Being an Aunt: Volume Three

"So, I'm not real good at this "doing a post for all my nieces and nephews" thing. Not to mention I can't keep up with how fast my siblings have kids. Jeez. Anyway, it is AnnMarie's turn. "Annie" will be 5 on Saturday. Hard to believe! She is the daughter of my only sister and I'm her Godmomma. Those two have gotten to spend some extended time with me here and there, so I feel like I know her pretty well. She was born as a skinny lil' thing:
Look at those legs! She was in NICU for a little while, but came out healthy as a horse. (Are horses notoriously healthy? Just curious.) I LOVE to buy girl clothes, so I would buy outfits and her dad would dress her up and pose her:
I was honored to be asked to be her Godmother when she was baptized. She was around 2 (?) and screamed her head off. I got her the sweetest little white dress:
After Joe & Mel's wedding, she and her mom came to Austin to stay for about a week. She was so much fun. Larry made up this game with the kitchen light dimmer - he would tell her to raise her arm and say "Up!" and the lights would go bright. Then, as she lowered her arm and said "Down!" the lights would dim. To stop the magic, she had to clap her hands and the lights would go bright again. It was precious. Here she is saying, "Down!"
This is a girl that sings "hard-knock life" while pretending to scrub the floor and loves to ballet dance on her toes. She gets shy and stammers when too much attention is focused on her, but when she is comfortable, she is the star of the show. She'll call and tell me about what's going on, but when she is done talking, she says, "Can I hang you up now?" I'm so proud of her and excited that she is going to be a big sister!
P.S. She is under the impression that Larry eats june bugs and constantly tells us how gross that is. hahaha



This week and the next are pretty much the suckiest of the year for me work-wise. 12 hour days, along with 8 hours or so on Saturdays. Whatever. I get paid well and I actually like what I'm doing, so I'll suck it up. But - that doesn't mean I don't get stressed. I have to fit a bazillion things into each day, and each minute is precious. But today - in the midst of piles of handouts and preparations, I looked up at the clock and saw that it was 11:11.

Yes, I am one of those simple-minded people that make a wish when the clock says 11:11. But today, I didn't make a wish. I just took a deep breath and said a prayer that I could make it through the next couple weeks unscathed. You should try it. Wishing is overrated.


friendly wager

Larry, ("Jaime") and I met almost 5 (!!!) years ago. I had been dog-sitting my ex's dog, Miller, while he moved to Miami. (We had been broken up for several months and there was no chance in h -e -double hockey sticks that I was taking him back, so he accepted a job in Florida.) The morning I met Larry, I had taken Miller to the airport so that he could get shipped to Miami as airplane cargo. (The ex was no good, but that's where my love for weenie dogs came from. Here is a picture of Miller with Blossom's brother. Awwww.)
So anyway, I digress. That was an important day for me, because Miller was the last piece of that relationship. Once I sent him away, I was totally free. I felt great. It also happened to be the day of the UT vs. Texas Tech game, so I made plans with my good girl friends to go watch it. We hadn't really planned ahead, so we ended up at a local dive bar in the neighborhood, Rhino's and Jocks. (INSERT STORY OF HOW LARRY AND I MET HERE AT A LATER DATE) Long story short, UT pretty much annihilated Tech. Larry sent me orange and white roses the next day to rub it in a little more. When we started dating seriously, we determined that the UT/Tech game would serve as our anniversary. In addition, he determined that the windmill in his backyard would be the target of a friendly wager: it will be painted in the colors of the winning team. So, it was orange and white for 4 years:
Obviously this year, in one of the best games ever, Tech beat UT. So, although it took several months for it to get painted, it is now Red and Black. (I wanted to add Double T or pirate stickers, but I never did.)

You may be asking what the point of this post is. Well, as we all know, college football is less than a month away, and I'm ready. I also wanted the red and black windmill to be forever immortalized on my blog since I'm not too sure that it will get to stay that way.


the rotten meat principle

As you may know, we had a hula hoop party at the house. Lots of girls, irrigation tubing and sparkly tape. Fun times.
You can see more pictures at Sarahenity's blog if you'd like to.

I went to the grocery store the night before so that I could get the ingredients for my white sangria and 7-layer dip. (Both of which turned out really good, btw.) I bought wine, beer, plates, cups, flowers, soda, lighter fluid, etc. I also decided it would be cute to buy some "hula hoop" themed goodies, so I got some of those gummy peach and apple rings. I also found some chocolates that were 0-shaped at the end of the aisle on sale, so I got those too. Because they are shaped like a hula hoop, get it?


The next morning, I was getting everything prepared and put the 0-shaped candies into little candy bowls. When I opened the chocolate ones, they were pale and chalky. Now, I'm not one to judge, so I took a bite to see if they tasted as bad as they looked. They did. They were nasty. So, even though I had taken a bite of one, I stuck it back in the box and taped the receipt to the top so I could take them back.

Blah, blah, blah, hula hoop party takes place.

Fast forward to today..... I asked "Jaime" (see code names post if you don't know who I mean!) if he would take the candy back to HEB for me on his daily trip up there. He did, and called me at work to tell me the conversation that took place:

Jaime - "I'm returning these. Obviously it isn't about the $1.50, but look at them, they are nasty. These aren't up to HEB standards."
HEB girl - "Well, they were on clearance."
Jaime - "Just because it is on clearance doesn't mean it should be a defective product! Does that mean if your hamburger meat is spoiled, you're going to put it on half-price and sell rotten meat? It's the principle!"
HEB girl - (She had no other comment, Jaime had stumped her. she gave him the $1.50 back.)


code names

I realize that I never asked anybody if they would mind if I used their real names in my blog posts. I mean, I'm not ever going to post anything that would ruin their careers or anything, but perhaps they don't want specific instances of their lives posted for the whole world to see. Now, I realize that the only people reading my blog are people that are familiar with my family and friends, but still....

So, I'm thinking about starting to use nicknames. I am going to have to think about them, and don't take it personally if I haven't figured one out for you yet, but here is what I have so far:

Larry (boyfriend): Haven't decided yet. Option one is "Otis." This is his nickname among one of his groups of friends. I don't remember how it came about, but I would assume it is because he talks really slow with a country accent. But who knows.

Option two is "MWG." This is short for "magical white guy." The reason he is the magical white guy is because he can pretty much get anything done, sneak in anywhere, buy things at extremely low prices, etc. I'll have to provide some examples sometime.

Option three is "Jaime." This is because whenever he calls me, he says "It's me!" And I say, "Hi, me!" Yeah, we're pretty cute.

Sarah (friend for 30+ years): I think I will just refer to her as Sarahenity, because I like to link to her blog. It is good reading for any of you that haven't visited it yet. Plus, since she has her own blog and isn't super private, I figure it is okay to use a name that is similar to her real one.

Jessica (sister): "G-Unit." This is a nickname that Otis/MWG/Jaime gave her due to an incident involving gauze. (Gauze = G) It's a long story, and not really mine to tell. Maybe you should become friends with her and find out for yourself.

Okay, that is all for now. Like I said, this just occurred to me, so I'm going to have to think about it. If you have a preference for what I call you, let me know. I never really know when I'm going to put you in a post, so it might come in handy to have your nickname decided ahead of time.

- "Teach" (that is the first nickname I ever had that really stuck. I was given it because I was/am a teacher. If you say it out loud you get the full effect.)


Dancing on the 4th of July

We had a few people over for July 4th. The start time of the party was a point of contention between Larry and I. He told people to come over at noon, while I was thinking more around 3. He really wanted to just serve lunch and then go to the pool. I knew that once people came over and had a beer, they wouldn't be leaving right away, and I didn't necessarily think having people drink for 12 straight hours in 100 degree weather was the best idea. Anyway, Sarah/Dale, Juan/Reyna, Josh/Tirzah and Michael/Amy did come over around noon and the festivities began. Food (old-fashioned BBQ with hamburgers and Boar's Head & Hebrew National hot dogs), washers, hula hoops and conversation ensued; along with the consumption of iced tea, pink lemonade, Pearl, Schiltz, Coors, Miller Lite, Michelob Ultra, Bud, Shiner, and Fireman's 4. So needless to say, people did not leave right after lunch. (Well, Lefty and Amy had to leave because Lefty had a gig that night and was leaving for Austria the next day.) In fact, they stayed long enough for dancing to take place.

It began with Sarah teaching Juan to two-step:
Soon, Sarah and Dale were dancing:
And, since I was busy taking pictures, Larry danced with Cooper:
However, Cooper was more than happy to let me cut in:
Juan and Reyna then showed us what the "drunk mexican" dance looks like. (His term, not mine.) You've seen the "drunk mexican" dance - it is when the mexican guy is so drunk that he can hardly stand up and is leaning on the girl and the poor girl is trying to hold him up. This is what it might look like:
When I showed Juan this picture, he said - "It looks like I'm bald!" In fact, Juan is not bald, the flash of the camera was just really bright. So I said, "let me take another picture of your head so you can see you aren't bald." This is what happened:
Not the results I wanted. So I took a picture of the side of his head so that he could see that it was just the flash making his hair look like that:
At this point, Sarah was also taking pictures. Therefore, there were bright flashes coming at him from several directions. You can see in the above picture that it is bothersome. It was hilarious. Here is a picture that Sarah took that shows both Juan and Larry being blinded:
(I was using a paper plate as a fan. It was rather hot.) As you can see below, Juan has a nice, thick, full head of hair. No bald spots.
Anyway, it was fun. As I predicted, everyone left around midnight, after some guitar playing and singing of songs. (Shout out to Sarah and Dale for helping me clean up.) Another happy Independence Day.