Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I'm Good Enough... I'm Smart Enough...

...and DOGGONE IT!  People LIKE me!!! 

At least, that's how I felt after I arrived home from work yesterday to discover that I had won a free month of rent!!! 

I suppose in order to fully comprehend the magnitude of the situation, you must first understand that I never win anything.  Like ever.  Until last year, the only thing I had ever won was a moldy fruit basket.  And believe you me, I was thrilled silly about that moldy fruit basket!  The basket itself (minus the moldy fruit) has been proudly displayed on top of my kitchen cabinets for the past seven years.

I think my luck started to change last year.  I won a prize or two playing games at baby showers and home sales shows.  Then the Christmas party at my foster care agency came around, and they started announcing the winners of the door prizes.  I was totally not paying attention.  "Why should I," I thought.  "I never win anything anyway."  So imagine my surprise when I looked up to see what felt like 1,000 pairs of eyes staring at me and the Director of the agency saying, "Tammy?  That's your name, Tammy."  :-)

That's when I did the whole jumping up out of my seat, clapping for myself, alternately giggling and crying, Miss America, waving my hand in front of my face so I didn't pass out, loudly exclaiming, "OMG!  I can't believe it!  I never win anything!" thing.  I had to restrain myself from doing the Miss America wave ("elbow, elbow... wrist, wrist, wrist...  fingers, fingers...  kiss, kiss, kiss") as I received my prize and headed back to my seat.

"What on earth did you win that had you so excited," you might ask?  A $20 gift card to Walmart...  I can only imagine what my reaction would have been had I won a high-dollar prize!  As it is, I have a feeling no one at that party is going to forget me anytime soon.  =)

Fast forward to yesterday afternoon...  I'd had a long day at work, and I was soooo looking forward to kicking off my shoes, stripping off my bra, throwing on some pj's, and lounging around the house for a few hours.  I got out of the car and rounded the corner of my building only to be greeted with a bright red, folded piece of paper with my apartment number on it on the little memo clip by the front door.  "Oh, crap.  What did I do now?"  I mentally played back the past few weeks in my head...  Had I paid the water bill?  Did I short pay rent?  Was the cat being too loud when he tears around the house after going to the bathroom?  All I could think was that red was not a good color when it comes to announcements. 

I pulled the paper off of the door and stepped inside.  I braved up and went to read it, only to discover that it was STAPLED too!  "Oh, sweet crap!!!  Am I being evicted or something?!?"  I, ever so slowly, unfolded the note and was greeted with...

Congratulations, Tamara S...!

You are the WINNER

I squealed and jumped around like a little girl, which in turn terrified the cat, whose hair stood up on his back as he jumped about five feet straight up from the floor.  I half expected to see him clinging from the ceiling in a desperate attempt to escape me in all of my hyperventilating glory.  Instead, he just ran and hid under the computer desk and eyed me warily until I calmed down and composed myself.

You have no idea how excited I am.  This ends up being about $900 going straight into my "Buying a Baby Fund" (as my newphew calls it)!  With this and what I already have in there from the past few weeks, I should have enough for my homestudy after my next paycheck!  I'm going to wait a little while before I do the homestudy though because it's only good for 6 months, and I'd just have to come up with another $500 to update it.  I am so happy that things are starting to pick up in the adoption fundraising area though.  This was a great little boost!  I'm still doing a mental happy dance!  =)

So go ahead and feel free to bask in the warmth of my radiant glow!  Maybe my newfound good fortune will rub off and everyone will be blessed with the "lucky bug."  We can dream anyway...  :-)

Sunday, June 27, 2010

That is SO Wrong!!!

And the winner of this week's "That is SO Wrong" award is...

VELVET Bermuda Shorts!!!

I can honestly say that I have never seen anything quite like them...
and I'm fairly certain I know why...

That is SO Wrong!

Way to go, Chadwick's, for your oh-so-fashion-forward take on the short of the Bermudan...

What do you think of this $7.99 Clearance item???
(marked down from $34.99.  What a steal!!!)

Friday, June 25, 2010

Gimp Girl on the Mend

I've been fracture boot-free for the past three months, and I'm STILL having problems with this stinking leg!  I ended up going back to the broken leg doc this morning.  He took more x-rays, and came up with the following brilliant analysis:

The doc thinks the reason I’m still having problems with my leg is that there’s a nerve that runs right along the break site.  My leg is healing, but there’s kind of a “hook” where the bone is calcifying.  He thinks when I move in certain ways, that pointy “hook” interferes with the nerve, causing the stabbing sensation that pretty much brings me to my knees. He wants me to give it ANOTHER six months before we talk about doing surgery though because he said that it is healing, just slowly.  He’s hopeful that as it heals more, it will start feeling better.  (You're hopeful, Doc?!?  What about me?!?  I'm the hopeful one!!!)  If not, he would “just” remove that section of bone where the break is. He said that the fibula is the bone that they take away from to do bone grafts because it’s non-weight bearing so by taking away the jagged portion where the break is, it would just be like I’d had bone removed for a bone graft.

His words of wisdom… “The bone and ankle are stable, so you can try to do whatever you want, but if it hurts, don’t do it.”  Thanks, Doc! You’re so smart!  I was like, "Wow, Dr. P.! Your wisdom is astonishing! That $300,000 paid for med school was well spent!"

So I guess this means that my leg is healing, just very, very slowly...  He said it was a bad break, and that it could take up to a year for it to heal completely.  (What happened to the fracture being "inconsequential" like you had initially said, huh?)  I wish I had been able to get copies of today's x-rays though.  You can definitely see why I'm having some trouble.  At least he reassured me that I didn't re-injure it when I was playing with the kids in the pool a couple of weeks ago.  I moved in a way that nearly brought me to my knees it hurt so bad.  Turns out it was most likely just my "hook" and nerve.

Monday, June 21, 2010

"Buying" a Baby

It's amazing what kids overhear when you think they're not listening.  It's also interesting how they interpret what they hear.

My sister told me on Saturday that my 5-year-old nephew came to her the other day and told her that he wanted to save all of his money for Aunt Tammy.  When she asked him why, Buddy said, "So Aunt Tammy can buy a baby and she can be happy."  She said that he keeps putting his change in envelopes and writing my name on it, and that they have a basket full of envelopes for me.  It was the sweetest thing I've ever heard, and I almost cried when she told me!

(For the record, I have absolutely no intention of purchasing an infant!  He had to have overheard someone talking about how I'm trying to save money for the adoption.  At 5 years old, you use money to "buy" things.  Hence, "Aunt Tammy is buying a baby."  I'm going to legally adopt.  Nothing questionable here.  I promise!)

I'm still busy looking into adoption agencies.  So far I've found one or two that seem promising as far as working with singles.  I still have a lot of researching to do though.  I didn't get to work on it much this weekend.  I had a good weekend though... Christy, my brother-in-law, and the twins came over on Saturday so the twins could practice in the pool for their swimming lessons.  Christy came back that night for Craft Night and we got a bunch of stuff done.  Father's Day was a busy day too.  I actually went and watched golf on TV with my parents.  Golf is so not my cup of tea, but it was fun hanging out with them.  :-)

Today, it's back to the hunt!  Hope you all have a great week!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

"Loving One of These"

Though she longed for her own children,
God supplied a steady flow;
And her life was filled with youngsters,
As the years would come and go.

Gently taught she of the Savior,
Little hearts received with joy!
Steadily, she wisely counseled
With a young and wayward boy.

Little ones, with no attention,
Fell into the lady’s plans
And she loved and guided gently,
Trusting God would understand.

Children need a loving Mother
Who has time to listen well;
Who can watch their face intently,
As their stories they do tell.

Though her loving arms were holding
Children other than her own,
Still, the mother love was given;
Still, the seeds of love were sown.

Not to one was she blood mother;
But I wonder how God sees.
Does birthing make a mother,
Or is it loving one of these?

© 1980 Joan Clifton Costner

Thank you for sharing this, Tasha!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

That is SO Wrong!!!

And the winner of this week's "That is SO Wrong" award goes to...

Snuggies...  FOR DOGS!!!

(Because it's not as if dogs have a natural physical advantage to keeping warm... 
Like hair all over their bodies or anything like that...)

I'm fairly certain I saw one of these on Mr. Pickles this winter.  Why am I not surprised?

So what are your thoughts on this waste of $14.95 plus tax?

Friday, June 18, 2010

A Glimpse of How Ka-Diva Got Her Nickname

These were taken a few years ago...  Kind of shows you how I gave Ka-Diva her nickname...  :)

Can we say, "Total Ham???" 
Ka-Diva does love the camera!  :-)

Learning to Share

I stumbled across this email that I had saved from when the twins were babies.  It was a short series of photos that my sister had taken of my niece and nephew "playing" together, and I wrote little captions to tell the story.  I thought I'd save it here in the blog.  :)

Buddy's Idea of Sharing...  A Short Series of Photos

(Buddy on left, Ka-Diva on right)

"Hmmm...  Ka-Diva has a nice purple toy over there.  I think I want it!"

Buddy takes purple toy.
Mama gives Ka-Diva green toy.
Buddy spots green toy and forgets about purple toy.

"Hmmm...  Ka-Diva has a nice green toy over there.  I think I'd rather have that!"

Buddy takes green toy.
Ka-Diva decides to play with forgotten purple toy.

"Well heck!  I forgot about the nice purple toy!  I want that one too!"

Buddy takes purple toy, and sits smugly as poor little Ka-Diva gets nothing."

...And so were the days of my dear sister's life...

~The End~

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Search Is On

So the search is on!!! 

After thoroughly weighing my options, I've decided to try domestic infant adoption.  There are way too many "unknowns" with trying surrogacy right now.  I have a feeling if/when I get married, I'll probably be more willing to try the surrogacy thing.  But without the backup of a husband, I don't want to risk having twins.  :-)  There's also a good possibility that it won't work at all, and then I'd be completely broke and still childless.  I've always known I was going to adopt, so I'm braving up and getting started on my Adoption Journey.  I'm scared silly, but so unbelievably excited!

First Steps of the Journey:

I set up a PayPal "Donate" button on the blog for friends and family who want to contribute to the Adoption Fund (left hand side, under my profile info).  I had a couple of people suggest it, so I figured I'd give it a try.  Planning on sending me a birthday card or Christmas present?  Just put whatever amount you were going to spend on the card or gift into the Adoption Fund!  What better present could I get than help bringing my baby home?  :-)  Then, I opened a special savings account strictly for my Adoption Fund.  I'll be direct depositing into the account with every paycheck, and transferring any money that I happen to get in the PayPal account in there as well.

I started seriously researching adoption agencies in Texas last night.  I've found quite a few that will work with singles, but most of them are hesitant to do so.  I have found one or two that seem promising though, and I have a huge list to look into over the rest of the week.  I'm hoping to have the list narrowed down to a few by the end of the weekend, and call them next week to find out success rates, average waiting times, etc. for singles with their agencies.

Next Steps:

I have a "Craft Night" the third weekend of every month at my house.  Most of the girls work on scrapbooking or photos albums.  My project this weekend is going to be decorating baby bottles to pass out to friends and family.  I saw the idea on an Adoption Fundraising website.  You pass out the baby bottles for friends and family to use to collect their spare change.  When the bottle fills up, they return it and get a new one.  The site said that the bottles usually end up ranging from $15-$25 each.  I'll be depositing that money into the Adoption Fund account as it comes in.  I'm sure the ladies at the bank will just love to see me coming.  :-)

I need to sit down and seriously think about ways to save the money.  I think I came up with some pretty good ideas in my "Adoption Fund Brainstorming" post last week.  Now I just need to start putting things in motion.  I'm pretty sure I'll have enough in the next month to be able to send in my application fee to whatever agency I decide to go with.  That's the good thing about adoption...  You pay in stages.  I'm really hoping that I can use my foster/adopt homestudy from my foster agency, but I kind of doubt it.  If not, I'll have to come up with another $1,500-$2,000 for the new homestudy fairly soon.  Then I'll have some time to send in payments to the agency for their fees.  I won't have to come up with everything else for a while.

I could save several thousand dollars if I can find a birth mother on my own, so if you know of anyone choosing adoption for her baby, feel free to send her my way!  (I'm still seriously tempted to ask that girl at Sonic what her plans are. ;-)

Wish me luck!!!  And, as always, fundraising ideas and moral support are much appreciated!  :)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Why Fix It If It's Not Broken?!?

I just got back to the house after what was supposed to be a quick run to the grocery store to pick up a few things.  An hour and a half later, I returned with my little $45 worth of groceries and a killer migraine. 

First of all, I should have known better than to go grocery shopping on a Sunday afternoon.  The place was a madhouse!  All of those little old people stopping in the middle of the aisles to chitchat with their long-lost friends of Yore...  Kids running from their parents...  Entire family reunions stopping in front of the sample ladies to feed their broods...  People on cell phones, stopped in the middle of the main aisle...  It was bad.  Fortunately, I knew exactly what I was looking for, and I knew exactly where to find it... 

Or so I thought...

Yep!  The "grocery store powers that be" decided that now would be an excellent time to completely rearrange my grocery store!!!  I CURSE YOU, GROCERY STORE POWERS THAT BE!!!  I have been shopping at your store for the past 10 years.  I know exactly where everything is.  I like that I know exactly where everything is!  So why must you go and upset the status quot?  I'm all for "embracing change," but not when it comes to my grocery shopping experience!  Why "fix" it if it's not broken?!? 

After searching high and low for the few specific items that I went shopping for with little to no success, I decided to corner a poor, unsuspecting Little Stock Boy and make him do all of the searching.  First, I needed cream cheese.  All of the other cheese products were together.  Cream cheese, on the other hand, is now with the eggs and pudding.  Oh, well...  OF COURSE IT IS!  Because everyone knows that eggs and cream cheese and pudding have oh so much in common!

I then sent him in search of those Banquet Homestyle Bake meals that have always been with the Hamburger Helper and other meals in a box.  (I know...  I know...  It's not exactly fine cuisine or even healthy, but when you're cooking for one person, it's quick, easy, and not too much of it goes to waste.)  They were so well-hidden that even poor Little Stock Boy couldn't locate them!

As I stood there in the corner, sending Little Stock Boy on one wild goose chase after another, I began noticing lots of worn-out looking people in red and beige running back and forth between the aisles and other brilliant women like myself standing in corners looking rather irritated, yet smug.  I realized that I must have that exact same expression on my face as I waited for Little Stock Boy to return with yet another unlocatable item on my list of only 15 things.  Pissed off that they went and changed my store after 10 years of me knowing exactly where to find my groceries, and yet rather pleased with myself that I had found a way to take it out on the "grocery store powers that be" by forcing Little Stock Boy to do my grocery shopping for me instead of doing his job...

Yessirree!!!  We showed them!!!  They're certain to put everything back where it belongs now!!!  (A girl can dream anyway...)

Friday, June 11, 2010

That Is SO Wrong!!!

I've decided to start a post series entitled "That is SO Wrong!"  Short, sweet, and to the point... 

The winner of this week's "That is SO Wrong" award goes to...

High-heeled Swimming Flippers!!!
(Because one can never be too prepared...)

What are your thoughts on this stylish footwear/swimming paraphernalia?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Adoption Fund Brainstorming

I had such a blast writing my "A-Z's of Vegas" post that I thought I'd try the "A-Z" strategy for other subjects too!  :)  My current assignment?  The A-Z's of Adoption Fundraising...  Anyone who has looked into private adoption knows how ridiculously expensive it is, and my sister and I have been busy brainstorming away trying to figure out different ways to raise the money.  Here's what we've come up with so far:

Ask for money (Does anyone have any money you would like to contribute to my Adoption Fund? :); Avon (Would anyone even buy Avon if I decided to sell it?); Apply for adoption grants and loans; After school care for kiddos until their parents get off of work (Although, I don't think that my boss would appreciate a whole mess of kids running around the office in the afternoon.)

Be the "Biggest Loser" (Although that would probably involve that whole "diet and exercise" thing that I'm not overly-fond of); Bake Sale (Taking into account my considerable lack of talent in that "kitchen" room of the house, I think this would probably work better if someone else did the baking); Beg (It couldn't hurt anyway! :)

Change jars (I saw the cutest idea on an adoption funding website.  You just give baby bottles to friends and family and ask them to save their spare change.  When the bottle fills up, they give it back to you and get a new one.  I wouldn't be able to earn the $25K that way, but every little bit helps!); Cut coupons and Check ads (I have got to learn how to do this the right way.  You really can save a lot of money if you do it right.)

Direct deposit a portion of my paycheck into an Adoption Fund savings account.  (If I don't see the money, I won't be tempted to spend it.)

Ebay (I'm sure I've got all sorts of crap high-valued possessions that I could sell!)

Find "Free Stuff" websites (You can get all sorts of samples of things that you already use for free, so why not do it?  The more I can get for free, the more I can save when I don't have to buy it!)

Garage Sale (I think the best way to go about this would be to ask for donated items from friends and family, price only the higher-valued items, and advertise it as an "Adoption Sale."  Just have people make an offer for what they want to buy.  That way, friends and family can get rid of the junk in their houses, and I can save the money in my Adoption Fund when it's done.)

High-priced Call Girl (Why go cheap when you can get a great date out of it too? ;-); Hospital Sitter (My foster agency has a pool of sitters who are called on rotation to sit with children in CPS custody while they are in the hospital.  It's $10 an hour, and you can say "yes" or "no" any time they call you.  That would be a great way to still stay involved with foster care, but to earn some money for the Adoption Fund as well.)

Internet fundraising (You earn a small percentage of whatever their purchase when they shop online through your site for purchases they were going to make anyway.); "If you find it, pick it up...  All day long you'll have good luck!" (Wait a second, I think that's a combination of "See a penny, pick it up" and "If you build it, they will come."  Either way though, I'm not above picking up change off the ground!)

Jacks (Kids don't play jacks anymore, and I totally rocked at that game!  I could probably hustle some poor children for their allowance money if I had the chance.); Jelly and jam (Homemade from my kitchen and sold for a small fee...  Quality not guaranteed though.  It's me we're talking about here.)

Kids' Carnival (Get donated bounce house and other carnival things, set up games, etc. and sell tickets.  Fun family time!); Karate lessons (I can yell, "Hi-YAH!" with the best of them.  As Christy says, "It can't be that hard, right???" :-)

Lottery winner!; Lice removal professional (might as well get the practice if I'm going to have a constant stream of children in and out of the house)

Monitize my blog; Mystery shopping (It doesn't pay much at all, but it does pay you to shop! ;-)

Nude-y calendar (Not me!  I'll find me some hot guys and use them.  :-)

Offer my "sitting" services (baby-sitting, house-sitting, pet-sitting, etc.  I request house-sitting in ritzy neighbors with built-in pools and pet-sitting of fish only.); Organizational services (because I am a list and organizational freak!)

PayPal donation account (Planning on buying me a Christmas present or sending me a birthday card?  Just put the money that you would have spend into my PayPal donation account.  Helping to bring my baby home would be the best present in the world!); Pole dancing (I hear they make GREAT money!); Part-time job; Photography for friends and family (I'm not bad with the camera.  I could charge a $25 "session fee" to shoot the pics, edit and upload them to Snapfish or Kodak, and then the buyers could order their own prints from there.  I could do portrait sessions at area parks or even small events like birthday parties.); Professional Packer (seeing as how I've moved like 5,000 times).

Quilting (Although I have a feeling that might be rather time-consuming, especially because I failed the sewing portion of Home Ec.)

Raffles; Recylce for cash

Sell Scentsy (Although Katie probably wouldn't like me much if I took away her business.  Maybe she'd be willing to go in together and do a 50/50 thing.  What do you think, Katie?  We could go basket parties all the way!  We just need to make smaller samples so we can have a few parties going at a time and then promote like crazy!  I could even do most of the work so you could focus on your landscaping business if you want.)

Tutor (I was a "smart kid" in "special class."); Teach gymnastics (That's not as far-fetched as you might think.  I coached for about 5 years and loved it!  I kind of miss it.  Not sure I could do it right now with my leg all messed up though.); Toilet paper roll changer (because we all know how I feel about that by now ;-)

Use donated frequent flyer miles for adoption-related travel (would be especially handy if I end up adopting internationally)

Vegas, Baby!

Write and sell Facebook status updates for people who aren't that good with words or who just lead very boring lives.

X-treme water war (Charge admission and let everyone loose with water balloons, water guns, Super Soakers, spray bottles, and other containers full of water.  Why not?  It's 100 degrees outside!  It could be fun!)

Yodeling lessons for small children (I'm sure parents would love that one!)

Zen up people's houses (Because everyone needs a meditation sanctuary after a long day...)

Okay...  So some of those things are probably not going to happen.  I highly doubt I'll be donning "hoochie mama" clothes and looking for a "date" on street corners or trying my hand at pole dancing, but as I learned in school, "anything goes" when you're brainstorming.  While some of my ideas might prove to be lucrative, I have my suspicions that the adoption agency might frown on me listing my occupation as a "Lady of the Night."  I think I'll stick with my day job, and lean towards the more child-friendly ideas when it comes to funding the adoption.  I won't be turning down the money if I win in Vegas though!

What about the rest of you?  Any good adoption fundraising ideas?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

I Am a Comment Whore

Yes, I'll admit it.  I'll do just about anything for comments on my blog.  I usually feel like I should be standing on some street corner in my "sexy clothes" saying things like, "Hey baby...  Leave me a comment, and I'll show you a real good time..."  ;-)

It became very apparent how much I craved the attention desired the interaction from my readers this morning when I logged in and saw that exciting little link that said that I had a comment that needed to be moderated.  "OMG!!!  I HAVE A COMMENT!!!  I HAVE A COMMENT!!!  I LOVE COMMENTS!!!"  It was a great one too!  It said how she was crying because she was laughing so hard and that she really thought I needed to publish a coffee table book.  I felt all warm and fuzzy inside when I hit the "Publish" button.  And then the comment completely disappeared!!!  "NOOOO!!!"  I almost cried.  Now I have nothing to show for all of my hard work.  :(

I'm not quite sure where the need for constant compliments positive feedback and acknowledgement that someone is actually reading the blog comes from, but I'll admit that it does make me feel good to know that other people are reading and enjoying my stuff.  It keeps me motivated.  Unfortunately, now that I've been writing almost every day, my friends and family are a wee bit terrified to hang out with me.  I don't get it!  They're the ones who keep telling me that I need to publish a book of my blog!  They all say how they love that I have the ability to turn mundane, everyday living into something funny, but I think they really mean that they love it when I turn my mundane, everyday living into something funny.  :-)  I just tell them that we all need to suck it up and take one for the team!  One day, my little blog will be famous, and they can say "I knew her when..."  ;-) 

I've written about the Blog Bug before.  About how Tammy in "writer mode" is 1,000 times more sarcastic and on the lookout for inspiration than Tammy in "everyday mode."  (and Tammy in "everyday mode" is pretty high up on the dry wit meter)  But seriously...  You've got to be able to laugh at yourself and not take things too seriously or you'll just be miserable and embarrassed all the time (or I would at least.  I tend to have lots of "blond moments of the non-blond")!  And I do have some deeper and more meaningful posts quite a bit, so I think the blog is fairly well-rounded.

But I do so love the comments!!!  I love it when you guys answer my questions and continue the "conversations."  It's always interesting to get different perspectives on things and to learn from other people's experiences.  And, of course, the compliments and raving reviews aren't too bad for the ego either.  :-)

Monday, June 7, 2010

Weather Girl

Recently, I have become the go-to Weather Girl at the office.  While I have no official training in meteorology, my co-workers and I strongly believe that I have a much more reliable and accurate forecasting system in place than the area's trained professionals.  I'm not sure if there is a technical term for it, but I call it...

"My Leg Hurts"

Yep!  Ever since I broke my leg, it hurts like a mother whenever it is about to rain!  Now, when we have cloudy skies, the girls at work inevitably ask me whether or not they should go roll up the windows in their cars rather than consult The Weather Channel. 

I used to feel so good that everyone seemed so concerned about how I was healing.  "How's your leg, Tammy?"  "Your leg doesn't hurt too bad today, does it Tammy?"  It wasn't until recently that I discovered that their apparent concern for my well-being was merely a ploy to determine whether or not it was going to rain.

I think the true extent of my "abilities" became clear a few weeks ago when a group of co-workers and I decided to walk a couple of blocks to go to lunch.  My leg had been bothering me that day, but I chose to ignore it, tough it up, and walk to the restaurant with the girls.  When we got outside and saw the ominous-looking clouds in the distance, I made an off-handed comment about how I really hoped we didn't get caught in the rain.  I even made a joke about how my leg was hurting more than usual.  We all laughed.

That is to say, we all laughed...  Until we stood up to leave the restaurant to walk back to work and discovered the torrential downpour that was occurring outside.  As the six of us huddled helplessly under the cover of the patio wondering how the heck we were going to get back to the office with only one umbrella between us, I (of course) just had to open my smart mouth and say, "I told you my leg hurt."  ;-)

After weighing our options, the consensus was that the least embarrassing solution was for me to call Katie and see if she would come get us.  Unfortunately she (and the couple of other so-called "friends" that we tried to call ;-) wouldn't answer her phone.  We finally admitted defeat, gave in, and Cheryl called our boss.  He was waiting for our call, and offered to come pick us up.  :-)

By the time Cheryl hung up the phone, the rain had let up to a light shower, so Carole (the keeper of the lone umbrella), and Cheryl and I (the two morons who decided that we weren't made of sugar and therefore wouldn't melt) decided to go ahead and walk back.  Cheryl called our boss once more and told him not to worry about driving over.  Carole was going to get her car and drive back to pick up the other three who stayed behind at the restaurant.

The three of us set out on our rainy adventure back to work...  Cheryl and I in all of our stupidity, and Carole holding her lightning rod high above her head...  (For the life of me, I've never been able to understand why the inventor of the umbrella thought it was a good idea to hold a metal pole over our head during a thunderstorm!  As far as I'm concerned, that's just asking for trouble!)  We made it back to the office, and Carole hopped in her car to head out to rescue the island castaways. 

Cheryl and I (in all of our drowned-rat glory) sauntered up the stairs...  and promptly ran into our boss who actually had the nerve to laugh at us!  The little snot (and I say that with all of the love and respect in the world :-) even had the nerve to say (with a mischievous grin), "I thought about saying something when you guys left for lunch, but then I thought 'Nooooo...'  I'm just gonna sit by the phone, wait for their call, and then make fun of them when they finally do."  Mmm-hmmm...  Nice. 

We didn't realize just how infamous our little field trip had become until about a week later.  Cheryl was talking to a co-worker from an entirely different department when she casually mentioned getting stuck in the rain the week before.  Our co-worker loudly exclaimed, "Oh my gosh!!!  That was you guys?!?  That story is legendaryEverybody's talking about it!"  I think if Cheryl had a good throwing object handy I might have found myself on the receiving end of a projectile to the head.  "Tammy!" she yelled...  "You see what happens when you post stuff on Facebook?!?"  (Just wait until she reads my blog! :-)

After our lunchtime adventure in the rain, and my seemingly uncanny premonition that it would happen, the girls were a bit intrigued the following week when I said, "You know...  My leg's hurting today.  I think it's gonna rain."  They weren't quite ready to fully-embrace my new magical power just yet, but when the floodgates opened that night, they were all believers.  :-)

While I've only had a few opportunities to prove my newfound ability (It is nearing summer in Texas, you know...  Not much rain around here anymore.), so far I have proven to be correct every time I venture out to predict that day's chance of precipitation.  I now answer questions about the status of my recovery with, "Go roll up your windows." or "It's not gonna rain."

(*** Note - Names have not been changed to protect the innocent.  If I'm going down...  We're all going down! ***)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Terror in the Water

It was a frightening day in the water.  Children cowered behind their fathers and mothers and screamed in terror as the great albino whale neared.  The waves caused by the giant beast were massive.  Almost tsunami-like in their nature...  The undertow formed in the wake of the gigantic creature was so strong that not even the most highly qualified members of Coast Guard Rescue could successfully maneuver it.  The glare of the sun off of the sea mammal's snow-white skin was blinding to any who dared look directly at it. 

No...  This terror-filled event did not occur on any populated beach on this particular occasion, but rather in my very own community swimming pool as I bravely donned my swimsuit and hoisted my pasty white, over-sized self into the water for the first time last weekend.

I tried to warn them!  I really did!  But try explaining the concept of water displacement to a couple of eager 5-year-olds who desperately want to go swimming at their Aunt Tammy's house.  It's 100 degrees outside, and I'm the only one with free access to a built-in pool.  So the great albino whale emerged in all her glory and took the kiddos for an afternoon swim.

Twins and I had a great time!  I'm not too sure about the other unsuspecting pool patrons though.  I believe I heard cries of "Sweet Gracious, the glare!!!  I can't see!!!  I can't see!!!"  And there was something about being "caught in its wake" that I didn't quite catch.  However, I did seem to be rather popular with the children as I was apparently creating a "lazy river" effect as I walked around the pool.

A week has passed since I traumatized my neighbors, so I think I will bravely gear up again tomorrow and enjoy the afternoon heat swimming in my community pool once more.  Perhaps I should choreograph a routine and charge admission for a "Shamu"-like performance!  Who needs to drive 5 hours to Sea World when you have "TAMU...  THE GREAT ALBINO WHALE!?!"

Friday, June 4, 2010

My Niece is in WUUUUB...

My little niece...  I just love that girl like crazy!  :-)

I've pretty much known that I'd never be able to get pregnant, but I had always wondered what my biological child might be like.  Then my sister had K, and I didn't have to wonder anymore.  That little girl is my "Mini Me" in every possible way!  Her personality is so much so, that Christy often looks at me disapprovingly and says, "Thanks a lot, Aunt Tammy."  I LOVE IT!!!  :-)

K is 5 years old, going on 35.  She has what I refer to as her "Ka-diva moments," when she gives you a look that makes you feel like she is the grown-up and you are the child.  Her twin brother, my poor nephew, seems resigned to the fact that K is always going to boss him around.  C has a "go-with-the-flow" kind of personality, so for the most part, he just humors her. 

My niece has an "all or nothing" personality.  When she gets set on something, it becomes almost an obsession.  For the first few months of the year, it was "big cats."  Lions, tigers, leopards, etc.  Everything was about "big cats."  She told Christy that she wanted to redecorate her room.  She collected anything she could find that was "big cat" print.  She hung pictures.  She watched "big cat" nature shows.  "Big cats" were her life. 


Yes, K's most recent obsession is the one and only...  "King of Pop."  Apparently, my sister was listening to her playlist, and a Michael Jackson song came on.  For the most part, they only listen to "cowboy music," so when a different kind of song came on, K was curious.  "Who sings this, Mom?"  Christy told her, and then went online to show her some videos because K loves dancing, and regardless of how creepy and weird the man was, you have to admit...  The guy could dance!  And so, K's obsession with Michael Jackson began...

Over the past three weeks, she has spent countless hours on the internet watching videos.  She has learned the dances.  She insists on wearing sparkly clothes ("because Michael Jackson wears sparkly clothes").  The "big cat" pictures are quickly being replaced by photos of "The King of Pop."  And most recently, my mom ordered her a Michael Jackson t-shirt.  And I'm not entirely certain it's ever been washed.  :-)

Last weekend, the twins came over for some "Fun Aunt Tammy" time at the pool, and K was proudly wearing her new t-shirt.  I told her what a cool shirt it was, and her brother (obviously sick to death of hearing about Michael Jackson) rolled his eyes and groaned, "K is in looooove with Michael Jackson.  She dreams about Michael Jackson every night!"  K blushed, shook her head, and exclaimed "I just can't help myself!  I'm gonna marry him."

I told Christy about the conversation and asked if K knew that her newest love was no longer with us.  She said that did, and that she told Christy a few days before that she has a solution.  Apparently, the conversation went something like:

K - "Mom...  I'm gonna marry Michael Jackson when I grow up."

Christy - "Well, honey...  You remember that Michael Jackson isn't alive anymore, right?"

K - "Yeah, I remember.  But I have a plan."

Christy - "Really?"

K - "Yes.  When I grow up, I'm going to take a spaceship up to Heaven, and ask God to make Michael Jackson all better and send him back down to earth so I can marry him and be Mrs. Michael Jackson."

Christy - "Oh, wow!  That's a pretty good idea.  But I'm not really sure if He can do that."

K then went all "Ka-diva" on her mother and exclaimed with a look that you give someone when you know you are so much smarter than they are, "Um...  Yes He can...  He can do whatever He wants.  He's GOD!!!"  (*** rolling eyes and shaking head ***  Like, DUH, Mom!)

That's my girl!  You can't argue with that one.  :-)
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