Sunday, September 26, 2010

Buckle your seatbelts, we're going to Hell

Without getting all religious or theological here, I really do have to share a recent experience.   If for nothing else than for you to learn from my mistakes, please pay attention.  There won't be a test, but someday you may find yourself saying "now what was that Heather said about...?"

When Hell was first created, most would argue that it was of God's doing to have a place to cast Satan when he was kicked out of Heaven. I disagree.  I believe Satan created Hell himself, since the first "version" of Hell was not quite right.  God would never have made a mistake like that.  It's now my belief, after this past week, that Satan created Hell, and his first attempt turned out too hot for his liking, so he tried again and created the Hell that we all know (or some of us will GET to know someday).  This "reject" version of Hell which scorched the tips of his horns he left alone and called it "Chattanooga".

Okay, so I'm's not JUST Chattanooga, but really all the places around Chattanooga within about a 2000 mile radius.

It doesn't help that I've packed on enough layers of blubber to keep an Eskimo family from fretting if the Ice Road Truckers can't bring their supplies before the road thaws for the spring.  But holy hotness Batman.  Supposedly the degree difference from home wasn't an issue, but the humidity was.  Whatever the case may be, my body wanted to shut down like it had too many shots at a frat party.  The thermostat set to a comfortable 67 degrees in my hotel room, my sweatiness would begin directly out of the shower.  I would just start drying myself off and couldn't get all the way done before I'd have to start over.  Then I'd spend the remainder of my regular hair/makeup routine alternating spots from the mirror to directly in front of the A/C.  The worst part of getting ready was squishing my clammy limbs into my clothes, which I reserved for the last possible moment before embarking out my freezer door to that jungle outside.  I put on SIX applications of Secret (guess it's no Secret anymore) before heading out, and began to think they really ought to start making that in full body lotion form.  I also started thinking a Depends Bra sounded like a pretty good idea.

So out the door and a short van ride later, we were in the coolness of a ginormous office complex where our training sessions were held.  We started at 8, worked through lunch, and ended at 6.  For anyone having to sit through a full day of training, it's torturous, but my days blew by fast since my fear was simply having to go back into that God-awful air again.  Men from this office were wearing suits, so the only logical explanation for it is that they were robots.  Robots with an extra coat of Rustoleum to keep the moisture from shorting out the circuit boards.

If any of my friends from home have an opportunity to visit that part of the country, I suggest a Christmas trip, since the views really were spectacular, so long as it was from the inside of a building.  Pack your own Pepsi. Coke is KING there, and even asking for a Pepsi will leave you wondering if you'll end up being gator bait.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

More kids???

Our family finally received a long-awaited addition a week and a half ago.  His gender was to be a surprise to everyone, but it was much speculated about.  I asked the boys what they thought Auntie Sara was going to have, a boy or a girl, and what each of them thought a good name would be.

Esten:  "I think she's going to have a boy, and I think she should name him Gilbert."
Clayton:  "I think she's going to have a boy too, and I think she should name him Fluffy."

We talk about babies a lot around our family.  Between Jason and I and our siblings' families, we have made our parents grandparents again 9 times over in the past 8 years, and number 10 will be here before the year is out.  Someone has had a baby every year since 2002.  I'd like to take this opportunity to say regarding 2011, "NOT IT".

Esten is very vocal about feeling cheated out of something.  He's always complaining that other people "have more kids than we do".  Once, on a quick stop at the grocery store, we crossed paths on the way out with a family who had just poured out of a mini van.  Mom, dad, and 6 kids.  Esten scowled, pointed at them, and griped at me, "That is SO not fair!!  They have WAY more kids than we do.  How come WE can't have 6 kids and a mini van like THEM???  We only have TWO and that is not enough."

The mother and father both burst out laughing.  Maybe it was a rare moment where they actually felt sorry for someone else instead of the other way around.  There they were with their 6 little ducklings so quiet in a little line following their mommy, daddy bringing up the rear.  They really had their act together.  And there was me, with a measly little ragamuffin looking litter of unruly mouthy boys who refused to hold my hand to keep from getting flattened in the parking lot.  Esten's opinion spewing did not stop there.  Once strapped to his booster seat he let me have it with both barrels.

"Mom, we have to get some more kids....we just HAVE to."

"Where would they all sleep?  We don't have any room for more."

"Yeah we do, I'll sleep with Grandma, and Clayton can sleep with Grandpa so two of them, the other boys, they can sleep in our beds.  Then the other ones, the 6 girls can sleep in the play room, there's lots of room for bunk beds in there."

"Really?  Geez, how many kids would that be?"

"Oh, you're right, that's only 10.  We need 12."

"Clayton:  YEAH.  We need 12."

Seriously.  If 12 is the magic number, then 6 of them better be the ones from the grocery store parking lot.  They're already trained.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Kindergarten, Schmindergarten!

Clayton is every bit as excited as Esten about this.

Esten picked out his own clothes-gotta look sharp if you're gonna pick out a girlfriend the first day.

I really AM excited, I was just kidding!
Kindergarten. Some of the best memories of your entire school life start there. This is the one teacher it's guaranteed you'll never forget. You'll be surprised when you're older and you find out she's retiring. You'll be surprised because you think she's about as old as anyone can be already, and shocked that she could still be teaching at 103. The best ones will track you down in high school to give you back a picture you colored for her.

So this morning the tables were finally turned. Instead of me huffing and puffing to get the boys to get the lead out, Esten was under my feet griping at me...."Hurry UUUUUP MOM! We're going to be late and I'll have to go to the Principal's office!!!!" Hm, excited much? Yes.

Esten has been beside himself about going into Kindergarten. This is serious business for a boy who thrives on any fact that solidifies his superiority over his little brother. It started way back in preschool for him last year when his teacher there explained that they would be (most of them) going to Kindergarten next fall. Once in the car, Esten cockily boasted, "I get to go to KENDRICK Garden next year and you don't get to, Clayton, because you're too little." Obviously he came up with that little word of his own since Auntie Angie lives in Kendrick and teaches Kindergarten, that MUST be what it's called. Phonetics aside, Clayton burst into tears. It's been an on again-off again backstabbing battle since then. Whenever Esten wants to get a good dig in, he'll just remind Clayton about the awesome bus ride he'll go on every day, just like Napoleon Dynamite.

Yes, Napoleon Dynamite. Without the pesky interjection of school in their little lives thus far, a goodly portion of their education comes right from where God intended...the television. While early on I could get away with Little Einsteins and Dora, they have added new "favorites" to their list, and now that Esten knows how to run the remote himself, anything that comes up on channels 170-176 are on his radar. Thanks to Napoleon, he told me he's okay with the school idea now, and that if he needs some chapstick or his tummy hurts there is a nurse at the school he can go talk to. Hmmm. Thanks, I guess...I hadn't thought of that. He also pointed out to me my lacking in the cooking department since we "never have any TOTS for dinner".

Sorry Honey, mommy is trying to control her cholesterol.

So day one of Kindergarten down. Many many more to go. Hopefully discussions of insect wings and primary colors and how to be a good friend will begin to choke out discussions about why it's not okay for him to throw an action figure out the back bus window on a string and drag it all the way to school.

Lord help us - especially since we'll be doing this with Clayton all over again next year.