Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Happiness Project :: Sshhhhh...

...everybody's sleeping.  Except me of course, but that's by choice.  Everybody else in my house is still sawing logs.  Usually we'd all be up and screaming at each other by now.  You know, the hectic morning drill.  But not this week.  That's because my kiddos get the whole week of Thanksgiving off.  Which means no morning madness for us this week.  That makes me very VERY happy.

What about you?  Share your happiness over at Leigh vs. Laundry.  And have a very happy Thanksgiving!


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Happiness Project :: Insomnia

Hey, sometimes insomnia comes in handy...like last night when I realized, after staring at the ceiling fan above my bed for about 45 minutes, that I'd completely forgotten the Tooth Fairy's scheduled appointment with the little guy sleeping in the room directly above that ceiling fan.  Whew!  Dodged a bullet there!

Oh, and now that it's the morning after, I'm also happy for this stuff.  The little bottle doesn't lie, people.

And you?  What are you happy for?  Join the fun over at Leigh vs. Laundry, wont you? 


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Happiness Project :: The End of Soccer Season

It's Tuesday!  And not just any Tuesday.  It's the 1st Tuesday in...well...in a long time that we don't have any soccer practices.  Tuesdays have been my day from hell ever since school started.  The whole day was consumed with shuttling one kid here the other kid there.  Then back to get the kid from here to there and then off to get the other kid from there to here.  Ugh!  It's been brutal.  I never did figure out when to squeeze dinner in.  We all just kind of went hungry on Tuesdays.  And now it's OVER!  At least until Basketball season starts.

What's making you happy today?  Join The Happiness Project over at Leigh vs. Laundry and tell us all about it.


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Happiness Project :: Nobody

That's right.  Nobody's making me happy today.  And I have no picture to prove it.

What, you say!  Has she lost her mind?!  This is The Happiness Project.  You can't just post that nothing's making you happy today.  Just don't put up a post at all if that's the way you feel about things.

Oh, relax people!  Don't misunderstand.  I'm happy.  Very happy, actually.  Because I have nobody today.  Nobody in my house, that is.  No work-at-home husband dirtying dishes faster then I can get them washed.  No kiddos hey-mommy'ing me to death.  NOoobody.  And I'm ecstatic about it!

Oh, alright.  Since this really is a picture project, I'll post a picture of something else that's making me happy:

I'm really happy that this it the last one of these in my house.  I made 8 dozen Halloween-shaped sugar cookies last week and this is the very last one.  It's been expertly decorated by my Ladybug.  There's about 1/4" of icing under all those sprinkles.  And I'm gonna eat it.  Right now.  To get it out of my sight.  I'm sure I'll live to regret my decision, but I'm gonna do it anyway.

And what's making you happy today?  Pop on over to Leigh vs. Laundry and tell us all about it, why don't ya.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

The Happiness Project :: A Beautifully Illustrated Children's Book


I'm a sucker for children's books.  I started my collection long before The Man talked me into having kids.  For the most part I'm pretty picky about the quality of the story/writing/message, but I'll make an exception for a book that's beautifully illustrated.  The images in Augustus and his Smile are so scrumptious I think I could live off them.  Oh, to be able to draw like that!  And the story's sweet, to boot. 

Augustus the tiger has lost his smile. He goes on a journey to find it, and discovers it's right there under his nose - when he does things that he enjoys. As a person who loses her own smile from time to time, I appreciate the simple reminder.

So what's making you smile today?  I hope you'll hop, skip and jump on over to Leigh vs. Laundry and share a little of your happiness today.  Oh, and please, take a look at Catherine Rayner's amazing illustrations.  I'm sure you'll find something there to put a smile on your face...whether or not you've temporarily displaced yours.

A note to Ms. Rayner:
If by chance you stumble upon this post, you will know that I did not ask your permission to to use your lovely Augustus.  I hope you will find it in your heart to forgive me rather than sue me.  We have been leaning upon him these last few days, and I just had to share him with my little corner of the world.


Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Happiness Project :: Parting Is Such Sweet Sorrow (An Oxymoron)

Dear Slinky,

I am happy that that stupid coyote only got eight of your nine lives.

I am happy that a half crazy and very boisterous country vet declared, ‘We can fix her!’

I am happy that you were a fighter.

I am happy that I couldn’t bear the thought of putting you back in that barn where I found you.

I am happy that you were too mangy and scrappy and squirrelly and stinky for anyone to adopt.

I am happy that your scavenging rid my garage of its mouse problem – even if the same habit did result in other more complicated situations…like the time you got the spine from my salmon steak lodged on your canine teeth.

I am happy that you were not a “yacky” cat like the other two high falutin' pedigreed city cats you shared the house with. It’s hard to believe that in so many years I can count the furballs on two hands.

I am happy that the other two high falutin' pedigreed city cats taught you to talk - even though your voice was a bit shrill.

I am happy that the move to California didn’t kill you.

I am happy that the addition of two hairless apes and a move back to Texas didn’t kill you either.

I am happy that, at the end of the day, when the noise died down and the lights were low that you trusted me enough to snuggle up on my lap - even though you never completely lost your feral instincts.

I am happy that, although you knew the food supply was bountiful, you still felt the need to taunt, kill, and hoard your treats.

I am happy that on every vacation we took, the nervous look in the eyes of every bird, squirrel, and rabbit we passed reminded us of you -- and always will.

I am happy for the 15 years we had together.

I am happy for the millions of belly laughs you gave me.

I am happy that you are no longer laboring for each breath.

I am happy that you purred in my lap on the drive to the vet’s this morning.

I am sad…very sad, that you will not be sleeping next to me tonight, but I am happy that I found you and that you found me on that hot Texas day so many years ago.

Thank you, Sweet Slinky-Do, for bringing me so much joy.
Believe it or not, this kinda sad post was brought to you by Leigh vs. Laundry and The Happiness Project.  Sometimes the things that bring us the most joy also bring us sorrow.  I hope your day was filled with joy.  And if it wasn't...well, I hope you can find the joy in your sorrow.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Happiness Project :: Spent Ammo

Water balloon carcasses:

Evidence of a hard fought battle where both sides were victorious.
What's making you happy today?  This post is usually hosted by Leigh over at Leigh vs. Laundry, but she's got a sick baby today -- which is definitely not something to be happy about.  But you should check out her Happiness Project anyway.  Because it really is a very happy project.  And while you're there, drop Leigh a comment with some good mojo for her ailing little one.  A little positive energy goes a long way.  Oh!  And before you leave, let me know what's making you happy today.  I care.  Really!


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Happiness Project :: The State Fair

The Texas State Fair.  It runs the first three weeks of Autumn, which is pretty much still summer here in the Big D.  But Big Tex can take the heat when he has to.  His 75 gallon hat casts a nice big shadow to keep him cool as a cucumber.  He's the scariest looking 52' tall vaquero this side of the Rio Grande.  The fact that his lower jaw moves up and down while he drawls out his greeting to fair-goers doesn't really make him any less frightening either.  That doesn't bother him any.  He knows he's there to scare the bejeezus out of all the kids.  That's how we toughen 'em up in these parts.  And after Big Tex gets 'em good and tough, we Moms & Dads head over to the coupon booth, buy our food tickets and soften our little buckaroos back up with stuff like this...

...Tornado Taters!  Mmmm, mmmm, GOOD!  Fried just doesn't get any better than this, people.  Unless, of course, it's Tornado Sweet Taters! Drizzled ever so lightly with marshmallow sauce.  Sprinkled with a dash of spicy salt.  (I didn't get a picture of those - they jumped into my mouth too quickly for anyone to capture.)  And if that's not quite enough fried food for you, there's always...

...Fried Fr....  Oops!

Oh!  There it is!  Fried Frito Pie!!  Frito scoops, filled with chili & cheese, dipped in cornbread batter and deep fried to artery-clogging, thigh-padding, belly-bulging perfection.  Good stuff!  You know, I hear washing it all down with a margarita (on the rocks, please) zeros out all the calories.  Seriously.  Hey, that's my story and I'm stickin' to it.

What's making you happy today?  Mosey on over to Leigh vs. Laundry and tell everybody about it.


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Happiness Project :: The End of September

September's a busy month for me:  my wedding anniversary at the beginning of the month, The Man's birthday in the middle, and Buddy Boy's birthday at the end.  There are just too many important things going on in September.  Add to that, the start of school & fall soccer season...well, it always seems like more than I can handle.  Watching Buddy Boy rip through his birthday presents with wild abandon is a joyous way to bring 30 days of insanity to a close.  Watching a kid open presents is happy enough as it is, but when it's coupled with the knowledge that the madness is over for another 11 months...well, now that's nothing short of bliss, people.  Nothing short of bliss. 

And you?  What's got you happy today?  Jump on the happiness bandwagon over at Leigh vs. Laundry.


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Happiness Project :: Getting the Order Wrong

A drive-thru Starbucks recently opened right down the road from my house.  Now, I'm not a huge Starbucks fan, but it's nice to be able to drive thru and pick up a coffee when I'm in the mood.  So, I was pretty happy to see one so close to home.  Problem is, they keep getting my order wrong.
Me:  "Tall, one-pump, decaf mocha frappuccino -- no whip, please."
Barista:  "Tall, one-pump, decaf mocha frappuccino -- no whip.  $3.84 at the next window please."
Me:  "Geeze Louise!  They always forget the 'no whip' part."
Ladybug:  "I can help with that, Mommy."

And that makes my heart smile.  Keep up the bad work, Starbucks at Custer & 121. Really.  It's fine with us.

What makes you smile?  I know it's late in the day, but there still time to join the fun at Leigh vs. Laundry.


Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Fine Art of the Love Note - or - The Making of a Monster

It started simply enough. A quickly scribbled note tucked into Buddy Boy's snack pack.  It was his first day of kindergarten.  Mine too, for that matter.  He was a little freaked out.  Me too, actually.  Writing the note made me feel a little better, and I hoped it would make him smile when he found it.

It did the trick.  When I picked him up at the end of the day he smiled & whispered to me, "I found your note Mommy."  And my heart exploded.  So, I decided to do it again the next day.  This one was a little fancier - a quick picture of our big orange kitty, Willie.  Then it was a picture of our teeny tiny old lady cat, Slinky.  Next up, Buddy Boy on a skateboard, followed by a Pittsburgh Steelers helmet.  A sketch a day for the first week of school. 

I know.  You're in total awe of me now, aren't you.  Because I'm such an incredible mom.  So creative. So in love with her kid.  Doing such wonderful little things to make him feel loved & secure.  You wish you'd had a great idea like this.  You wish you were an awesome mom like me. 

That or else you're saying to yourself, "Oh what a stupid, stupid girl!  What a colossal rookie mistake.  She's really dug herself in deep.  Boy-oh-boy does it suck to be her!"

Now I'll admit, I'm a creative person.  I've got a BA in fine art to prove it.  But let me tell you what I'm not.  I am NOT a sketch artist.  I am NOT a cartoonist.  I can not draw for $#!+.  I can push paint around pretty well, but do not expect me to do anything amazing with a pencil or a marker.  And definitely don't get any bright ideas about being my partner for Pictionary. 

These little notes have turned into the bane of my existence!  I love my kid, but a line has got to be drawn -- and I'm NOT the gal to draw it. 


So, every night now, instead of catching up with my reader or blogging, I slave over a 4" square piece of paper trying to come up with something that...well...looks like something.  He wants one every day for the whole school year!  All I wanted to do was write a little love note, but it seems I've created quite a monster.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Happiness Project :: Pink Shoelaces

Need I say more??

So?  What's making you happy today?
Join the fun, why don't ya?


Thursday, September 16, 2010

Happy Birthday to The Man - or - Girls' Night Out

Tuesday was The Man's birthday.  Tuesday is also the craziest day of our week.  Here's the day in a nutshell:
7:30 - ride Buddy Boy to school (yes, we ride bikes to school.  Go green!  Save the planet!  Burn a calorie!)
8:45 - drive Ladybug to school (it's OK, I drive a hybrid.  Go green!  Save the planet! Get to sit down for 10 minutes!)
2:00 - drive Ladybug home from school
3:00 - ride Buddy Boy home from school
4:00 - Ladybug's gymnastics practice
5:30 - Buddy Boy's soccer practice (close to home)
6:00 - Ladybug's soccer practice (on the other side of the moon)
7:30 - feed kids while they're taking a bath so we can make it to bed on time
8:00 - stories (read to your kids, it'll keep 'em off drugs.  Hey that's what the commercials say, isn't it?)
8:30 - goodnight kisses
8:45 - clean up bath mess, do dishes, pack lunches, blah blah blah

Yep.  Tuesday's are hectic.  I try really hard to have Tuesdays all mapped out by Sunday.  Last Sunday I was going over the drill at the dinner table.  I told everyone we'd be having leftovers on Tuesday since we were so tightly booked.  The man gave me a look.  You know the look I'm talking about.  The kind that animals at the shelter give you so you'll take them home with you.  When I ask if there's a problem, The Man sheepishly states, "I'd like to have a fresh cooked meal for my birthday."  OH CRAP!!  But there's no need for me to stress about it.  He's got it all worked out for me.  If I start cooking in the morning, I can have it all lined up and ready to pop in the oven as soon as we get home from practice.  And if the kids stay up a little late on Daddy's birthday, so be it.  OK...ok...have it your way, Birthday Boy.

So, that's what I did.  I spent all morning frantically running around to various grocery stores (because I can never manage to remember to get everything in one trip), cooking, cleaning, doing dishes, etc.  Oh!  And slaving over The Man's birthday bacon.  (Seriously, am I a rockin' wife, or what?!  Birthday bacon!!)

I dashed off to get Ladybug from school - only to remember I'd volunteered to take a little friend home with us that afternoon for a playdate.  Then another little friend was sad because she wasn't coming, so I took her home with me too.  Hey, what's one more little girl, right?  By the time I got all 3 girls home, it was time to go collect BuddyBoy - who got mad at me because I came in the car, not on my bike.  What is it with the men in this family, do they not understand there are only so many minutes in a day?!

By the time I got home with BuddyBoy, it was time to load the 3 girlies back into the car for gymnastics practice.  On the way to the gym, I realized I didn't have any ice cream, so I dropped them off and made another trip the the grocery store.  Then it was back to the gym to supervise BuddyBoy's homework activities while Ladybug trained, then back home to get everyone changed and cleated up for soccer practice.  Then it was home to pop dinner in the oven and get the kiddos bathed.  Then it was out to the table to eat the fresh, slightly over cooked ok, burnt dinner, followed by birthday pie and presents.
This year's presents were OK.  Nothing super great, although I do really like the Seasoned Old Crab t-shirt I picked up for him while we were on vacation in Maryland.  The Man can be a bit crabby, so it suits him well. But the piece de resistance had to be the card he got from his mom:

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Happiness Project :: Time Off Well Spent

MIA?  Who, me?  Yeah, I know.  I haven't been around lately.  Hey, every now a girl just needs a little time off.  After I got the family home from vacation, unpacked & did all the laundry, I packed a small bag for myself containing nothing but a toothbrush, a bottle of sunscreen & a bathing suit.  I informed The Man that I was taking off for a deserted tropical location to 'recharge my battery', and that I'd be back in...oh...I dunno...a while.

Well, he put the kibosh on that pretty much right away.  So, I decided to take a blogging break instead.  What'd I do with all that extra time?  I played with my kids.  I slept.  I back-to-school shopped.  I got the family into the new OMG-kindergarten-starts-at-WHAT-TIME?!?!? routine.   And I'm happy I did.  I feel well rested.   We've got a decent routine going on in the house.  Things are running about as smoothly as they can run in this family.  So all in all, while I've missed out on a little blogging fun, I'd have to say, it was time off well spent.  And that makes me very happy.

And you?  What's making you happy today?  Join the fun, wont ya?


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Happiness Project :: Sweet Corn

Mmmm...sweet corn.  My summer food of choice.  Until I moved to Texas the 1st time.  Ugh!  I can still taste that chewy, nasty cow chow they were trying to pass off as food fit for human consumption.  I was so desperate for corn that first Texas summer that I actually had my Mom FedEx me a dozen ears of Silver Queen from a road-side stand in Maryland.  I'm deliriously happy to say that Lone Star corn has come a long way since then.  Now you can get good sweet corn in any of the grocery stores.  It's still not Maryland corn.  And I'm still kicking myself for not eating more of that deliciousness when I was 'home' last month.  But it'll do.  And that makes me very, very happy.

What's making you happy this fine Tuesday?  Join the fun over at Leigh vs. Laundry.


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

The Happiness Project :: Modern Appliances

Yep, that's right.  I'm happy for my washer & drier.  Why?  Because they're much better alternatives to these:
And these are how I've been doing laundry for the last 2 weeks.  Ahhhh...I love vacation, but there's no place like home!

Now, as soon as I finish all this laundry, perhaps I'll get back to some real blogging.

Happy Tuesday, everybody.  Join the fun over at Leigh vs. Laundry.


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Happiness Project :: A Stunning Last Day

I don't particularly miss the steamy Maryland summers, but my home state did its very best to make sure I went back to Texas not just a little homesick.  What a fantastic last day of vaction:  clear skies, low humidity, and plenty of time to trapse around Baltimore's harbor.  And just when we thought it couldn't get any better, we found...
crab silly bands!! 
It just doesn't get any happier than this.

And you?  What's making you happy on this fine day?  Join the fun over at Leigh vs. Laundry why don't ya.


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Happiness Project :: A Sandy Donut

What?  A sandy donut?  Who wants to eat a sandy donut?!  Well...I do...when it's an OC Sand Donut from the Fractured Prune in Ocean City, MD.  Mmmm...!  So fresh out of the grease they're almost too hot to handle.  Crunchy w/cinnamon & sugar.  A true summer treasure.

So that's what's making me happy today.  What about you?  Join the fun at Leigh vs. Laundry, wont ya?


Saturday, July 17, 2010

Well Isn't That Nice :: Karma's Gonna Gitcha, Jerri!

Picture this. The man - frazzled, sweaty and barking orders while operating the electronic check-in kiosk at the airport. Me - trying to maintain my cool while managing two tired yet over-excited kids, and an embarrassingly tall mountain of luggage. Jerri Greene - casually leaning on the ticket counter chatting with a colleague.

What? Who's Jerri Greene? Well she's the supervising ticket agent for American Airlines at DFW. She's the lady who easily ignores the growing crowd of restless travelers desperate for an agent to process their bags so they can get to their gate on time. She's the lady who snipes at The Man (an Executive Platinum traveler on American) when he asks her if she's going to call for bags any time soon.

Jerri (barely glancing up from her conversation): "We don't call for bags, you have to form a line."

The Man: "Since when? That's not how it was when I was here four days ago."

Jerri: "For two years...at least."

The Man: "Well that's not how is was when I was here four days ago." The Man really likes to repeat himself.

Jerri (rolling eyes and speaking to colleague as she starts to walk away): "Thank goodness summer vacation will be over soon."  (Jerri obviously doesn't understand that her job security depends in part on familiesshelling out big bucks to go on summer vacations.)

Well Jerri, this one's for you. I sure hope someone you know googles your name and finds this for you. You deserve the recognition. Really. Oh, and about that stunt you pulled with my luggage. Yeah, I'm on to you sistah. I don't have proof, but I'm pretty sure you flagged my bag so it would get held up with TSA. Karma's gonna gitcha for that one. In the meantime, enjoy your flower.
Do you have someone you'd like to send a flower to?  Feel free to grab one and pass it on.  Just remember to leave a comment so I can enjoy your generosity.

Well isn't that nice!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Happiness Project :: Gone Fishin'

OK, so I'm not really fishing.  But I do plan on catching a fair share of these with the kiddos in the up coming days...and maybe even eating a few.  But not this one.  This one's a girl, and no self-respecting Marylander would ever eat a girl crab.  I mean...if you eat all the girl crabs, there wont be any crabs next season.  It's not like the boy crabs are gonna step up and lay the eggs. 

Today is day 1 of my vacation - and that makes me very happy.  VERY happy.  In spite of the fact that yesterday The Man informed me I needed to bring a formal outfit with me (last-minute shopping...ugh!); and that I discoverd late yesterday afternoon that the cat had peed in the kids' suitcase (more desparation shopping); and that TSA decided my suitcase needed to spend an extra four hours in Dallas.  It doesn't matter.  I'm home!  Even if it's just for a few days.   And that makes me very happy.

What makes you happy?  Join the Tuesday fun at Leigh vs. Laundry (even if it's almost not Tuesday anymore.)