July 15, 2011

Unkie Brian

Tomorrow makes three years since Brian has been gone. Brian was Jerry's only brother. Brian was born with a heart condition and battled with it his entire life. He went up to Chicago in 2008 for another heart surgery because he was out running his medicine basically. He really didn't have a choice. He could go up there and fix it or die a slower death. He was only 29 when he died. Brian ended up getting an infection in his heart and his kidney's shut down.

I will never forget the day Jerry called me and told me the news. I remember telling Jerry, "this happens to other people, this doesn't happen to us." I cried. I still cry.  I never had the opportunity to go up there. Bailey was just over a year old and we didn't have the money for me to fly up there. We did visit them through our webcam though. We were just thankful that Jerry could be there when Brian passed.

Jerry has talked to me about the whole Chicago trip in detail, but it's too hard to write about. It was awful and I don't know how Jerry and his parents were so strong through all of it.

We collect tabs and donate them to The Ronald McDonald House every July 16th for Brian. The Ronald McDonald House is an amazing place that helps so many families when their loved ones are in the hospital. Jerry's family stayed there 50+ days while Brian was in the hospital. We will be making another donation to them tomorrow morning.

Two of the stongest people you will meet in this picture, Jerry's Mom and Dad. (Grammy & Pappy)

Jerry says each year gets a little better, but it will always hurt. He said if he were stuck on an island and had no idea of what day it is, he would always know when this week was, it's engraved in his body.
We love and miss you very much Unkie Brian.

July 13, 2011

River Trip 2011

Let me go ahead and state for the record this blog will not do this year's river trip any justice. Jerry and I have been going on four straight years of floating the Guadalupe and although some years are better than others, this year tops them all.

Here it goes...

We left Thursday morning and we had the camper all packed and ready to go. We were waiting on our friends Jones and Nick. Amanda was already here because I had picked her up at the airport the night before. Amanda comes from Chicago for this trip. We were on the road by 9:18am, 18 minutes behind my intinerary.  We arrived in New Braunfels and stopped at the last fast food restaurant. We were completely out of options  here. There are three places I never frequent: McDonalds, Jack-N-The-Box, and Burger King. I remember why now, because they suck! We ate in the BK lounge and it was disgusting. They should call that place the Fly Lounge. We all felt like 'grim death' after it. We got to our campsite and it took all of five minutes to get the camper level and situated before we sat outside on the picnic table and enjoyed some adult beverages under a big tree. We then walked down to the river and hung out down there. Before it got too ridiculous we all got dressed and headed to Gruene to eat at The Gristmill. We went back to the campsite and continued our fellowship down by the river.

Friday. We all were up pretty early thanks to Jones. I know I didn't mind. We all chipped in to make breakfast and lunches for the day's float. We got our tubes and were floating by 10:00am. It was going just perfectly. The river was the lowest I've ever seen it, but it was doable. Except the part where I get off my tube and start walking across rocks, I jump back into it, reach down to grab my water camera, and it's gone. I had some great pictures on there too. I REALLY tried to not lose it. I tried to put a string on it the day before but it wouldn't go through the itzy bitzy hole they provide. I even bought a water tight box to wear around my neck, but it didn't fit in there. AHHHH, it still makes me mad! That was the same time that Jones was doing his Chewbacca voice to a flock of geese and getting them all riled up. Our float ended up being 8 hours. We finished it with some football and  fajitas. Our friends, Heather and John joined us that night and it was great seeing an old friend.

Saturday was strong. Too strong. It was Amanda's 31st Birthday! We just did the half float, which still turned into 6 hours of floating. Jerry's sterio cooler was a hit. We had a bunch of people flocking to us passing around their nasty bag of wine. The playlist I had made was good. Really good. I put Neil Diamond's Sweet Caroline on it and the entire river was singing to it. "Sweeet Caroline Bah Bah Bah Good Times Never Seem So Good  SO GOOD SO GOOD SO GOOD!" Then, Jones got out of his tube, picked Amanda up and said, "In the name of the father, the son, and holy spirt" and babtized her! Not once but twice! The second time he dragged that 6'1" amazon girl out of her tube, her arms flailing everywhere and he dunks her again! We noticed a guy holding a pink flamingo the entire time. We thought was incredibly odd. Turns out it was a beer bong. Pretty creative I thought.  It was a great two days of floating and making fun of each other. Nipples that needed to be lopped, Nancy, Cankles.... We got off the river,  Jerry started the grill for burgers, Amanda showered, and Jones Nick and I endulged ourselves in a game of volleyball at the pool. Nick was good. Jones was not.  We ate, got ready for the Robert Earl Keene concert, and left. It was a great concert and he played all his classics and even my favorite song.

Other then losing my camera and Jones cutting his big toe open, that weekend couldn't have been any better.

Sunday. Nick is waking up and looks down at his REK band around his wrist and says, "Oh good, I can keep drinking." I couldn't stop laughing. The drive home was ridiculous. I was in the hurt box and Jones did not stop talking the entire way home. Whatever he was looking at, he would say something about it. It was like having Bailey in the car. At one point, Jones was telling a story, Amanda asked him a very simple question. He looked at her blankly. She asked the question again. Still blank stare. Nick yells, "Jones, you havin' a stroke?!"

Top Quotes:
all the Dave Chappelle/Rick James references by all
"Ball Soup"
"I hate classic rock" (total lie, it was funny because I was wearing a The Who shirt.)
"My goal is to keep up with Jerry." -Amanda

There's a bunch I can't put on here, but trust me when I say this river trip was epic!


Tonight, I found myself saying things my father said to me when I was growing up and I hated those sayings then and I hate them now!  I mean, we try so hard to not be our parents.

I walked into Bailey's room and immediately started picking up the copious amounts of junk on her floor. She whines that something doesn't work anymore and I say, "because you don't take care of it. When you are done playing with something, put it back where it goes!" I'm saying this to a 4 year old, haaaaahahahah!  

She was taking a bath and she said she didn't know how to do something and I knew darn well she did. I told her, "I was born at night, but not last night." Which is a complete lie, because I was born at 2:37am. What an awful saying, why did I say that?!

She was making up some bull the other day and I told her to, "stop making up stories." My Dad said that all the time!!!


Thanks a lot Dad.

July 12, 2011

Clean freaks read only

Brandi Clean...

I always keep a clean house, but there comes a point when your house gets beyond filthy. That's when it is time for 'Brandi Clean.' When I get down and dirty with my house, I start before 8:00am, any later would just put me in a bad mood from the start and I would't do a good job. I have a large coffee to keep me amp'd up 'til noon.  I have to 'Brandi Clean' when the house is empty. I even put the dogs up. I am very particular in my routine. I clean from ceiling fan to the floor.  I start in Bailey's room, then the spare bedroom, and then Bailey's bathroom. I call that the 'west wing' of the house. Then I go to the 'east wing' and clean my bathroom and move to my bedroom. Next is the mid section, where I clean the entry way, living room and dining area. By this time it's 4:00ish and I start making dinner. After dinner, I tackle the kitchen. I found that if I clean the kitchen before dinner, I don't want to get it dirty and end up eating fast food.

I'm not complaining about cleaning as a whole, because I love to clean. I'm just complaining about a few minor things I hate to clean. I actually enjoy the heck out of these days. I put my volleyball spandex and sports bra, turn the music up loud, and sing my heart out! I'd be embarrassed if anyone ever saw me.

Minor complaints....
Why is it so hard to clean faux wood blinds? They are a beating to clean and take 10 years if done correctly. They need a Dyson for blinds. I have 9 sets of faux wood blinds in this house and they are never as clean as I would like, because they have grubby 4 year old fingerprints and dog drool on them. I could spend a whole day just cleaning blinds. Baseboards, booo! They are never as clean as the first time you move into your house. The more you scrub, the more paint you take off.  I have real hardwood floors in my entry way and dining area. What an upkeep!!! I will never have hardwood floors again. I think carpet is nasty, but I like having it in the bedrooms and living room.  I usually clean my carpets the week of Thanksgiving but could tell my carpets needed some attention. I have a Bissell carpet cleaner, worth every penny,  and I cleaned the carpet in my living room today. I cleaned the other rooms last week. Yikes, I didn't realize it was that filthy. I blame my two mutts. 

Speaking of mutts, the next time I think I want a dog, I am going to read this blog: 
Brandi, you never want another dog. Ever! Wait for these two to croak. Yeah you love them, but all you do is feed them, let them out, let them in, sweep up mounds of hair, vacuum up mounds of hair, brush them daily, give them baths, go through hell cutting their nails, pick up their dumps in the backyard, clean up drool/water marks daily, get mad when they scratch your hardwood floor, have to find people to watch them when you go out of town, barking, and get them shots. Them laying of you while you watch TV is not worth it. Get a fish.

  "Well, it's been a thin slice of heaven.'-A League of Their Own

July 11, 2011


My daughter must be going through a crazy growth spurt, because she will not stop eating. I don't just let her eat anything she wants either. She can pick from a selection of healthy snacks outside the three regular meals.

Well tonight she ate her entire piece of chicken, most of her potatoes, but when it came to the vegetables, she all the sudden wasn't hungry anymore, then she needed to go potty, then she needed more water, then she tried mixing her vegetables with the potatoes, then she had a sore in her mouth and couldn't eat anymore. I really tried to be patient. I let her sit there and pick at the vegetables for 45 minutes. I finally set a timer for three minutes and if she didn't finish her vegetables in that time, she wouldn't have any TV for the rest of the night. That means no Bubble Guppies people!

I don't mess with 'time-outs'. I spank and I spank hard, but I didn't want to spank her for not eating vegetables when she eats good food literally all day long. Sadly, she didn't take those three minutes seriously either and she lost her TV privileges for the night. This is the first time I have ever done this. Let me just tell you, when you punish your kids, you are really just punishing yourself.


This punishment made for a very long night.

July 09, 2011

Bubble Party!

You can put the word 'party' with anything and kids are down!  It was Bailey and Mommy time since Jerry was working on his shop. I went to the garage and consolidated the 50 bottles of bubbles we had and went out back for our bubble party. Our automatic bubble maker broke, so we had to make bubbles the good ol' fashion way. It was great! Kids have so much imagination. Bailey was a bubble fairy and was dancing around trying to catch the bubbles. Maybe I should try a vegetable party for dinner tomorrow? Yeah right.