Sunday, January 29, 2012

Ten Things I Hate About You!

Kendall turned 18 on Friday and I couldn't help but pause and reflect on the type of person that she has become. She's an adult now, at least when it comes to voting, smoking, drinking in some states and buying lotto tickets. (Does anyone see anything wrong with that list right there? Maybe we should consider adding on those "privileges" gradually? Say...
  • voting at 18 with only the intoxication of liberal media to influence them
  • smoking at 19 so they at least extend their lives by one more year
  • lotto tickets at 20 so they can have a couple of years to realize that after they pay their bills on their meager income there is no money left over to blow on gambling
  • drinking at 21 because, well, we can never have enough drunk drivers.
What is the age for finally being expected to live responsibly and be accountable and contribute to society? Maybe that should be added to the list of 18 year old privileges? Oh dear... I digress.)

So... back to Kendall. Her birthday got me thinking about all the things I hate about her. There are many but here are ten main things I hate about Kendall:

#1 - She is happy and positive and almost always in a good mood. She wakes up cheerful at 5am every morning for drill team. Who does that?

#2 - She's photogenic. The camera either loves you or it doesn't. I don't know why it loves some people more than others. Sometimes the reasons are obvious and other times, not so much. For whatever reason, the camera loves Kendall.

#3 - She asks not "what can you do for me mom?" but rather, "what can I do for you?" That behavior doesn't usually start to emerge until post mission for boys or well into their twenties for girls!

#4 - She not only cleans up after herself but she cheerfully cleans up after everyone else too. I used to think that out of 7 kids I did not get one single neat freak. Well, it turns out that there was a neat freak buried under all of her older sisters' clutter! She loves having her sisters back home but also looks forward to getting their room back in pristine condition when they leave.

#5 - She's self-motivated. She gets straight A's without a lick of help from me. She doesn't even need my occasional, very inspiring pep talks. (Don't worry, though, Bryan is getting his share and Kendall's too!)

#6 - She cooks! She likes to experiment in the kitchen and make amazingly delicious things. Her latest experiment was this...

What is that you ask? Why, it's a "slutty brownie" of course! (not named by Kendall). It's a bar cookie and the bottom layer is chocolate chip, the middle layer is double stuff oreos and the top layer is brownie. They are called that because they are "easy and quite filthy". I love that she bakes but why does she have to do it when I'm on a quest to lose my extra holiday pounds? Ya gotta hate her!

#7 - She is good at putting outfits together and wearing everything in her closet yet doesn't spend too much time fussing over it. She appreciates when I buy her clothes and she actually wears them - unlike some of my other kids (cough - Courtney - who won't wear color or anything with a pattern preferring browns and greys and thinks everything makes her look fat!)

#8 - She entertains. She actually invites friends over (unlike some of my other children, cough - Brad, who refused to and said our house was boring) and Kendall even plans everything and prepares everything. This girl actually plans it, shops for needed items at the store, prepares everything and cleans up. Seriously! This is the cake she made for her most recent birthday party...

#9 - She gets herself up and ready for everything. Not only do I not have to help her but she is usually prepared with plenty of time to help me.

#10 - She is content to just be at home. She loves to hang out with her friends and go on dates but she is just as happy to be home and read a book or hang out with the family. (At least, she pretends like she likes being home with us and that's good enough for me!)

Why do I hate all of these things about Kendall? Because it's going to be miserable for me to send her off to college in the fall. Now, don't get me wrong, I have not looked forward to any of my kids leaving. If I had the choice I'd keep them all right here with me for the rest of their lives but... that's kind of creepy. I knew I'd miss the other kids but at least I got to look forward to their messy rooms going away with them. And they were all somewhat helpful but nothing like Kendall. Seriously, she is setting me up for a devastating loss and that is why I hate her!

Shame on you, Kendall! Have you thought about my feelings at all? We are supposed to be arguing over curfews and fighting over why your bed needs to be made when you are just going to get back in it that night. You're supposed to sneaking around with a boy I don't approve of and telling me you're old enough to make your own choices. These are the things that give parents some small comfort in knowing that they will at least get a respite from when their child leaves for college. I fear the way you have behaved this year is going to leave me lying in the fetal position for days. The only thing I will have to look forward to is picking up Bryan's socks all over the house. At least that's a full time job so it should keep me occupied!

I hate you Kendall!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Ode to Loola Mae

This is Kylie. I've hacked my mom's blog not to surprise her or do a kind deed, but because tragedy has struck recently in the Earl home. Loola Mae, my dear dear cat and best friend, is gone. I got the call from my mom last night and immediately broke down. I loved that cat more than I love my own sisters (sorry guys) and she was the bright shining star in my somewhat dismal life. The world has never known a love like the love the two of us shared; just a girl and her cat, taking on the world by storm.

I thought I might just take this moment to share some of my favorite memories of Loola Mae. These are in no particular order:
  • Sometimes she would sleep on the end of my bed like a faithful dog. I loved those nights. I would have to hold really really still and be careful not to move my body in the slightest, otherwise she would get T.O'ed and leave.

  • When I was doing my makeup in the morning and sitting in front of my mirror, she would sit in my lap so I couldn't lean over to my make up bag. Then she would swat at me while I tried to put on my mascara and leave me looking like a cheap hooker. Precious.
  • I liked to pick her up and hug her as tight as I could until she could fight her way out of my arms. Sometimes this would get her real riled up and then she would stalk me like her prey and chase me through the house. Oh the memories!
  • She loved sparkly things and dresses and this is for real. Those of you who know me know that I don't keep a very tidy room so naturally there are clothes everywhere, but regardless of all the options anytime a dance costume or fancy dress touched the floor she was all over that business. I raised her right.

  • One time I called her fat and she glared at me for like 5 full minutes, no exaggeration. (and yeah not only do I talk to my cat but I insult her when I'm having a rough day, Ok?)

So apparently Loola Mae just went "missing" suddenly. I know, my first thought was Dad with the candlestick in the T.V. room too, but mom swears he didn't. She and Kendall had both noticed she hadn't been around for a few days so they told my dad and had some house wide search for the dead cat. No sign of her. Best they can guess is that she got out when the front door was accidentally blown open or something. That cat was raised by me, therefore she is not bred for the outdoors...

My dear roommate/BFFL Nicole Roxanne Hamilton saw that I was having a rough time with the disappearance of my precious kitty, and being the poetic genius that she is came home with this little beauty to cheer me up. Oh how it worked. I know that this news will come as a shock to all of you faithful readers out there and so I wanted to share this piece of comfort with you, even though it is very specifically written for me. Not you guys. Just me. Not you. Because I loved her most. Here goes:

Loola Mae wasn't just a cat,

she was oh so much more than that.

She brought you so much happiness and joy,

she was a great substitute for your lack of a boy.

I know you loved that cat a whole lot,

but it is still debatable whether she liked you back or not.

With Loola Mae you loved to cuddle and play,

during which she only tried to run away.

Loola thought your obsession with her was creepy and weird,

And it was clear that your feelings for her were not mirrored.

I feel terrible for that cat, but not cuz she's dead,

but because something was clearly wrong in her head.

Who wouldn't want your love and devotion,

and getting rubbed down with the finest of lotion*?

Who wouldn't want to be held in your arms,

And to wear a sparkly pink collar all covered in charms?

I hate to say it, but Loola Mae was kinda a beezy of a cat,

Who wouldn't want your McLovin' and all that?

I know you wonder why she went out that door,

Maybe it's cuz she thought her life needed more.

Or perhaps like in Modern Family animal suicide is real,

But either way did that selfish cat consider how you'd feel?

No she did not, that little whore,

But don't get down, your life has so much more.

Like a roommate that wrote you this blessed poem,

and a loving family, and friends, and a beautiful home.

Incredibly stunning really really ridiculously good looks,

and a growing collection of children's books.

not to mention the most wondrous of baking skills,

and a sweet gaze that gives the manliest of men the chills.

Yes it is true that Loola Mae is physically gone,

but her memory and legacy will forever live on.

*As weird as my relationship with my cat may have been, I did not on any occasion rub her down with fine lotions. That would have just made her fur greasy.

See why Nicole's my BFFL? truly inspiring words.

Loola Mae I love you and I miss you already. Lucky for you, I'm not a great cat owner so you will have tons of friends in kitty heaven. You're welcome.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Every family should have a Kacey!

I think it's safe to say that when one has a child, most of us parents hope that the child will turn out to be like us(at least the good things) and eventually maybe even surpass us in abilities and accomplishments one day... down the road. I had no idea that my first born daughter would surpass me in almost every way possible by the time she was 28!

Kacey is the consummate leader. You would probably think that it wasn't necessary to have any more leaders in a family with two red personalities such as David and myself, yet it seems like it is always Kacey who has the best plan for the day and actually makes it happen. She has a way of leading people and making it fun, unlike me who is the resident "fun sucker" and David who can be counted on for fun but not much leading. Kacey is the perfect blend of both of us.

She has always been very capable but now she has added new accomplishments to her repertoire like cooking and sewing. She cooks way better than I do! She uses spices I've never heard of. She gets these bountiful baskets of fresh vegetables each week from the farmer's market with the contents being chosen for you, and instead of throwing out the ones she doesn't recognize (like I would), she researches what they are and finds something delicious to make with them. To be fair, I wouldn't intend to throw them out. I'd leave them on the counter and stare at them for a week fully intending to figure out what they were and how to cook them, but they would most likely go bad before I solved the mystery and then I would throw them out.

She made these delicious truffles for David:

I think I can probably still sew better than she can but not for long because she sews every week with her sewing club. Yes, sewing club!

Look at this adorable pillow she made me for Christmas!

She made matching Christmas pajamas for her kids:

And sewing club is at her house while throngs of small children run amuck! I don't know how to spell that word but I bet Kacey does because she reads a ton too. She has a book club too that she started herself. I think it's still going, but with or without the peer pressure of a book club, she reads a ton!

She is the best mother. I can't even go into how many wonderful things she does with her kids. All I did with Kacey was turn on Sesame Street and let them teach her the alphabet! (Although, in all fairness to me, my method was extremely successful with Kacey. She could recognize her letters at 20 mos. I know that because I was keeping a journal for Kacey back then. Those were the days!)

Asher is 5 months and still not sleeping too well at night. Kacey has to get up with him 2-3 times yet she seemed to have more energy than anyone else at our house at Christmas. She never took a nap. She is like the energizer bunny!

All through the Christmas holidays while everyone was home, she just keep organizing us all and getting us to play games and other activities, all the while planning and cooking what we were going to eat in addition to taking care of her three small children! She does not pawn off her kids on other people like most of us do - well, maybe just me. Isn't that what family's for? Pawning off your kids on their grandparents and aunt and uncles to get the much needed break you deserve? Not Kacey. She will allow us to play with them and will accept some offers of help but insists that they are her burden (I mean blessing) and no one else's.

Well she sounds great, you say, but does she have any other tricks up her sleeve? Yes, she does! How about training for the half-marathon she is going to run tomorrow? Seriously! Her baby is 5 months. She ran 12 miles when she was here. That is out to Moses Pointe and back to our house with an extra loop around the Peninsula. Moses Pointe!!! I get tired just thinking about driving that far.

She is the best older sister! She helps her sibs with whatever they need, whether it be advice or actual help with a project. Kacey is the one to turn to or the shoulder to cry on. I swear Kacey is wiser than I am and has been for years!

I could really go on and on extolling her virtues but it would just make everyone else feel bad. I never got her birthday blog done because as many of you know I was busy celebrating her birthday in Florida without her. The least I could have done is get her blog done, right? Geesh. She would have gotten mine done if the tables were turned. Wow, now I feel really bad. Hopefully this impromptu tribute will suffice.

Her husband, Jon, is a pretty remarkable guy in his own right, but this blog is not about Jon so he will have to wait his turn. He does deserve one, though.

Yes, Kacey is remarkable and I just feel bad for any family that doesn't have a "Kacey" because she is the turning out to be the family event planner we never knew we needed. Kacey just handles things like a pro and can juggle ten things at once. She puts me to shame. I get overwhelmed with chaos and too many things going on at once. I do better one task at a time. Or maybe 2 or 3, but anything over that and I'm like a dog chasing my own tail.

Thanks, Kacey, for making our holidays so joyful! Good luck on your half-marathon tomorrow. You're my idol!


PS - Did I mention she brined our turkey? Delicious!