Meet My Good Friend Random

Imagine my surprise and utter delight when I realized the weather bozos forecasters weren't just yanking my chain about an approaching cold front.
The temperature reading on the way to school Monday morning. Bliss.
And yes, here in south Texas anything that causes a drop in the life sucking humidity and lowers the temperatures below 90 is considered a cold front.
Even if it only appears briefly in the mornings and vanishes after lunch, I'll work with that.
It's felt wonderful.
Yesterday I even opened the windows.
For a brief moment today I considered asking Scott to get the fall stuff down from the attic. I don't know what has come over me. I'm blaming the (cough) cold front.
After not painting my nails for years I am fully embracing this indulgence. Last week, if you remember, I tried Sally Hansen's Complete Manicure in Commander in Chic and I liked it. A lot. This week I upped the ante. After clipping and shaping my nails super short I swooshed on two coats of Midnight in NY which is deep black with a hint of blue and a dash of glitter.
Be still my heart, I am in love.
With a nail polish.
I don't know what has come over me.
I'm blaming the (cough) cold front.
Yesterday morning as I scrambled an egg for Annelise's breakfast, I told her I wouldn't send a hard boiled egg for her lunch that day. A look of relief crossed her face and she said good because then maybe her friends would sit with her at lunch since she wouldn't have a stinky egg.
I packed one for her lunch today.
She wants me to send tuna fish salad for her lunch tomorrow.
I don't know how her fellow first graders with their sensitive noses will handle that.
Did I tell you I started letting Hermie the Crab crawl around one side of our kitchen sink at least once a day? That way he gets exercise and I don't have to worry about losing him or Sadie eating him.
Not that I'm lazy or anything, ahem, but some days I can not face the ordeal of shampooing, blow-drying and flat ironing my hair. It's just too much to do every. single. day. I play this little game with myself where I see how many days I can stretch it. In between shampoos I fluff it with the blowdryer and when things get dire I sprinkle some baby powder on the bad parts before fluffing it. I hope y'all still have a modicum of respect for me.
After finishing Mockingjay the over the weekend I jumped right into the mystery The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins (the author of The Woman in White which is a wonderful read). I can tell I'm really going to like it, but it requires a little more focus to read since those Victorian authors were so wordy.
Needless to say it was quite difficult to achieve the necessary focus in the dance waiting room yesterday. Maybe I'll start waiting in my car, if the fall weather holds.
Have you heard of Mindy Gledhill?
I hadn't until I read about her on a few sundry blogs of those in the know of all things hip and happening. This discovery quickly led to me downloading her most recent album called Anchor and I've been playing it almost continuously since.
She is delightful.

And she makes me want to ride a motorcycle while wearing butterfly wings.
Just a little.
I'm blaming the (cough) cold front.
What's random in your world?


In Which She Wears Flowers in Her Hair (or at least tries)

It seems I had a wild hair recently and decided to try something new. Something fun, something a little sassy.

In an effort to cute up my boring angle bob I thought I'd throw a flower hair clip in the mix.

Because I'm almost 42.

Even though I apparently think I'm still 9 and can wear flower hair clips.

(Please disregard the overgrown highlights, glaring roots and random sprouts of gray. I am between hair appointments. Like way in between.)

I clipped it on the left.

I clipped it across my bangs on the right. And now I can't decide if I can really pull this off after all.

I wore it Saturday (on the left side) to take Annelise to a birthday party and not one single mom said anything. Nada. Zip. Zilch.

So of course I immediately decided they all thought it looked ridiculous and were too polite to tell me so.

Bless my heart.

Scott tried to reassure me, but, no offense, he's a dude.

So I'm turning to the Internets for validation and morale boosting.

You know, like always.

If you would be ever so kind to take another peek at the left side...and the right side...then tell me what you think (and you don't even have to soften it with a "bless your heart").

Thank you, my dear Internets.
****The posy hair clips are from The Pleated Poppy, just in case you want to order some for yourself (c'mon join me!)--or your young daughter.



Our sweet Sadie went to the vet early Friday morning,and came home looking a little like Frankenstein.
Or Frankenpuppy.

She may never agree to go on a car ride again.


Bare Facts (Can You Bear It?)

One time, way back in the day, I remember going to the grocery store with my parents. Before I made my usual beeline over to the comic rack (I was a fan of Archie & gang, big fan) I heard my mom expressing her dismay over an incorrect spelling used in a sign.

At the Food King.

The sign said something like, "Please bare with us" because they were remodeling.

My mom couldn't handle it.

Not the mess from the remodel, the mistake on their sign.

She went on and on to my dad about how if we were going to bare with the friendly folks at the Food King as they remodeled we'd have to be naked and they shouldn't ask their customers to shop for their groceries while in their birthday suits.

Or something like that.

I think by that point I was reading about Betty scheming to get Archie away from Veronica and quickly lost interest in my mom's woe, so I don't remember if she told the manager about their mistake or not.

I've never told someone at a store about a sign mistake, but I've certainly corrected them in my head. I've come close to saying it out loud, graciously of course, but I still fear I would offend them. Or they would think I'm a word nerd, a grammar Nazi, a dweeb that diagrams sentences in my spare time.

Which I kind of am.

Except for the diagramming part.

But I like to read books like Eats Shoots and Leaves, Woe is I, listen to occasional podcasts from Grammar Girl and bemoan text lingo and poor spelling on Facebook statuses.*

At least I know where my sickness originates.

Thanks Mom.

*I am not at all perfect in my writing, spelling or punctuation usage, but I definitely try my best. That's all I ask of others as well.

Do you feel my pain? Any books or resources on grammar, writing, etc. to recommend? Do you fret over the future of good grammar due to text lingo, Facebook statuses and Tweets too? Have you ever notified a store about a sign mistake?


Random Revelry

Feeling somewhat at a loss for a blogging topic today, I uploaded photos from my iPhone that document recent random happenings.

Happenings might be stretching it.
Consider yourself warned.
We have two new restaurants in our neck of the woods, one of which we will never step a toe in and the other is Tex-Mex (because in a perfect world there should be one on every corner). Once I saw the sign for Twin Peaks go up, what with the humpity humps double entendre, I had a sneaky suspicion this restaurant competes with Hooters for its clientele. It's apparently true, but we'll never find out first hand. I'm okay with that.
However, we will enjoy having Chuy's less than three miles from our house.The secret right now is trying to find a slightly off time to go since it's new and everyone and their grandma is waiting in line for a table.
Scott and I (Annelise was with Pappo & Grandma) went Sunday after church for lunch without too much of a wait (10-15 minutes). Score!
I like the 50s kitschy decor, casual atmosphere, and of course the food isn't too shabby either.
The hubcap adorned ceiling in one room of Chuy's was cool. Annelise has been practicing her spelling words with sidewalk chalk and Scrabble tiles. This week has been a wee bit harder for her trying to keep the "ck" and "ke" usage straight.
My tried and true, absolute favorite pair of silver earrings broke yesterday (the post snapped off). I was crushed, I tell you, crushed. Silpada, I thought you were made better than that. Maybe I can get you fixed?
Sadie and I took a little road trip yesterday to Pasa-get-down-dena, known for Mikey Gilley's dance hall and mechanical bull seen in Urban Cowboy circa 1982-ish.
Sadie had to see the vet about a lump on her back (we were getting a second opinion I guess).
I tried to get a self-portrait with her and she was not cooperating. Plus I was worried the vet was going to come back in and wonder what in the world I was doing. After hearing raves about Sally Hansen's complete manicure in a bottle I popped into Walgreens to check it out. I took a bold step and broke away from my normal sheer pinks and nudes and tried something new. Or two new somethings, since one was 50% off. I chose a blue-black shade called "Midnight in NY" to kind of match my goth toes and a grey/taupe/putty shade called "Commander in Chic".
I think I like it.
And I'm liking Mockingjay so far too. It was hard to start reading it since I know it's the last in a trilogy and I fear I will suffer literary let down when I finish.
Annelise had her first art after school class today and loved every minute of it. The theme is Dutch Masters, so I guess they'll be learning a little bit about them each class and then using different art mediums. Today was clay.
I asked her about her class and she explained how a master was not only a ruler over a servant but someone who was really good at something, so that's who the Dutch masters were. She couldn't remember the artist's name but she mentioned seeing a lady with a smile and I said, "You mean the Mona Lisa?" and she yelled, "That's it!"
Except DaVinci wasn't Dutch, so I'm not really sure how the lesson went.
As we were leaving she had to show me her new favorite thing ever, the skip ball.
Which was rather heartwarming because it brought back my memories of the Lemon Twist, which truly was the best toy ever.
Even when you whacked your ankle with the hard plastic lemon and swallowed your tears so you could keep on twisting.

I get misty just thinking about it. And then my ankle throbs a little.

Did you have a Lemon Twist?

Have you tried Sally Hansen's polish?

What are you reading right now?


Fall Schmall

The word on the street is that today is the first day of fall.

Except on my street.

Where it's still 90 degrees.

Maybe I'll be on board with the artful arranging of pumpkins, the hanging of fall garland tastefully without looking like Hobby Lobby vomited on my mantel and breaking out the candy corn soon.

But not just yet.

However, I did do something quick and easy the other day.

Because quick and easy are my best friends.

I've noticed several crafty and clever people use scrabble tiles to express themselves around their home.

I think it's brilliant.

And easy.

I debated setting out all four scrabble trays around the house but I thought that might be too much, so I settled on two. One is on a table in our foyer and the other is on our counter between the kitchen and family room.
I placed the extra scrabble tiles in a hobnail glass so we can change the words out when ever the mood strikes.

You know, like it's prone to do.

When faced with trips to the attic and digging through plastic tubs of fall paraphernalia I'm tempted to spell out Happy Harvest, light a pumpkin candle and call my fall decorating done.

Have you decorated for fall yet? (It's okay, you can tell me the truth. I can handle it)


A Girl Walks Into Her Closet

Look at what happened when I walked into our closet and decided a spontaneous organizing extravaganza was in order.

(Almost anything sounds more pleasing if you call it an extravaganza. Try it.)
Work in the master closet soon seeped out into two other closets upstairs and a toy purge in Annelise's room (she participated in the process) ending up with two bags destined for the trash and seven bags for Goodwill.

I've realized that I usually wear the same things again and again yet I was holding on to a lot of clothes that I might wear (but I wasn't), clothes I didn't really like any more, clothes I had not worn in years but had been expensive and clothes I was hoping I would be able to wear again. Someday.

You know, right after I break up with Ben & Jerry.

I finally got over all of that and let a lot of things go, which is a wonderful feeling.

Scott purged his side of the closet too so we both have more room to get to our things. As it turns out it's not really fun to struggle to hang something up or forget to wear something because you can't see it.

Did my recent discovery about Hoarders become my motivation, my spark, my organizing muse?

Like the Magic 8 Ball says, "It is decidedly so."


Throw Mama From The Train

I think in the movie though they spelled mama, Momma, which I know is a personal preference and my preference is mama. Just so you know. Potayto potahto.

Also, I never really liked that Billy Crystal movie (my heart belongs to When Harry Met Sally) because the old lady that played mama (momma) was extra irksome, but it popped into my head this morning anyway.

I cannot stop these things.

I took Annelise to school this morning, you know, like I usually do.
(Annelise & Carly her b-day present (Am. Girl) who looks a lot like Jane (TarJay) but who has much nicer hair and clothes. I guess it's true about getting what you pay for.)

We've been alternating between the car-drop off and parking and schlepping in together, which all depends on whether or not I am at least minimally together. Today I was dressed, though I was wearing the same pair of battered boyfriend jeans for possibly the 1oth day straight and I had some make-up on so we schlepped it. Some mornings she is so excited to get to class and see her friends that she's 30 paces in front of me like I'm the unfavored wife and I seriously question why she wants me to walk her inside in the first place. But I do it.

On the way home I was stopped by the world's longest and slowest train at an intersection and then faced waiting on it to pass again so I could turn into our neighborhood a few minutes later. I made the spontaneous decision that I'd much rather wait in the drive-through at Starbucks and pay $4.00 for a Pumpkin Spice Latte than wait for five minutes to turn onto our street for free.

So I did. And yes, I subscribe to my own brand of logic.

As soon as I got home I cranked the AC down so I could more fully enjoy my Pumpkin Spice Latte and delude myself that it's almost fall.

And no, I'm not bitter or jealous at all when I read posts about people already enjoying their delightful fall weather and have already artfully arranged their porches with mums and pumpkins.


Maybe I lied.

Which is rather unfortunate because I made a big, fat hairy deal out of catching Annelise in a lie yesterday. It went down something like me asking her if she put her clothes and shoes away when she was upstairs, her answering yes while she was face down in her Nintendo DS, then seeing me walk toward the stairs and suddenly ask me if I was going upstairs. I wasn't, but the jig was up at that point.

I was in the middle of the vacuuming/mopping/sweating process so I took her Nintendo away then told her to write her spelling words two times each and I would meet her at the table in a minute. I have always been somewhat on the fence about using scriptures to reprimand, fearing that quoting them in times of bad behavior/correction might create a negative association in her mind which could defeat my whole purpose.

But I don't necessarily agree with that either because all scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

So there's that.

Plus I think back to Little House on the Prairie and Anne of Green Gables and a little writing/copying as punishment didn't hurt Laura Ingalls or Anne with an E Shirley either.

We sat at the table and talked about lying and then we looked up some verses to see what God says about it. I know that lying is part of life, part of growing up, but I wanted to make an impression (again) on her young heart that it is ever so wrong.

She started to read Proverbs 12:22 out loud and when she looked back up at me her eyes were filled with tears. We talked about what the verse meant and I reassured her that God always loves her (as do I), but He is terribly disappointed when we lie (me too). Then I asked her to write the verse, which she did.
Then we said a little prayer so she could ask God to forgive her for lying and we wrapped things up with a loooong hug.
I think an impression was made.
I hope it was the right one.
Hold on, we're making a sudden leap from all of that to this photo, which I took to document 1.)I actually made a small effort with my appearance this morning, which really does set the tone for the day, 2.)my hair is showing severe neglect what with the glaring roots and sly comb-over necessary to camouflage my gray skunk stripe and C.) this $9.99 shirt from Old Navy has become one of my faves. I think I may need to wash it.
Along with my jeans.

But not today because I'm already wearing them.
If I knew a clever way to wrap up this rather disjointed post about Billy Crystal, school drop-off routines, trains, Starbucks, longing for fall, lying, the bible, on-the-spot motherhood decisions, my hair and the wearing of jeans far past their prime, I would.
Well, I guess we'll just have to use our imagination won't we?



I have a new obsession.

(Really? Are you surprised?)

I had heard friends mention the A&E show Hoarders before but I had never seen an episode until recently. Thanks to the miracle known as DVR I was able to record a mini-marathon and watch them at my leisure. I was instantly intrigued, appalled, saddened, uncomfortable and my gag reflex was on an all time high before the first commercial break.

I could not. stop. watching.

Now I find myself with a few burning questions and observations:

*Is that show for real? Really? Are they real people or actors?

*If they are real, how did this compulsion take over their lives where they are practically buried in stuff, more and more STUFF, trash and/or filth (of the animal or human variety, or both).

*Was it one traumatic event, childhood incident or a series of life disappointments that triggered their condition?

*How do they function in that environment? Even barely function?

*Some families have lost custody of their children because of their attachment to their stuff and seemed like making the choice between the two was impossible.

*Do they ever do follow-up shows? I worry that I might never know how their recovery (or lack thereof) is going.

*Since there is an entire show based on this, um, predilection, and it's in like it's second (or third?) season, there must be people dealing with this condition everywhere. Is this true? Like could there be a hoarder on my street?

*What are the therapists, organizers, 1-800-JUNK people and the cleaners really thinking as they work? Now that could be a show.

*Does this compulsion strike all economic classes? The shows I saw mainly focused on lower income families in danger of having the city condemn their property. I guess wealthier people might never agree to be on the show in order to keep their addiction secret.

*All of the people seemed honestly surprised that their homes had gotten into such deplorable conditions, they said it all happened little by little.

*Can something just snap inside of us and we start exhibiting these tendencies out of the blue?

I am fascinated by this show. And highly disturbed.

And I no longer feel guilty about my craft room. Or my housekeeping.

So there's that.

Have you seen Hoarders? What do you think?


Hello? Pot? It's Kettle

As I parked my car in the HEB lot last week and sat there a moment revising my list, my seat and windshield started to vibrate.

Was this the unannounced arrival of a surprise hurricane?

A tornado? An earthquake?


I quickly realized the source of these vibrations and steady thomp, thumpitty, thomp (yo!) was emanating from the low rider car pulling into the spot immediately to my left. A young man, by himself, turned off the beat and exited his own personal dance club on wheels.

I noticed he had parked, well, backed into actually (what is the deal with this phenomenon anyway, does everyone feel the need to make a speedy getaway and backing out is too time consuming?) the spot reserved--and clearly marked with a sign--for customers with small children. Which is a nice gesture on HEB's part but I'm afraid people ignore and abuse their kind intentions.

Case in point, to my left, pulling up his shorts from their descent below his hips, oblivious to the sign, and currently shuffling along on his way into the store.

Now, I will most likely never say anything to anyone who parks in the wrong spot, even if it was the handicapped spot, at least not out loud.

I will however carry on a long winded, Smuggy Smuggerson judgmental diatribe in my head. And I might glare at them.

I am fierce.

Fast forward to this morning at approximately 8:27 am as I am screeching into the school parking lot on two smoking wheels.

Because I must, at all cost and possible endangerment to small children crossing the parking lot, avoid a tardy.



The only available spot near the back of the school was the one another parent was at that very critical moment exiting.

It was the handicapped spot.

In my head, instead of Smuggy Smuggerson talking there was Rationny Rationalizer telling me, "Well, M.'s dad parked there right before me and he's not handicapped, I'm only going to be there for a minute or less, there's no where else...Obi One Kanobi, you're my only hope and time is tick-tocking away."

So, yeah, I parked there.

It may have been my imagination (or fear? or shame?) but as Annelise bailed out from the back and made a run for the door and I scrambled along behind her, another mom walked right beside us, looked down at the glaring blue paint of the wheelchair sign under our car and back at me.


Was she smugly judging my crime in her head?

I don't know.


I deserved it.

Maybe I owe low rider an apology for my rash, silent, judgement after all.

Did I get my just desserts? Do you ever make smug, rash judgments and then have them bite you?


And The Winner Is...

So...remember a while back I posted about Annelise's homework and made a little giveaway out of it?

And y'all were great sports and left your guesses about what my little first grader wrote?

And then I left y'all hanging, waiting anxiously I'm sure, to see who would win the highly coveted Starbucks gift card?

(clears throat and shuffles feet sheepishly)


Sorry about that.

You know, my giveaways are highly technical, very sophisticated and require complicated writing of names on post-its, cutting said post-its into strips, folding of strips, and enlistment of a certain first grader's help in the drawing.

These things take time.

(clears throat again)

Without further ado, or procrastination, let's declare a winner...first we must swoosh the strips inside the mug (yes, swoosh is a technical term)...and draw a name...drum roll please...
Congratulations to BriteCloud!! I have a Starbucks gift card ready to send to you, just email me your address and a Pumpkin Spice Latte can soon be warming your innards. Or whichever drinks your innards would prefer.
Thanks y'all for playing along!!
(And Annelise's list was flower, berry, pecan, stick and leaf. Y'all had great guesses! I'm sure y'all have been losing sleep over this, so now you can rest.)


The Power of Goth Toes

I made a bold decision this morning as I pondered polish choices for my looooong overdue pedicure. Would I stay safe with my status quo Cajun Shrimp (the perfect coral pink by OPI) or would I take a chance (can you hear the Abba playing in my head, if you change your mind...takeachance, takeachance...) and try out a popular trend?

I threw caution to the wind and grabbed a color called Prima Donna (perfect name for me, no?) which is a cross between deep purple and black. I don't know if I'm cool enough to pull if off on my fingernails like some do, but I actually do like it on my toes. What say ye?
Y'all know I live in flip flops pretty much year round (y'all should know that). I have had the same three pairs for, oh, four or five years, and while they are comfy as all get out, they are not exactly cute. They are also looking a little ratty.

My new corpse goth toes deserve cute, don't you think? Yes, yes they do.

Today, along with going goth, I have also gone bling (see above photo) thanks to the blingy-ness and comfy-ness found in a yellow box. I never knew you could have both; thanks to Yellow Box shoes you can.

This new found knowledge combined with the obssessive gene I was born with could be dangerous. And expensive.

I was on such a high thanks to my pedi, brow/lip/chin (yes, even that, welcome to life as a 40+ year old woman) wax, and blingy goth feet I called Scott to see if he wanted to take me to lunch.

Because I'm just subtle like that.

He ix-nayed my Bombay Tadka and Cuisine of India suggestions (I think he's scared of the unknown) but agreed to give Gengis Grill a try. It's a stir-fry place where you pick your proteins, spices, veggies, sauces and such and then they cook it. I wanted to take pictures of the whole process but a.) it was peak lunch time b.) I got busy filling my bowl and 3.) I think my picture taking was making Scott antsy. It was mildly disturbing to choose from so much raw meat in a salad bar format but I managed to get a little beef, chicken, pork, scallops, shrimp and tofu (just a couple pieces of each).
We've never been to a place like that, since we're basically boring and usually eat at the same places all. the. time. but I credit my goth toes for today's step outside the restaurant box. We both really liked it and will definitely go back, though not with Annelise (I don't think the attempt would be worth the possible drama). The only bleh thing was the fact it's a pretty small place and everyone sits really, really close to each other. A rather large group of coworkers was seated next to us and not only did we unwillingly hear their entire conversation (she's having her back yard re-done and apparently the process is a nightmare), I had the most difficult time willing myself not to stare at the man that was with them (and my not-staring staring was probably obvious). But my eyes kept being drawn to his shiny, chemically peeled, treated skin complete with overly alert eyes, and coordinated outfit, I just couldn't help myself. It was like Porter Wagner crossed with Liberace and not in a good way.

On a complete goth toed whim, before meeting Scott for lunch, I popped in this little bakery to get us each a cupcake (one carrot cake, one red velvet).

Aren't I sweet?

Well, I guess true sweetness would have involved me buying one only for him and denying myself the treat.

But have you met me?

All through lunch he kept asking what was in the box (like 50 times) and I waited until the bitter end to show him and let him choose his cupcake (carrot cake).

Aren't I sweet?
I'm blaming my goth toes.
Have you worn dark, trendy polish? Have you heard of Yellow Box shoes? Spontaneous Sidenote: Scott actually expected my new shoes to be yellow. Would you have been intimidated by all of that raw meat too? What's your favorite flavor of cupcake?


And Then She Was...

(Just in case the candle wasn't obvious enough, she added her own visuals.)
After much anticipation, counting, squeals of glee and excitement Annelise's birthday was finally here. Well, almost. First she had a pre-birthday celebration with her classmates Friday afternoon at school.
I brought in cupcakes, cupcakes that may not have been homemade by me but I'm confident they were baked with love by the bakery ladies HEB. It seemed to work out well that they ate them and then went right home because, oh my goodness, they were bouncing off the walls with a good dose of sugar with a side a crazy (the almost-birthday girl had an extra dose).

Was it mean that I purposefully ignored the little girl that chanted iwantpinkiwantpinkiwantpinkiwantpink as I handed out the last pink cupcake and gave it to the girl across from her who was waiting quietly? Good. I didn't think so either.

Annelise had a special early present waiting for her when we got home from her Uncle Dan and Aunt Jerry in Maine. They sent her a beautiful book about Maine in which was tucked a very generous savings bond. We looked through it and reminisced about our wonderful visit there a few years ago (we must go back SOON). Thank you Aunt Jerry and Uncle Dan!

Annelise then quickly scurried off to pack her bag for a birthday eve sleepover at my dad and Peggy's house. She was over her head excited because they had promised her a trip to Pets Mart to get her very. own. hermit. crab. (Sorry Mrs. B. and fellow classmates, I'm sure A. drove y'all bug-eyed crazy with her yammering on and on about this outing.)

Our phone rang pretty early Saturday morning and a very excited little voice announced she was ready to come home to celebrate her special day and let us meet the new addition to our family.

Meet Hermie (original, no?). Isn't he dreamy?Annelise certainly thinks so.

Annelise's BIG present, the Just Like Me American Girl, had not arrived in time (because her mom is a slacker and did not order it far enough in advance) but she still had a few gifts to open.A few books (hello, have we met?) and then there was... and finally a new pair of... It was not long after the opening of the skates and a brief trial skate through the house that our normally sweet daughter ripped the skates off, declaring them too puffy and cast them aside, flouncing off in an ungrateful huff.

Um, excuse me?
In what was not one of my proudest moments (and yes, there are plenty) I made it clear that an attitude like that was not acceptable, her gifts could be easily returned--all of them--even ones on back order--and so on and so forth. I may have raised my voice and she may have cried. I may have sent the birthday girl to her room under strict orders to lie down on her bed and not come down until her attitude was better.
A little while later I tip-toed upstairs to find this:
Apparently you can't have a long week of first grade, an especially exciting Friday (cupcakes! a sleepover! a hermit crab!), stay up laaaate Friday night and get up at 5:30 Saturday morning when Pappo left to go do his walking and still have a pleasant disposition.

After a short nap she woke refreshed, renewed and full of remorse. We both apologized, hit the reset button and carried on with the birthday festivities which included heading straight to Mr. Gatti's Playland for pizza,
and games where the birthday girl racked up a handful of tickets, much to her delight. See?She then cashed in those tickets in order to claim three pieces of junk toys, two of which were broken before we got home (but she didn't seem too disappointed). She announced she would like to celebrate her birthday every year at Mr. Gatti's (can you tell we don't go there often?) so we were pleased to see her so happy over something quite simple. After a quick stop by Pets Mart to get a few (more) necessities for Hermie we hurried home so she could do some more of this...
and check in on her cookies and cream cake which is a repeat of last year's celebration (not the actual cake, I did bake a new one) but is what the birthday girl requested.
And then check on Hermie one more time (look! he's moving!) before my dad, Peggy, Peggy's granddaughter Jessica and great-granddaughter Cadence came over for cake and ice cream.
Did you know Hermie *sat* (in his tank of course) right beside the birthday girl while we sang Happy Birthday and she blew out her candles? He did, he did. He's a sport, that Hermie.
After enjoying her fill of cake and ice cream (mainly the frosting and ice cream) it was time for a little more Hermie gazing, this time while he was enjoying free play...or free sit with the occasional crawl.
Hermie, obviously, is fascinating.
All in all, turning seven was highly enjoyable for Annelise, even with a low-key family day/party (in the end there was no brouhaha at all, so YAY for that).
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