Catty invited a little boy from school over to play today. I turned my back on them making sand castles, and came back to find THIS. Both of them, complete mud monsters! Holy schnokes, these things never happen when Catty has little GIRLS over to play, LOL!!! Luckily the mom thought it was funny and didn't freak out that I had to hose her kid down. *phew!*

R.I.P. Donald E Lemmon, Jr.
Beloved Father and Husband
9/4/68 - 6/10/06

4/20 - Thank you so much to everyone who emailed me with support and advice and shared your own stories with me! That's exactly what I needed to hear!! I was so scared about making the post below - I had it sitting on my computer screen for a full day before I finally shut my eyes and hit "post". Then I hunkered down and waited for the fallout. I've been so ashamed of myself for a long time now, but I've never lied about anything before, and I needed to come clean now. So there it is. AA is going great! Sobriety is AWESOME! Thank you for your support and kind words!!!

4/14 - Ok, true confessions time. Four years ago, my husband died suddenly, leaving me 8 months pregnant and with a one year old baby. Shortly after his death, I found out we were broke. As my world fell apart, I found a family willing to adopt my unborn son. In the space of about a week I'd lost everything but Catty. Left all alone in a state where I knew nobody, I started drinking, and heavily.

As time passed I managed to pull the pieces of my life back together, (including keeping my little guy, obviously!) but I continued drinking to kill the pain. After about 2 years, I decided it was time to kick the booze habit, but that's when the NEW nightmare started - I found out I was physically and mentally addicted. I've spent the last two years trying to quit in every way I could think of, but I just kept falling off the wagon. I'd get so angry and frustrated with myself, which only made me drink more to forget how much I hated myself for drinking. Then I'd get determined to stop again. Then I'd fall off again. It's been a horrible two years for me.

I LIKED drinking. I liked how it cured my social phobia. It cured my perfectionism, it made my mother's nagging voice in my head shut up so I could finally relax and be at peace with myself. It slowed my brain down enough so that I could feel "normal". For the first time in my life my brain wasn't always on hyperdrive, finding things to worry, stress, and be paranoid about.

Rest assured whatever stereotypes you have of an alcoholic mom envisioned right now, that wasn't the case here. No blackouts or accidents or puking or anything big and dramatic at all. My first priority has ALWAYS been my kids (the defense would like to present Catty's report card as evidence, your honor)(O's and E's = A) I always carried around a breathalyzer at home and another in my purse to make sure I never got out of line. But I was drinking 7 days a week, which was no good. Most of all, it was starting to wear me down physically, and as a single mom, I can't afford to play games with my health.

So I finally took the scariest step you could ever imagine for a social phobic who is terrified of strangers. I joined AA. Man, I sure would have liked to be drunk for that first meeting, haha! But it's the best thing I could have done for myself. It's awesome. Being around people who know exactly what I've been going through, who have made it to the other side - it's exactly what I needed. I attend several meetings every week, and I don't even think about drinking now. I think about how much I can't wait to get my 30-day chip, and then my 60 and 90-day chips, then one year! (I'm in week 3 of sobriety right now)

I've been so bored and lonely out here in the desert, but drinking sure was a stupid way for me to while away the time. I am thrilled to have the old me back - yup, the one who is a perfectionist and a workaholic, and I'm glad to have my brain back on hyperdrive again. My mind is buzzing with all the things I'm excited to do now that I'm back in the saddle again, and I'M JUST SO HAPPY!! The nightmare is over, and the rest of my life is beginning! WOOT!!

p.s. Sorry, I still don't believe in God. That's actually not mandatory for joining AA ;o)

3/16 - With the kids home for spring break all week, Mommy decided spur-of-the-moment to toss everyone on a plane for a mini-vacation to Salt Lake City! Bad timing. Hailstorm here in St George, snow storm and zero visibility in Salt Lake City. And I HATE flying, especially on tiny puddle jumpers. I was SURE we were going to die, POSITIVE. But somehow we made it, and the kiddos, of course, LOVED the snow. Next day, we hit the zoo. Most of the cool animals were hidden away because of the snow, but we found other ways to enjoy the zoo! This is Catty doing her impression of an elephant poop. LOL! A little grocery shopping to stock up our hotel room, and then off to the dinosaur museum! Catty was in her element, because she wants to be a paleontologist when she grows up. Finally, a visit to a working farm, and then mommy realized she'd forgotten about the time change, and it was a mad scramble to get to the airport on time. We made it with 4 minutes to spare, *PHEW!* So that was our little holiday! Much fun!! :o)

3/04 - Happy Birthday, Catty! I can't believe you're FIVE! That's like, a whole HAND of fingers!! Catty, you're the most amazing thing that's ever happened to me, and you're the reason I'm still sane after all these years of living alone in the desert after Don died. I was gifted with a beautiful, brilliant little girl who not only never had any terrible twos, but no terrible threes and no effing fours. You have been nothing but a joy, a delight, my other half, and my partner in crime. You make me laugh, you make me think, and you make me feel like I'm a great mommy. Thank you, and I can't wait to see how much MORE fun we're going to have with every passing year!!

p.s. Catty, because you can do darned near anything, please tell the weatherman that it is NOT allowed to rain in the desert on Saturday when we are having your birthday party. Mommy rented two great big bouncy houses for our backyard, and she is NOT going to be happy if she has 18 screaming monkeys stuck inside our house because of rain!!! AKKKKKK!!!

p.p.s. Only 5 out of 18 people have RSVP'd, but that's a whole 'nother rant... did I spend too much on goody bags, or will there not be enough of them? Should I have only gotten one bounce house instead of two? Is it THAT hard to make a quick call to say 'yay' or 'nay'?? Bleah!! (parents, you know what I'm talking about, and non-parents, now you can laugh and feel smug! ;oP)

2/23 - I know you've all forgotten that I used to be an adult film star, hahaha, but I just wanted to let you know that I've added two new items on my Asia stuff sales page! (Do I need to specify THAT LINK IS NOT SAFE FOR WORK?) One item is a beautiful cherry-wood encased poker set with Asia Carrera poker chips, and the other is a 3-pack of Asia posters. Of course I autograph everything! Ok, just wanted to give a heads up on that, since I don't think I've added anything new in what, a year or more? That's all! Carry on! :o)

2/17 - Wow, not much change in this house between last February and this one! LOL!! I know it looks like I've kept them chained there for a year, but actually today was the first time they've sat there together like that since the last time, so I took a pic when I got deja vu. In the first pic Devin was just scribbling at 2, but now he's actually writing at 3. Last year Catty was spelling words in her book at 3, and this year it's multiplication at 4. Devin has a new milestone to share - he's reading now! And he's not only started several months earlier than Catty did, but HE TAUGHT HIMSELF! On his computer, he goes to sites like Starfall and SuperWhy, and he just sits there soaking it all up - I haven't done anything! Devin's very big on "No, I do it MYSELF!!", so hey, whatever works little buddy! He just took a reading test and scored 1st grade, 6th month! Go Devin! Oh and have you seen this adorable face of his?? Yeah, unfortunately I haven't had anything to do with that either, as you can see! LOL!!

2/13 - My first husband, director Bud Lee, is in the hospital after having a heart attack. This is his third one. He got three stents put in. Bud and I have always, ALWAYS been so close. I am just shattered right now. My kids call him Grampa Bud. He sounded so weak on the phone... ugh... PLEASE think good thoughts for him, I would be so lost without him!!!

UPDATE - Bud is out of the hospital and back home now to recover! YAY!!!! Thanks for all the prayers and positive thoughts!!

2/12 - Wow, such a FAIL day for me as a mom... took the monkeys to a birthday party at a kiddy play place, and Devin tried to play Skeeball, but he wasn't strong enough to roll the balls all the way up. So I called Catty over and asked her to play Devin's game, explaining that she had to try to get the balls into the holes at the top. Well she'd never played before, so she hurled the ball overhand, like a baseball, and it hit Devin squarely in the mouth. OMG!!! I swept Devin up and ran for ice and towels, and my shirt was just covered in his blood, it was so awful. I was so afraid to look inside his mouth, I can't even tell you! UGH!! Finally we get the blood to stop flowing and I peek in there, and one of his front teeth has been knocked out of alignment (the teeth I paid a fortune to have crowned just a year ago) and his lip is split and he's in a lot of pain. I don't know what to do! I tell Catty we have to leave the party, and I drive with the kids to our pediatric dentist, only to pull in and find out they are closed on Fridays. GAHHHHH!!! All I can think to do is to take Devin into the Natural Foods store right next to the dentist and I buy him some frozen yogurt to numb his mouth a bit, and that seemed to help some.

As we were driving home, I started to cry a little because my boy was so hurt and I wished I could do something more to help him, and Catty said, "Mommy, I would give you a hug but your shirt is all bloody and I don't want to get it on my party dress, so I will blow you a kiss instead", which made me smile. When we got home, I gave Devin some kiddy Tylenol for the pain (I wasn't sure if that was the best thing to give him, but that's all we had in the house), and he asked for a Cars band-aid, so I put one on him. We all had a good laugh over that!

Brave little guy. He's got a big fat lip under that band-aid, and one of his teeth is a little wonky now, but I guess he'll be ok. Rough day, though. Glad it's over!!

02/10 - Just a quick note to say thanks to everyone who sent suggestions on what kind of kitties New and New New are! The general consensus seems to be that they are Maine Coons, which happen to be big, beautiful, sweet and affectionate kitties, so that seems about right! THANKS!!

02/09 - We've just played a mean trick on our kitties and I can't stop laughing... Well is it even possible to play a trick on four cats?? I think it might be - let me fill you in! Here's a pic of our four kitties. Three of the cats are mother and sons, and one is a stray that adopted us. His name is "New" (thanks Catty LOL!) I'll let you guess which one is the stray, haha!

So I took the kids by the animal shelter the other day to drop off some extra pet food we didn't need, and of course they wanted to go in and see all the animals. No sooner do we walk into the cat room, when both the kids start wailing, "MOMMY NEW KITTY IS IN A CAGE! MOMMY THAT'S NEW, HELP HIM!!" Well I'll be darned if that cat isn't the spitting image of our cat New. But crap, we've got four cats already, and truth be told, that's really two more than I wanted in the first place. But I couldn't split up the identical twin kittens so we had three, and then the stray adopted us (and learned how to use our cat door and sleep on our bed!) so here we are with four. Trying to give myself an out, I told Catty "Well if you win a trophy at your pageant tomorrow we'll get that kitty, ok?" And you can guess how that ended.

So we've brought home "New New Kitty" (She doesn't have a name yet - Catty wants to call her "Baby Annika" after my sister, but I said that name's too long. To be honest, I can't really tell the difference between the cats so I'm just calling them both "New" for now LOL) But what's so hilarious is watching the reaction of our three orange kitties to this new one. New's been a part of our family for a couple years now. They're totally cool with him. So they see the new cat and they don't even look twice, lalala... then they catch a whiff - "HEY WTH!?!?!" and suddenly they're hanging upside down from the ceiling doing like 42 double takes between the two identical cats with their hair standing on end and trying to figure out what the heck is going on. It's SO FUNNY!!!!

Catty is convinced that the two kitties are really brother and sister, and maybe they are, who knows? Two beautiful long-haired stray kitties who look like twins? And they're not scared of each other at all - only the orange cats are going "Dude, WTH!?!" But that's our laugh of the day - we've adopted a shelter kitteh that has our "homeboy kittehs" doing huge amounts of double takes as they try to understand how New can be in two places at once, and why one of him smells completely different... LOL!!!

Does anyone know what kind of cat New and New New are?? I'm not having any luck trying to figure it out by googling, dangit! But they are the sweetest, most affectionate cats ever, which is crazy since they're both strays! They are AWESOME - total lap cats and they come when called - so unusual for kitties to begin with; I can't understand how these two wound up homeless!!

01/19 - Awwww, I'm a gramma! I was cleaning out the big fish tank, when to my great surprise, I saw some tiny little buggers scooting around the back of the tank! Our first babies! Look, they're the teeny-tiny little white guys to the far right HERE and HERE! I don't have any idea how many there were originally, but I managed to save 4 baby cichlids from becoming Oscar and Pacu snacks, and now the babies are thriving in a smaller tank (bottom left of the tree, by the corydoras). SO CUTE!!!

01/12 - I was trying to think of a game that I could play with both Catty and Devin together, but the difference between age 3 and 4 is a lot, especially with Catty being so quick at everything. Then I came up with an idea - I made up a new game! I wrote all the letters of the alphabet on squares of paper, and had the kids race for who could show me the sign language for each letter first. Sounds fun and easy, right? Well my kids are (surprise!) both just as competitive as their mom, and the first round came to blows. DOH!!! Ok, separate the kids and give everyone hugs, and then we try again. I have to laugh at how the game turned out... I gave Catty a chance to redeem herself at the very end, but... you'll just have to watch and see what happens! Poor Catty! Hahaha!

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