Friday, December 24, 2010

Putting Together the Toys

I'm so excited for tomorrow morning that I can hardly stand it!!!!!

So I was sent to my mom's suitcase to find her camera battery charger and what do I find instead? $47.82 (mostly dimes and pennies) in change in a sandwich bag. Weirddddddddd. Usually I try not to mention when my mom is visiting in case some robber just happens to be traipsing through Kingman, KS, comes across my blog and thinks, "Hmmm, what an marvelous opportunity to steal some Celine Dion DVD's and a few million bottles of bath soaps."

Well now that I know my mom emptied her piggy bank before heading south, I don't feel nervous at all to say what a great time we've been having! But I do understand better my dad's constant complaints when he had to lift her suitcase.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Who in the HELL is THIS!!!!!

When did my baby start to look like a little boy???

Monday, November 1, 2010

Tell Me a Secret

Every night for years I used to ask Alan to tell me a secret.
Me: Honey? Are you asleep? Tell me a secret.
Alan: I'm an open book. No secrets.

Me: Just something. Anything. Honey? Honey? Are you awake? Honey?

Alan: I have a freckle behind my left knee.

Me: Whatever. Good night.

Now I want to know why, after all of those chances, Alan never mentioned the one thing that would be a deal breaker. DEAL BREAKER.

Alan likes scary Zombie shows. What is that? How did this get past me? I mean ACK!

And worse, he KNOWS I have a penchant for self-denial and lack of self-awareness. So when he asked me if I wanted to watch Walking Dead, the new show on AMC, he took me at my word that 'Of Course I would!' Sad shows with lots of hopelessness and despair? Right up my alley! And Zombies to boot? Yay! Bring it on!

Does he not KNOW me? Does he not remember the haunted house fiasco of 2003?????

Sunday, October 31, 2010


Cortland didn't want to stay in the picture at the Halloween party yesterday. I ran to the food table and grabbed a handful of candy corn and dropped the candy in the grass where I wanted C to sit. Within less than a minute the group disolved into chaos all around my little Longhorn. And still, there he sat...

and sat...
and sat...
and sat...
and sat...
and sat.

Thursday, October 28, 2010



Watching Sesame Street with Cortland this morning, my head popped up (from its bored, drooling, almost coma-like state) when I heard the theme song for Trueblood.

Not quite sure how appropriate for kids, but so much less boring than Elmo (bless his heart).

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Logic is Subjective

I sat down to knit a scarf with the new yarn that came in the mail today. One, two, where was the third skien? I looked in all the logical places; under my chair, the recycle bin where I put the box the yarn came in, the porch where I opened the box.

And then I started looking in the logical places Cortland would have put the yarn.

I found it in the sink.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Last Week

Cortland and I are home from KS. We brought Alan rain and Cortland a 104ยบ temp. He's fine. Kids are resilient.

I haven't written about the reason we were in KS, yet. It's just been too hard of a subject to bring up. And I've also not wanted to make it seem like I thought it was about me. You know, when people whoa-is-me when something bad didn't even happen to them, but they want the sympathy?

A girlfriend and her husband lost a baby to SIDS two weeks ago and I went to the funeral. I am glad the family let unfamily attend.

I had never met the little boy, but I know his mom quite well, and she and her husband had waited for this baby for 9 years. The parents have a strong faith in God and right now seem to be handling things okay. Numbness helps.

While in KS, Cortland and I got to catch up with some of my old friends. We stayed the night with Dustin and Kristin Menzies and spent lots of time at Tasha Sears house with her and her kids. C had so much fun. Me too.

We stayed with my mom the rest of the week and popped over to Protection, KS to visit Andi Blair Dale Saturday. I haven't seen her is 100 years.

The End

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Corie! Stop Stripping!

Corie, quit stripping your baseboards. Do this instead.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

More Home Improvement

The internets say that the average lifespan of wallpaper paste is ten years.

My question is who is the contractor that sold his freaking soul to the devil to get the wallpaper paste on my bathroom wall??? This crap is like rhino snot! Seriously, I can tell that it's been on the wall for at least 20 years and it's still stuck on there like a nun's panties.

Friday, August 20, 2010

New Meds

Before you get an antibiotic for a UTI, urine has to be tested.

Before you get antibiotics for an infection, your blood is tested to see what meds will work on that specific infection.

But what kind of test is done for anti-depressants? What would happen if Alan, who doesn't need anti-depressants, takes Prozac?

I went to the doctor yesterday for a backache and while there I expressed concern that Celexa wasn't working for me the way it used to. I was perscribed Pristiq and was told that it has the seritonine reuptake inhibators like Celexa, as well as norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors. But what does that mean in layman's terms?

I just want to feel better. I want to not take 2 hour naps everyday. And I want to WANT to do dishes and fold laundry and take care of the house and my family like I used to. I want to WANT to leave the house and meet new people and do new things.

It seems that more people than ever take some kind of anti-depressant, but how do the doctors decide that someone needs to be on something like that and how do they know which drug to prescribe and how much to prescribe?

I also had a million vials of blood drawn to find out why my hair is falling out. I'll let you know what's going on with that when I find out.

Right side:

Left Side: My hair is growing back in whispy little bits; not like it was before.

On a positive note, because of these pictures I've decided not to dye my hair anymore. It's kind of a pretty color, isn't it? heh.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Lilly's baby sweater

Made this one for Carroll's little girl. Of course in TX she may grow out of it before she can wear it!

Chunky Cable Sweater

This is the baby sweater I finished for my Aunt Jeannie. Fun little pattern from the book Adorable Knits for Tots by Zoe Mellor.

And Then You Had a Duh Moment....

Of all the germy things in and around us, soap dispensers are the least of my worries. I mean, what's ALWAYS the next thing you do after touching the germy soap dispenser? You lick your fingers! Wrong, you wash your hands. Duh. Duh. Duh.

What a money-making gimmick.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Missing the James Family Already

We just had our 1st Memphis visitors!

Cortland's honorary cousins just left and it feels too quite already. We had so much fun playing and hanging out. And I swear Shauna's husband, Cullen, and Alan are twins separated at birth. It was such a great visit.

Left to Right: Tori, Cortland, Sarah and Gabriel

Shauna may kill me for posting her 3AM picture. One minute it was 10PM and the next thing I know it's three in the morning.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Wrapped Around His Finger

When he cries he looks just like the very 1st day; the very 1st minute he was born. God, he's got it all over me it's not even funny. Twist Mommy, twist!

Some Kids Eat the Stangest Things

Cortland loves Thai and Japanese food.

Alan cracks me up!

We have to work harder at not laughing when disciplining or he's going to know who's really the boss in this family.

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

Thank you Kooistras for Blue Buster. C still loves it.

Aunt Jeannie, can you hear the bug singing? He pulls it around all day long. He loves his bug!

Lilly and Kiwi came over to play today. We had lots and lots of fun.

What We've Been Up To This Summer

First of all, Cortland wanted me to tell you he loves you all THIIIISSSSSS much!

This is the coolest park ever. See all of that wood? It goes up and down and to slides and rings and tunnels and tire swings... A kid could get lost in there if he wasn't wearing a neon yellow shirt. Phew, thank goodness we just happen to have one.

We went to Nash Farms in Grapevine, TX to milk cows and pet chickens, but I couldn't get C away from the tractors and farm implements. Gee, who here is surprised?

Here he is doing his serious KS farmer face. He totally has it down. And those who know, doesn't his expression look like my dads?

Sometimes I take Cortland to the local kid cage along with the other moms who just. need. a. break.

Only kidding. It's called The Tubes. It's like a really big Chik-Fil-A playground, or a really small Going Bonkers, which is another place we've been, but I was afraid to take pictures. There were so many kids at Going Bonkers I was afraid the patients were about to take over the asylum.

Daddy and Cortland finding animals in the clouds.

Concentrating REALLY hard.

And laughing a whole bunch!

Saturday, July 24, 2010


I want to vent and throw things and yell profanities, but Carroll's husband, and hopefully someday Carroll, will read this post and I want to keep things as positive as possible. It's a raging war in my head between emotions and conventionality.

Carroll (Kiwi) has brain cancer. It's a level/grade IV astrocytoma. Hers was a primary tumor, meaning it started in her brain, not metastasized from somewhere else in her body. It was removed last Wed and the doctor said he got it all. They estimate it grew to the size of a ping-pong ball in less than 6 months.

Brain cancer rarely spreads to other parts of the body. I guess it figures it's found the Holy Grail with the brain, and it's doesn't have to look any further. She has already started chemo and will continue for 6 months. She starts 6 weeks of radiation the beginning of August.

She has been a trooper through all of this. As she says, "It is what it is." . She says she's scared which to me means she's got her wits about her. I would have been more worried if she wasn't. She is enjoying her daughter and husband and is just taking it easy.


Would it have killed the builder to spend an extra $5k to make smooth walls as opposed to these stupid knock-down textured walls? I mean seriously, it would be an extra $5 per mortgage payment for whoever initially bought the house. But for me to fix these stupid bumpy-ish walls? Out of pocket, baby. Poopheads.

And bumpy ceilings, too? What else are they going to throw at me? Suckerfish.

In my best Barbie voice; Painting texture is harrrrrd!

Friday, June 11, 2010

New additions!

Our baby birds finally sprouted!!!!!!!!

Click on the picture to make it bigger so you can see their little heads!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

MIL (Mother-in-Law) Litmus Test

While cleaning the bathroom this morning I got to thinking about what my Clean Litmus Test is. It surprised me to realize it's my mother-in-law. I have never consciously thought it outloud, but inside my head, whenever I look around the house I think, "Would I be embarrassed if Marla just dropped by with the house in this condition?"

I love my mother-in-law and if I chose my husband based solely on who I would get for an MIL; I would choose Alan all over again. But that doesn't change the fact that I don't want her to ever walk in and think that I am raising her grandchild in abject filth.

MIL Litmus Test:
NO - Messy Bathroom
NO - Dusty Floor
YES - Scrapbook Project on Dining Room Table
YES - Dishes in Sink
NO!!!!! - Dishes on Counter, Stove, Table
NO - Dirty Clothes on Floor
MAYBE - Unmade Bed

It's good to have a motivator. Thank you Marla!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Just wondering...

I was just wondering, is there a switch or something on gas stoves to turn off the pilot light when cleaning the knobs so that someone won't, hypothetically, light a burner while holding a paper towel and about burn down her nice, new house?

New videos. Lots of new videos

Cortland decided to wear the USB cable for my camera to get the mail awhile ago and it disappeared for weeks. Alan found it tonight and I posted about a million videos to you tube. Search for cortland burke (or click here) and there will be many videos to feast your eyes on.

Thursday, June 3, 2010


I turned on my Itunes and put in my earbuds to drown out Alan's basketball game and BAM, I'm back in 10th grade, in the commons at South High, during play practice listening to Under Pressure by Bowie and Queen. The layers in that song, the horns and strings, the guitars, the percussion, all of it. So rich and moving.

I forget how music can make me feel like I'm on a roller coaster; it can totally take my breath away.

I get the same feeling from ABBA and the soundtrack to Grease 2. (Oh yeah, you heard me, Grease 2. And you all totally know you want a coooooool rider, c-o-o-l r-i-d-e-r....)

And then Under Pressure takes me to Vanilla Ice. Ah, that one song. Ding Ding Ding Da Da Ding Ding. Da Ding Ding Ding Da Da Ding Ding. It makes me giggle just thinking about the lawsuit that followed and Robert van Winkle's ridiculous argument that the extra ding made it an original riff and not copyright infringement. What a goofball. And sadly, it just makes me like the song more. That and the memories of riding around with Jeni Edwards after Friday night football games.

Zao, Swing Swing by All American Rejects and Jimmy Eat World take me to 2003 when I was newly single after 14 years. When I felt nervous and excited and utterly grown up and self-reliant for the 1st time in my life. I bought a red couch that year and cried in the store because it was the 1st piece of furniture I picked out without having to put aside my own style in order to keep the peace. (other than my daybed in high school. Thanks mom!)

Alan gets all of the pining-for-you love songs due to his year in Memphis without me. All of them from the last 36 years; not just the ones from 2004. *Sigh* Poor guy. Drives him nuts. He also gets I've Been Working on the Railroad. heh.

So off I go to bed with a lighter heart and excited to start tomorrow by going out and meeting new people. I'm looking forward to making a 2010 Life Soundtrack to reminisce about in 10 years. I may even pay the $20 to join that mom's group here in town - even though it skeeves me out a little to have to pay for friends. Makes me seem desperate.....

Under Pressure....

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Dead or Alive


Contains pizza cutter, tin foil and Saran wrap

Reward Offered!!!!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Good List

The marble bathtub. I told Alan when we redo the master bath we are going to have to design around the bathtub with the perfect slope for cars (and barbies) to wing down the back like a water slide.

I LOVE the ice dispenser. Not because I actually eat ice (ick, of the devil, ice cream headache without the yumminess), but because Cortland thinks I'm a magic princess when I push the button and frozen bits come raining down on his head. He is entertained for 15 minutes trying to pick up slippery bits (and shhhh, put them in his mouth - don't tell CPS) and I get a clean floor by mopping up the melty spots. Win! Win!

Grace's Do-You-Want-to-Go-to-Your-Room? room is far, far away from Cortland's bedroom and behind two doors for maximum not going to wake the baby with her barking and have to be shaken Memphis-styleness. *gassssspppppp, big breath*
So much less stress knowing I don't feel like beating the dog because she is yelling at an evil cotton ball. We have a no-bark machine coming the 26th. Maybe then we can watch TV again. It's the kind that makes the high-pitched sound not a shock collar.

The kitchen faucet took a little getting used to , but now I love it. The head is also the sprayer and water shoots out hard enough to peel paint. I fell in total love with it when it cleaned out a 1/2 full can of tomato paste in 2.1 seconds.

I have lots and lots of cabinets So many cabinets I routinely loose things in the kitchen. It's great! (As routinely as someone who's only been here a week.)

Cortland can go play in his room all by himself. No stairs = wander in and play with trains whenever he wants.

And the bad stuff? No Tanya next door. I miss her.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Moving In - Day 5

I've spent the last three days moving large items (eg. huge packages of paper towels and toilet paper because Alan had to get a Costco membership to support his rampant nut cluster habit. Thanks David) from one unacceptable in the way place to another in the way place, neither of which is it's new home. Rat in a maze. Rat in a maze. I feel just like a rat in a maze.

Today I have big plans. I'm going to eat powdered donuts and contemplate my navel.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Less is More


It's a little late now, but I think I made a horrible error in judgment concerning my life. I wish I would have, before I got used to the finer things in life - cars, furniture, running water - have aspired to a simpler lifestyle. Beach Raker.

Just imagine, getting up and raking the sand clean of the high tide seaweed and then laying on the beach until the next raking in the morning. Easy-Peasy. Only as many possessions as will fit in a Chevy Chevette and eating ramen every meal, but the trade-off is a life of relaxation.

I might have even learned how to surf along the way. Maybe have saved for a metal detector. Made puka shell necklaces to sell to a local shop. Knitted fishing nets.

The possibilities would have been endless if only I had aspired to less.

Thursday, April 22, 2010


So this afternoon Tanya and I are sitting there picking out yarn for a new knitting project when she gasps and starts poking in my hair. She is looking behind my ear and says, "Did you know you have a chunk of hair missing?"


She looks on the other side to see if I just have some freaky hairline, but no, there is definitely a chunk of hair missing from the left side of my head.

I take down my ponytail and ask her to weed through the rest and see if there are any more holes. Nope, no more bare spots. Just that one.

After Alan got home I showed it to him. I completely expecting him to make me feel better by doing the typical guy thing and saying it's not that bad, or, dare I hope, an "I don't see what you're talking about."


He looks and hmm's and while walking away says it's probably just stress. Typical guy thing is what I was looking for!

So now I have to wear my hair down.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Outside of house

For everyone looking for the outside of the new house...


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The story of poop - Christensen style

Alan and I do not talk about poop. Ever. The 1st and last time we discussed it was when we were going on our 1st vacation and I announced that when I asked him to leave the room he would have to leave, no questions asked. When he agreed and said ditto, I knew he was the one for me.

Wait, we did discuss it one other time. I told him that sometimes a woman will poop on the table while giving birth. No matter what I was not one of those women. If it happens then it didn't really happen and that was that. Again, he agreed - no questions asked.

We are showing the house in 30 minutes and as soon as Alan walked out of the bathroom I said, "You did not do what I think you just did, did you? You're shit better smell like roses or I'm going to be super pissed."

Selling a house - The thing that brings families closer.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Open House on Sunday

The realtor just called ad we're having an open house on Sunday. I'm a little stressed about this because this is what our pool looks like as of 5 minutes ago. Uhhhhh, holy shitaki mushrooms.

See all that white rock piled up? That's the pool coping. It was all broken and we're replacing it with stone. What a mess.

On the plus side the guy jack-hammering has a rockin' body and I can see him through the window.

ETA: Cripes, the bushes behind the guys are HUGE! We need to add trimming those to the list. Alan? Are you listening? Yet another stupid chore. Yuck.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


The realtor came today and the house is officially on the market. The signs go up tonight and pictures will be on within 48 hours.


Thursday, March 4, 2010

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Knitted Sweater

I made this sweater for Cortland. All that's left is to put on the buttons and fix the 3 ft long arms... oops!

1st Haircut


I feel lately that I'm being buried in stuff. We're trying to get closets cleaned out and a huge to-do list completed so we can sell our house and - ARGHHHHH! - I just want to go back to bed.

Now granted, I've been watching Hoarders on TV and that's totally not helping. I know for some it would get them motivated to clean clean clean. For me, the slippery slope of messy to complete disaster house is almost an enviable possibility. But, in the time it took for me to write that I knew it would not be a possibility. I would go c.r.a.z.y in a pigsty. But just think about it - stuff everywhere and no urge to clean it up? Heaven!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Update From Alan

The city we're in isn't a "tourist" city, so there's not a whole lot of people that speak english. By not a whole lot I mean the entire city. I really thought that the entire world was learning english and at least the young ppl all spoke if fluently everywhere. Italy thinks Alan should stuff is english. I guess italian's been working well for a few thousand years, why change now? Jeremy and I just got back from a nice restaurant and only 1 waiter spoke a very small smidge of english. It was a mess, but we did manage to order food (thank god for pointing... that's pretty universal). I'm stuffed. I don't know if people really order both a primi piatti and secondi piatti. I thought they did. My stomach thinks otherwise.

Our hotel is miniature. My room (bed + bath) is about the size of our bedroom. The elevator fits 2 people. Ever see a 2 person elevator? Me neither. They exist though. It's cut though. Jason (guy from NYC that we're here with) says that italians don't do a lot of business travel so they don't need a big "home away from home" when it comes to their hotels; hence why they're hotels tend to be so small.

Daily Updates From Alan

Alan is in Italy this week for work. Without his permission I'm posting his daily updates. He's a funny man, my sweet husband!

An italian's day:

wake up, have some coffee
go to work and work for a bit
go have some more coffee
work for a bit more
go to lunch and have some coffee
work for a bit
go home

There's a coffee shop everywhere. There's one downstairs.

Coffee can be either an expresso shot, which is *tiny*, think a thimble full of coffee something, or a cappuccino, which I've come to prefer. Cappuccino = 1 euro or about a buck fiddy.

Jeremy just said that if we don't leave here addicted to coffee, we will never be addicted to coffee. I concur.

Friday, January 22, 2010


shhhhhh, I think knitted bowls are stupid looking. Don't tell anyone or they may take away my knitting needles.....

Thursday, January 21, 2010

35 in a 50 every single day

Anyone who's talked to me while I'm driving down Germantown Pkwy knows how annoyed I get at all of those jackassed Memphis drivers who go 35 in a 50. It's like that every. single. time. I drive down that street. I'm not kidding! It drives me nuts! Tonight I decided yelling GO! MF'ers! doesn't work no matter how loud I yell it.

So, if you can't beat crazy, then join in the party. I'm going to roll the windows down and wave my hand out the drivers side window princess style while, every 50 feet or so, chuck handfuls of cheap candy out the passenger side window. If they want to drive like their in a freaking parade, then, by God, I am, too.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Busy week

Our moving checklist is getting smaller and smaller. We took off the HUGE storm windows for the family room and kitchen today and washed them. What a pain in the butt! Thank god for Neighbors-on-Call to help get the glass back in place! Hey Tanya, you should start a business and call it that!

I painted our bedroom yesterday.

I painted the fireplace last week.

Cleaned out our closet and donated a bunch of clothes and shoes.

Things left on the Skye To-Do List:
  • Screens to replace on some of the windows
  • Remove the two front picture window glass, wash, and replace.
  • Stuff to put on the wood floors make them shine
  • Paint the upstairs hall
  • Clean out the rest of the closets
  • Paint the kitchen

Alan has his own list, but he can keep up with his stuff all by himself. He's good that way.

By the way, does everyone know we're moving back to Dallas? Kind of pertinent info for this post to make sense. heh.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Random Fact

I keep a 28oz (1lb) jar of maraschino cherries in the fridge to snack on. I especially love to drink the juice. I have to replace the jar surprisingly often.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Cortland Playing

For Tanya who has been too sick to come by and snuggle C.

WE HAD A GIRL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Carroll is Having Her Baby RIGHT NOW!

One of my best friends went in for an emergency c-section at 10:30 this morning! We will find out if we have a Lilly Josephine or a Leo James within the next hour.

She started bleeding yesterday from the full placenta previa and in the hospital her blood pressure shot up and she had the beginining of preeclampcia. She started full labor in the middle of the night. Baby is coming 6 weeks early so everyone please keep her and baby in your prayers.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Anything's Possible

As girls sometimes do when the boys are out of the room; my Grandma, mom and I were discussing women stuff when during the conversation my Grandma blurts out that she calls her girlie-bits Possible.

I waved my hands around wildly and stopped the whole conversation to get an explanation.

She said years ago she was a home health aid. Part of her job was to sponge bathe the older patients. One older woman instructed my Grandma to start at her feet and wash as far up as possible. Then to start at her head and wash as far down as possible. She said she herself would then wash Possible.