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  • Moo-chas Gracias Graco

    July 24, 2008

    Last month, I wrote a post about our run away MaGoo car and Jon DeHart, a daddy blogger over at Graco liked it and gave me the Graco Monthly Nod, which was not only a great honor but according to the email, also included a “small” prize.  The small prize turned out to be, indeed, small.  Small and adorable, yes? 

    I just got these in the mail today!  These are itty bitty 1×3 business cards from a company called Moo over in England.  They have tons of fun stock images to choose from or you can upload your own as I did.  Unfortunately, my camera distorted the color so you can’t see that it exactly matches the background to my blog.  I love’em, I do and can’t wait to give one to somebody.

    Thanks Jon for the nod and Graco for the Moo cards!

    Wow

    February 15, 2008

    Y’all are amazing.  And oddly enough, given to violence. I had no idea so many of my gentle readers would be willing to break someone’s legs on my behalf.  I am honored.  And little fightened.  I’m kidding as I know y’all are too.  You ARE kidding, right?

    I do want to thank you all for your prayers and positive thoughts.  Your prayers were the currents under my wings that kept me aloft these past few days.

    Anyway, clarifications and updates are in order.

    First for clarification — and this is all newly learned information for me.  Blood sugar and urine sugar are not the same.  You should have sugar in your blood, something around 70-110. You should not have sugar in your urine.  If you do (from what I understand at this point and I am NOT an expert) the sugar is spilling over from your kidneys or pancreas which could indicate diabetes or something else.

    So then, the first urine test Sean took was accurate.  A sugar count of 2000 is extreeeemly high and a reason to be concerned.  However, his blood sugar was at 85, which you can’t get any more normal than that.  And none of the other markers for diabetes were present in his blood. 

    And now for the update:  We went back to the “real” doctor on Thursday and he still had sugar in his urine, but it was down to 250 from 2000, which is elevated but not insane.  But the doctor was stumped. He said he had no idea what was going on and that it was probably one of those one-time mystery medical events for which we will never have an explanation. 

    The doctor suggested that we cut all additional sugars out of his diet — sodas, candy, pastries — and then come back in for another urine test this coming week.  The upside to this event is that it was the kick in the pants we needed here at the House of Antique to get the refined sugar out of our diet, something we are all going to do.  In the meantime, I am going to test his urine myself at home and hopefully see that number decline.

    Now here’s a tip: Do NOT go on WebMD and start researching all the reasons you might have sugar in your urine because it will not make you feel better.  I did, and I learned that Sean could either be pregnant or have a brain tumor. 

    What Goes Around

    November 12, 2007

    One day, about 25 years ago, not too long after I had moved to Texas from the mid-west, I went to the grocery store to get a few necessities.  I was about 22-years-old.  I aspired to be dirt poor. To say that I was struggling would be an understatement.

    Into my cart, I put the very few carefully chosen things I could afford – a small carton of milk, a loaf of day old bread, off-brand toothpaste and a small box of feminine products.  I put my groceries onto the conveyer and watched the cashier ring up each item, making sure she hadn’t rung up anything for one penny more than it cost.  I don’t remember what the total was.  I do remember reaching into my purse for my checkbook and not finding it. And then realizing I had left it at home.  I remember the sensation of disbelief and then panic wash down my spine like lighter fluid.

    I began scrounging through my purse looking for enough money to cover my groceries, although I don’t know why.  I was as likely to have a kangaroo in my purse as I was to have enough cash to pay for my groceries.

    As I was frantically digging through my purse willing money to materialize, I felt the spark of life begin to flicker and wane.  That little spark that I had been tenderly protecting for months, that spark that had burned just bright enough to beat back the loneliness and kept me convinced that I could make it in Texas, that little spark that was going to prove to all those people back home that they were wrong about me – that little spark was all but out.

    It had been a hard, hard year and for some reason the missing checkbook seemed like a big bucket of water aimed right at my spark.  I was trying so very hard to be a grown up and I was failing.  I felt like crumpling into a heap onto the grocery store floor and crying my eyes out.

    I looked at the cashier and tried to work up the nerve to tell her that I had no money, that I would have to come back for my stuff. She looked at me with her arms folded across her chest and her eyebrows raised expectantly, as though she had seen this before.

    Then the lady in line behind me handed the cashier $10.

    “It would bless me to do this small thing for you,” she said to me. “Please. Allow me.  This money means nothing to me.”

    She looked into my face for consent.  Her expression was hopeful and happy. She nodded her head yes.

    I sighed and hung my head in shame.  And then I nodded agreement.  I was grateful. I was embarrassed.  If I had allowed my voice into my throat at that moment, I would have begun sobbing uncontrollably.  With big fat tears threatening to spill, I simply smiled at her and mouthed the words thank you.

    After I composed myself and collected my bag of groceries, I offered to mail her a check but she waved me off, telling me to keep my chin up and have a nice day.

    Recently, when I was in the grocery store, that memory came flooding back.  It was early in the day when the only shoppers in the store are the AARP mafia and a few other moms.  I got the things I needed and then got in line behind a young gal.  I watched her methodically put each item on the conveyer, carefully checking the price, doing math in her head.

    After her purchases were rung up, she counted out her cash to the cashier.  And then she looked at the total and counted it again. Something wasn’t right.  And then she began rummaging through her purse.  “Oh no,” she said, “I thought I had another $10 in my purse.” She kept rummaging while at the same time glancing back at her groceries to see what she could put back.

    I recognized the look of panic on her face. I saw in her that her spark and her spirit had been tested.  I reached into my purse and handed the cashier $10.

    “Please,” I said, “It would bless me if you will allow me to do this for you.”

    “Oh no,” she said, “I couldn’t.”

    “Please,” I persisted.  “I must.”

    And it was true. It was as if I had no choice in the matter. I had to.

    “Well thank you,” she said.  “I don’t know what to say.  It’s been really hard…” and then her voice trailed off.

    “I understand,” I said. And I did understand.

    She gathered up her bags and then turned and smiled at me. She thanked me again.

    “Have a nice…” Then I stopped.

    Have a nice day didn’t seem fitting.

    ”Have a nice life,” I said.

    “I will,” she said, “You too.”

    I am having a nice life.  When you grow up to to be the lady in the grocery store who is lucky enough to get to pay it forward once in a while, that’s a nice life.

    Premarital Counseling – Now Available At Home Depot!

    December 21, 2006

    A Perfect Post - December
    If there is one thing that defines my relationship with Antique Daddy it is this: gutter covers.Before we were even married, we embarked upon a home improvement project together and in the process, we discovered everything we needed to know about surviving and sustaining a marriage partnership:  Never do home improvement projects together.

    Forget premarital counseling. Before couples are allowed to marry, they should be required by law to complete a home improvement project together. If both parties emerge with all their limbs in tact, then that’s a good indication that they can tolerate being married, having kids and having their gall bladder removed without anesthesia.

    I met Antique Daddy in the fall of 1996 and as it happens in the fall, the leaves had fallen off my trees and my neighbor’s tree and all the trees in Arkansas, Louisiana and Oklahoma, and into the gutters on my house. Being a childless person at the time, I had more time than sense and things like scrubbing the grout around the toilet and removing leaves from the gutters were on my To Do list. Now my To Do list includes things like brush teeth, bathe, sleep. I am all about goals these days.

    And so.

    One day when Antique Boyfriend was over at my house, I mentioned that removing the leaves from my gutters was on my To Do list and that I thought I would buy some gutter covers so that I wouldn’t have to clean my gutters every year. His eyes lit up as visions of power tools danced in his head. So off we went, hand-in-hand to Home Depot in search of true love and gutter covers.

    When we got to the gutter covers department, as luck would have it, I saw — gutter covers! And I was elated. And like the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8:36 who said, “Here is some water! Why not be baptized now!?” I said, “Here are some gutter covers! Why not buy them now!?” And I put them in my cart and skipped happily toward the checkout lanes. There’s nothing a girl loves more than a cart full of gutter covers!

    Cue sound of a needle dragging across a record – Skreeeech!

    Antique Boyfriend is not like the spontaneous Ethiopian eunuch, who by the way, was probably a lot more fun to take shopping. Antique Boyfriend needs to study, analyze (notice the root word “anal” in analyze? I don’t think that is a coincidence), read the fine print, go to three stores to comparison shop, take measurements, read up on how gutter covers are made, talk with gutter cover experts, make a spreadsheet and then return to the original store and stand in the gutter covers aisle with arms folded while scratching his chin for three additional hours or until I try to remove my gall bladder with a gutter cover.

    Therefore.

    In the middle of Home Depot, we had a “discussion” about the proper way to purchase gutter covers and I may have even cried. In the name of Bob Vila, was it too much to ask to buy a girl some gutter covers? I think because he wanted to win favor with me because he hoped to eventually sleep with me, Antique Boyfriend acquiesced and we ended up leaving the store with the original gutter covers upon which I first laid eyes and fell in love.

    We went home and attempted to install said gutter covers together, a simple process which involved a ladder, a box of Band-aids, a bottle of Cabernet and more tears. They did not fit or work worth a flip and then I got aggravated, stomped them into an abstract environmental sculpture and then threw them into the garage along with all the other ghostly remains of home improvement projects past.

    Yet we married anyway, because we learned so much about ourselves and each other in the process. We learned that a home without gutter covers is a happy home. We learned that Antique Daddy should be in charge of purchases requiring anal-yzing – cars and gutter covers and that I should be in charge of purchases requiring impulse – gum, lipstick, shoes.

    And we learned why you never see Bob Vila’s wife on the show.

    When It’s All Good

    December 7, 2006

    Me: Sean, pick one.
    Sean: I want all of ’em.
    Me: I know, but just pick one.
    Sean: I want all of them.
    Me: I know. But you can only have one. Pick one.
    Sean: I want all of them.
    Me: Well, you can either pick one or have none of them.
    Sean: I pick all of them.
    Me: sigh.

     * * *

    Earlier this week, I found out from Boo Mama who is up on all things current (except for where her finials are) that she and Big Mama and I have been nominated for the Most Humorous Blog over at Christian Women OnLine. I wish I could describe to you how it feels to be in the company of these two very funny, very lovely southern sisters. It feels marvewonderfabulicious. That’s how it feels.

    It also makes me feel like Sean. I pick all of them.

    Lookee Me!

    August 26, 2006

    Yesterday my blog traffic sky rocketed and so did my spirits which heretofore had been broiled, grilled, blackened and served up Cajun-style by the summer heat.

    Jcougar_2After I checked my site meter referrals did some investigative research using my deductive reasoning and sleuthing skills, I discovered that I had won the prestigeous and “totally important and not-fake JCMHSGBAOE” award which is short for the John Cougar Mellencamp Hurts So Good Blog Award of Excellence given out by the fabulous Amalah over at Club Mom.

    And you know what the real honor is? That I was nominated by Veronica Mitchell of Toddled Dredge — a truly excellent writer with substantial things to say. Thanks Veronica!

    Thanks!

    July 3, 2006

    If I had put my mother on the case, I would have known last week that it was the lovely Owlhaven and Toddled Dredge that nominated my “Ode To Mary Tyler Moore” post for a Perfect Post award. (Is there a limit to how many links one can put in a single sentence?) Due to my limited access to the internet and not my semi-natural blonde tendencies, it took me several days to find out who had this lapse of judgement and then a full week to get around to sending a thank you note. In the south, the only thing worse than not getting a thank you note out on time is putting dark meat in your chicken salad. It’s just bad form.

    Veronica Mitchell who writes Toddled Dredge is so smart and funny and reads lots and lots books (and not the cardboard kind either) and uses words that the rest of us would have to look up and even knows what they mean, so you can imagine how honored I was that she thought anything I had to say was noteworthy! And Owlhaven – she has like 26 kids or something and is so pretty and never sticks her foot in the toilet, so again, that she would bother with my little blog – I am astonished and grateful all at the time time!

    Thank you thank you for the nomination ladies. You have put wind in my sails!

    If you haven’t been to Owlhaven or Toddled Dredge, treat yourself and go now!

    Somewhere In The Middle…

    June 30, 2006

    of the country is where I am this week.

    Sean and I are visiting my parents this week in central Illinois. For me, it has meant less computer time and more gazebo and book reading time. For Sean, it has meant time spent with seldom seen cousins and aunts and uncles and unlimited popsicles and rides in the wheelbarrow. There is nothing my parents will not do to amuse the prince. Nothing. Next week, it means undoing all Wivian and Papa Ed’s (Grandma and Grandpa) doing.

    My mom is graciously allowing me to use her computer and dial-up internet connection which is so lovely of her to do so, but my goodness! S-L-O-W-! Anyway I’ve been checking in on your blogs this week but her computer and Juno won’t let me comment — I see you but you don’t see me!

    I see from my email that someone nominated my Ode To MTM for a Perfect Post! Thank you thank you whomever you are! Unfortunately I probably won’t be able to track you down and thank you properly until I’m home on my own computer.

    I’ve got to go take the matches away from Sean and untie Papa Ed right now. Look for me right here on Monday. In the meantime, why not check out Best of Antique Mommy? The link is in the sidebar.

    Ode To Mary Tyler Moore

    June 20, 2006

    A Perfect Post

    I left the house feeling quite pleased with myself. I was having a Mary Tyler Moore day. I had on a pair of jeans that didn’t require me to hold my breath and a brand new blouse — sunny summer yellow with snap buttons up the front. My pedicured toes were showcased in my favorite pair of black Cole Haan sandals, my one summer splurge item. And? I was having a good hair day. It was 82 degrees and the sun was spilling in through the sunroof of the car. I put on my sunglasses and checked my look in the rearview mirror. Dang! I looked pretty good, not a day over 45. If I’d had a beret, I would have thrown it in the air.

    After I dropped Sean off at school, I continued my mission to take a nothing day and suddenly make it all seem worthwhile. First stop, Starbucks. As I was celebrating my splendid-ness with a refreshing Frappuccino, I noticed a man over in the corner checking me out over the screen of his laptop. I acted like I didn’t notice because I am just that cool. In what was supposed to be a sexy Sharon Stone-style move, I tipped the cup upwards to drain what was left of the sweet brown liquid. But. The ice broke loose from the bottom of the cup like a calving iceberg, smashing me in the face and gushing down my pretty yellow shirt and into my cleavage. I screamed. The man in the corner hid behind his laptop and chortled. He chortled! That is one small step above snorting. You have not been humiliated until you have been the object of a public chortling.

    I stood and gathered up my dignity. I did a little side-to-side head move and flipped my good hair over my shoulders and then I put on my sunglasses and walked out of there like a model on a runway. Except that I was dabbing at my boobs with a wad of environmentally friendly Starbucks napkins which you should know, will disintegrate at the sight of liquid and leave behind what looks like spit up or oatmeal or spit up oatmeal on your shirt. When I thought I could plumb the depths of humiliation no further, I caught sight of my reflection in the door on my way out. I not only had an icy drink in my bra, I had a whipped cream mustache.

    I was not going to let a little Frappuccino down my shirt ruin my Mary Tyler Moore day. I still had on a fabulous pair of sandals. I still had on a sexy pair of jeans. I could still make it afterall! I arrived at my next stop, my doctor’s office, for some routine blood work. As I sat in the blood drawing chair, I noticed the lab technician eyeing my sunny yellow oatmeal shirt. She didn’t ask and I didn’t offer.

    On the way out of the doctor’s office, I decided to use the restroom before I continued turning the world on with my smile at TJMaxx. As I raised my pretty little pink painted tootsie to flush, the slick sole of my chic sandal slipped and I baptized my foot in the flushing toilet. I screamed for the second time that morning. I pulled my wet foot out and stood there like a flamingo helplessly watching Cole Haan go around and around. At the last moment, I reached in and made the rescue.

    My Mary Tyler Moore day was literally going down the toilet. I stood dejected at the sink, on one foot, washing my sandal. The bathroom door opened and I looked in the mirror to see the lab technician. She stopped when she recognized it was me, oatmeal girl. She didn’t make eye contact with me, but rather raised her eyebrows with an expression of amusement and pity, as though she had finally seen it all. She didn’t ask and I didn’t offer. I slogged out of the doctors office, past the nurse and the non-Mary Tyler Moore patients wearing my one leg wet jeans, one shoe, a shirt covered in what looks like oatmeal and carrying a shoe wrapped in a paper towel.

    When I picked Sean up from school he was demanding to go to Old McDonald’s and since I already smelled like Frappuccino and urine, I gave in. It wasn’t long before I spied him in the corner of the play yard in the poop pose, the one that looks like he is about to lift off wearing a silver space age jet pack on his back — knees slightly bent, clenched fists out front. He was also wearing the red-faced, eyes glazed over poop expression. Great. Not exactly the finale I had in mind for my Mary Tyler Moore day, but at the same time, it seemed fitting. I called him over and gave him the news that we needed to go home. Given the day’s track record, the last thing I was up for was changing a poopy diaper in a public restroom. He was not very happy about this decision, so I had to carry him to the car, kicking and screaming and flailing.

    With a “fully loaded” boy under one arm and my purse, keys, his shoes and our drinks under my other three arms, I exited the restaurant. As I was leaving I noticed that everyone was looking at me. My spirits were buoyed. I started thinking, wow, even after the day I’ve had, I still look pretty good.

    That’s when I looked down to see that in the course of all the thrashing about, Sean had unsnapped my shirt down to my navel. And I had not one free arm to do anything about it.

    So much for my Mary Tyler Moore day. If I’d had a beret, I would have just pulled it completely over my head.

    I’m Mom of the Week!

    May 23, 2006

    Hey I was voted Mom of the Week over at Crazy Hip Blog Mamas! Thanks Mom for stuffing the ballot box to everyone who voted for me. I am astonished honored that you would choose someone like me. Hurry go look before they change their mind!!