Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Santa's other reindeer

Please, please . . . could someone drop a cookie?

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Naughty or nice?

There is no doubt which list these angels are on.

This angel? Well, Santa thinks he's been pretty nice, too.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I almost forgot . . .

Your Christmas card is in the mail. OK, not really. I just didn't get them done this year. Sorry.

New Year's Resolution #1: Get my act together.

Random Christmas musings

Every time I turn on the radio in the van Karen Carpenter is singing a Christmas song. The same song day in and day out. It totally brings me down. I want my Christmas music fun and joyful and lively. Not sounding like my dog just died. Maybe she recorded this ditty at a tough time in her life. But today I found myself telling her to shut up, like she was in the backseat getting ready for the road trip to the mall. Chipmunks anyone?

I found those missing Christmas presents in the coat closet. I'm not really sure why I put them there because they weren't hidden from anyone except me. I have to admit being relieved. I was beginning to question whether I had actually bought them. Insanity is usually a sign of something, I'm just not quite sure what.

Tomorrow marks the start of 11 days of family togetherness. Once Christmas is over, it is my least favorite time of the year. I might be the only one who will admit it, but being together with the family all the time is really not ideal. In fact, the faster everyone gets back to the routine the happier I'll be. Next year I will be encouraging Big Dog to take his vacation early and often so we can avoid this end of year backlog. And now that my closet is clear I can lock the kids in there. And no, you can't steal my idea.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Calling 911, vol. 2

Grandma and Grandpa, stop reading now. The kids want to tell you this story on Friday and I don't want to spoil their fun.

Everyone else, I called 911 last night. Really. And it had nothing to do with too tight underware.

Carly and I were sitting here minding our own business when the smoke detectors went off around 9 p.m.. Lest you think I'm a drama queen, they have gone off before. Sometimes when my cooking gets a little "flavorful", sometimes when the battery gets low. But this time they went OFF. As in not stopping.

I took a quick look around, then sent Carly outside. Another look and still nothing. But those detectors were screaming. The next step was corralling the animals. All it took was a "car ride" for CC to head straight into the van. Mike was another story. Totally freaked out. Which freaked Carly out because she kept sticking her head in the door to see what was going on. I finally caught him and threw him and Carly into the van. Got them parked out front and went back inside.

So here's where I have to note that the experts always say go outside and call 911 . . . BUT there is something compelling that forces you to go inside and look for the problem. Because there has to be a problem somewhere.

At some point I called Big Dog and now he was inside too, looking around. And we're 20, then 30, then 40 minutes into this. And those detectors are still screaming. And we're still running around like crazy people looking for the problem.

I finally convinced him that we needed to call 911. It was late, it was cold, and this whole thing was a little surreal.

"911. What is your emergency?" Who knew they actually answer the phone that way?

And then, about five minutes later, the detectors stopped. They just STOPPED, like it was break time at the post office. It was about that time that the fire truck and the EMT rolled up. And, of course, by now the neighbors have noticed that something is going on.

The long story short is that everything was OK, but we need to replace all of our smoke detectors because, like most things these days, they're not made to last. Geez, that sounded just like my mom.

But tonight I am grateful that it wasn't serious and that our community has the first responders that it does. And hopefully I'll sleep a little better tonight.

Monday, December 13, 2010

It's a Mike Monday

I know this picture overwhelms you with admiration for my picture-taking skills. But I'm posting it anyway. Mike is a cat of mixed emotions at the moment. This photos represents the joy he is feeling. I did a little wrapping and got out the bow box, and now there are bows everywhere. He pounces on them, chases them down the hallway, carries them around. When he gets tired of the ones that are out he gets in the box and picks something new. It's a new game. He plays and I put away. And then we do it again. And, really, it's a pleasure. Watching his hours of fun reminds me of how enjoyable simple things can be.

Now this picture represents Mike's angst. That door is wide open and he wants to go out more than you can imagine. But the snow and cold temperatures have made him think twice. So he sits there and meows. And looks pathetic. And CC sits on the other side, bouncing up and down, waiting for him to make a move.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

You know you're getting old . . .

. . . when you can't remember where you put the presents you worked so hard to hide. Guess it worked.

Friday, December 10, 2010

No good deed goes unpunished

Why is it that good intentions always seem to come back and bite you in the butt?

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Back on the mammogram soapbox

If you need a mammogram, please get one.

And if you're not convinced, read this article, "Elizabeth Edwards, Rest in Peace," by Melinda Henneberger at Politics Daily.

Filling my Rx at the Von Maur shoe department

I am all about personal health this week, bloggy friends.

Yesterday's breast event was followed this morning by a visit to my general practitioner to have my cholesterol, blood sugar and what not screened. Mostly I just wanted a new Ambien prescription. Which he said he'd give me in January. Boo. But we had a nice chat about the maximum dose. All this time I thought it was just a suggestion.

And, drumroll please, my blood pressure was actually normal. That never happens. EVER. I felt like a superstar.

I told him about a spot near my toes that hurts sometimes. Apparently it's caused by a funky nerve. His suggestion? Buy new shoes. I love that man.

Have you had a check up lately? No? Then get yourself in there. I know I sound like your mother, but honestly, you're not getting any younger. And I want you to be well.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Loving my mammogram

Today was mammogram day, one of my very favorite days each year.

Seriously. I know it's ironic, considering how I go out of my way to avoid other medical appointments. Unless I need a new Ambien prescription. Then I am right there. As a general rule though, I hate to go to the doctor and have been known to postpone, reschedule, anything to get out of it.

But mammograms are different. I have seen first-hand the toll breast cancer can take. I don't want to go there, so I go to the outpatient imaging center instead, on time every year. And I smile while holding my breath and trying not to gasp. Grateful that it's an option.

If you're due for your mammogram, make your appointment now. Invite me along for moral support and I'll spring for lunch.

Friday, December 3, 2010

The case of cookie discrimination

At Hy-Vee yesterday, the lady behind the bakery counter told Riley he couldn't have a free cookie because he was too old. Then she handed one to the boy with us, who ironically is three months older than Riley, but shorter. Riley got one too after I threatened to sue.

Just kidding.

But it was a good reminder to not judge a book by its cover.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

No wonder they're not making any money

My postman delivered a package today. It was one I had been waiting for, Christmas gifts I didn't want a certain snooper to see.

I was really surprised to see a huge hole running all the way from the top to the bottom on one corner. The interior boxes on that side were crushed.

Hmmm . . . giant hole, no tape, packing peanuts literally falling out. Do you think they didn't notice? Or did they just not care?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

This little piggy went crunch, crunch, crunch

I'm sure you've been checking all morning for the toe update. Officially confirmed. Broken in two places. Buddy tape and rest.

Interestingly, it was not nearly as ugly this morning. Guess that's an advantage to youth. They heal quickly!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Scary toe post

The toe is still ugly. He says it pops when he walks. So we're going to the doctor tonight. Gotta protect the college scholarship. LOL. Love evening hours. Wish everyone had them.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Random hot dog, holiday and basketball musings

Where should I start with my weekend recap?

Perhaps with the Christmas present peeker caught red handed. Totally brings me down. But I'm out of hiding spaces. The only ones left are the attic and the neighbor's house. Neither of which strikes me as a good solution.

Then there is Riley's toe, which is purple, swollen and - I think - broken. Basketball mishap in the appropriately named "Fall Brawl" tournament. I took a picture, but can't post it. Don't want to scare the small children Internet surfing while their parents pay no attention. Good thing I'm a ninja master buddy taper, as well as a humanitarian.

But the best thing may be the Columbia jacket I wore all day in public yesterday without realizing there were two big mustard spots on the front. I don't remember using mustard, so I'm guessing I was randomly attacked by a hot dog. Which would also explain why my left shoulder hurts.
I'll leave you with a picture of the tournament champs. Riley is the one with the scary looking toe.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A little bath bomb therapy

Tonight I am so happy and here's why.

My super friend Tracy went to Chicago last weekend and brought me bath products from Lush. I had never heard of this company until a few months ago when she gifted me with a bath bomb, but I am hooked. This stuff is amazing, particularly the scent.

I couldn't get the Hoop-lahs out of the house fast enough. Lucky for me they went to a basketball game. Even C.C. and Mike couldn't resist. Both of them came into the bathroom with their noses in overdrive.

It was a perfect hour in the tub, except for the part where I dropped my cell phone in the water. What can I say, I had to text Tracy to tell her what I was doing.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Holding out for expensive cheese

So last night Big Dog casually mentioned he saw a mouse in the garage when he left for work in the morning.

What I heard was, "I saw a mouse but it didn't occur to me to tell you so I hope you didn't run into the furry little fellow." My response wasn't quite so nice.

While I love most creatures big and small, I'm not fond of mice. Not Jacque and Gus, not the Three Blind Mice, not Stuart Little, not any of them. It stems from a near-death experience I had as a kid. We lived in the country and one day I opened a kitchen drawer and guess what was in there. I'm pretty sure it jumped on my head and scurried up and down my arm. I screamed in terror while my family laughed hysterically. Not doing that again.

Which meant it was time for Mike to earn his rent. I tossed him in the garage and an hour later, after 59 minutes of pitiful meowing, I let him back in. No dead mouse anywhere. So Big Dog set a couple of traps with peanut butter. This morning, no dead mouse, but no peanut butter either. Apparently, we've got a game of cat and mouse going. Mouse 1, McCoys 0.

The challenge is on. That mouse is going down.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Whatever happened to common sense?

There's been an uproar the last couple of days over a book available from Amazon (which has now taken it off its site). It's a self-published how-to from a guy who wants folks to be better, more informed pedophiles. You can read about it here.

I understand the principle of free speech/press, but this is just repulsive.

I've always loved Amazon, but someone was asleep at the wheel on this one.

Free for lunch tomorrow

So here's my problem . . . no grocery shopping means nothing to eat for lunch. I solved that issue yesterday by hitting Cazador's, my favorite Mexican restaurant in Ankeny. I love it there. They serve your chimichanga and your Diet Coke and then they leave you alone.

I aways sit and read Cityview or Juice, despite the fact I passed their demographic ages ago. But sometimes they run mug shots and I've seen an acquaintance or two. Not to say my crowd is prone to arrest, but you know how it goes.

Anyway, there still wasn't anything for lunch today. Because we are trying to spend less money, I looked in the fridge for something that wasn't moldy or runny. As luck would have it, I found leftover spaghetti sauce, two containers actually. One with meatballs, one without. No idea how long either had been there, but we haven't had spaghetti this week.

So I ate the one with meatballs. It tasted fine at the time, but now, NOW I'm beginning to think that wasn't the smartest idea. I feel a little funny, so you know what's going to hit in exactly one hour when I have to pick up Carly. My life is all about stomach trouble at inopportune times.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Rocking the homecation

Great weekend. Six basketball games in two days. Ankeny Storm is now 6-0. They rock. It's fun when the season starts and you get to see kids that you only see this time of year. Some of them have really grown. You don't notice it in your own kid day to day, but when you see someone else, it's amazing.

The bonus part of my weekend was not cooking a thing. We ate at Subway, Legends and Olive Garden. And I cleaned NUTH-in. (That is for the political commercial I can't get out of my head. You know which one.) Carly paid the price for my homecation this morning. NUTH-in to put in her lunch. I guess I'll have to grocery shop sometime today. But I'm only buying lunch items. If I buy anything else, they'll want to eat it and I'll have to cook it and the vicious cycle will start over.

Maybe I'll just call my mom and find out what she's making for dinner!

Friday, November 5, 2010

How you know when you're getting old

It's Friday night and Big Dog and I have a rare opportunity to paint the town. Carly is at a sleepover. Riley is at the football game.

We cam do whatever we want. At least until 10. Dinner, movie, drinks, Dairy Queen . . . the opportunities are endless.

So what do you think made the cut?

Big Dog is watching his TV. And CC and I are watching ours. But I swear we're getting Dairy Queen as soon as Medium is over.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

An extended time out

Basketball season starts this weekend, and I am beyond excited. Four games on Saturday and probably two on Sunday. Which means no time to cook or clean. SCORE!!!!

In theory, being home on the weekend should be a good thing. But I've noticed that being home means I have to cook and usually no one offers to help clean. They're too busy hanging out with their friends or watching TV. And yes, I'm talking about all of them. I figure if I'm not here I don't have to do that stuff either. Total bonus.

So be a good sport when you stop by and pretend not to notice the pile of dishes on the counter or the socks on the floor or the dog hair on the couch or the empty shelves in the refrigerator . . .

I'm off until April. Yeah for me!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Did I mention she has a pink tail?

Here is the Halloween kitty, right before she collected 286 pieces of candy. Notice she has a bag and a container? You have to like a girl that plans ahead. But with all that candy she ended up with only two cherry Laffy Taffys, my favorite right behind Klondike bars and chips.

And one hysterical Halloween moment: A local media celeb lives on our street. We ran into him and his family about three houses in. Carly looks at him and says, "You look just like ***." He just smiled and said, "Yep, that's my costume tonight." A little later, she stops and says, "Don't you think they pay him enough to live somewhere else?" I am still laughing. But remind me to have a conversation with her about how smart people live below their means.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

If you see a flying monkey, you know I'm toast

A giant Ash tree sits just outside the window of my home office. Most days it's a beautiful testament to nature, although it sometimes blocks my view of the hood. Which you might call spying, but I call knowing your neighbors.

But that tree is scaring me today. It looks cold, wet and windblown, and frankly a little pissed. The kick-ass wind is bending those branches this way and that - mostly toward me. I even heard it whisper, "Watch out missy. I know you're in there."

And that leaves me with a dilemma. Where do I go to escape this Wizard of Oz-ness with its flying pumpkin and ghost? You might need to check on me later. And if I'm not around, don't go near the tree.

Friday, October 22, 2010

How to lose a sale in one easy step

So I'm in Dillard's today - in handbags, mind you - when a salesclerk asked if I'd like to see their newest "control" product.

Ummmmm . . . don't think so. She obviously hadn't read about my near death experience. And why the hell was she asking me that anyway? I wasn't even in that department for crying out loud.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Stickers and lollipops for me

You're going to be so proud of me, bloggy friends.

I got a flu shot today. Voluntarily. I know, I was such a big girl.

I know some of you might be thinking, "What's her boo hoo?" Let me tell you. When I was a kid I was in the hospital for about a week. Had a severe case of strep that left a mass over my windpipe. Treatment? A shot every four hours in my leg, alternating between right and left. It went on and on and on. While I appreciate being able to breathe, the end result included a huge phobia. Needles, hospitals, doctors . . . you name it, I avoid it.

But I got the flu twice last year. Once so badly it felt as if I had been hit by a truck, which promptly backed up and did it again. No exaggeration.

So I took a chance, motivated by the free shot and the fact that no one wanted to take my blood pressure. It better work.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Get your coat and gloves ready

What would you do? Pay $745 for heat or go without?

You knew I was going to say a bad word. And I did. More than one.

Wanted: One aerial photo

One of the windows and the heater in Scott's car haven't worked correctly in a long time. So we finally decided to get them fixed. Don't know the cost yet, but the sorrowful look the man at the counter gave me tells me I'm going to gasp and say bad words. (On a side note, the repair shop is named Woody's. How could you not take your business there? Much cooler than Mr. Fix It or Joe's Repair Shop.)
But this post really isn't about getting the car fixed. It's about the trek Riley would walk daily unless I pay for bus service or drive him myself. Remember this post?
Woody's is about half a mile (roughly) from Riley's school. So after I dropped off the car this morning I walked home. Wanted to see how long it would take. 33 minutes door to door. Had I started at Riley's school, it would have been another 7 to 10 minutes. So say about 40 minutes.
When I got home I called the transportation company to find out why the house across the street (which is closer to the school than ours) qualifies for free busing and ours doesn't. The houses behind mine all qualify as well. According to their "highly accurate" GPS, which is the final determination of who rides free and who doesn't, our house measures in at 1.99 miles. The other house - which is closer to the school both to the north and the west - comes in at 2.01 miles. No review, no exception. (By the way, neither of these houses qualified last year.)
What ever happened to common sense? I guess if the "highly accurate" GPS says it's so, it must be. Too bad for me. Just another thing to be aggrevated about.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Nobody can eat just one

Carly just asked me to watch her chips. Watch? Eat? I agree, same thing. Chips are right behind Klondike bars on my food chain. She should know better.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

This and that

I am mesmerized today by the live coverage of the Chilean miners being rescued. 1 - because they actually survived their entrapment and 2 - because technology makes it possible to know moment by moment what is happening. That's both good and bad. But it is a far cry from how things were when I was a journalism student back in the day.

Speaking of back in the day, one of the things I enjoy about having kids in school is the excuse to read all the books from my childhood that I loved. Last night I read Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell. Technically, I ordered it from Scholastic for Carly, but it was really for me. And I loved it just as much this time. Couldn't put it down.

I'm not sure what I'm reading next. Maybe back to the Little House or Trixie Belden series or a book on mythology. I also want to read Queen Bees and Wannabees, which talks about peer pressure among girls, or Rick Springfield's new biography. A friend texted me today during carpool to tell me he was going to be on The View this morning. And the boys are all, "Rick Springfield? Who's that?" Sigh . . .

Finally, here's a picture from our recent trek to the pumpkin patch. An attractive bunch. That's probably why I'm never in any of these pictures. Remember this? I sometimes wonder if the kids will remember I was ever there. But maybe it's better if they don't!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

A little scare for Halloween

I'm surprised my face doesn't have permanent scarring from these weighty monsters. Back then, plastic lenses weren't an option. And it's the only time I've ever looked at life through rose-colored glasses.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Me at seven

My mom gave me some old photos today. I was really cute before I hit the teenage years with the bad hair, bad teeth and really big glasses. I don't think I'll be showing you those.Blockquote

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Dinner with a side of yuck

It's a football Saturday, so that means Carly and I are on our own. We decided to eat an early dinner at the restaurant of her choice. Tonight it was Carlos, so I thought I got lucky. She only has two favorites, and the other one is McDonalds. Not that I'm against a cheeseburger and fries occasionally, but the older I get the worse it is when I eat that stuff later in the day.

So there we were about 4:30, having a quiet dinner in a mostly empty restaurant when in comes this party of four with this guy who . . . well, let's just say he was a doozy. Loud and obnoxious from the git go. Seated right behind us. When he started to talk about how he and his wife/girlfriend were connected below the waist, it was time to go.

I don't get people like that. Family restaurant, five children nearby, didn't appear to be drunk, just stupid and crude. I could hear his dinner companions telling him to quiet down. Which he didn't do, of course. Obnoxious people never do. I wonder what makes people act that way. Did he not ever learn any better? Was he born with a jerky personality? Is he just an attention seeker? And why would anybody want to hang out with someone like that?


Monday, September 27, 2010

Carrying around a small child

Most days when he comes home from school Riley drops his backpack in the middle of the kitchen floor. Why not? Where else would it go?

So today, for the eighth bajillion time, I picked it up. And my arm muscles actually groaned. It felt like he had a concrete block or two in there. I was a cat in a former life, so of course I looked inside. A few books and an organizer. Hmmm. I tossed that baby on the scale. 24 pounds. Can you imagine him carrying that home the 1.99 miles school officials say is between my driveway and theirs?

That's right, 1.99 miles - or a tenth of a mile less than needed for free bus service. However, our neighbor across the street whose driveway is about 10 steps closer to the school than ours qualifies for free busing. Figure that one out.

But I digress like always. Somewhere I have a point. But I'll have to figure that out tomorrow. Do you know how hard it is to blog and help with homework at the same time?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Procrastinating Christmas

My inner Grinch is coming out. Except for the green part. I don't look good in green. I'd prefer another color. Does this blog accept returns?

It's too early for me to think about Christmas. But everywhere I turn, there it is. Ornaments and wrapping paper in the store. Reservations for a holiday dinner. Christmas lists and holiday hams. I don't know what I'm eating tomorrow, let alone 90 days from now. OK, I'm pretty sure Klondike bars will be on the menu both days, but I might reform.

On a side note, I noticed that someone visited my blog after Googling Klondike. Maybe it was the Klondike people. Maybe they'll offer me a lifetime supply. That is the sugarplum dancing in my head.

In the meantime, I have other stuff to think about. Like what kind of Halloween candy to eat. I mean give out. And where to put my single turkey decoration. And why this family goes through an unbelievable amount of toilet paper.

Don't worry. I'll catch the holiday spirit eventually. But probably not before the leaves fall off the trees.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Must see TV for the crime-istas

Can you feel the excitement at the Hoop-lah house? It is Friday night and the new season of Medium starts in 15 minutes.

Carly and I are beyond happy. We've been waiting all summer.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

My letter to Oprah

Dear Oprah,

Are you watching the TV premieres in your spare time? I haven't seen many, but I am trying to catch your show. Final season, you know.

My son, Riley, watched with me yesterday. It was about the Columbian woman, the political candidate who was kidnapped and held captive by rebels for more than six years. Her children had become adults while she was away. She no longer recognized her son's voice.

That statement burned. No risk of being captured by rebels here, but I know the pain of not recognizing your own child. It is how I sometimes feel about Riley. In my mind's eye, he is a boy. This boy.

Some days it's the voice or the facial hair. Other days it's the muscles or the size 13 shoes. But it feels strange. Like it's someone I should know, but am not sure I have ever met.

So please, warn me when you're about to break my heart. Puberty, menopause and the end of your show might be more than I can manage.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Calling 911

Don't panic. Everyone at the Hoop-lah house is just fine, minus a little sassiness, know-it-all syndrome, and a waiting heart attack from football fan overload. But I digress. This post is about me.

A few weeks ago, before I decided to lose 10 pounds, I thought I'd take an easier route. Gastric bypass maybe? No. Cutting out carbs? No way. A torture device that keeps you from eating because it severely hampers your ability to breathe? Yeah, I think I'll try that.

You guessed it, I bought a pair of Spanx. All the celebs rave about them, but now that I think about it they really have no fat to hold in. So what's the point?

Last night was the first night of card club for the season. What better time to whip out my Spanx and impress the 70+ crowd with my new fabulousness?

The pair I bought went all the way from my butt to my boobs. A little tight, I thought, but it'll loosen up. 15 minutes later I got a little panicky. That tends to happen when you can't breathe. And what was I going to? I'm driving down the freeway, no other underwear in sight.

So sometimes a girl has to make a hard choice. Last night, that meant getting out of the death grip ASAP and going commando. But I'll spare you the details. That's what friends do.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Famous last words

What could be so hard about losing 10 pounds?

That's what I said last week. Silly me. I wasn't expecting to lose all 10 in one week. But geez, I wasn't planning on gaining four pounds either. In one week. And I didn't eat a single Klondike bar. That is just plain wrong.

I'm not surprised though. I'm an emotional eater and last week pushed all of my buttons. Every single one. Working from home doesn't help. There's a lot more food in easy reach.

I think I'll start over tomorrow. Tonight is Wendy's night, and you know I'm not going to miss that.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Losing 10 pounds the Hoop-lah way #2

That Klondike bar calling my name during the night was totally out of line.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Losing weight Hoop-lah style

Now that I've met Mike's demands for equal blog time, here's my real topic of the day.

Losing weight. I know. Who wants to talk about that? Well, I'll talk about it, but only over a margarita with chips and salsa. And Dairy Queen for dessert.

Ahem . . . where was I? Dr. Oz wants me (and you) to lose 10 pounds. Just 10 pounds. Eat less. Move more. I know how it works.

Growing up, I was always thin. Then, around 17, I got a job at Donutland. Great job if you like donuts. And I do. Especially the cherry ones. Then I went to college, gained a little more. Had a couple of kids, gained a lot more.

That leaves me where I am today. I'd like to lose 10 pounds. Actually, I'd like to find some jeans that don't sit below my waist. Whose idea was that anyway?

Chances are I'm not going to find those jeans. Unless I time travel back to the 1980s. So I'm taking Dr. Oz's challenge. My goal is to lost 10 pounds by December 15. How hard can it be? I'm starting by telling you. My very own Weight Watchers group, without the weekly fee. You know how I love a bargain.

Shhhh . . .

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Ten yard penalty for acting like a buffoon

Today was painful. Not because Iowa State lost to Iowa, but because it brought out the worst in behavior.

Does it really matter that much? So much that the anger is palpable and embarrassing?

I always thought I hated football. Now I know I do.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The trouble in covering Riley's butt

Today Riley tried on his jeans from last winter. Every single pair was too small. Imagine that.

So we hopped into the van and hit Merle Hay. American Eagle had a sale. Buy one, get one half off. Which means you pay a hugely inflated price for one pair and a slightly inflated price for the other. But a sale's a sale. And I had a coupon thanking me for my loyalty. But I quickly learned that my coupon - and their loyalty - expired yesterday. Too bad for me.

I've had the same experience at Justice - which always has a 40 percent off deal going on - and Kohls and Younkers. If you ask for the discount without the coupon, sometimes they'll give it to you. Sometimes not. It's totally inconsistent.

And that's the part I don't get. A happy customer is a loyal customer who comes back and spends more money. So what's the downside if they give you the discount without the coupon? When it's given with a "Well, I shouldn't be doing this . . " it's all I can do to not scream.

You probably heard me around 2:30. Sorry about that. I'll hit mute next time.

Anyone want to buy four pairs of AE jeans from last season, size 28 x 30? I'll give you a real deal, but you better have your coupon.

Friday, September 3, 2010

I told you so

I hate to say "I told you so," but . . .

If you've talked to me in the last year, you've heard me complain about the Everyday Math program that Ankeny implemented.

Carly was in third grade and traditionally that has been the year kids focus on memorizing their math facts. But not last year. They learned about geometry, algebra and other concepts. Carly struggled to understand almost every day. And I watched her lose interest in trying. And honestly, I couldn't understand the relevance. Why would she need to know this stuff before she even knew her math facts?

Trying to be a good parent, I asked the questions. I was assured that this is the way kids need to be learning and that most kids were doing really well with it.

So imagine my surprise to hear fourth grade teachers comment twice in the past week about how the kids don't know their math facts. And that they really need to learn them. Now.

Really? I hope this isn't a surprise to anyone. Because it sure isn't to me.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

My very own Van Gogh

Carly brought this home today. Her pictures are always so happy. And sometimes a little funky and abstract, like her. How else do you explain the "17"?

Another reason to ignore the housework

Have I mentioned how excited I am that Kurt Warner is on the new season of Dancing With the Stars?

It's weird. I don't really like football or even the show, although I did take Carly to the DWTS extravaganza at Wells Fargo a few years ago.

But I like him. He seems genuine. A good husband and dad. Someone you could trust if he stopped to help change your tire. The fact that he is tall, handsome and from Iowa is just a bonus.

I have no idea whether he has any ballroom moves. I'm guessing he might. I'll watch and let you know.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

As far as I'm concerned, if something is so complicated that you can't explain it in 10 seconds, then it's probably not worth knowing anyway

I went to see Eat, Pray, Love this weekend. Enjoyed it, which surprised me. I wasn't sure what to expect. I had tried several times to read the book, but honestly . . . it was too high brow for me. I kept wondering what everyone was raving about. I couldn't get past Eat.

I found that a little distressing, actually. A book gets rave reviews and I don't get it.

It's not the first time this has happened. I've tried reading titles from a book club my friend belongs to. Doesn't work for me. And Oprah's Book Club picks? No thanks. I even subscribe to her magazine, but I rarely read an article all the way through. It's too much work.

Sometimes it feels like I'm not being invited to the party because I can't follow the conversation. I just want to be entertained. I don't want to think.

I want you to know I read lots of stuff. Fabulous stuff, actually. A bunch of magazines, every Kinsey Milhone and Stephanie Plum book, and lots of books I pick up at Target. And Calvin and Hobbes, every single day. Did you know I own the complete collection, in hardback?

It's hard to believe I passed my college literature class. But I did. Cliff Notes. Don't tell my kids.

UPDATE: I had just posted this when Carly put down the book she was reading and said, "I can't finish this, it's boring." OMG, it's genetic!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

I wonder how much Mike and Carol spent on groceries

Remember the good old days when you'd come home from school, have a bottle of Pepsi, some chips, and watch Brady Bunch, Gilligan's Island, Get Smart, and The Beverly Hillbillies? Unless you did something different. Then remember that.

I never realized that a kid could eat a week's worth of groceries from 3 to 5. Hoo boy, I realize it now. Riley has been home 15 minutes and has eaten a muffin, a peach, and is now on his third cereal bar. Carly ate half a bag of Cheetos and drank a can of pop, of course.

Make that his fourth cereal bar.

Oops, took me too long to think about my next sentence. Now it's number five.

Wouldn't you like to have that metabolism? I am so jealous. And totally broke.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Mis-steps in doing the right thing

Some of you know I collect cans and bottles from my family and friends. I do it to help Riley and his basketball team, and so far we've been able to avoid the second mortgage. Thanks for your help. Now I need y'all to drink some more. Just kidding. I have Carly, who is going to take the Olympic gold in pop drinking. You heard it here first.

But in the interest of full disclosure, I need to tell you I did something else with your can money last night. A good deed that left me feeling awful and questioning myself.

After returning my eight gazillion cans to Hy-Vee, I went to pick up some groceries before redeeming my receipts. I saw a man headed to the can redemption area. He was obviously down on his luck. Really thin, not the looking good kind, but the looking hungry kind. And his eyes looked so old.

I decided to give him the can receipts, about $15. Enough to buy a few hamburgers or whatever. I approached him and offered him what I had. He accepted and thanked me, adding something about being able to fix his bicycle tire now.

And here is where this story gets intersting. I saw it coming, but it was so fast I couldn't stop it. Before I could step aside, he was hugging me and kissing my forehead. And I was horrified. Partly because I'm not a hugger, but mostly because he was unclean and, I assume, homeless. I immediately went to the bathroom and washed my hands and face. Then I went home and took a shower, and entertained more than one thought about lice and disease.

And then I felt awful, total shame for that reaction. I'm not sure where that leaves me, but I've got some thinking to do.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Add dressing to my list of challenges

I left a massage appointment earlier and ran errands for an hour before I realized I had put my shirt on backward and inside out. I wonder if anyone noticed.

Monday, August 23, 2010

A whole lot of happy

Here are two photos I thought you might enjoy. First is Carly, post-surgery, with flowers she received from a kind and thoughtful friend. Next is Riley with the first-place trophy the Kingdom Hoops team won at a tournament in Kansas City.

Numbers 16-20

Drama queen posting from the comfort of the blue snuggle chair. The appendicitis thing didn't pan out, which is mostly a plus, although I was hoping someone would sneak nachos into my hospital room. But really, it's been 24 hours since I last complained of a real or imaginary ailment. So I'll moan about my shoulder. Still hurts and I couldn't cut out the biscuits tonight. How long do you think I'll let this go?

My friend Tracy reminded me I'm behind on my "Things you don't know about me" list. So here is the next installment.

16. I've been known to procrastinate.

17. My favorite food group is frosted cherry Pop-Tarts.

18. My favorite muppet is Gonzo.

19. I can spot insincerity a mile away.

20. I carry two things in my purse always - a heart Riley made me and a one-sentence note from a friend.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

I like visitors and word search puzzles

What is wrong with me? Today I think I have appendicitis. Honest to God. I have had a pain in my side all day. I have become quite the hypochondriac in the last 48 hours.

But here's what tickled me. I asked four people what side the appendix is on. Three said left; the other said not to worry, it's just gas. So I texted my friend Wendi, who happens to have a medical degree. She said right. Oh no, said my impromptu focus group. It's left. Google it. OK, so you believe Google, but not the real-life doctor? It's the right side, by the way. Google says so. Strangely enough, Google lists shoulder pain as a symptom. Hmmmm . . .

My next post will either be from here or my hospital room. Place your bets.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Working hard for the money

I spent my morning at IMMC with Carly. She was getting her ear worked on; I was looking for a shoulder guy. I thought maybe I could sneak in an appointment or quick surgical repair, but no such luck. My shoulder still hurts (and my head, and my leg . . .), but Carly's ear is looking good!

No sign of tumor regrowth. She has a new titanium implant, around a millimeter in size. I'm very hopeful her hearing will improve. We'll know in about eight weeks. Maybe sooner. I'm pretty tuned in to what she hears and what she doesn't.

In true Carly fashion, she made everyone work for their paycheck today. Her stubbornness is one of my favorite traits, except when she's using it on me. But I like a girl who isn't afraid to stand her ground. She reminds me of someone. Don't worry, it'll come to me.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Did you take yesterday's bet?

You should have. A freak fall this morning sent me to urgent care. Now I'm headed to a retina specialist. I wonder what that guy knows about shoulders.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Taking two aspirin and calling you to scoop my ice cream

We have a problem at the Hoop-lah house.

Those of you who love me know that my right shoulder has hurt off and on for a long time. My friend Megan, the world's greatest massage therapist, hears me complain about it a lot. She always tells me to go to the doctor, which I never do. I'm not going to the doctor unless I need my Ambien prescription renewed. And I NEVER EVER mention anything else, because that is just asking for trouble.

But lately I've noticed I'm having trouble opening jars and Gatorade bottles. And tonight? Tonight I couldn't scoop the ice cream without wincing. Folks, this is a problem. A HUGE problem. One that may force me to take action - and by that I mean hitting Dairy Queen a couple times a week. Like I don't have enough to do already.

On another note, who are these kids and when did they get so grown up? Riley looks so tall, but interestingly, Carly at nine is only 1 inch shorter than Riley at the same age. So check back in three years to see if she has hit 6 foot.

Maybe by then I'll have gone to the doctor. But I wouldn't make any bets.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Just call me Veruca Salt

I'm staring to get crabby. And I know some of you are thinking, "Starting?" Sheesh, give a girl a break.

It's really hard to function without my laptop. It's like being a ship without a rudder. Peanut butter without chocolate. Captain without Tennille.

Now I know the truth. I'm just like the people I make fun of. You know who I'm talking about. The ones who check their e-mail and their IMs and their websites every 30 seconds. And carry their laptops into the potty. I've NEVER done that. Oh wait, yes I have. Don't tell anyone.

It's like being back in 1985. My favorite year by the way. People could only reach you by mail or phone. And we had a cool turquoise blue dial phone with a long cord. The more I think about it, maybe that wasn't such a bad system.

Enough nostalgia. I don't want my MTV. I want my laptop and and my Facebook, and my blogs, and my IM, and I WANT IT NOW.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Hoop-lah all wet, on the road edition

My tan was fading, so Hoop-lah took it on the road yesterday. We hit the Lost Island waterpark in Waterloo with our neighbors. Second annual visit. Big Dog even joined us.

For as much time as I spend at waterparky things, I'm not a big fan. I can't see without my glasses, and I really don't enjoy accelerating backwards. Particularly in the dark. Then getting a noseful of bacteria water, which happened twice this week when Carly and I flipped our tube.

So you can understand my hesitancy about going on a new attraction - a roller coaster that Big Dog assured me was much tamer than Adventureland's log ride. Don't worry about the sign that says extreme, he said. Uh-huh. Let's just say I didn't go on that ride twice.

Right after that, he went on a slide that is like a toilet - you swirl around in a big bowl before you get sucked down a hole and pushed out the other end. Spectators can watch from the top. You should have seen the look on his face when he flipped his tube at the hole and flew down head first. He wasn't hurt, which is good. But I have to tell you it was one of the funniest things I have ever seen. And I couldn't help but think it was fate's way of saying, "That's what you get for lying to your wife!"

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Computer with a boo-boo

Hoop-lah is experiencing mechanical difficulties.

Regular programming will resume once my new hard drive arrives and is installed.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Dancing during commercials

Friday night and the lights are low . . .

. . . it's the only way to watch the crime shows.

Yes, I still need a lilfe.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Hello doctor? It's an emergency!

I've tried six times to write this post. But all I can think about is mac and cheese. And ice cream. Comfort foods that are soft and won't hurt my teeth. Which are phantom hurting in sympathy. I hope I can sleep tonight.

The braces went on this morning. Top ones only. I have no idea why. Six hours later - KA-POW-OWWWWWWW!!!! Six hours and 30 seconds later, the tears rolled. Riley cried a little, too. His from pain, mine from filling out more paperwork than for any other credit purchase EVER made.

I had planned to post a photo. Guess who said no.

If you have a really great orthodontist, like ours, he'll call and give you his home phone number in case you need him. Hmmmmm. I'm thinking middle of the night mac and cheese run.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Gifts of mac and cheese happily accepted

Tomorrow is the big day. Riley gets braces, and Big Dog and I get to fork over big money. Maybe we should cut him a deal. $500 for no braces, and we head out on a white sand, turquoise blue ocean vacation. I should have thought of that sooner.

As it stands, tomorrow will not be a good day. I will end up in tears even if it goes well. My crazy, menopausal hormones go wild at the slightest thing, and these rite of passage moments are killers. You should have heard me during Toy Story 3 when Andy graduated. A snorting, gasping sound that was just horrifying.

I'll try to keep my composure. But if you're thinking of me tomorrow, think comfort food. Hint, hint!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Would somebody please get me a drink?

There's nothing like a new year, a new job, a new something to make you feel like you've got possibilities, another chance. Something to look forward to. An opportunity to reform your no checkbook balancing, no bathroom cleaning ways.

That works when you're 43. But not when you're nine. Then new is bad. Really, really bad.

Ankeny released its classroom assignments today. And the tears flowed. It's the worst class EVER. (Hey, welcome to my club!)

I pulled out all the stops, all the super dooper parenting tricks I know. Including outright bribery, which, sad to say, usually works. Nothing. Inconsolable.

So I provided the Kleenex, the lap, and the listening ear -- and thought about my own fourth-grade experience. I didn't mention that fourth grade was one of the worst years EVER. My parents separated, kids started teasing me, and I was really glad when it was over.

Why does it have to be so hard? Now I need something to distract me.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Weekend update

What is it about siblings? You separate them for a week, and you know they miss each other. But give them an hour of togetherness and they're right back to where they left off. I'll be going to bed early.

I'm feeling better, thanks for asking. But now the dog is sick. We left her loose inside today when we went to pick up Riley in Williamsburg. She took her doggie explosion downstairs. That is one smart dog. She isn't allowed down there normally, but she knew not to mess up my good carpet.

And I'm still pondering the naughty scenes in yesterday's movie. I may never recover.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Hoop-lah at the movies

I went to see "The Kids Are Alright" today with my friend Wendi. Great movie, interesting plot. And lots of you-know-what. Don't take the kids. You don't want to have to explain anything.

I predict Annette Bening will get an Oscar nod. And Mark Ruffalo? He definitely should win something for being a great looking guy.

Friday, July 30, 2010

The price of inefficiency

Once upon a time nothing got by me. I was organized to a fault. Bills were paid on time. The laundry was done. Bathrooms were clean. Dinner was on the table. But somewhere down the line something changed.

Maybe it's the lack of time. Or the lack of interest. Or having to be responsible for too much. Before you know it, the shower hasn't been cleaned in months. The checkbook hasn't been balanced in a year. And you find yourself sitting in the Polk County Treasurer's Office because you forgot to renew your car registration.

Have you been there lately? It's not a place for the faint of heart. Lines are long, seats are scarce, people are very, very irritating. I am never going there again.

Whether that causes me to reform my ways remains to be seen. But I'll risk the ticket or hire out the job. So if you're looking for something to do this time next year, give me a shout. Even if I remember to renew, I'm sure my bathrooms will still need cleaned.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

What I like about you

Today's post is for Riley, who asked me to write about his awesomeness. How could I say no? Here are some things about him I think are awesome.

1. He has the best smile and is still this cute today.
2. He is smart, smart, smart and keeps trying even when he's frustrated.
3. He is a good athlete, but more importantly a good sport.
4. He considers C.C. his best friend.
5. He still sits on my lap and lets me snuggle.
6. He has a kind heart.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Did you get my postcard?

I went through my Dells vacation photos and thought I'd share these.

This one is my favorite.

Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah . . . what's his point?

How did this moose get in here?

Can you feel the enthusiasm?

You might have noticed I didn't post any photos of me. I am sure the lens on my camera failed during those shots. We'll be shopping for a new one. One that accurately shows my fabulous bikini body. You know, before I was deemed flabby.

Notable vacation moments:
  • Carly won at mini golf thanks to a five-stroke penalty levied on Big Dog for his nagging wife humor.
  • Big Dog and Riley both got a hole-in-one on the same green.
  • Paying $6 for a black cherry snowcone.
  • Watching police arrest a barely dressed 20-something for shoplifting. Handcuffs and a search. What can I say, we're gawkers.
  • Multiple go-cart crashes because S-L-O-W apparently means G-O for some folks. A little scary to think some of them actually have a driver's license.
  • Great food at a downtown eatery we found. Pricey, but worth every penny.

Think about going with us next time. We're lots of fun.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Misery for all

Remember those spacers the orthodontist would put between your teeth? They still exist in their itty-bitty, what the heck glory, but now they come in cool colors. That probably runs an extra $1,500. Maybe they were always colored. I can't remember.

Either way, Riley really likes them. So much that he pulled out a tooth (that was only sort of loose) so he could get rid of one. Hello? That kid is totally whacked.

And on a unrelated note, did you know that I am the worst mother EVER? Reality is probably second worst. But now I have a goal!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Hanging with the party animals

It's 9 o'clock on a Saturday, and the regular crowd shuffles in . . .

Which means I'm parked on the couch with C.C. and Mike watching crime TV. Googling how to clean a fiberglass tub and Rocky and Bullwinkle DVDs.

I need something to do. But it has to be near a bathroom. Without a line. Because I'm still fighting my vacation parasite. Self-diagnosed. Googled it.

Really? This is what I'm doing on a Saturday night?

Friday, July 23, 2010

I need a vacation from my vacation

I went on vacation and all I got was sick.

I will post more when I feel better. After all, we encountered the police - again - so I know you'll want to hear about that.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

From fab to flab

The dream is over. Carly now says I'm too flabby to wear a bikini.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Numbers 11-15

Happy Monday everyone. I'm back with my list. I know you've been checking for it two, maybe even three times a day. You're welcome.

11. I love to sing, but the Hoop-lahs tell me my singing stinks. La-la-la . . . I can't hear it. Can you?

12. Double dipping makes my skin crawl. I have no problem drinking from someone else's drink though.

13. I've been to lots of concerts, including Rick Springfield, Donny and Marie, Starship, Bon Jovi, Kenny Rogers, Barry Manilow, Richard Marx, AC/DC, 38 Special, Little River Band, Joe Walsh, Michael Jackson, ZZ Top, the Black Crowes, Billy Joel, Peter Frampton, Jerry Lee Lewis, Loverboy, The Hooters, and Miley Cyrus. I'm sure I've seen more, but remember my memory problem?

14. When I was growing up, everyone called me Jody.

15. When I was about four, I disappeared for a few hours. When my mom found me, I was in the neighbor's basement watching her refinish a chest.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Guess who's getting dinner out?

Today's plan was to work this morning, and then hit the pool this afternoon.

That didn't work out.

Instead, I got to take PTO. And use the shop vac. And scrub the cement floor. And carry carpeting and other stuff outside to be hosed off. And pick the grossest stuff you've ever seen off of every surface possible, including myself.

So here's my advice: When your floor drain hiccups one day, see if you can do something about it, especially if your wife mentions it. Because believe me, if it explodes the next day and she has to clean it up by herself, things are going to get tight.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Hoop-lah all wet, version 5

Tonight's guest blogger is Carly. She wants you to know catching Riley and friends on the lazy river is very hard. There's pushing and shoving, and it's hard to see when you're floating backwards. And the waves get massive for 10 minutes every hour.

Thanks Carly. Let's throw it back to me.

You might have guessed we hit the pool again today. Lots of fun and all the usual - screaming kids, crazy water rides, concession stand, police . . .

Stop. Did someone say police?

Oh yeah. Before you chastise the teenagers for being, well teenagers, it wasn't them. Oh no, it was an adult, a dad. Escorted out. From the kiddie pool. With his family trailing behind him. Not a Kodak moment. But maybe those don't exist anymore now that everything is digital.

Big Dog and I watched the commotion, and I asked him if he has ever been escorted out by armed guards. Big smirk and a no. Hmmmm . . . inquiring minds want to know. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Me 6-10

6. My secret celebrity crush is Bill Pullman.

7. I almost never win at thumb war.

8. My favorite dessert is strawberry shortcake. (Written by Carly - This is true. You should bring me some!)

9. In junior high, I was in a speech contest at the American Legion. I came in second, even though I forgot my speech.

10. I got braces in junior high but was in college before I got them off.

Totally unreleated, but did you see the story about Iowa kids being too short to detassle? I'm taking Riley today to sign up!

25 things you don't know about me

In increments of five . . .

1. I have a terrible memory.
2. I was three college credits short of a major in sociology.
3. I volunteered at the women’s prison in Mitchellville.
4. My childhood pets were Kitty, Angel, Moses, and Pepsi.
5. My favorite books are the Trixie Belden series.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Oh no you didn't

Someone is trying to tell me what I can (and can't) write about on my blog.

That's not going to fly. After all, I have a journalism degree and know all about my free speech/press rights in the 5th Amendment. That's the right one, isn't it? I might have skipped class that day.

So let me share my blog philosophy: I'll write about whatever I want. But I won't be mean. Or purposefully embarrassing. And if you tell me you don't read my blog then watch out. Because I'll write about you, a lot.

Are we clear? Good. There will be a quiz.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Hoop-lah all wet, version 4

Here we are at the Ankeny parade. If you saw my Facebook post, notice the mood swing.

Ever been to a parade with pole dancers on a float? Me neither. Until today. And no, I'm not kidding.

So why haven't I posted this week? Had to save my energy for today. Parade and the pool. I know your week isn't complete without my pool report, so here we go.

The new Ankeny pool rocks. Except for the overcrowded parking lot. And the parent who called her kid a bad name.

It shouldn't take more than two PA announcements to get you to move your car.

Pissed off pool staff on the PA are funny.

Don't climb into your floatie too soon on the lazy river. You'll get stuck. Yes, that was me.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

You're gonna have a fun-filled day . . .

We've gone to Adventureland every summer for the past seven years. Here we are at the beginning:

Carly was three. Riley was six.

Here we are now. Carly is nine. Riley is 12. And Big Dog and I are officially middle aged.

Have we changed?

Sunday, July 4, 2010

I know you want one of these

Check out the cool prize Riley and Carly won at Adventureland. It cost only $30 for them to "win" it. Maybe more. We stopped counting.

Boys of Summer

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Would I kid you?

Bonus post . . .

At this exact moment there is an SUV in my neighbor's driveway advertising the Chicha Shack Hookah Lounge.

I wonder if they serve nachos?

Hoop-lah all wet, version 3

Observations from the pool:

My Shaun Cassidy towel still rocks.

Full tattoo on your chest and back? Skip the patterned swimsuit. Trust me.

The last shaded chaise lounge brings out the worst in people.

Carly suggested - without sarcasm - I wear a bikini next time. God bless her!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Look Mom, no hands!

This afternoon I watched a helmetless motorcycle driver navigate several miles of accident traffic on I-35. Pretty much one-handed, but sometimes no-handed. He talked on his phone. He mopped his brow. He smoked. He fiddled with the controls. And he swerved - a lot.

The fact he stayed upright impressed me. His decision making skills, not so much.

Still needing Mom at 43

I must be in a mood. The human race is irritating me. Didn't everyone get the memo about doing it my way?

So my mom reminded me yesterday (as she frequently does) that not everyone thinks the way I do. And then she fed me beef and noodles for dinner. Which she made while watching my kids all day. And everything was better.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Toot, toot

It's not often I feel nostalgic about college life. But today, driving through Ames on a beautiful Friday afternoon, I passed some young people. They were sitting outside a house in their lawn chairs, playing games, and having fun. Their sign: You honk, we drink. And I thought about how much I miss the days when options were plentiful but responsibilities few.

Until I arrived home and was greeted by the hoop-lahs. And I realized that no matter how much they're hoop-lah'ing, there's nowhere else I'd rather be.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Hoop-lah goes deep

Why do people lie about things that don't matter?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Hoop-lah all wet, version 2

Nobody told me it was 70s Day at the pool. Had I known, I would have worn my fringed bikini. Among the splashers was a young man with sideburns bushier than bushy. And two girls with such amazing afros that they made the cast of Good Times look like amateurs.

It was also Make Hoop-lah Blush Day. One man had on a Speedo so small I'm certain the circulation to his brain was affected. Which explains the Speedo. And then there was the young couple in the grass. Making out. Near children. Near me. Yuck.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Metabolism envy

Today for breakfast Riley ate three eggs, waffles, an English muffin with peanut butter, a bowl of cereal, and two glasses of orange juice. He'll eat again in an hour, guaranteed.

I ate half a bowl of cereal. Guess who will gain weight.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Just call me Jeff

As promised, it's a bonus post. Control your excitement!

Everyone here, except Scott, has a nickname. Mine is Jeff, or Geoff if you're feeling fancy. Riley's is Rhonda or Roo-ski. Carly's is Car-Car or Carlu-ski. And sometimes Mittens. C.C.'s is -- well C.C., although somtimes we call her Dishwasher. And Mike? He's Mikey Moo.

Scott, however, has resisted all attempts to give him a nickname. We've tried Scooter and Bab-bie and Daddy-son. He doesn't like any of them. So tonight we told him to pick his own. Big Dog. Someone analyze that for me. Woof.

The hoop-lah is daily, just not always repeatable

I think I've set myself up for failure.

I'm already slacking on "The Daily Hoop-lah." A total oxymoron. But I vow to do better blog reader. To prove my dedication, tonight I'll give you two posts. At no extra charge. Because I'm all about bargains.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Tonight's special - naked dining

Last night at Red Lobster I told Scott that I needed to go to the mall for makeup. Which led Riley, panicked, to say, "You're naked?"

Always at dinner. Always.

And because I know you care . . . worst garage sale ever. EVER! So much for my vacation fund.

And my snuggle bunny is back. Yippee!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Tornado with purchase - no extra charge

Not many garage salers today. The tornado sirens slowed them down. Chickens.

But some memorable people have stopped by. Like the little boy who asked me at least five times why I have so much junk. And the elderly couple who argued over a $4 purchase. And the man who took the pogo stick for a test run on the driveway.

So here I sit, waiting and hoping sales pick up before closing time tomorrow.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

At least I get the remote

My routine is out of whack.

Most nights, I head to bed with a certain little snuggle bunny. We watch a little TV, usually her choice. We fight over who gets to hold Hippo. She always wins. I say she hogs the bed (IS true). She says I snore (NOT true). Sometimes we fall asleep before Dad makes it upstairs, sometimes not.

But my snuggle bunny isn't here this week. And I miss her!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Isn't this South Beach?

The hoop-lahs looked at me like I was C-R-A-Z-Y when I came home with a flamingo.

He makes me happy - how can you not smile when you see him?

So go away rain. My flamingo needs some sun!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Looking for a bargain?

Riley and I cleaned his room tonight for this weekend's garage sale.

He got rid of a lot, but seemed uncertain about some old basketball shoes. So I told him to keep them if he wanted. He looked horrified and said, "No, I don't want to be a hoarder!"

I love you A&E!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

I met this girl . . .

Mike always sleeps with his phone.

Because you never know when a cute kitten might call.

From criminal to crime fighter

Carly, to Scott after he told her to go to bed last night:

"Watch yourself copper."

I laughed for an hour.

If you don't get the headline, read the post from a few days back!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Beauty vs. baseball

A hoop-lah reality check today.

My brown-haired girl has asked for highlights for as long as I can remember. I've always said no, too expensive.

Today, on the way to get her hair cut, she said, "Can you tell me why I can't have highlights but you're always buying stuff for Riley's sports?"

Ouch. She is a kid who doesn't ask for much, so highlights wish granted. Best $25 I have spent in a long time. She is happy, happy.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Hoop-lah all wet

Hoop-lah went swimming today. Things I learned:

- 9-year-olds never get out unless they want something from the concession stand.

- 12-year-olds never get in. Too busy socializing.

- 43-year-olds pray for a little lightning.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Hoop-lah never pays

Recently, out of the blue, Carly said, "Has Dad ever been in prison?"


Then a few days later she came home from the library with this:

Something tells me she's watching too much Law and Order.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Welcome to The Daily Hoop-lah.

And yes, I know Hoop-lah is not an actual word. But geez, all the gramatically correct Blogger web addresses are "unavailable". So I'm making this work.

Hoop-lah describes our life. Hope it brings you a smile occasionally, or at the least makes you glad you're not me.