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Monthly Archives: April 2010

I started keeping a book list a few years ago because I wanted to keep track of what I’d read. I wanted to see patterns and be able to have something to jog my memory about a certain storyline or even a time of my life. Pretty quickly I set a goal for myself. A crazy goal of 40 books in one year.

And I did it. That’s nutty.

It was the year I was pregnant with Bean. In that year we had an international flight back to the States to visit family, lots of traveling around, and the international flight back overseas where we were living. I also was delivering in a city 6 hours from where we lived, so we moved to the Big City a month before my due date to wait. I didn’t know tons of people, it was stinkin hot (over 100 with no A/C!), and I was as big as a whale. So, in all of those things — I read. I didn’t realize the delicious privilege of reading without interruption or a small, but noisy alarm clock who would wake up early and demand to be fed. Forty books wasn’t hard for that time of my life. (Ok, plus…. quite a few of them were short enough for a hugely pregnant woman confined to the house in front of 3 fans and with a glass of iced something to read in a day or so.)

Then, we began the nomadic year. We moved back to the States, hopped from city to city and house to house, and finally settled here in New Orleans. And, I was pregnant again. I hoped to read 25 books. I barely made it! Then, for 2009, I set my goal at 18. For the second year in a row, I ignored my family and friends all day on New Year’s Eve as I devoured a book (or finished pieces of several books) to put me over my goal. Whew! I’m sticking with 18 books again this year. Sure, the kids are a teency bit less high-maintenance, but I have other babies I’m working on. (Nope, not pregnant! I’m talking about my new bidniz I’m working on…. I’ve got my state and federal paperwork in order and just have to plan a day to head over to the city/parish offices to finish up. Yay!) 

But, this year, I’ve noticed that I’m not choosing books the same way. In 2007, I literally read whatever I could find. We lived in a small town that had no English-language bookstores. So, we traded books, ordered Amazon books, and had friends ship in books. I was not picky. I got back and glutted myself on books I discovered at the library (Oh, wonderful library!) or books I bought on the bargain racks at B&N. This year, however, I’ve been a bit too metabiblial. (That means I think too much about my books. I made it up. I got a degree in English, so I’m qualified to do that.)

I wonder about what I’ll put on my list and what people will think of me. I’ve read quite a bit of puffy frou-frou books this year — partly because they’re around and partly because at the end of a day spent wiping up poop, I like a bit of puffy frou-frou. So, instead of worrying about random people coming to my blog and judging me or categorizing me for my book list, I’m going to try to go back to reading what I want whenever I want. So, there! (That was only directed to the judgey people. If you’re not judgey, please ignore my petty, elementary schoolish “So there!” And, yes, it was accompanied by my tongue stuck out.)

I’ve also decided that I want my list to be more of a list. So, periodically I’ll start sharing about books I read. Not today… this post is long enough. But, in the next few days, I’ll tell you about the tomes that have been taking up space on my nightstand. Some have been good, some great, some  just okay. I would also love to hear more from y’all about books that you’ve enjoyed. I’m running through my stack of “To Read” and need to add to the pile. Want to see what types of books I enjoy? Browse through the book lists. And let me know if you have any thoughts on any of them. Unless your thoughts are judgey. Because if they are, I’ll just stick my tongue out at you. So there!


You must go to Baskin Robbins tonight. You simply must. They’re giving out 31 cent scoops o’ yummy. Read the official details here. The quick version: Each person gets up to 3 scoops at 31 cents per scoop. So, I can get my usual 2, Ray Ray can go for 3, and Bean and Peanut can split one scoop. That would be $1.86 plus tax for our family. AND, the money goes to support families of firefighters who have died on duty. Delicious ice cream and giving to charity? Yeah! I’m in! And, it’s only $1.86!

If you are a family with two not-so-tiny kiddos, you can get them each their own scoop and it’s only $2.17. In fact, although I was an English major in college, I feel a little math formula coming on….

Assuming that…

Children under 1 wouldn’t have their own scoops (So, they are left out of this equation)

Children from 1 – 3 want .5 scoops (# of these kids is x)

Children from 3 – 8 want 1 scoop (# of these kids is y)

Children from 9 – 16 want 2 scoops (# of these kids is z)

Males from 17 – dead want 3 scoops (# of these peeps is q)

Females from 17 – dead usually want 3 scoops, but only get 2 scoops because they can mooch more off of their boyfriend/spouse/kids and the calories don’t count since the female herself didn’t order them (# of these ladies is h)

Then,

.5x + y + 2z + 3q + 2h = cost without tax.

Using my handy equation (which you math types are checking and then laughing at), I know that the typical American nuclear family with children in middle school would spend $2.79.

The Duggars, however, would have an equation that looks like this….

2x + 4y + 6z + 3q + 5h = $11.16

(I’m including the oldest son, his wife, and their infant daughter.)

Dudes, that’s 36 scoops of ice cream for the cost of 2 tubs of Blue Bell. I’m sold. I’ll be going to all of the BR locations around my city. Maybe I can get a total of 36 scoops for myself. Um, I mean, for the firefighters fund. Yeah, I would only ingest that many calories for the sake of charity…. yeah.


My girls love the Busy Ball Popper. It pops balls all over the place and plays music really loud.

As I could have predicted, most of the balls were instantly lost. I got online and tried to find some for sale. People had them listed on eBay for $15. Then, I saw a post on some board where they recommended just calling Hasbro and ordering new ones. I did that today. You can get 5 for $4 (including shipping). I’ve got 10 of them heading to my house right now.

I received my paperwork listing Ruby’s Retro City as an LLC. So, tonight I decided to spend my time getting my EIN — it’s like a SSN for a bidniz. I found a site that looked governmenty. I filled out the form. Then, they wanted me to pay them $187. Say what? Since I went to a handy class on starting your own bidniz, I knew this was crazy. I found the real government site and filled out the same stinkin form and paid big fat $0.

I’m finding inspiration in the scamminess of the eBay Busy Ball Popper Replacement Ball Sellers and the Not-Really-Governmenty Bidniz Form Filler Outers. I will be ditching the vintage fabric and housewares shop I was opening and instead I will be finding ways for people to pay me to do things they could easily and quickly do for free or stinkin’ cheap.

Here are some examples of services I provide:

For $15/week I will download the free iTunes songs of the week to your computer.

For $20 you can hand me your credit card and stay snug in your vehicle while I pump your gas (that you will pay for yourself).

For a mere $5/channel, I will work the remote control for you.

For $100, I will take your mail to the mailbox.

I’m thinking that I can make an absolute FORTUNE if I find a few suckers clients who see the value of the services I provide.


Today is my bro’s birthday. He is the best brother I have. He is also the worst brother I have.

Why, yes…. he is the only brother I have!

Happy Birthday, Bubbie! I hope it’s great!


It was tax day 4 years ago that the mab Blab started. I didn’t even realize that the anniversary of this little spot o’ piffle had passed until this week. Four years? Really? Thanks to all of my friends who encouraged me to keep on writing — first because you wanted to hear stories of our life overseas, and then because you like to laugh at me. (Not with me. I know you’re laughing at me. Especially Cliffy.)

I have nothing earth-shattering or meaningful to write in honor of this anniversary month. But, I will tell you (once again) something that Beanie said. Partly because it’s funny and partly to dispell all rumors.

As I picked her up this week from childcare at our church, the following conversation ensued with her teachers:

Teacher: Are you going to have a baby?

mab: Um, no….?

Teacher: (looking embarrassed and turning red) Oh! Well, Bean told us today that you’re going to have another baby because the one y’all have is getting old.

Peanut, it looks like you’re out of vogue. You’re old. You’re outdated. Bean is looking to replace you. I told Beanie that I wasn’t going to have a baby and please don’t tell people that (or they’ll mistake my belly chub for a baby bump), but if she really wants a new baby, she can pray and maybe in 3 years God will answer her prayer.

Now, here’s links to some of my personal favorite posts over the years… More than one of them involve my fat belly.

Umbrellas, Steeples, Circumcisions, and Other Junk

Observations of mab by a National Geographic Researcher to His Supervisor

Belly Buddy Bravely Brings Banter by Beach Bake-Off

Pretty Pie Pilfered at Potluck…. Pregnant Proprietress Provoked (Can you tell I’m a sucker for long alliterative phrases that attempt to be witty?)

Tickers Galore

Ramblings and then How Spider Woman is Like Potiphar’s Wife

“You Had Me at Butt Charades…”

Bleepin’ Beep

Thanks for still reading, my lovelies!


What is this?

According to Bean, it’s Crappin’ Crunch Balls. I don’t know about you, but when someone says Crappin’ Crunch Balls, I don’t think of a nutritionally void cereal…. I think of what might happen if you eat waaaaaay too much fiber.


I am very proud to announce that searching for mab in Google puts my blog on the front page! Sure, that’s not as exciting as searching for blogs that rock the world and having the Blab on the front page….. or as exciting as searching for blogs that change the world and bring world peace while giving everyone chocolate and having mine be the first entry….. but, this is much better than a week or so ago when I was on page 100+.

I guess that’s what happens when you find that little check box in your security settings that allows Google to search your blog.

Or maybe it was the hard work of my minions. Yes.I’m sure that’s what it was.


The first freestanding Chick-fil-A opened here in the NOLA area. It’s swarmed with moms with kids all the time. They have a double drive-through. It’s wonderful. Bean calls it Tick-a-fay. Someone else shares my adoration for this locale. They even wrote a song about it. Here it goes…

I dance like the guy in the back. And I eat at Chick-fil-A. Does that make me cool?


We went to the swamp with Spider Woman and her family a few weekends ago. We saw about 15 alligators. It was pretty cool! This particular swamp is a state park with a boardwalk through it. So, you can walk along the trail that’s suspended above the swamp (since you can’t really have a trail through a swamp — it’s too swampy). At the end, we even got to take the girls out on a canoe. It was awesome. Here’s some photos of that fun day.

Bean is currently in a phase where she runs from the camera or hides. When she gets older, she’ll ask why she has no photos of herself from 2 1/2 until 16 (or whenever this phase ends). I’ll pull out this photo and dozens of others like it and prove to her that I was there with the camera, but she wasn’t willing to let her purty face be captured. She won’t buy it and will spend years in therapy dealing with why her younger sister has dozens of pictures and she has none.

Sigh. My future guilt overwhelms me.

This was the biggest alligator we saw. It was about 5 feet long. It was totally chilled out the whole time — not interested in us one bit.

I love these pigtails!

Here’s Spider Woman paddling her family around in a canoe. Her boys are desperately searching for snakes and alligators.

We had a great time getting outside all together. This weekend is an outdoor fun fest here at the school. (It’s cleverly named the Fun Fest.) The girls love it and as long as it’s not sweltering or mosquitoey I love it, too. Next month the sweltering humid hotness will begin and the mosquitoes will be as large as jet planes. That’s when I stay inside in the A/C.


I’ve written about my friend Spider Woman before. She’s the type of friend who can knock on my door, walk in, head over to my chocolate stash, and start digging. Very few people know where my stash is. Even fewer are allowed to dig through it freely. We’re tight like that.

Spider Woman grew up in a regular town with a typical family. She wasn’t sheltered, hidden in a cave, raised by dogs, or kept behind the walls of a compound. So, when the following conversation happened, I was utterly in shock.

Spider Woman: Do these things have flavored filling or something?

(mab looks up to see her holding up a Cadbury Creme Egg.)

mab: No, they’re the regular ones.

Spider Woman: Yeah, but what does that mean?

mab: (in surprise) You’ve never had a Creme Egg? What?

SW: Look, I know they’re a cross between a chicken and a bunny and whatever, but I don’t know what’s so special. Are they solid chocolate?

mab: (After she shuts her jaw that had dropped, blinks a few times, and shakes her head to restart her brain) You mean, you’ve never eaten one? Ever?

SW: No. Whatever. I’ll eat this Hershey’s Kiss.

I made her eat one. It was a mini, so she just popped it in her mouth. I had to unwrap one and bite it in half to show her the delightful fondant yolk and white on the inside. She giggled like a kid.

SW: Ohhh! That’s cute!

Are there really people in America who don’t know what a Cadbury Creme Egg is? Sigh. Spider Woman, this could be the cause of all of your problems. You know what I mean. Yeah, and that problem, too.



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