Tuesday, January 30, 2007


Tricked ya. I have no story about this picture, other than that I found it when I did a Google Image search for the word "Stupor."

"What a clever way to reel them in," I thought. "They will most certainly read whatever drivel I can come up with if I post THAT picture on my blog."

You guys are a bunch of gulli-bulls.

I got nothing.

So I'm taking requests.

What should I blog next?

Monday, January 29, 2007

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Sundays with Mama

I looked forward to picking my Mother up for lunch & fun, today. I took her, about 10 days ago, to my Grandmother's house, dropped her off for a "mini-vacation" with her own mother and sister.

Apparently it was 10 days of Gramma-partying! 10 days of playing Crazy 8s, and staying up til midnight. And in the interim getting a perm, a manicure, a new coat, new sweaters, new jeans, and new tennis shoes. Those Girlz went Crazy! I joined Mom today to find her relaxed and giggly and gorgeous.

I wondered, today, if in our taking care of our Mother, my sister and I may sometimes overlook pampering her.


It was Bite-Your-Face-Off cold today. I dropped Mom at every door, then ran for it after finding parking spaces. Screaming as you run helps get your mind off of the temperature. It also clears potential door-blocking pedestrians.

We stopped into Macy's; I wanted to check the price of a pressure cooker. I dropped Mom, found my space, scream-ran on the way in, and met her in the foyer. We walked through the store, rode up the elevator, and meandered about the pots and pans a few minutes while I yammered aloud about a particular pressure cooker I'd seen online. While I was yammering, it occurred to me that Mom was also yammering, caught up in her own little world, and finally telling me "this just doesn't seem right."

I turned to find her twisting and struggling with her new gloves. She'd been wearing her right one like this since I dropped her off at the door:

No matter how much tugging she did on the fingers of her glove, she could not get them into proper alignment with the fingers on her hand.

We both got into a giggling fit right there in the kitchen department. By the time I put my camera away to help straighten her out, I'd rinsed most of my eye makeup down my cheeks.

This photo still sets me into hysterics.

I know, I know, it was one of those "you had to be there" situations. And really, it was just one more Sunday moment with my mother, that would have passed if I hadn't noted it here.

I love these moments with my Mom; a brief, belly-aching laugh before we go on with our day, finishing our errands and getting affairs for the next week in order.

And it comes to me, as I look at these and a few other pictures I took this afternoon:

This is as good as a manicure.

I don't know why this just slays me

Thursday, January 25, 2007

The Minx

It's official: I'm turning into a crazy old lady, either talking about my kid or my cat. If I start smelling like mothballs mixed with Aquanet, and handing out hard candy with pocket lint stuck to it, promise me you'll say something. Discretely, of course.

Anyway, blood-work's in: She's Leukemia Free. Yay! Bring on the vaccinations and kitty hysterectomies, she's all mine!

She likes to wrap herself around my neck like a boa, and walk around with dixie cups in her mouth. She's dug up one plant, has just discovered the aquarium, and would prefer, if I let her, to sleep on my head.

I've also been sneezing violently since I picked her up. I've never had any allergies, and hope it's a fluke.

Eh, a little Alovert's a small price to pay.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Tell Me Something I Don't Know...

Round 3

Let's keep it mundane this time. I'll go first:

I've won 2 things in my life: A Palm Pilot from a radio station, and an afghan from a church raffle.

Your turn. Reveal something mundane that we don't know, in comments, or on your own blog.

I'm waiting.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Afternoon in Monticello, Illinois

That post-holiday desire to stay in and relax, followed by a bout of the flu, and some more relaxing has finally morphed itself into: cabin fever. I was puttering around the house yesterday, and suddenly said to myself, "Self, there is no law that says you have to clean this house today." I donned Cuddl Duds under sweats, threw on a stocking cap, grabbed my camera, and hit the road.

I went to Monticello, IL, fully intending to mosey around downtown, and then head to Allerton Park. I ended up wandering, however, for 3 hours within a 10-block radius of the town square, and never ran out of subject matter. That is, Allerton will have to wait.

Here are few from my day.

Watch that first step; it's a doozy.

On a whim, I crossed the street to look over the railing of a small bridge. I was so glad I did; I found this guy. My attempt to take his photo set him into flight. He landed further down the creek, so I changed my course to follow him for a few more.

Here's a table set at "Out of the Blue," a little shop that sells gorgeous handcrafted Polish pottery.

I stepped into the Steeple Gallery to discover there's Bluegrass every 3rd Saturday. This is a little antique store, art gallery, & coffee shop in an old church. It was warm and cozily lit, and this group sounded very good together. The woman singing with them had a voice like a bell. What a treat.

It was a bright sunny day, but this gives you an idea of the temperature. I was still over-dressed, peeling my scarf and gloves as I sauntered around.

I met these boys downtown, and they were thrilled to be my subject. They shouted out their email address to me, and I promised to send them photos. Unfortunately, my email to them bounced back, which made me feel kinda bad.

I imagine they'll be back some other Saturday; they ended up practicing in a lot on the main drag in town. Since I covered so little territory in town, I'll head back on the next nice day, and take some prints with me. I imagine I'll find these kids again.

It was good to get out of the house, and into the outdoors for a few hours. I never fail to marvel at what finds me, when I look for it...and to wonder what I'm missing when I don't.

The rest of the Monticello shots can be viewed on My SmugMug Page.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Desert Training Updated

Brian did send me this photo, but it was not taken in CA.

I spoke with Brian on the phone last night on the last call he could make before going into the field this morning, for two weeks. Everything was packed; tanks and jeeps were in line. They were to sleep through the night, wake up, wrap up sleeping bags, fold up cots, and to hit the road within minutes. Or hit the sand, or whatever there is in the desert to hit.

We talked about the weather: Still cold there, but a little warmer than the 12 degrees that welcomed him. He had guard duty one night, midnight to 4 a.m., atop a windy tower. He arrived and warned his comrades "I'm going to be doing a lot of complaining tonight." He couldn't feel his feet by the time his shift was over, he said.

In the middle of our conversation, he asked me to wait, stay on the phone, "I have to do 25 pushups. hold on." I waited on the phone, listening to counting and muffled conversation, understanding only, "why am I pushing, sir?" When got back on the phone, I asked him "why were you pushing?" [heh, I got army lingo.] The commanding officer said "tell ya later."

Hot meals are served in the morning and in the evening. They are eaten outdoors, standing up, plates on a table around a post. By the time you run for coffee or juice, he said, the meal is cold. Lunch is an MRE.

I'm not sure, exactly, what he's learning out there, but he did drive a tank this week, and said that was kinda fun.

He asked me to look up the forecast for him, tell him the current temperature.

And he needed one more favor.

Sure, hon. Anything.

He directed me to a website, and had me read a few lines to him, while he took notes

It's so heartwarming, knowing what inspires our boys in times of duress. Here's where he sent me.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

If it ain't one thing...

Why is it that the minute you get one household crisis taken care of, something else immediately pops up, to tend to?

A new kitty cat that seems to thinking kicking litter out of the box is an Olympic sport based on distance and area, and this is what happens when I go to plug in my vacuum sweeper:



Brown English Muffin tagged me, thank God, because I don't know what else to write about right now!

1. What did you do in 2006 that you've never done before?

Live alone

2. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Yes. Frugal Mom.

3. Did anyone close to you die?

Yes, a dear friend, Rob.

4. What countries did you visit?

Just this one.

5. What would you like to have in 2007 that you lacked in 2006?

I can't think of anything I'm lacking so much that I'd ask for something.

6. What dates from 2006 will remain etched upon your memory and why?

March 29, 2006. The day my son left for the Army.

7. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Put my shoulder out last January. It was excruciating. I'm better now.

8. Who's behavior merited celebration?

My son, getting it together, graduating bootcamp, getting promoted twice.

9. Who's behavior made you appalled and depressed?

George W. Bush, of course.

10. Where did most of your money go?

I'm constantly asking myself this question!

11. What did you get really excited about?
Seeing my kid's graduation, my trip to LA, and meeting Wendy and Kristin in Columbus.

12. Compared to this time last year, are you, a) happier or sadder, b) thinner or heavier, c) richer or poorer?

a) sadder b) same c) same

13. What was your favorite TV show?

I don't watch any one show regularly. Hm.

14. What was the best book you read?

That's a tough one. Poisonwood Bible, by Barbara Kingsolver, I guess, though I'd read it before.

15. Is there someone or something you missed this past year?

Brian and Ilaiy.

16. What did you do on your birthday and how old were you?

Last year? I was 43. I met my friends in the coffee shop.

17. What kept you sane?

Momo and Melissa.

18. What is one new thing you'd like to accomplish this year?

More paintings, more photography. Definitely.

19. If you could do one thing this year and not get chastised by or for it, what would you do?

Throw a drink in George Bush's face. I have to throw a drink in someone's face before I die; he seems like a good candidate.

20. If you could meet one blogger in 2007, who would you want to meet?

Mary P and Empress. I'm taking Momo, Wendy, Kristin, and Melissa with me. GirlZNight in Puerto Rico!

I tag everyone reading this, that can't think of a better thing to blog about.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Spay your cats!

Shortly after posting yesterday's blog, the new Minxy and I were curled up on the couch, she snoring on an old pillow I gave her, and occasionally sneezing, with me throwing out "bless you's."

She suddenly became restless and whiny, and I coo'd and tried to comfort her to no avail. I'm going to try to put this as delicately as possible, but it became immediately apparent that something was wrong. There was something underneath her, something that did not appear that it should be outside of her kitty-cat body.

***This might get graphic. Save yourself; hit Next Blog NOW***

I freaked out and got Momo on the phone. She knows everything about all cats. The minute she picked up, I screeched, "this cat just blooped out a piece of MEAT all over her pillow! Something came OUT of her. It's entrails or something!!"...and then a lot more cacophony.

While Marcy ran to get the cat book, and look up a symptom that mirrored the one I was screeching about, Minx ran off and hid. I found her finally, cleaning up her 2nd delivery: This one a stillborn kitten. Ah, light shed on the first round--it did NOT look kittenish. Hey, I don't know nuthin 'bout birthin' no kittens!! I immeditely calmed down and got to feeling awful for my new lil' baby.

I placed some old towels under her in the closet, and left her to let nature take its course.

But she followed me back out and hopped back up on her pillow, now also covered with old towels. In the interim, I called my niece and nephew, and they drove over to help out with kitty labor, and break up the tension.

Brandi's used to poking around and picking up yuk-stuff in her studies, and she was far less puked out than I was about...disposal. I'm convinced that Dane will follow in her footsteps, only as a forensic photographer. He grabbed my camera, and...well trust me. If you get your hands on my laptop, do NOT look at the folder labeled "kittens."

The three of us nursed little Minxy through delivering 6 stillborn kittens, she sleeping with her paw on my arm between rounds. By 11:30, she was all cleaned up and starving, seemingly back in business...if not much thinner; who could have thought it possible?

She ate like a horse, and settled back into her bed. Today, she is content, energetic, using the litter box properly, and right at home here, warm and fed.

We have appointments for a kitty physical scheduled, and she'll be spayed after her milk dries up, in a month. I'm personally hoping that her digestive system will acclimate ASAP, as she is currently quite a farty little thing.

I just keep thinking how different last night would have been for this little one, if I hadn't picked her up last night. I wonder if she'd even be alive this morning.

I wouldn't know, really.

None of us would.

"Maybe one will just find you," Momo had told me.

Yeah. And just in the nick of time.

Monday, January 15, 2007

The Momo Works in Mysterious Ways

While talking to Momo on Saturday evening, she mentioned that she and Mike had seen an adorable kitten at PetSmart. I've been on the fence about getting another pet since I had to put my cat down last autumn. I told Momo that I've been considering a cat again, but I'm still undecided.

"Maybe one will just come to you," she said.

THE NEXT DAY I was working over at Mom's house. We're deep cleaning, and when I took the garbage out, a little black cat flew by me, at lightning speed. I called for it, and it gingerly came walking back, crying. Soaking wet from the rain, I could count her ribs from 10 feet away.

Hmph. I looked up and down the street, and under the cars and in the trees for any sign of a giggling Momo, but didn't see a thing. Mom and I set out a bowl of milk, and left the kitty on her own. She's skinny, but she might be someone's pet. She might go home.

I left Mom's house around 5, the cat still meowing in the driveway, and called Momo. "I don't want that cat," I insisted. "I'd have to pay for the vet, she'd have to be spayed. I don't want the expense. I might want a dog."

I called Mom this morning, and she reported the kitty was gone. Whew. Good.

Momo sent me an e-mail: "That's good, right? You didn't want her, right?" Right!

I left work tonight around 4:00. The temperature has dropped, it's snowing and as cold as it's been here, this year. I called my Mom one more time.




I named her Minx.

And I love her already.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Fret fret fret

I'll admit that this was a tough weekend, emotionally. The announcement of a deployment date left me pacing like a caged lioness. I'll spill my guts more on that later, when I get a grip. Or even if I don't.

Meantime, a few more tidbits. I forgot to tell you Brian shaved his head Saturday. They all had to get uber-short haircuts for this gig, as it was for beginning basic training. Apparently, he got back to his room, thought "what the hell," and foamed his head up with shaving cream. He only nicked his head in one place, he told me, proudly.

Hey, most of my best male friends sport this look, so I think he's just adorable with it. I still acted all Motherly (I can't help it) and commented about wearing sunscreen in the desert: he's going to burn! He'll be wearing a helmet, he reassured me. "A HELMET? That's going to wear a blister through your scalp!" [Imagine that in a squawky, motherly voice.]

The army needs to recruit Army Mothers.

I'd enlist in a heartbeat! Think of it! I'd walk up and down the barracks, "there-there-ing" the soldiers, and scolding drill sargeants that were too harsh with my boys.

I'd feed them spaghetti and rice krispie treats, and box their ears when necessary, and tell them to respect women, and to wear sunscreen.

I'd make them write thank-you notes, and call their Mama's. "Don't give her any lip, either, boy," I'd say. Then I'd kiss them atop their shiny pink heads and tell them to get some sleep.

All 400 of them.

It would be my job.

I'd be very good at it.

Of course, Brian's friends would probably also throw in that on any given Friday night, I'd take them for tattoo's and do shots with them.

I'd be Lydia the Tattoo'd Army Mom.

It has just occurred to me that someone may be having a difficult time letting go of this mothering stuff. I'm not mentioning any names, but her initials are GnightGirl.

So anyhoot, Brian and Co. did arrive in Fort Irwin last night, in the middle of the night, to a nice frigid 12-degrees. TWELVE deeeee-greeees. In the middle of the desert. That doesn't make sense to me.

Being motherly, when things don't make sense to me, I check them out. (Smart mothers know what I'm talking about.) It's true! www.weather.com says that tomorrow morning at 6 a.m., it will be FIVE degrees at Fort Irwin.

And my boys are sleeping in TENTS.

I'll find the keys. Somebody grab my purse. I have to run 400 extra blankets out to the desert, and start tucking my boys in for the night. Anybody call shotgun?


I wish.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Addendum to Last Post

400 soldiers wait, tonight, from just one airport, for their flight to desert training. 7 hours early, my son and his comrades were, and bored. Here's one photo and a video, sent to me via someone's cel phone.

19,999 + 1

One Mother's Translation of George Bush's Jan. 11 Announcement

Yah, that's what keeps going through my head in the last few days: 19,999...and Brian. 21,499...and Brian.

Brian, as I write, has his bags packed for desert training, at Fort Irwin, in California. He heads to the airport around 6 p.m. tonight, and will board a plane at 1 a.m. He will return in one month.

He will leave for Iraq on March 15.

Yes, we have a date, he called me last night to let me know, lacing his conversation with "don't cry yet." I didn't.

We talked about how he feels, how he is. I unconsciously, nervously, scribbled random words as we spoke. After he hung up, I sat facing a yellow post-it note with "terrified" "do what I got to do" "scared for my friends" and "do my job and come back" scratched across it.

Don't tell him: I maybe, just a little, cried a little.

Then I picked up my pen and started praying and drawing.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Heart Ya

One more mooshy entry. I'll keep it short, and then I promise I'll deliver something crass or amusing on the next post. I don't, after all, want to lose my hard-hearted, sarcastic, cynical readers, in the midst of all this sap.

A few of you have noted, and e-mailed me about Brian's comment on the last entry, his sign off: "Heart ya," and my response, "heart ya more."

Our "I love you's" have run the gamut over his lifetime, most often a race to be the first one to say "loveyoumore!!" when I dropped him off for school, or as he ran out the door, with the other screaming "nuh-uh!"

That has at times also been translated into our own street version: "Yuh-yuh" and "yuh-yuh mo. Peace out."

My Aunt Karla signs her letters and ends her phone calls with "Love Your Guts."

Along that line, Momo's father hugs her hard, and they say "MmmmmGUTS!"

Do you have a whimsical way of saying "I love you" to yours? Share it!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

The Women In My Family

These are the immediate women in my life. A few missing, yes, but here are four, important. From left to right:

My Mother. A retired daycare mother, an angel walking the earth, and I believe, an aura about her that only babies can see. They reach for her, take her hand, lay their heads in her lap. And she'd die for any one of them.

My sister, Teri. 2 years younger, and fiercely protective of me our entire lives. 23 years married to my brother in law, Big-Tim-Stud, and mother of 2, Brandi, and Dane. And let us not overlook: Cancer Survivor, baby. She spent her birthday handing out flowers to chemo patients. It was her gift to herself.

Next is my Grandmother. 87 years old, forced to retire just 3 years ago after complications from surgery. She's physically moving a little slower these days, but she can still kick your ass. Seriously. Do NOT argue that you're paying for lunch. Just go get her wallet like she told you, and no one will get hurt.

And on the right, my niece Brandi. An Up-and-Coming Strong Woman in Our Lives. I could write an entire blog about her alone. Health complications caused her, a few years ago, to drop out of high school. She went straight to the community college to get her GED, and currently has a Straight-A, 4.0 GPA in Forensic Science. The Girl is going places, baby, and I hope I'm jealous as hell.

And my Grandmother was here, today, to check on my mother, who, as you may know, is in the beginning stages of Alzheimer's.

We'd told her: She's ok. We'd told her: We take care of her. We'd told her: We'd die before we didn't.

And still. She called on my Uncle, and said "Take Me There."

She had to see for herself.

And that's all right.

Because the women in my family.

We aren't going away, just because you told them to.

We will rest, when we know, that YOU are okay.

And not a moment before.

And before I go, here's one more, I snapped, of my mother and my grandmother. They stood, in this position, listening to surrounding conversation. My brother-in-law teased me about the camera flashing constantly, and I countered, "I just can't help it, all this hand holding, they're so cute!!!!"

And my mother matter-of-factly replied, "I'm warming her hands. They're freezing."

Another benefit, from the women in my life:

You're not going anywhere with cold hands, if we can help it.

Friday, January 05, 2007

44 on the 4th

I hadn't intended on mentioning my birthday on this blog, but that went right out the window when I found this little beauty sitting next to my computer when I got to work:

Yes. There are 44 candles in that puppy. About 20 minutes into the morning, the cake started to fall apart. You know you're getting old when the weight of your birthday candles causes your cake to implode.

With the help of a few coworkers, this was what was left by 9:00 or so:

Breakfast of champions, baby. Note how my nice, healthy clementine orange sits in the background with a rejected look on its face.

So as long as I'm putting it out there, I'll share the rest of the nice day with you. I got this:

And these:

And I learned about these, Egyptian scarabs, and was begifted the cute little dung beetle on the far right.

(LA) Lori's still in town for the holidays, so, a rare treat, we got to go out and celebrate. We had this for dinner:

Then we went to the Esquire, where this guy accused us of making fun of his hat. We had no intention of it, until he brought it up. Well, we still have no intention of it, we're not mean that way. That hat looks very....uh...well...warm. That's it. Warm.

Not pictured is the laminator that my mother got me for Christmas. Oh, boy! What will I laminate first? Lori and I have a history christening new appliances with a fig newton. Yes, we DO know what a salad shooter will do with a fig newton, thank you very much. But a laminator...We just don't know...


The birthday is over, and I'm celebrated out of my gourd. The rest of the month—mark my words—is going to entail hanging around at home, not spending money, and rinsing celery down with club soda with lime. I will be svelt and rich by February 1. (I'm not saying which year.)

Not birthday related, this gorgeous hawk awaited me this morning, in front of my parking space at work. It's the birthday hawk. Not to be confused with the Sierra Mist Holiday Hawk.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

I, Gnightgirl, Do Solemnly Swear....

Of course I have resolutions! How can I break 'em if I don't make 'em?!

Major changes and stresses of '06 have taken me from a charming "fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants" girl to a flaky, "completely discombobulated" bimbo. Stuff gets done, but only by the skin of my teeth. I spend too much time, lately, looking for my damned car keys, and leaving grocery stores without my groceries.

Oh, how I wish I'd made that up.

For the year 2007, and forever more, I resolve to Grab the Reigns.

2007 Resolutions to Stamp Out Discombobulation

1. Evenings: coffee machine prepped, next day's lunch packed, tomorrow's clothes layed out.

2. Pull back that midnight bedtime by one hour.

3. Because of Resolutions #1 & 2, I will arrive to work 1o minutes early every day. Or at least, on time, which will eliminate a daily source of anxiety and guilt for me, and aggravation to my boss. Win/Win.

4. I vow to wash my eye makeup off every night, instead of counting on my pillowcase for mascara removal. Hey! Why don't they just invent mascara-removing pillowcases?

5. I vow to take my vitamins and calcium like I promise my friend Diane I have been, only I really haven't.

6. I vow to do nothing but drive when I'm driving.

7. I'm not going to overdo it. Six is enough to start out with.

I'm going to go wash my face now, and look for my car keys.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Holiday Wrap Up

William Street, in Champaign.
(Thanks to Zia for sending me out on this photographic adventure!)

The Holiday decorations are boxed back up. Time to wrap holiday blogging along with them, and get this 2007 party started.

Most of you know that we had a few rough spots over the holiday, with a theft at my mother's house. I found out Saturday that a dear friend of mine, Rob, pictured below, lost his battle with cancer, after rallying for 7 years. It has not been a holiday devoid of tears.

Into each life some rain must fall. I'm blessed with an army of friends that "got my back" when the goin' gets rough. For that, my holiday was wonderful, and the highlights are not to be overlooked in the chaos.

1. My Christmas gift to Brian was a tattoo. We went together with friends the Friday before Christmas. In addition to his tattoo, I had mine revised a bit. The small cross on his chest has been replicated into a splash of water under my koi fish. It's not frankincense or myrhh, but it was a fun gift for both of us.

2. As I joined my friends for holiday festivities, Brian and his friends joined us also. We had coffee one evening. Pizza and beer another. And he showed up again with friends, for a cooking party here on Saturday night.

3. Saturday was his friend Chris's 21st birthday. I wrapped up a beer for him, and everyone at our party put on lipstick, kissed, and signed a card for him. Everyone. I have some hilarious photos of the guys putting on lipstick and kissing the card.

4. The cooking party was definitely a highlight, because, get this: everyone else cooked. How great a party is THAT, when Mel & Joey bring the meatballs and sauce, and Mike and Marcy bring the calzone and garlic bread fixins? Throw in minestrone and buffalo mozzarella salad, along with TWO desserts that Melissa brought...and we were a bunch of fat cats laying around the house after dinner, playing Scene It.

5. I met friends Charles and Kara, along with a few of their friends out on New Years' Eve. I shamelessly let them babysit my purse while I danced in the new year with everyone in the place. I drank only two beers, a few ginger ales, kissed a lot of cheeks, and came home with a bra full of glitter. Oh, and I found my little noisemaker horn in there too. I wondered where that went.

6. One last evening, as I wrote yesterday, of just cooking and hanging out in sweatpants with my kid. I was glad I had it; he was running last today, and was unable to stop by my workplace for a goodbye hug. It's ok; I got one in last night.

Wil asked me how I'm doing, with Brian's heading back to Georgia.


I'm giving myself a day or two to pout and tear up spontaneously as I see fit. I'm hopeful and praying and holding it together. There's only one thing that buckles me every time I think of it.

When he left the party Saturday night, to continue on with his friends, Brian whispered a request to my mine:

"Take care of my mom."

Oh, they do, baby.

They do.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Gonna Miss this Kid...

I have so much to tell you, but no time, no time, I say!

Here's a few pix that represent how much I've laughed, in the last 16 days.

Brian received a pair of boxer shorts, for Christmas, accidentally sized 2X.

Photo Op! Let's take advantage, shall we? Hold them up!!

God, he'll just do anything you boss him around to do! Put them on! Let's check the profile:

Don't anyone tell him he's totally going to fit into them when he's 44 years old.

Ok. One last photo: Yank 'em up!

Meeeow, huh, ladies? Please, direct your applications to me, his mother. I'll decide who's good enough for my baby!

My son's last evening at home. With an offer for dinner out, he opted for Mama's Cooking.

On the menu at his request: Whiskey-garlic steaks, loaded baked potatoes, salad, red wine, and Jackass II: The Movie.

Fair is fair, on the crazy-photo front. While he and Matt sat laughing baked potato out their noses at Johnny Knoxville, I watched in horror, striking this pose:

Have you seen that movie?!! I didn't finish it, or my dinner.

Man, I'm gonna miss that kid!