Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Bikini Bingo Bust


Stick with me for a bit… it’s gonna get a wee bit crazy amigos.


So after our warm welcome to Acapulco,



we stepped out of the airport to meet our unfailingly cheerful driver.


And by unfailingly cheerful, I mean he never stopped smiling as he got in the van and immediately poured tequila shots from a massive bottle in the front seat.


See this picture of Itty Bit at barely a year old?



That bottle of tequila was about his size.  Not.even.kidding.


I had to laugh when my dad said, “I guess they don’t have Open Container laws here…”



The second culture shock came as we pulled onto the roadway.

Mexico’s drug war has made some places unsafe.  There are many uniforms everywhere you look… but I wasn’t prepared for the pickup trucks full of automatic rifle toting soldiers.



Hard to see in the picture above.  (I was kinda sorta scared to use my sekrit photo ninja skills when guns were everywhere).

But it wasn’t hard to see at all when a military helicopter swung low across the hotel beach with armed soldiers on the skids.

The locals seemed happy about their presence.  Our driver kept us safe, as promised.


There are all kinds of other stories about the tour he took us on.  But for now, I’ll get to the reason y'all are here: my public humiliation.


(Don’t pretend it’s not.  We’ve known each other too long.)


It all started when we discovered the pool.


And Itty Bit decided we should live there.



See those people?  We get those looks a lot.




The first day I wore my MOM tankini with my MOM shorts.  I figure the world is just not ready for the incredible hotness that is my longsuffering baby weight.


There weren’t many people at the pool so I reached for my dry tankini the next morning.  The one with the BIKINI bottoms.

My mission was to add a coverup, find a hidden spot to shimmy out of it poolside, then sneak into the water without nary a flash of cellulite.

I was doing “swimmingly” (ha!) until (ahem) someone took this photo.


Why do I look taller that way?  I should walk on my hands daily to be less fun-size.


That is neither here nor there (what does that mean anyway?).  The fatal mistake I made was in agreeing to play Pool Bingo.

Now… let me remind you:


we are in Mexico.

they speak Spanish.

I am deaf.

there are penalties for calling a false Bingo.

my dad is a scoundrel.

I am so buggered.


They hand out these disposable punch out Bingo cards that are essentially a mess of hanging chads.



A very enthusiastic hotel employee is manning the microphone.  She speaks rapidfire Spanish and translates to English.  My dad mouths the numbers to me, except those blasted pieces keep folding themselves down while the wind tries to blow them into the pool.


You’ve already guessed, right?


One more number and the entire row is a winner.  My dad mouths the number and my eyes widen.  I hesitate… not sure if it’s good.  And not sure how loud someone needs to yell.

My dad rescues me and yells, “BINGO!” and points to me.

The cheerful girl gestures for me to give her my card.


And then, as 1,872 pairs of eyes turn to me, I realize that I am utterly and completely screwed.


I have to get out of the pool.


In my “nobody will see me in these” bikini bottoms.


With my beautiful jiggles, back fat, and horrific sunburn.


“UN-BINGO!”, I want to cry.  You can UN-BINGO, right?


But the friendly girl with the microphone is gesturing to me.  My dad is grinning in that, “yep, you ARE screwed” way.  And I have to haul my soaking wet poundage gracefully out of the pool and walk to the cabana.


Seriously, where did all these people come from suddenly?


They check the numbers.  And as I look helplessly at them, I realize that I don’t need to speak Spanish – or even hear – to know what they are saying.


Oh Good Lord.  There was no i-20.


And sure enough, my dad is thoroughly cracking up when the girl chides me and orders me to do my penance.




(Ummm… no?)




(No, that’s okay)


“Come on, you gotta do a $exy dance!”



My sunburn turned an even deeper shade of lobster, but she wouldn’t give up.  Apparently calling a bum Bingo is serious stuff.


What was I to do?


My FATHER was standing in the pool being ridiculously unhelpful with his laughter, my SON was bouncing next to him splashing approximately 42 people, and my HUSBAND was already mentally writing a Facebook status update.

And of course the friendly girl has now drawn a bigger crowd with her microphoned encouragement to “Do a $exy dance!  Do it!”



All eyes on me. 


And this is what I busted out with.




And because one moment of utter humiliation is not enough…

they called me out of the pool twice more for encores and a bow.


(This was apparently hilarious to two guys from Michigan in the pool).




Don’t you feel better about your life right now?

Knowing that at least you haven’t embarrassed yourself in such a splendid way yet?




to all the family members who keep randomly yelling BINGO


Saturday, March 24, 2012

A year to remember

You already know that I like taking pictures.

Our entire vacation, you could pretty much find me like this:

So you can bet your sweet bippy that there will be a photo book of our little adventures.

(What is a bippy, and why does everyone else have one?  Why don’t we ever say “bet MY sweet bippy"?  Important questions people…)

About the time I started sorting through the snapshots of our vacation (and secretly deleting all the ones that showed an unacceptable number of chins), I got a timely email from Shutterfly about their newest product:
Shutterfly Yearbooks

Spring break kind of signals the homestretch for a school year – time to start thinking about all those candid school event photos you took!  I think the ability to create your very own photo yearbook is a perfect marriage of sentimental souvenir and personalization.  (Oh come on… all you OCD moms know that we could totally rock the Kindergarten Yearbook staff ;)

Since Itty Bit goes to an itty bitty school, creating one just for his class would be such a fun idea for parents and teachers.

I’ll be honest with you… I dug out my old yearbooks and it cracked me up to see all those familiar faces.

Even better?  The dozens of classmates who wrote in my book,

(A sign language interpreter went with me to all my classes… I am thoroughly puzzled by the wholesale assumption that I was going to somehow make use of those digits).

They probably remembered me as the girl who permed her hair.  Then dumped an entire bottle of Sun-In on it.  Orange curls for all of 8th grade.

Or maybe as the girl who was 14” shorter than everyone else on the basketball team.  

Literally – the shortest one.


(Well, maybe I was 14” shorter than some of those teased bangs).

But what was REALLY fun?  Was looking at MR. DADDY’S yearbooks.

Utterly squeezable!

I could have had a crush on him…

No clue what the dude did to his knee, but those belts!  Those belts!

I hear he was popular with the ladies… I bet all four of these girls joined the Student Court after he did ;)
001 (2)

Funny what yearbooks trigger (beside guffaws from the wife reading messages from lovelorn girls who crushed on the blue-eyed cutie).

I teased him mercilessly about his picture under “Cutest Guy”, and pointed out his Senior Trip photo.
He grimaced and said, “I came down with pneumonia that day”.

Let’s get back to that “Cutest Boy” thing.

Awesome ammo in any redneck argument.

“Hey Billy, I got me that big bad elk rifle with the fancy scope”
“My granddaddy’s bear rifle is better than that, Mr. Daddy”
“No it aint”
“Prove it Pretty Boy”
“I aint a pretty boy”
“That’s right.  You’re a CUTE boy… voted and official and all…”

(and that’s how the fight started)


Anyway… before I stop picking on my poor CUTE husband, I have to tell you the funnest part of all.

When your kid says,
“Momma?  Why are Daddy’s pictures black and yours are color?”



Sadly, I fear this post has gone wildly astray from the original intent.
(At least I’m consistent about finding those crazy tangents, right?)

I’ve gotten prints and photo books from Shutterfly for years.  It absolutely pays to be on their mailing list and part of their sales!  I’m one of those people who gives photo gifts (so you might as well pose when I whip out my camera).

I’ve been lucky enough to get to go on field trips with Itty Bit’s class – I think pictures from those would make great yearbook ideas.  I just cannot stop melting when I see candid shots like this that a typical “School Picture Day” might not catch:


If you end up creating your own yearbook, let me know!  Hint hint: yearbooks for your class may be as low as $5 each if you contact Shutterfly!

Keep up with Shutterfly’s newest products and promotions:
Facebook: here
Twitter:  here
Pinterest:  here


Oh – and don’t forget to tease our very own Cutest Boy ;)


The teeny print:  Shutterfly is providing a free book in exchange for my tangent-ridden ramblings – even though they’re probably embarrassed by me talking about my bippy and multiple chins.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012



I’ve commented more than once.

How our lives can change with a single phone call.

(Or a single Facebook post, as it may be.)


And while I owe you the rest of the goofy stories from the past few weeks, I can’t ignore the impact of the past few days.


I stayed home Monday.  I joked about being mowed down by a horse, but in reality, being knocked airborne and pummeled into the ground twice… bruised more than just my pride.  It hurt even driving Itty Bit to school; I returned home and grabbed some anti-inflammatories.


I sat down for a  few minutes and  replied to a Facebook message.  And almost didn’t see the post from a church acquaintance before I closed the screen.




Suspect on the loose.


Running through neighborhoods.


Schools on lockdown.




And suddenly, I recognized the neighborhoods.  The school names.


You know that moment when you realize that you’re helpless?


When you are fighting to breathe past the weight on your chest and you just know that you are more than capable of injuring anyone who would put your child in danger?


But you can’t get there.  You just can’t get there fast enough.



They told parents to stay home.  Avoid bringing more traffic into the area.  No one in or out of the schools.


Multiply that “helpless” by tenfold when you cannot hear.  Cannot call someone.  Cannot listen for updates on the radio.  Cannot lipread live uncaptioned tv reports.


I tried.  I texted Mr. Daddy.  I left my mother a bawling my eyes out voice mail.  I frantically Googled news updates and begged for information from local Facebook friends.  I knew if I left the house, I would be out of touch to know what was happening.


Within minutes – Facebook friends calling the school for updates on my behalf.  Mr. Daddy confirming that all three pastors were in lockdown with the kindergarteners.  School in contact with the police.  My mom texting that she was on her way to the school.


They said they’d release him if she called from the parking lot.  There was concern about me picking him up because I couldn’t hear to be aware of my surroundings.


(And it is at that exact moment, when you worry that your child is in danger, that you would give anything to trade your stupid disability).


So thankful for a Mom like mine.  Thankful for the Grandma that she is. 


Thankful for the kindergartener sitting in a shopping cart a half hour later comparing Transformer cars.




I keep getting choked up when I touch his little head and think about just how, well… little he is.  And how absolutely irreplaceable he is.  I’m wiping tears from my eyes as I type this and am grateful for this Reset button to remind me to cherish our family and friends.



So in an early letter to you:


Thank you.


For reaching out to us.

For praying for us.

For praying for my son’s safety.

For making phone calls on my behalf.

For sending text messages and emails.


Thank you to the teachers and staff for herding those 5-year olds downstairs and convincing the kids that reading books with the lights out was an adventure.


Thank you to an amazing Mom who doesn’t hesitate.

Thank you to my Heavenly Father who protected the boy I love.


Thank you to the police who are still looking for the shooter.


And I’m sorry.  To the family who lost a young man and to the other two still recovering.  Praying that you will find God right where you are at.


And to the shooter?  Well, I have a horse I’d like you to meet…





Sunday, March 18, 2012

We Left the Horses to Guard the House, Part II



I joked about it in my last post, but yesterday this dude:


…proved that he was more than capable of knocking down a human and sending them into a backward somersault.  That someone may have also become separated from their glasses and hearing aid, but I’ll not name that person to spare them further embarrassment.



So we left off with the Houston saga… and what cracked me up is how many Texas readers offered to haul over and keep us company or put us up for the night!  I have the best blog friends, truly.


Starting at the beginning; my travel expert dad found this unbeatable deal to an incredible place.


(Since my dad refuses to allow me to show his face…. here’s a shot with him and Itty Bit with his lovely “underwears” showing)



and here’s a shot of the incredible resort:



When we found out that Mr. Daddy’s treatment was supposed to start while we were attempting to darken our pasty Northwest hides in Mexico; the doctor said, “don’t postpone your vacation”.


(I could have kissed him.  Except well, he probably would have liked that about as much as the surgeon liked my hug).


So we readied ourselves to jet to Acapulco.


First came mother/daughter pedicures that left me with tears in my eyes.  My mother remarked that I had been exfoliated for a lifetime.


Then came a frantic 30-pound-weight-loss program.


(When you buy an elliptical machine that says “some assembly required”… DO NOT BE FOOLED.  It will take you FOUR hours to open forty-seven boxes and sort the fasteners that your tyke helpfully dumped into a pile. And grease?  GREASE in my living room?!?)




(Another clue: when your house looks WORSE than Christmas morning, that is not “SOME assembly required”.  Just sayin'…)




Not surprisingly, I was still pegged as the 30-pound-overweight pasty woman from the Northwest… I have no idea what clued them in that I wasn’t a local?




(For the blog record, Mom claimed we’d be fine for a half hour early morning run on the beach.  Except that it was longer than a half hour.  I am still peeling from the beautiful lobster result.  Mr. Daddy points and yells “UNCLEAN!  UNCLEAN!” every time he sees my shoulders.)


Backing up a bit further… before we left, Itty Bit helpfully decided to pack his own bag.  Then got awfully secretive about it.  This is what I found when I unzipped it:



Holy Legos Batman.  The entire box.  And dutifully strapped in.


Apparently socks and underwears are highly overrated.




The beauty of having a “I can do it myself” kid, is that he hauled that sucker by himself like a little pro.




The weird part for me is that I keep thinking that’s myself in the picture with him.  Until I see those crazy butt toner shoes my mom is gonna thank me for warning her about someday…




We took a red-eye flight to Houston.  And it was instant wackiness.



(Someone come up with a good punchline for this, please?)


And then cause for instant screaming in the WOMEN’S room.  Apparently y’all weren’t kidding about things being bigger in Texas.


(My mom changed out of the butt toner spine mess up thingies, and was the only one brave enough to pose next to this monster).




My dad is not a short guy.  But I think I annoyed him on the connecting flight by repeatedly calling him The Hobbit every time he stood up.



(and now you see why the kids at school shut up when I said that MY dad could beat up their dad).




We landed in Mexico City and were treated to conflicting directions from four different airport employees.  Forcing us to go through security again just for fun.  YIPPEE!


We got the weirdest welcome to Mexico there, though…




(How did I get so ninja-ish that I take pictures of broken toilet paper holders in foreign countries?  It’s a sickness I tell you.)




The only thing weird about the last flight was that crazy in-flight catalog.




Does anyone else think that squiggly little logo looks a little risque for tennis shoes??



Seriously, what is that supposed to be?




Now that’s just wrong.






Now, y’all might have gotten this far and wondered what on earth we were doing traveling to Mexico?  Isn’t there a State Department travel alert out for the area..?


We researched and researched it all.  We read nearly 800 accounts of people who had been to this exact place.  We hired a driver beforehand and planned to stay in the safest areas.


When it could be researched no more, Mr. Daddy’s doctor told us to go.



We stepped out of our yard full of snow and into some sandy sunshine.


And right smack into a True Story Tuesday that will haunt me for the rest of my everloving public humiliation life.


Stay tuned for Part III

Sunday, March 11, 2012

in reverse: from HOUSTON WE HAVE A PROBLEM





See… it was freaky enough to force my OCD self to leave a typo.


We were crazy enough to try to keep our vacation a big fat secret until we got home (somehow “house protected by attack horse” doesn’t have the same ring as ATTACK DOG ON PREMISES)


And our adventure in Houston was that big fat exclamation point on

travel book


A thunderstorm closed the airport, yet our plane circled until that dire announcement.



After Itty Bit’s subtle echo to the rest of the passengers, he (like any other responsible kindergartener) picked up the flight instructions,



and without any prompting, tucked into the crash landing position.




He completely did not understand why I was goofing off with the ninja pictures instead of preparing for an emergency.  Parent Fail.


After diverting to a bumpy landing in Corpus Christi, we were stranded on the tarmac because the airport didn’t have Customs agents.


Did I mention that I’d gone to bed at 1:45 that morning and awoken early to leave paradise?

Sans coffee?

And that our only meal by 5pm that day had been a flight snack?

Sans coffee?

And we were leaving 90 degree weather to return to SNOW?

Sans coffee?

And a kid who kept loudly asking what air sickness bags were for?


When we finally started our third takeoff of the day, I did a little happy dance to see Houston an hour later.





We sat on the tarmac again midst a lightning storm and watched the clock tick past our connecting flight.


Since so many fights had been delayed, the lovely security checkpoint area was packed with agitated travelers.  Once passing inspection (the menfolk were selected for the nekkid xray adventure), we spent the next three and a half hours in purgatory.


Purgatorty:  [pur-guh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] noun, plural -ries, adjective noun

To be stranded at consecutive airports with a caffeine withdrawal headache.  To endure multiple security searches at three separate airports.  To have your good tweezers confiscated.  To consume a single snack in 36 hours.  To miss your connecting flight.  To run across the entire airport to FIVE SEPARATE GATES and wait for an eternity in line at each.  To juggle a heavy rolling suitcase, a camera bag, a purse, and a kid survival bag – all whilst carrying a tired 48-pound kindergartener across miles of escalators, elevators, subways through crowds of upset passengers.


Ultimate purgatory:  [uhl-tih-mut pur-guh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee] noun

to lose your iPhone for approximately 12 hours at the start of this madness.




There’s more… so much more.  Including why seeing this man forget about sad things for awhile made crazy Houston worth it.




Now if you’ll excuse me… there are 926 unread blog posts in my reader.  Off to catch up with you!

Monday, March 05, 2012

because my mother doesn’t Facebook



… and really, neither do I.


I mean, I only post a status a couple times a month and suddenly the funny blows up into 300 comments.


But this one?  Is just for my Momma.  Who gave me a well-rounded introduction to the Jesus-loving churches of the world.


(Which might explain the dirty looks I got when I tried to bust into applause as a guest at a Mormon baptism, and when I tried to take the communion wafer out of the priest’s hand as a guest at a Catholic church.  Let’s just call it well-rounded confusion…)


No clue who to credit for this – but someone on Facebook may or may not have caused a bladder emergency in my household with this:


official worship signals



I don’t care who you are, that’s funny right there.


(Psst.  And for the record, I know some mighty charismatic Baptists who can’t help but bust out a Rocky during worship).


I know which one describes my Mom… which one describes you???

Thursday, March 01, 2012

To Gracie on her eighth birthday



Baby girl,






Beyond words.



The loss of you is only bearable knowing who keeps you until we see your sweet face again.




Have a delightful birthday darling girl.


(I always knew you’d have brown hair.)



Did I tell you we miss you?  And we love you madly?



That is all.



Because sometimes it seems that that is all there is.