KFC and Duck Dynasty

Jon used to joke that we were like Ronald and Nancy Reagan because we would pull out tray tables after work and eat our dinner while watching Jeopardy. I guess there’s a picture of Nancy and Ronald doing this exact activity.

Well, I doubt Ronald and Nancy bought tray tables for their kids and let them eat dinner on them while watching Duck Dynasty! Yea, folks, we have now started a weekly ritual: Kentucky Fried Chicken and Duck Dynasty on Thursday nights. Jon’s friend, Joe would keel over on this one (he makes fun of Jon for dressing the kids in camo).

We are quite the crew with our tray tables lined up, our greasy chicken, and our mashed potatoes. The only thing missing tonight was our biscuits – KFC dogged us in the drive-thru! I have a feeling that was a mistake meant to be, however, because we may have all been comatose if we added biscuits to the meal.


Next week, we are getting iced tea to drink to fit in with the Duck Dynasty family. Yea, that’s how we roll….

Beating the flu bug

Poor Ri sauntered into my room two nights ago complaining of feeling sick. She said her belly hurt. We laid together in the bed with me rubbing her back and she moaning in pain. A half hour later, she hurled her evening snack – an apple with peanut butter – onto our blankets and pillows. And so it began – our night of ups and downs, crying and pain. Poor girl; I don’t know if she was more upset with being sick or missing out on horse camp.

I kept hoping that she’d wake up feeling fine but no such luck. I got Mario situated with cereal, ran to work for two hours and came back home for the day after a phone call from Ri begging me to leave work and be with her. I laid with her the rest of the day. She is a beautiful sight – even when sick. Her soft tanned skin and huge blue eyes staring over at me. She whispered “are you glad you came home to be with me mom?”

“Of course.” I replied.
“Thank you for leaving work, mom.”

What a doll baby.

Mario got a full dose of tv and computer usage throughout the day. David tried to take him to the pool but he wanted to stay near me. I kept telling myself that I’d miss all of this clinginess one day in order not to go crazy between the two of them whining for me through day and night. I just kept wishing Maria would turn a corner. She is usually a machine rocking whatever bug in her right out of her in 24 hours. But this one is no joke and has taken her down for the count.

I made Mario lay down with us last night at 8:30. He was asleep by 8:45 (baseball practice and no nap through the day may be the key to an early bed time!). I was happy to have him down so I could focus all my energy on making Ri feel better. We played I Spy in the bedroom and talked about silly things she did as a baby. She finally dozed off at 10:30.

Jon got in at midnight and promptly slept in Ri’s bed to avoid any possible infiltration of the “bug.” He flew back a day early to take care of his baby girl and help me out, which means the world to me and to Ri (when I told her dad was coming home early she smiled and said “Dad’s the best.” I didn’t take it personal.). I woke at 6:45 am and made myself roll out of bed to take a run. The day before I had eaten three donuts, a bag of Cheetos, ice cream bars, and a block of cheese. My body craved a run.

Mario caught me putting on my running shorts and pleaded to come with me. His little sunken blue eyes and baby lips mouthing “please mama” pushed me over the edge and I put on his sweater and took him to the stroller (yes, he insists on a sweater in 75 degree weather). We cranked out five miles together before the donuts from the day before reared their ugly heads and made my body say “STOP RUNNING!”

I returned home to my hubby and daughter hanging together upstairs. Two peas in a pod. Maria was so happy to have him near her. I got dressed for work and gave Maria a kiss. “No, I want daddy!” she commanded.

Yes, that’s a mother’s world. We are with our babies all day and night but shoved over to the side when dad comes home. No problem though. I’d much rather see the love between daughter and father than not. And as a daughter myself, I know I’m in her heart no matter what.

When I checked on her this morning, she told me she was feeling a bit better. She had eaten a Popsicle and kept it down. “I just want to eat, mom!”

Now, that’s the girl we all know and love!


Dallas Returns – Am I dreaming?

I loved Bobby Ewing from ages 7 to probably around 14.  I would gather up my Cheese Doritos and bean bag and sit for a night of awesomeness.  Dallas was sandwiched in between Dukes of Hazard and Falcon Crest.  Yeah, Friday nights were in two words – the bomb. 

Dallas is one of the few shows where I still remember certain episodes and nearly every actor’s name.  I used to “play” Dallas with my best girlfriend (not quite sure how we “played” Dallas but I specifically remember running up to my bedroom and yelling “Let’s play Dallas!”).  I had Patrick Duffy’s mug shot ironed onto my pastel purple t-shirt with the words “I love Bobby Ewing.” I remember wanting to be like Bobby’s wife, wasn’t Pam her name?  I remember waking up some mornings having dreamt of meeting the Dallas crew and being asked by them to star in the show.  Am I a freak, or what?!

So, with that background, you will see why I about had a heart attack when I read that Dallas is coming back on the air.  I am heading to the grocery for that bag of Doritos and hauling up Maria’s bean bag to the family room.  I can’t wait!

Begging for the Call of the Wildman

Maria and Mario are addicts and I don’t think there is any treatment.  They cannot stop watching  The Call of the Wildman on Animal Planet. 

 I am at a loss on how to describe this show.  It centers around a man from Kentucky who specializes in catching wild critters, especially turtles.  The intro shows us Turtleman in the swamp with arms stretched in a yoga pose concentrating on the wildlife in the swamp.  It continues with clips of Turtleman catching a possum, a fox, a racoon, and a snake – all with his bare friends.  Then the announcer’s voice pokes through “For as long as anyone can remember, when someone in Kentucky has an animal problem, they call the Turtleman.” A woman sitting on her porch tells us that Turtleman “caught his first turtle at age 7” and he had a connection with these animals.  Next thing you know, you see Turtleman kissing a large snapping turtle and turning to the camera with his big ol’ smile and his missing teeth. 

M&M intently watching Turtleman

At first, I was skeptical.  A four and six-year-old watching a show about a critter catcher from Kentucky?  But he endears himself to you quickly and I find myself rooting for him even though I am sure much of the captures are staged.  The kids are mesmerized by his actions.  Every time I feel bad for the critter being caught, they reassure me that Turtleman loves the animals and always releases them in the wild.  Sure enough, when I watched the end of one show, there was Turtleman against the peach sunset, letting a fox out of his cage to run free through the forest.  Tender music and tears welled up in Turtleman’s eyes.  I look over at Maria and her face turns empathetic and concerned. 

“See, mom, he cares about animals and he helps people get rid of them so they won’t hurt the animals on their property.”


Mario as Turtleman

Meanwhile, Mario is standing up in the family room with his arms stretched out like Turtleman’s arms in the beginning of the show.  He concentrates his eyes ahead and says “There is a man in Kentucky who is wild.  He catches wild animals… and he does it with his bare hands.”  Maria and I chuckle.  He turns to us with his most serious face and declares “I could be Turtleman.”

On one drive home from capturing a wild critter, Turtleman had an apple pie in the front seat of his truck that he had gotten as a gift from the house owner who had trouble with the critter before Turtleman showed up.  Turtleman scoops up a piece of pie with his hands and shovels it in his mouth.  Then he feeds his dog in the back of his truck a piece of pie from his hand.  Yummy.  Just as long as Maria doesn’t start eating in that fashion at school, I guess we’ll let them keep watching.