Our (my) last 24+ hours … well, let’s just say I thought a camera must have been following me.
8:00 pm – Jon’s out of town, and once again I was busted by my calendar challenged issue. I forgot I had a K-Life board meeting (K-Life is probably our favorite youth ministry, an off-shoot of Kanakuk Kamps… such terrific volunteers who take time out of their day to walk life with middle & high schoolers). Since I was a bit off guard – after three reminder emails – I scrambled through my house for a last minute sitter who could not only get homework finished, but also bathe & bed the little guy.  Teen Take-Out stepped up. (He needs some moolah to pay for his monthly phone bill.)

As I returned from my meeting, every light in the house illuminates the neighborhood. Clearly, no one was in bed. My opening the door ignites a flurry of scurrying feet, racing for the shower, bed, homework – whatever. I trip over unexpected treasure.

Have I taught them nothing?!

This has Slow Walkers’ finger prints all over it.

…and Jack’s.

The kid loves playing with those fake doubloons.

At least the kid was bathed and in bed. The rest raced to follow suit. Not much of a relaxing re-entry.

6:00 AM  The kid beacons from his closet room. “Mommy … I get up now … go there – ” pointing to our door. Which translated means downstairs for a little Umi-Zumi action. I did get a jump on making lunches, though. (ok, so they should be making their own lunch, I know, I know. They can and do, I just felt like avoiding a show-down with TTO who has decided he won’t eat unless it’s delivered. He goes to a small school who only has hot lunch, which has yet to start, on MWF. Brown bag it the other days.)

7:00 AM Wake up the other kids and do the school scramble. TTO is a slow show, having decided he didn’t want breakfast. I don my gloves and start the day’s sparring.

“You need to eat breakfast.”

“I’m not hungry.”

“It doesn’t matter if you’re hungry. You’re eating.”

“I’m NOT hungry.”


“I – AM – NOT – HUNGRY.”

pause …. mind racing … anger pulsing

“Well, we’re NOT getting in the car until you eat.”

“Does that mean us?” Slow Walker who’s already back-packed and ready to go asks.

“Yes.  That means everyone.”

The gauntlet had been laid. I had to follow through with my incredibly lame threat.  Somehow he scarfed down a few grapes. I let it go.

…. until the subject of lunch arose.

Needless to say, it came up as we both looked at the sack lunch in the car only to realize the wrong one made its way into someone else’s back-pack at drop-off number one.

I don’t blame the kid for snubbing Slow Walker’s snacky bag.

Following my lame precedent set by the breakfast gauntlet, sparring once again. I venture down Lecture Lane throwing out nutrition facts, analogies of our car and its need for fuel to out body’s need for food (I felt like a School House Rock short) then actually barreled full speed down the most ridiculous path of all … threatening a feeding tube. Oh, yeah. I did.

I’m embarrassed for myself.

He didn’t speak to me as he left the car. I’m sure he was relieved just to get out. I shook my head — at myself.

8:30 AM. Race to one of several class “sign-up” coffees. Picture Marsha Brady, pen in hand, signing up for club after club – except in this case no clubs, just volunteering. It goes back to that calendar thing.  I fought the urge to fill.

10:00 AM. Put off exercise, opted instead for an overdue trip to Costco.

10:30 AM. Sit in the Costco parking lot remembering that my wallet is on my desk – 20 miles away. I dig through my car, find an old license and scour for a checkbook. No such luck. …Boo-hoo.

10:35. Make my way back home. Jack has now fallen asleep in his car seat. So much for my strategy to put off the snooze until a nice afternoon nap. I did get to pass our lunch sack of nutrition to sweet Don, a down and out guy looking for some help at the corner of NW Hwy & Tollway.

(Note to self: consistently keep those bags in our car (maybe with more nutritious offerings). It was such a relief to get my eyes of our ridiculousness and stop for a moment, to ask his name, to connect for a instant with someone who welcomed the lame lunch rather than knock it.)

10:50 AM Welcomed home by our niece (who lives in our back house) with the news that our internet isn’t working. I had special lunc
h plans at 11:30. She needed connection to get some work done. I made the call – fully aware that the pending communication with an Indian call center could be challenging.

11:35 AM Finally leave the house. My AT&T trouble shooter had just informed me many Texas regions had no DSL connection. For some reason, she had decided to check what I would have considered an obvious first stop after over thirty minutes of switching every single thing on our account. UGH!!!

11:40 AM Pull up to Tin Star only to realize my wallet is still sitting on my desk. How convenient. (Thanks for spotting me, Lauren)

1:30 PM Race home to relieve my niece babysitter.

1:40 PM Back to Costco.


Love Costco!

but not as much as my super helper.

He’s basically potty-training himself. I’ve decided to name him “Enigma”. He is SO easy. Even today, he helped me in every effort … pushing the cart, loading the belt,

checking us out.

He doesn’t want to commit to underwear, though. So hello pull-ups.

“Are these mine?”

“Thanks for letting me go at my own pace, Mom.”

3:10 PM – Race into carpool line… then wait as super-chatter takes his own sweet time to get in the car. Still mad about the lunch exchange, he doesn’t say much in the car. Except and expectant, “I”M THIRSTY.”  … I choose to ignore the less than discreet demand. If he had said “Hi” or “How was your day, Mom.”, or “Wow! Is that a new outfit? You look twenty years younger” (– ok, wake up!) I would have treated him to a Sonic happy hour soda. But, no. … You betcha … I’m mature.

4:00 PM – 6:30 PM Barrel through homework, snacks, homework, griping, homework, UNO, homework … and another 45 minute discussion with a new friend in India determined to fix my DSL dilemma.  I had called to check once more on our issue. He threw his colleague (the lunch delay gal) under the bus, saying Texas had no outage issues, and that we needed a technician.

6:31 PM – DSL/Internet lights turn green. It’s up and working. Does anyone know what’s going on?!

8:30 PM Wrap up dinner, baths and homework and meet TTO on the stairs.

“Uhmmm… I might have some water in my bathroom.”


“Well … my shower. It got water on the floor.”

It got water on his floor because the shower had backed up to the point of flowing over the lip. Sure enough, we finally had a true blue “Handy Man” opportunity at our finger tips (you know, August is “Handy-Man Can” month).  I was SO excited. I ran to get Jon … who wasn’t so excited.

At least 3 inches of water.

The crowd begins to gather.

Handy Man lessons begin … sort of.

As with most of projects, dad has swooped in to handle the situation (usually because electricity is involved or the timing is off … nothing like a clogged drain right when everyone should be in bed.) But they did get to see a snake in action…

wind to the right

(yeah, that’s my man in action!)

then pull out the culprit.

Looks like a rat … It’s hair.

(Ok, so we have an old house. That glop could have been there for years!)

What a day!!  One thing I forgot to tell you… We laughed.  A lot!

Some say it’s the best medicine :)

Thanks for making it through (if you did) the longest post ever!

… and thanks for walking the road with me.


Share your Costco favorites.  One of mine is their Kirkland Brand nut mix, lightly sweetened with evaporated can juice

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