Preparation, Not H

I have heard whispers of truth that I probably should accept and confirm.

(1) I’m no spring chicken. The truth is, I’m not young any more. I won’t call myself old today, though I often do, but I am most certainly not young. I’m old enough to know better, do better, act better, run for President (this could be MY YEAR), and get false ads for AARP in the mail. I’m old enough to love a bargain, to look forward to errands at TJMaxx, and to remember hating Mash re-runs. Surely this must mean something, but I’m not sure where exactly I’m going with it.

(2) The fact that I’m no spring chicken means that I probably should stop thinking like and making decisions like a spring chicken. I don’t have “youth” as a valid excuse. Nor do I have all the time in the world to fix the things I do poorly at this stage. And no one will clean up my messes. I think it’s time to take life seriously, while still having a good time. It matters.

(3) Preparation is key. The absolute key. Especially now. There was a time in life when the stakes were lower and the success rates higher and the process easier. Now is not that time. I never accidentally lose 5 pounds. I never fall into saved money. Relationships don’t happen in camp-like settings. The kids don’t suddenly exhibit an awesome behavior without being taught.

If I want it, I’m going to have to go get it rather intentionally, if not painfully. If I succeed, it will be from preparation.

The key to real estate is Location, Location, Location.

The key to life is Preparation, Preparation, Preparation.


To be continued…

The Gum on the Bottom of your Shoe

In the past 48 hours, I have not escaped from an Escape Room, been to Disney, and been pulled over by a cop for speeding with all 4 children in the car. Those are the notables worth further discussion. There are some minuscule items that may also get an honorable mention before this is over. This is drivel, so be warned. This is the gum on the bottom of your shoe. All I’m doing here is slowing you down. 

  1. The Great Escape Room. The idea behind this concept is fun and interesting. Ours was a group of PTA moms too big to be in one room together. To solve the size issue, we were split into two identical rooms and told to compete against each other. In one room, there were a lot of brainiacs and clearly some cheaters. In our room, it was the Donner Party before it was over. Forty five minutes in and half of us were lying on the floor telling the others to eat us if they never got out. I’m not sure what they planned to do about water. Team 1 got out of their room with 5 minutes still on the clock. This was not our team’s experience. When the timer went off, we were still a good 40 minutes from an aha moment. When the monitor dude explained to us what we were missing and how to solve the puzzles that would lead us out, I stared at him blankly. I mean it. Nothing got through. I know he was speaking English, but I didn’t catch a word of it. NOT ONE WORD. There was a velcro game of Battleship and a whole lot of math (cruel) and some plastic farm animals. I determined that you are either a puzzle solver or a blue collar worker in such a circumstance. I was blue collar. I could search the room and take apart anything, but that was the extent of my contribution to the group. I can find a mini cash register with a green sticker on it, but you’ll have to figure out what to do with that. I’m pretty sure I was bought in at the last minute to sabotage my team. Whatever the case, the end of the matter was that we did not end up cannibalizing each other and the dude let us out. We got to pose for a group picture with signs like “Almost Escaped” and “Send Help.” After sharing a yummy lunch and laughing a lot, I didn’t mind losing so much. I’m a bad loser. Everyone knows this about me. Thanks a lot, Florida State. Sheesh. escaperoom
  2. Magic Kingdom. Disney was crowded, but fun. It’s hard to downplay the Florida heat right now. It’s oppressive, not unlike being trapped under a large animal in the middle of a desert. It doesn’t help that I got the sweaty gene. The highlight of my day was watching my 15-year-old son get bullied into giving Piglet a hug. That was a golden moment. Not for him, of course.
  3. Cops. On Sunday afternoon, I was in my bumper stickered minivan with all four kids. My husband and in-laws were in the other car. We were leaving church and meeting for lunch. Apparently I was in a hurry and unaware that I was in a 35 mph speed zone. As soon as I passed the cop, I had that feeling. That wash of panic that comes over you when you see a taxi out of the corner of your eye. Only this time, it wasn’t a taxi. It was an actual cop. And she pulled me over. At this point, I had my permitted driver reach in the glove box for the AUTO envelope I had set up for myself years ago. I knew there would be a need for it at some point. My organization, courtesy, 4 children dressed for church, and the kindness of the cop worked in my favor. I got off with a warning. And while that’s very important to the story, it didn’t take the sting out of being pulled over in a turn lane in the middle of the busiest road between church and food. If you are going to get pulled over, don’t do it on the food route 10 minutes after church lets out. Alllllll your church friends are going to pass you as they drive to lunch. Some of them will text your husband. And in the back seat, I had the blabbety blabs going on and on about funny things they could say and do when the cop walked back up. My oldest boy was texting his friends and making notes for the day he gets pulled and needs mercy from his parents. I’m just grateful she didn’t take my money. I can live with a loss of dignity. It’s been a mighty long time since I’ve had that anyway.
  4. Stupid Human Tricks. My left eye has been twitching for 6 weeks. Like REALLY twitching. Sometimes it twitches so violently that I can actually see it twitching with the eye itself. It jumps so far from my eyeball, I can catch it with peripheral vision. That’s messed up. I wonder if there’s an essential oil for that. Just kidding. Please no.
  5. Quality Education. Today my daughter came home from school with something to report. “I got in trouble today in Science class,” she said. She was a tad sheepish, but mostly journalistic in her approach. “I have a new teacher who is really mean,” she continued. “She doesn’t think anything is funny.” Oh no. What did you do? What did you say? I pressed her for more info. “Well, she asked us to come up with a question that could be answered with an experiment.” Oh dear. Go on, I said. “Well, I raised my hand and said, ‘What happens when you put a cat in the freezer?’ She didn’t like that at ALL, Mom. She said that if I want to keep asking questions like that, maybe she can have a conversation with my parents.” I am laughing as I type this, I’m a little ashamed to say. What DOES happen when you put a cat in the freezer? 
  6. AARP. Last night, Todd and I had a moment. He said that he needed to pick up a prescription at our local CVS. I got really excited and said, “Hey, I have a prescription waiting at that one, too!” And we made our evening plan around picking those up. There have been some times when I wondered, “Is this old age?” Like when I have to check a less favorable box on a form for my age or I wake up with a sore back. Those were not old age. Not officially. But the sharing a ride to pick up your drugs…THAT was it. #AARP send us some literature. We’ll fill it out together.

But old people don’t blog, do they? Naw. I still got it.

A Tasty Nugget from the worldwide Internet Webs 

I have been thinking a ton about family lately. Parenthood. Childrearing. Extended family. Blessings. Curses. You name it. I decided to turn to the “internet webs” for a little research and boy, am I glad I did. I stumbled upon a grammatical little gem which hacked the english language to death and left it to suffer first. Before I expound and include some excerpts, allow me to apologize up front for being snooty, snobby, jerky, mean, and maybe a tad childish. Clearly English isn’t a first language here and if I tried to publish a blog in Spanish, I’d butcher it too. But that’s the thing. I don’t try. Since he did and published it on the internet, and since it’s 12:22 on Thursday night while my dumb iPhone updates, I figure this article is fair game.

The name of the blog is fantastic. It’s with the subtitle, “A blog which worth to read.” That right there is worth it. He’s right. It’s worth to read. Just for the title.

The article I used in my deeply scientific research was “Top 4 Reason Why Family is Important in Our Life.” Without saying too much, I’ll just hit the highlights for you and you can thank me later.

  1. Family Make Children Future.  When babies come out from mother’s womb, they see their parents first and thereafter they spent most of the time with their family until go to school. None of you going to teaches bad habits for your baby, I believe. Parents have to be careful in actions in front of their babies, because your baby learn habits and discipline from you only.

Good to know. I was getting nervous about where he was headed with that womb and habits in front of babies business. 

2.  Family stay with you at any situation.  This is one of the great advantage from family and none of us never realise this at any time. Do you know what?, your mum and dad are the only one who understands you much more than any other people in the world.

Huh? None of us never realize this at any time? Then why are we talking about it? 

3.  Family make better society. A perfect family is the great example for the whole society. Father, Mother, children all of them have to work in order to build a perfect family. If any one of them failed then the whole family collapsed. This is happen very much now a days. The good name of the whole family ruined by a single member of the family. That is really sad but nothing to do for that. But if every family member work hard and build a optimal family then they are the good example of that whole society. Family impact very much in society and society impact very much in country. So an ideal country not only build by government but also each and every family member. So each family is the principal key of the society. This is why family is important in our life.

I just quoted that whole paragraph because it was too good to leave anything out. When your family reputation is ruined by a single family member, “that is really sad but nothing to do for that.” Darn. And I was feeling so hopeful tonight.

4. Family celebrates your happiness. Finally an agreeing verb tense. In short if you are happy then some people get jealous on you. But family is different and they encourage when you pass every steps. Moreover they celebrates with you in your every happy moments. Especially parents always looking forward your every advance steps. This is why family is important in your every steps.

So now you know. In my next post, I’m going to dispense with research and rely on observation. I will also try very hard to keep my grammar in check, since I was pretty hard on this fella. Peace out and watch your habits in front of the babies.

 Enjoy your every happy steps. baby

Sources:, “Top 4 Reason Why Family is Important in Our Life.”



The Mattress Incident

Like my infamous bike ride to Kmart under the ominous shadow of Hurricane Georges, today presented a dramatic and defining moment. A moment that illuminated who I am. We all know who I am already, so there’s no need to elaborate on terms.

To be completely real and forthcoming, I should start the story at yesterday. Yesterday was horrible. Horrible. There was no tragedy. There was no catastrophic health concern. Just a bad day that started with almost knocking myself out with an rogue extension cord (that’s not a typo) and ended with me crying on top of a crib mattress. In the middle was a very disgruntled kid who’d been promised a haircut that got axed from the schedule due to overcommitment. Oh, the consternation.

The crib mattress is not a literal crib, which is a relief to most of you reading here. There will be no fifth Snapp baby. I’m just way too old for that. It was a King pillowtop mattress flipped over on its head and we flipped it in hopes that sleeping on the firm side would help with neck and back pain. It didn’t work. And it was an awful lot like sleeping on a crib mattress made of plywood. And while that mattress situation wasn’t a problem and I was part of and on board with the experiment, I was in no mood for plywood. So I went to sleep last night crying like a baby and feeling about like one. Surely hormones were at play here. It wasn’t my finest moment.

At any rate, this morning I awakened fresher than yesterday and determined to right all the wrongs of the previous day. After exercising and getting several things done around the house, I came upstairs to deal with the king size bed. With the experiment having failed, we needed to flip the mattress back over to its normal state. Of course Todd had no inkling that I would attempt to do this on my own. But it was a task to be done and I hate leaving big things undone. Plus, I’m all about the challenge. ALL ABOUT IT. Nothing makes me want to do something more than seeing it as just on the edge of impossible.

I stripped the bed and threw everything extra out into the hall. I needed all the real estate I could get to manipulate the mattress and flip it back over. It took 152 trips back and forth across the room to even slide the mattress off the bed and onto the floor. What do they fill those things with? Lead? Dead bodies? Sheesh. After I managed to get the mattress partially off, I then somehow propped it upright against my dresser. At this point, i had it pointed in the right direction. All I had to do was bend and lift it back onto the bed. But I had to do this from the bottom. Gravity was going against me. I got on one corner and tugged with all my might. Every ounce of strength I had, I used. It hardly moved, but it did move just enough to give me hope and send me running to the other corner to try the same thing. I couldn’t get any movement from the other corner. Nothing. So I got the brainiac idea to sit on the box springs, right in the middle and try to lift it from there.Onto me.

After much scrapping and grunting and pulling, I got the mattress up onto my lap. And then I sat there. Under a mattress that weighed 800 pounds. Literally trapped under something heavy. I looked at my watch. It was 1:52 p.m. I was 20 minutes from needing to pick up my girls from school, drenched in sweat that is only appropriate in a gym setting, and trapped under a mattress of my own doing. My phone was downstairs, so there was no calling for help or a ride for the kids. I had to get out from under that bed.

At the end of an 8 minute struggle, the mattress was once against upright against my dresser and I did something I rarely do: I gave up. I was beaten. My son would be home at 3. He could get the job done.

I was feeling okay about the defeat and feeling like I had made a mature decision to quit while I was ahead when I realized that I had to quickly change clothes for the school pick up and every last thing I needed was in drawers that were trapped under that same leaden mattress. Sigh.

Here we go again. To get my clothes, I had to get down on the floor, crawl behind the mattress and smash my face up against the dresser. There was no being picky about what I pulled out. Whatever I could reach was what I wore.

The end of that matter was that my son came home and had surprisingly little trouble doing what had almost killed me. But one of those drawers I had pulled clothes out of was slightly open, got hit by the passing mattress, and now no longer closes.

But that’s okay. I can see what the problem is. The drawer pull is bent. It’s nothing a mallet won’t fix.

I’ll do that tomorrow.

#tooltime with Missy


When mundane takes a selfie

I have very little to say. Hence the title. People who have nothing to say, should say that. But I’m going a different direction, because I don’t want to skip a month of writing and sitting with my laptop is a better choice than turning on my TV right now. I can’t say the same for you. It might be better for you to turn on your TV than to read this.

I told you I had nothing.

The other day, my youngest daughter was in a different classroom than usual. When I asked her whose class she was in, she told me, but I couldn’t picture the teacher. I asked her to describe her. She said, “You know…long brown hair and hairy arms.” I’m not sure that a loud belly laugh was the appropriate response, but I pictured a Sasquatch and it made me laugh. I do hope we can make something of her eventually. Something other than funny, which she is already. While I was picking up one son the other day, she was at home with the other one. If she has wifi, she can use an ipod to text me. I received the following from her while I sat in car line.


How does an 8-year-old differentiate between ducks that have flight and those that don’t? Did she see a duck walking and just decide it was flightless? These are the mysteries of the universe.

I told you I had nothing to say. You were warned.



Babies and Trash Can Liners

The other night, I was taking out the kitchen trash, which is a disturbingly frequent occurrence with us. Our carbon footprint is like a size 465 in man shoes. It’s bad. At any rate, it actually needs to be taken out daily, but consistently goes to the end of the second day because every last one of us is hoping someone else will take it out. Until they do, we continue to shove another paper plate on top of the already flush pile and hope the plate’s contents do not spill over onto the floor. But no worries if it spills. Mom will mop it up.

Soooooooo anyway. I was standing at the trashcan replacing the bag and uttered with confidence, “Is there anything more hopeful than a brand new trash bag?”

I didn’t want an answer. Unless the answer was, “No, I think a fresh trash bag is the best thing ever.” Or something like that.

It was really just a statement. But it was my mistake in putting it forth as a question. I make that mistake daily in things like “Would you go brush your teeth?” when obviously what I mean is “brush your teeth this moment or I’m calling the police.”

When I asked the question, Todd furrowed his brow and said, “YES. How about a newborn baby?”



I dropped my head in shame. How could I put my fresh trash can liner up against a cooing newborn baby? Good grief.

I didn’t respond. Clearly, he had trumped me and there was no response to make. But then I started thinking about it.

Trash bags don’t ever argue with me as I am shaking them out and putting them into the can. Newborn babies don’t stay fresh and innocent for very long. They grow. And when they grow, they fuss. And sometimes, you’ll look down at 7:30, 13 seconds before walking out the door to school, and the grown newborn baby has ripped off her shoes and is standing in the kitchen half naked having a sock texture crisis. That’s never happened to my trash bag.

Sometimes that grown newborn will turn the house UPSIDE DOWN looking for the very crucial binder that he DEFINITELY brought home only to find it in the hallway at school the next morning. My trash bag never loses anything.

And sometimes, that big baby will grab my shirt just in time to catch their sneeze with it.

Or complain about what I made for dinner. Or pick a fight with another one of the oversized newborns in the house. Or place a bloody tooth, freshly pulled,  on my white comforter so they can take a picture of it to text other family members.

My trash bags  never do any of that.

So while I hung my head in shame right at first, upon further consideration, I proudly stand by my opinion. A fresh trash bag is the best thing ever.

But if you think about it, newborns and new trash bags are really pretty similar. They both start out fresh, pretty, and good-smelling. But at the end, they are both full up with garbage.



Tidbits from the fringe

I’ve had blogs running through my head for weeks. I’ve been blogging. They were really great posts, too. But those posts got eaten up. By yard work. And carpooling. I’m not that busy. I just am not terribly disciplined.

But who cares, right?

So here are a few tidbits from my world this past week.

There was a tropical storm that sort of hit us. It really only grazed us, but I gotta tell you, I wasn’t complaining. That little grazing got us 2 days off school at the end of the week right before Labor Day. So a 3 day weekend became a 5 day weekend. We did actually get rain from it, unlike the Great Storm Georges, which caused me to run in fear and sandbag the house. Not enough rain from that to wash a baby’s hair.

During one of the two storm days off, my oldest son had an appointment at the DMV to get his learner’s permit. The DMV closed. We went yesterday. So the kid who taught me that I knew nothing about parenting is now learning to drive. He is licensed. He hasn’t driven or even asked to, sooooooo….yeah. We’ll see. Ironically, I almost rear-ended a person on the way to the DMV and got lost on the way home. We’ve decided Todd will be teaching him to drive.

We tell stories at night using strange voices about a snail named Marquis. His best friends are Percy and George. I’m pretty sure I ripped those right out of Thomas the Train, but I refuse to google it to confirm. Last night, Jenna begged to tell the Marquis story. I was reluctant to agree, because I gotta be honest…she rambles. A lot. And by that time of day, I’m so done with it all. But I had promised, so off she went. Well, two nights in a row now, she has spun a pretty good yarn. But last night had a shocking twist to the story that had Marquis saying, “No, we don’t want your Baby Poop Sand. Give us some new sand, and we’ll get you a new baby.” I had been trailing off a bit when I heard that.  That line shocked me back to attention.

The power never went out during the tropical storm, but it was out three different times through much of last night. There wasn’t even a hint of wind or rain.

Today I weeded the pool deck until my fingers were raw. At that point, I turned my attention to the roof where some moss and sticks needed to be chased away. I was barefoot. No one climbs a ladder barefoot, but my shoes were so.far.away. They were upstairs. So I wore my son’s cushy size 11 church loafers. They looked fantastic with what I was wearing and were perfect on the ladder. At the end of all of that, I wiped my face on a towel and wore those same shoes to Dollar Tree to buy myself a bubbly bottle of Aspartame. I looked like a freak. Nobody noticed. Dollar Tree is the great equalizer. You can’t get by with it at CVS. I tried that a couple of weeks ago wearing my son’s football cleats.

But that’s another story for another time.