Ironic that this phone call came on a day that I was feeling relatively peaceful - a rare occasion for me. A lot of praying, talking and a good dose of whining to the man upstairs is getting me closer and closer to acceptance in a higher power.

And then, just when I heard absolute silence upstairs and sprinted up the steps quicker than a photographer at a Baby Suri shoot, I found Stink reading an Eric Carlisle book to Pip: Stink: "And da little cicket flapped his wings together but what came out? Not a sound." Pip: "Not a SOUND!"

What do all three of the things above have in common? Like a song from my first boyfriend days, George Michael said it best: "You gotta have faith."

What keeps all of your faith? And when you don't have it, what brings it back? (I am ending the next seven posts with questions, so go to town. Will you answer the call? I have faith.)

* When all your stand-bys fail, comfort food always works. In this case, bottles. Who doesn't need to hit one sometimes?