December 31, 2006

Goin' Out in a Hail of Bullets

Here's how I spent the last week of 2006:
  • Monday, 12/25 - Merry Christmas to all, and to Peach, six pairs of new shoes. Count em, six. That's one of the beauties of being a kid - when you've outgrown one pair of shoes, you've probably outgrown them all. Can you imagine? Add that score to the highly coveted Easy Bake Oven and a host of other goodies, and you've got one happy (now) seven year old. For Olive, it's Little People City over here, y'all. She got the school, the school bus, and the illusive reindeer she was lacking from her Christmas set. We've also added to our ever-growing herd of horses a black stallion and stable and our first Breyer horse, complete with a fully decked-out cowgirl she named "Cowgirl Nanny."
  • Tuesday, 12/26 - We headed to the Houston area for Christmas with my mom's family.
  • Wednesday, 12/27 - Peach got her ears pierced.
  • Thursday, 12/28 - I took Peach and my cousin's two boys to see "Night at the Museum." Not bad.
  • Friday, 12/29 - We celebrated the birth of my cousin's new twins and then fought the rain and freakass lightning all the way back home. Four and a half hours, man. My knuckles are still white.
  • Saturday, 12/30 - Peach turned seven. She started the day with a tiny chocolate cake in bed and then moved on to a treasure hunt orchestrated by T-Bone. She loves mystery books, so he got her stuck on this series, and ever since, he has been scouring the Internets to complete her collection. Last year, he wrote 56(!) clues for the inaugural hunt, which ended with a huge box full of about 20 of the books. This year, he (thankfully) kept it under 20 clues and added five more books. Peach loved it. We spent the rest of the day playing with all the new Christmas stuff and opening more new birthday stuff. A proper party usually follows in the early spring.
  • Sunday, 12/31 - The road goes on forever, and the party never ends. Not in December around here, anyway. TODAY is the 9th anniversary of our gettin' hitched in a precious little church in San Antonio on a crisp New Year's Eve. Right in the middle of the city-wide free-for-all fiesta that the powers that be just so happened to revive that year for the first time in forever. Thanks, guys. It actually all turned out quite fabulous, if my blissful memory serves, but y'all will have to wait until next year for the full story (and it's a good one). Happy Anniversary, T-Bone. You hunka burnin' love, you.

December 30, 2006

Happy Birthday to Peach

Seven years ago today, Peach made her grand entrance into the world before an audience of four grandparents, one uncle, one aunt, and one honorary aunt, the lovely Karla May. The room was quiet and quite obviously filled with love, and we all cried when that little angel turned from bluish-white to bright pink, right before our eyes. It was one of the greatest moments of my life, and we marked the anniversary thereof by allowing Peach to mutilate her body. Yup, the cherub got her ears pierced.

I got mine done when I was nine, and I remember it well because my mom had hers done, too. She took my 12 year old cousin and me to Best, the old catalog store, and she made the two of us go FIRST because she was such a chicken. They used the gun, and I remember the sound made it seem like it hurt worse than it did. We survived, so my mom thought she could, too, but she jumped on the second one, so they had to do it again - insert Nelson's "HAha" laugh here.

I wanted to do Peach's ears at birth, but cooler heads (T-Bone's) prevailed, and we agreed to wait until she could CHOOSE to have them done herself, blahblahblah. Of course, she started voicing said choice at about three years old, when she discovered dress up and costume jewelry. I had to ride T-Bone a little bit about that, like, "So wise counselor, as to the ear piercing issue, just what is the age of legal consent?" We decided seven sounded about right, and damn if she hasn't been counting down the days for about the last six months.

I explained the whole procedure and the resulting responsibility ad nauseum and told her repeatedly that if she changed her mind at the last minute, that was okay, but if she made it through one ear, she had to get the other one done or else she would look like a pirate. She held fast to her word, so Wednesday, we hit Merle Norman, and, flanked by my mom and my cousin (the whole Circle of Life thing, ya know), she got both ears done at the SAME time. Awesome. Highly recommend this if they have two people working. The traditional gun has changed a lot, so it wasn't loud or staplegun-sounding at all, and they offered an array of tiny CZ studs as an alternative to the usual gold or silver balls. Peach of course went for the pink bling, and her little elfin ears look quite snazzy. She skipped out of there high as a kite, and I had to pause. How can seven years go by so fast? I love you, my girl. Happy Birthday and Happy Happy Life.

December 23, 2006

Suck on this, Martha

As I've mentioned before, after battling my antiquated artificial tree for the LAST time last year, I decided that this year we would have a real tree AND we would make all the ornaments. So I sold that old bitch on Craig's List and looked forward to a year or two of doing things old school. And then I saw the cover of Family Circle at the grocery store and thought, "That's it! I can totally do that myself." Of course, I wasn't taking into account the fact that we were going to be gone 10 out of the 14 days before and after Thanksgiving, which is when I usually decorate. So ... several late LATE nights later, I finished the damn thing and will curse Family Circle and their crafty ways forever. However, since this is the first time in 5 years I haven't been working furiously up to - and usually on - Christmas for LawNerds, I had more time to fluff and fuss, which is kind of dangerous. And because I worked so hard, and I can't have all of y'all over for cocktails (although I would love to), I will now share the fruits of my labor: "Christmas Exploded Here, 2006."

First, the inspiration:

Upon further inspection, I realized this tree is probably like 3 feet tall, so my 8 foot tree needed a lot more crafty crap on it. A LOT. My thanks to the sons of bitches at Family Circle and their damn trick photography.

Now, the execution:

Props to T-Bone for sacrificing his fingertips while stringing the popcorn. And big ups to mijitas for painting such lovely ornaments while I very nearly caused permanent nerve damage from all the paper cutting I did.

Moving on, this snowy village makes me so happy, I just want to move right in. Of course, this being Austin, I'm sure these little cottages are totally out of my price range and need a lot of work on the inside. P.S. Feel free to genuflect, light a candle, and drop a little something in the offering basket upon entry to our casa.

Next, we have The Santa Posse. Thankfully, our completely uncoordinated, nosy cat has managed to maneuver her fat ass through these guys without taking anybody out, which is where she would go if she did.

In the kitchen, I literally can't see the forest for the trees. Yuk yuk.

Even the light fixtures aren't safe. And that's garland, by the by, not some hairy mold. Don't panic.

So, that's it. That's the tour. Or at least part of it anyway. Anywho, I'm sure we'll all be otherwise occupied these next few days, so we'll have to grab a cup of coffee and catch up after the insanity dies down. Wait, I hate coffee. OK, beers it is. Feliz Navidad, y'all! Peace!

December 22, 2006

Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time

I'm actually starting to de-stress, de-freak, and slow down. Pretty much. Yesterday was a whirlwind, though. After dropping Peach off at school, Olive and I ran some final(?) Santa-related errands, and then we returned to GGMS for the holiday sing-along. This is just the sweetest place, and the caroling was made all the more special by the addition of a guest mom on guitar and vocals. Love her. Plus, it's hilarious to watch Peach because she is a VERY earnest singer - lots of swaying and gestures. And yawning, too.

We left full of the spirit and came home to prepare for the in-laws, who appeared a few hours later weighted down with food and presents. Even though I gave them a SHORT list (2 items) for Peach and Olive and an impassioned plea to not get anything for us. I fear another talking, dancing, farting holiday character is in my future. Shit. I did however find a precious JoJo Christmas card from the lovely Mrs. Squirrel in my mailbox, so that took the sting off a bit. And I finally got my own cards in the pipeline - y'all do celebrate Kwanzaa, right? Good - they should be there by then.

Later, we met my BIL and his family, plus Peach's best friend from school, at Shady Grove for dinner. How much do I love those green chile cheese fries? Damn! The weather was perfect - just crisp enough to feel like winter in Texas, but I wasn't freezing my ass off - and that made the hike after dinner to the Trail of Lights quite pleasant. Peach and company performed their "Let It Snow" tap routine, complete with Rockette kick line, and Olive and her cousin C had a ball dancing/dragging each other all over the place.

We schlepped everybody back to the car and back home to the MOST awesome Whole Foods gingerbread cake (courtesy of Karla May). It's like buttah, y'all. Really. I hit the hay early, sandwiched between two snoring elves, while T-Bone and the elder Bones solved all the world's problems. In a nutshell, it was a great day. Now, if I can only sustain the merry attitude for three more days ...

December 19, 2006

Oh My Credit Card Bill is Frightful

But I think I'm finished with the shopping and the buying and the scurrying. I think. I have been a crazyass loon the last week, running the streets in between cleaning the house from top to bottom and FINALLY finishing the GD tree. I had an ornament exchange party on Sunday, featuring the lovely Karla May, Bookhart, and Jaye, and I've been to two dance class demonstrations, with one more performance and a school program left to round out the week. The in-laws come Thursday, and the parentals come Sunday. And then begins the eating and the gifting and the lounging. All this to say, I'm already braindead and exhausted, and it ain't even Christmas yet.

So, instead of being creative or whatever, I lifted this fun little exercise from Angry Pregnant Lawyer: My Blogging Year in Review. Here is the first line of my first post of each month, starting with my debut in February.

December 13, 2006

Another One of My Great Ideas ...

Putting up our first live tree as a married couple, and the first one I've put up period in almost 20 years, on a day when I am PMS-ing so hard that every time that GD thing tilts or droops or drops ONE more fucking needle on the floor, I want to set it on fire and be done with it. And I'm a Christmas lover! My house is a friggin' winter wonderland! And now all I want to do is throw the tree and the lights - oooh, the lights - into the nearest woodchipper and spray that shit all over those overly helpful dudes at the tree lot down the street.

I had such good intentions. Really, I did. This was to be the year we would drive to the tree lot, pick out the perfect one, tie it to the roof of the car, and sing carols all the way home. Well, first off, we were supposed to take this merry journey on Sunday, but it rained, so we went yesterday. I thought, we'll get it home, I'll get the lights on, and we'll decorate it tomorrow (today). Nooooo. It took us until past my bedtime, and WAY past my tolerance for wacky AFV-type moments, just to get the GD thing in the stand. Cut to today, and Peach had a performance at school, I had to run errands for a party I'm having this weekend - an ORNAMENT party. You know, the things you hang on a TREE - and then T-Bone left us and hightailed it to the Spurs game in San Antonio. So, after The Shorties' bedtime, the prospect of entering the legendary battle of the lights was not so enticing. Thus, mine enemy sits in its stand, naked and in the dark, as my animosity grows.

Oh, and did I mention that we're making all the ornaments? Fucking brilliant.

December 10, 2006

Tell Me When the Donkeys Are Gone

Rather than bore you with too many of my 546 pictures from Mouse World, I've chosen shots of the more odd and downright frightening folks and things we encountered on our trip. First up, Jolly Old Saint Nick:

Yow! There are several scary things going on here. A) The guy is clearly loaded. Note the bulbous red nose, dark circles and bags under the eyes, and the wild stare, as if he's about to say, "Who are YOU to drunk I'm say?! Now gimme that GD beard!" B) The guy doesn't even remotely look like Santa Claus. This is especially surprising because Mouse Incorporated is usually so particular about casting. And C) I'd be willing to bet that there's been some inappropriate contact with children in this dude's past.

I was almost too scared to even take this picture. DAMN! These are the bad guys from Pinocchio and a few of the bad boys who went to Pleasureland or whatever with the bad guys to gamble, smoke, and tear shit up. The bad boys found out they were being tricked when they started turning into donkeys and were forced into slave labor. Is this really the kind of magical moment that needs to be recreated and trotted down Main Street USA? I don't think so. Hurry, before they see us!

It is so hard for me to make jokes or innuendos of the blue variety when talking about Mouse World, but really. Come on ... And they just HAD to add the buckets on either side, didn't they.

And finally, the scariest sight of all:

It seems that Regis and Kelly were at Mouse World to tape their Christmas show, and they brought along some "stars." So, yes, that is Michael Bolton. And the scariest thing about this picture is that I almost find him attractive since he lost the mullet. That is, until he opens his mouth. I believe at this moment he was bastardizing "O Holy Night" or something like that.

December 8, 2006

That's Some Weird, Wacky Stuff *

The lovely Hollow Squirrel tagged me for this meme, wherein I am to divulge six weird things about my weird self and then tag six more weirdos. Well, I am SO weird, I have way more than six weird friends, you know who you are, so feel free to lift this weird meme and spread the weirdness. Or as Karla says, "wierdness." So, may I present La Turista: Keepin' It Weird.

1) I am not a picky eater (have you seen me lately?), but I have a thing about texture, so I don't, nay CAN'T, eat a lot of fruit. Love apple juice, apple sauce, apple fritters. CanNOT eat an apple. Love peach nectar, peach ice cream, peach smoothies. Would rather eat my own finger than eat a peach. And don't even get me started on grapes. It's a skin thing, I think, because I've got that, too. See, I can watch surgeries on television, and the blood and guts and body parts don't phase me. But I want to hurl and run screaming from the room if I get even a glimpse of skin splayed open and covered in that orange goop.

2) I cannot stand big forks. I have to use salad size or smaller. Always. Big forks make me gag or otherwise injure myself, and anyone in my immediate circle knows to set a small fork at my place at the kids' table. At restaurants, I'm mostly SOL, and I have to just deal. But, obviously, this silverware weirdness has had no negative effect on my girlish figure. I seem to be able to shovel it all in just fine, thank you.

3) I have a totally harmless, yet pretty gross, "-oma" of some kind in my belly that doctors have told me is basically a sack of fat. I call it my worm, and it's about the size and density of a Vienna sausage. Nice. I discovered it one day after stuffing myself at my grandmother's house, when, because I'm so funny, I leaned back in my chair and started rubbing my belly and groaning like an old man. I ran my hand over it and thought, "Hmm. That's new. And gross." My mom was ready to take me to the hospital THAT moment, but cooler heads prevailed, and I had it checked out a few weeks later. I never really thought it was "anything," but I was hoping the doctor would tell me that it would go away. Nope. Over 10 years later, it's still there, but thanks to my nice paunch, you can't even see it. However, when I was pregnant, and my skin was stretched so tight, you could see it poking out a little. I had some maternity portraits taken with Peach, and the photographer said, "Look! I think that's the baby's head!" Uh huh, yeah. I think it is.

4) Weird Fact #687 that proves T-Bone and I were meant to be together: an unholy amount of shared celebratory dates. (deep breath) T-Bone and I met on my dad's birthday 11 years ago, and we got engaged on the same day a year later. My mom and T-Bone's dad have the same birthday. My birthday is the same day as T-Bone's brother's anniversary. T-Bone, Olive, and T-Bone's mom, brother, SIL, and niece all have birthdays on the 1st of their birthmonth, with T-Bone and his SIL having the same birthday, and his mom and brother having the same birthday. And, finally, my mom's birthday is the day BEFORE her parents' anniversary, my birthday is the day AFTER my parents' anniversary, and Peach's birthday is the day BEFORE our anniversary. SO, Peach must give birth to her first child, a girl, the day AFTER her anniversary. She simply must.

5) I have lots of OCD-like tendencies like counting things, checking the locks a million times, and blowing in glasses before I drink from them. Yes, you read that right. One of the weirdest ones is the way I read books or magazines. I repeatedly flip back to the beginning to run my hand over each page, to make sure I didn't miss anything. As you can imagine, I don't get a lot of reading done in one sitting, and law school was an absolute nightmare with regular assignments of hundreds of pages a night. No wonder my eyes are completely shot.

6) I am pretty particular about where I "go," you know, "GO," and that caused, ahem, a shitload of problems the time I was convinced that the shut-in freakshow that lived next door to Karla May and me was spying on me through a pinhole in my bathroom mirror. Really! I came home one day, and I swear there was a spot of light coming through from the OTHER side of the mirror, which hung on the wall we shared with the psycho's apartment. After that, every time I had to "go," I kept the lights off. For over two years. And I glared at that dude every time I saw him. My boyfriend at the time, quite the conspiracy theorist himself, offered to break down the door and kick the guy's ass if he found anything. Lo these many years later, I'm still pretty convinced that somewhere on these Internets, there are grainy pictures of me pooping in the dark.

* Mad props to the King of Late Night. RIP JC.

December 6, 2006

The Happiest Place on Earth

It is. It really is. But it's also a world of laughter, a world of TEARS, a world of hopes, and a world of FEARS. I don't know what it is, but something about Mouse World brings out the best and the absolute worst in people. For every child with eyes filled with wonder spotting the castle for the first time, there are 10 sugared-up heathens screaming that they're hungry or tired or want this piece of princess crap or that hunk of pirate shit. For every endearing family moment, there are 10 moments of near child abuse as parents screech at their kids to Come on! Quit crying! SHUT UP! Yes, I heard a lot of that. My, how very Disney of you.

I don't know if it's the magnitude of the place or the cost or what, but so many people are HELLBENT on having a good time and getting their GD money's worth, so you better get your ass in gear and get with the program or just get the hell out of the way. Seriously. Now, do I plan loose itineraries for each day? Hello - have you met me? Of course I do. But do I charge along and make everyone stick to them, come hell or high water? Of course I don't. When we get tired, we stop. When we want to eat, we eat. When we want to leave, we leave. We were able to do everything we wanted to do and more, without killing ourselves or each other, and we ended up having a great time, despite all the assholes trying to rain on our parade. This is supposed to be FUN, people.

Speaking of people, I ask again, when did everyone in America get so friggin' fat? In Disney fanatic speak, it's called "Pooh size," and you can go to any Mouse World web site, and there'll be a board full of messages about what rides Pooh size folks can fit on and what rooms are the most comfortable and what restaurants offer the most bang for your buck. I'm sorry, y'all, I'm not going for the food, and I'm not going to plan my vacation around it. And even though I'm not, nor have I ever been, the most petite little flower in the garden, the day I need a seatbelt extender to ride Dumbo, please just wire my jaw shut and commit my fat ass. Please. I don't even know how some of these folks can physically make it around the parks, because there is a shitload of walking, and only so many people can clog up the place with scooters. Which reminds me - aren't those scooters meant for ONE person? One ADULT person? That's what I thought. I guess somebody forgot to tell the family that let their 8 yr old tear ass around on Grandma's Rascal while we were waiting for the fireworks one night. Oh, and I guess I should have mentioned that to the two fabulous guys, one with a huge rainbow triangle tattoo on his calf, who were cruising around Animal World, one squeezed in behind the other on the tiny seat. Hmm ... That's just not safe, y'all.

Peach loved meeting the characters again and riding some more daring rides than last time. She also took a trip "around the world" at Epcot and has a passport full of stamps from the all the countries she visited. True to form, Olive would have been happy to ride the carousel the entire time, but after five times in a row, Mama had to reach for the Tums. She also loved "Small World," which, despite the brain-numbing song, is still one of my favorite rides. We saw some excellent shows, incredible holiday decorations, and even some "snow." And due to our mid-morning seating time for breakfast with Cinderella, by the end of our meal, we had the castle to ourselves, and those two, both in full Belle regalia, had the run of the place for half an hour. It was hilarious. Peach was about to jump out of her skin, and she just kept saying, "This is SO magical!" It was, indeed.

December 4, 2006


That's how many pictures I took at Mouse World. In five days. I am definitely outta my damn mind.

We got back last night about 7, and I spent the better part of the day doing laundry and trying to resuscitate my flower beds. Damn freaky weather. And, of all things, tonight was the rescheduled Dixie Chicks show T-Bone got me tickets for for my birthday. Damn country radio screwing up the tour. I took Peach, and that sweet baby was a trooper, considering it was her first concert, AND it came on the heels of 5 days of walking her little peaches off. Our seats were incredible, and the show was awesome, but we cut out a little early because she was thisclose to nodding off, and I knew I couldn't carry all 55"+ of that tall drink of water to the parking garage.

Tomorrow I have to be in tiptop form for a field trip, and after that, I may actually start to come up for air. So stay with me, dear friends. I need someone to hold me up.