Saturday, February 26, 2005

Mr Sandman, bring me a dream...

make him the la, la, la...

Actually, I think maybe "Enter Sandman" would be more descriptive.  Last night, my bed resembled the mosh pit at a Metallica concert, what with all the legs, arms, elbows at odd angles, bobbing heads, and a ball of black fur in it than any place where you could get some rest.  And it wasn't due to Mr W and I being adventurous (that's on Tues--whoa, wait, that's another entry) it was due to all the kids sleeping with me.  Oh, and the cat too.  Thank goodness the dog sleeps in her crate, or things would've really gotten ugly.

When they're sick, they want their Mommy.  Crafty as my children are, they wormed their way in by stating the obvious, that they needed proximity to the humidifier, and as we only have one, which was already set up in my room, "can I sleep in here with you?" was the request at bedtime.  I had to get up for work early, so I was resistant at first.  PUSHOVER that I am, as soon as Ben retreated to the hallway, I called him back and said I'd work it out. 

So there we were, lined up like puzzle pieces.  I remember when we were bed shopping (I had finally talked Mr W to get rid of his waterbed) I chose to get a king-size.  For obvious reasons, ;) and because I envisioned perfect Sunday mornings when we finally had kids that they would come and snuggle with us while we decided what we were gonna do that day.

Once again, I am restructuring my vision of what I thought and what reality yields for me.  I've never been one of those people that absolutely refuses to have their kids sleep with them.  As it turned out, my kids slept/sleep with us/me.  It was never really a big deal, it worked with our work schedules, and we all got our rest.  Other people had more of a problem with it then us, and I've fielded my share of odd questions, the main one being "How are you and your husband intimate if the kids are in your bed?" to which I always <politely as I could> replied, "Well, you know there are other rooms in the house."  This always shut up the person asking, and sometimes made them squirm, which was the best part of it all for me.  "Don't ask if you don't really want to know,"  I'd add.  Hee hee.

Nolan and Ben moved into their own room when Nolan started school.  Right now, Ryan and Audrey are still with me.  We've had some weird circumstances that have allowed Ryan a bit more time than usual (I had a hard recovery after Audrey's birth; Mr W had an accident and could only sleep in our recliner), and Audrey, well...she's still little.  The plan is to start working on them; I need to get a mattress for Audrey's bed, but then I'm gonna try and move 'em out.  Hopefully the transition won't be too hard on probably won't....

No, the transition will be hard on Mom.  I admit it.

I'll miss Ryan's little hand reaching for mine in the night, as he gets drowsy and nods off....just like Nolan used to do.  And I'll have to give up Audrey's thing, which is stroking my cheek for a little, before she rolls over and hugs my arm, like a  sleeping monkey baby....just like Ben used to do.  Ben and I used to name face parts as our nightly ritual as well.  "Nose" and he'd touch my nose, and I'd touch his.  "Eye" "Cheek"--you get the picture.  Sometimes when I tuck him in, he still does it.

On the bright side, Mr W can come back in, and I've missed his presence.  I know he's gonna complain about my snoring and moving around, and I'll remind him that if he doesn't like it, there's a recliner waiting for him, lol.  

But for tonight...

I'll be in my corner, like Bonnie Hunt in "Cheaper by the Dozen", keeping an eye on the sickies.  Touching warm foreheads, rearranging blankets, and patting backs.

I make no such promises for that cat.  He's on his own finding a spot to get comfy in, and if he doesn't watch it, I'm releasing the hound.



Friday, February 25, 2005

I thought I liked pink--

Calm, blue, ocean, <breathe> calm, blue, ocean...

I've had better days. 

Had to go to the pediatrician today with Nolan and Ryan.  Ryan for his cough, which the dr said was probably still just a cold, and that I should wait it out through the weekend, see how it goes, and bring him back on Mon or Tues if not any better.  Continue with the symptomatic care, she says.  I grit my teeth, but say okay.  Ha!  Symptomatic care, shyah, like I've not been doing that already...I'd like her to listen to him cough all last night.  We had to medicate him in the middle of the night, and I kept him home today, and the little guy slept until noon.  He did perk up a lot though, and I guess it was one of those moments when you take them in to be seen, and they look like they've not been all that sick, so Mom feels silly for coming in at all.  Oh well.

The big guy came up to me last night, to tell me he had a sore throat..."Whoa, hold on there dude.  You've got some naaasssty breath...ugh, strep breath.  Go brush your teeth, and I'll take a look."  The throat was a bit gross, so when I woke him up this a.m. for school, he said it still was hurting, so he got the pass to stay home too.  And when they did the test, it was positive, little strep man is hitting the pink bottle again.  Sigh. 

That was not the most alarming thing about the appt for me, however.

No, the most alarming thing about the appt was when they weighed Nolan, and he tipped the scales at 99 lbs.  99 lbs!!!  My baby! Suddenly 7 lbs 13 oz is 99 lbs??  I mean, I noticed he's growing, and he's not fat (although he'd chunked up a bit around the middle there for a while).  OY!  What's that all about?  What am I feeding him??  I'm in shock.  I definately won't be picking him up again anytime soon.  If he keeps growing at this rate, I will be looking up at him sooner than I think.  He comes up to my nose as it is now. 

Audrey is looking a bit off too, so I'm waiting for her to join the sick ward that is my living room.  Mr W in his recliner, with the leg propped up; and the kids sprawled on couches -- it's quite the party scene.  Ben is my only hold out, but he's trying hard to come up with something.  Drama king says to me, "Mommy," <cough, fake cough> "I think I'm trying to catch Ryan's cough."  "Of course you are," I say, "why don't you go to bed and rest?"  "Oh, I don't feel that sick..."  Yeah, that's what I thought.  That child is such a chameleon, such an actor, that I often joke with him: 

"Come on, Ben, remember and say it with me...'I'd like to thank my Mom, and the members of the Academy'; okay, sugar, the my Mom goes first..."  and then we crack up like mad.

I don't know where he gets that dramatic bent from....


Thursday, February 24, 2005

You can pick your friends..

Man, I'm pissed. 

My brother in law came over today, and that's ok.  I like him.

However, he needed to use the computer, and he changed all the settings.  He has one eye, so he needed to make it so he could see better.  FINE.  But dude, when you are done, change things back to the way they were.  Is that tooo much to ask?

Apparently so.

So I've been messing with this situation for too long now, trying to get my old settings back, like I even knew what they were.  I only know what they looked like.  Crap.  And I'm pissed, did I mention that?

Mr W doesn't understand why I'm all irritated by this. Of course, he's not having to read and manipulate everyone's pages, either.


It's a good thing that my brother in law lives about an hour and a half away, or my foot would be wedged in his butt by now.

And I thought only Mr W held the potential to annoy me this much.


Update:  Mr W patiently, patiently fixed my settings again, and I too have been reset; I've stopped ranting like a loon, threatening all kinds of bodily harm to my bro-in-law.  Hmmm, what can I bestow upon him the next time I go to visit him??

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

TV wasteland...

We used to go to the movies quite a bit, Mr W and I, back in the day.

Now, we're lucky if we can watch whatever I've dragged home from Blockbuster before I have to return it. 

Oh, sure, I read, and while away the hours here in my journal.  But I still manage to get in my tv time.

Since I don't get out that much, cable is sometimes my link to civilization.  I get all the cartoon-kiddy entertainment the tykes need to keep 'em busy (shocking, I know, letting Nick Jr babysit so I can actually <gasp> bathe).  But it gets me my entertainment too. 

I watch the usual network stuff, like the CSI's, and that new show called House (oh, I am rooted to the screen on Tues nights at 8, woe to anyone that bugs me, and Mr W is tolerating my new crush on that show well), and okay, I admit to catching ER still too (but we all know it's been better).  Desperate Housewives, is on the list as well, of course.  But my big weakness has always been the serials on HBO and Showtime.

I remember watching Sex and the City late at night when I was up with Ryan when he was an infant, and it was the only girly connection I had, sitting there in my pjs, at 1 am, with dirty hair.  I really miss it now that it's gone, and I have actually started watching the reruns on TBS that have the more objectionable things edited out of it.  On the one hand, it takes the oomph out of it, but on the other, I've watched all of them, so I know what's missing.  I wonder about when Tony Soprano will once again grace my set, even though I know it won't be sometime soon.  And surprisingly, I miss the bad boys of Entourage (and I don't know if that'll be back).

I've found something that has taken the place of SATC though, on Showtime.  It's 'The "L" Word.'  I watched all last season, and it's back again for the second one.  It's really good.  The clothes, and the women, are gorgeous.  The stories are different and funny and not at all soap opera laden.  (well maybe a little)   

I also liked 'Dead Like Me' with the grim reapers running around, and of course, I miss 'Six Feet Under'. 

Mr W has been forced to watch with me and found himself hooked on a few too.  But his thing right now is 'American Idol' and 'Survivor:Palau' and I try not to tease him about it...but can't help myself.  I've stayed away from these as much as I can, however, I pay enough attention to them that I can chat him up about it.  So I guess that I have to say I watch them too.  Oy, the shame....the sacrifices I make, lol.

Whatever works, I always say.   If a little Nip/Tuck after the kids go to bed keeps me sane, then what's wrong with losing a little sleep? 

Heehee, Dr Troy can tuck me in anytime. ;)



Miss Personality

"It looks like a girl," the ultrasound tech said to me.  She had to leave the room for a minute, and I looked at Mr W saying, "Why don't I believe her?"  He just laughed at me, "Well, gee, maybe because we have all those boys at home?" 

I was not totally surprised, but I was not willing to believe it either. When we couldn't come up with a girl name, I was further convinced that the amnio would tell us it was a boy afterall.  But no, I was wrong.  Definately a girl.  I remember hounding my dr for the results, and running outside as Mr W was heading off to work to tell him everything was ok and that it was indeed, a girl.  He looked at me with the patience of a man that has withstood the insanity of a pregnant wife three times before--a mixture of "do I push it?" and amusement.  "Now do you believe them?"

Well.  Let me just say that after three boys, I got a girl alright.   

She is all girl.  Last summer, her obsession was shoes.  I swear, I had no idea a toddler could have more pairs of shoes than her mother.  She has since moved on to purses (briefly) and lippy (still raging on).  She loves brushes, but is not really into barrettes. 

But the newest obsession is dresses.  She spent the winter in dresses and tights.  It's a good thing that it doesn't snow here, because that would've made my life even more interesting.

"My dressie,"  she insists every morning.  Last week, I succumbed to the siren call of the Baby Gap.  I usually have Nolan steer me clear of the entrance, b/c I know what lies within.  I'm usually really, really good about waiting for sales and not going overboard.  Until last week.  My friend Jane and I were in there, and she bought her an adorable dress...and I found the matching shoes, but not in her size.  When we got home, she of course put her new dress on immediately, but "where are my shoes?" was the next thing I heard.  We laughed at her, and she couldn't be sidetracked.  So of course, Mom called and found them in her size.  And she now sports the little shoes to match her dress.  So cute!  When I went back for the shoes, they were unpacking a slew of new spring dresses...uh oh.  "Looook, Mommy.  Dressie!"  Oy.  I glance around, and omg, I can't believe the cuteness.  She's very particular, she likes the swirly skirt.  If it won't float out when she twirls, she's not interested.  I'm looking around, thinking, man, am I in trouble.

I confess.  I went back and got her a couple more. (okay, 3 of them, plus a polka-dotted number from Old Navy)   While I cringe at the splurge, I realize she'll be wearing them all spring and summer, and I've already washed two of them to death b/c she wears them all the time now.  What's that formula we women use to justify the splurge?  How many times you wear the splurge vs. how much you paid for it?  

Even Mr W was teasing me the other day about it...but he also was smitten with cuteness the day we showed them all to him. 

Hey, at least she's still wearing dresses.  I'm not ready for the plumber-butt jeans yet.  My friends assure me this will pass, and that in a year or two, she'll be all about anything that's not a dress.

Her birthday is approaching rapidly.  She'll be three in April, and I've got that on the brain since she's my last little one.  I'm trying to enjoy the moments more, even when she's having a fit, moreso when I can't find her, and finally see her tucked up under her one of her brother's arms, watching tv. 

And I'm happy to report that I have no lingering baby lust--thank goodness.  I got to hold a sweet-smelling two month old just the other day...and happily handed her over to her Mom when it was time to go. 

Nope, I'm done.

One little girly girl is plenty, especially when she chooses to accessorize her dress pockets with rocks.


Hey! Mom's on the phone!

Ryan has some freaky cough thing going on, so he stayed home from school today.

I should've known he was gonna be a handful because he's so used to all the activity of school now that I'm boring.  "Mom, I'm bored."  Really, it was just a ploy to play his GameCube, and of course I told him no.  No games if you're home sick is the rule.  Otherwise, they'd all feign illness everytime we got a new game, lol.  Oh, the drama, the wiliness of the small fry.

He was entertaining himself and Audrey just fine, so I decided to sweep and mop while they were busy and Mr W slept (can't have him slipping on the wet floor).  I also decided to call my friend Janna, as she just went through some nasty infertility treatments and I'd not heard from her.

We're chatting, and of course, two minutes into it, the entertained children started fighting.  Loudly.  "I swear they were ok before I called,"  I lamented to her.  She understood, and didn't miss a beat as she heard me um, taking care of things.  But we couldn't talk much longer than that before another uprising.  GRR.

Later on, I was talking to Jane.  I was alone in the front room at the beginning of the conversation.  Here comes Ben, followed soon after by Ryan and Audrey.  They decide to start wrestling and yelling right in front of me.  "HEY!  All of you!  What is this thing attached to my ear?"  "The phone."  "Get out, all of you!  Go back to whatever you were doing before I picked up the phone!"  It's not like we were discussing state secrets or anything.  I just had to ask her a quick question. 

You think I'd know better by now, right?  They have some kind of internal radar that compels them to get into trouble or suddenly need Mommy the minute she's otherwise occupied. 

And it's not only phone related, either.  It's computer related, cooking related, and most annoyingly "Mom and Dad are alone" related.  I swear, there's some kind of alarm that goes off, "Hey!  Red alert!  They are closer than two inches away from each other!  Code blue--whose  turn is it?  Okay, Ryan, jump out of bed!  Let's see...yes!  'Go to the bathroom' will work, because last time we used 'get a drink of water'...hurry, go!"

It's a wonder that after Nolan, they were conceived at all. 

Good thing they haven't figured out what all those trips to play in the park were really for, or why I let them run around as much as possible afterschool. 

Haha, Mom's still got a few secrets and tricks up her sleeve afterall.

And there's always (what was that that Remo once suggested to me?) oh, yeah, duct tape and flexicuffs-- to turn to as a last resort. 

I'll save those for special occasions.



So clean....

Tonight is a beautiful kinda cloudy, full moon night.  I was pleasantly surprised when I went out back to feed the dog at how incredible the sky looked.  Perfect, perfect, perfect. ;)

Hey, wait a minute, you're thinking.  She "went out back"?  At night? Wasn't there danger lurking in the tall weeds or something like that? 

After this afternoon, there is no danger lurking in my backyard, other than needing to watch my step in certain dog-related corners.   It's clean, it's beautiful, and the random tree?  Gone! 

Yup.  I caved and called in the reinforcements.

I only bitched to Mr W a little bit about paying for it too.  Actually, I threatened him with more than a little pain if he let things get out of hand like that again.  Oh, don't look at me like that.  I'll help him out with it now.  Ugh.  I know, it's my yard too. 

For now, though, I am enjoying being able to see for what feels like miles and miles and miles.  The hills are alive with the sound of music...(ok, we don't have hills, but you get the picture)

And my other big accomplishment today was that I finally was able to talk Mr W into taking a shower.  Whew.  Not that he was offending us or anything, it's just that I thought he'd feel better if he did it.  I got the kids together:  "Okay, guys, listen..we need to do something to make Daddy laugh...and get him to take a shower..."  and I instructed them on how to hold their noses.  We walked into the room, and all of them lined up and held their noses, and told him to get in the shower.  Ben even fell on the floor for dramatic effect.  Audrey pointed her little finger at him and ordered him to take one.  "Daddy!  You stinky!  You shower!"

It worked.  He feels much better now, too.  We even took him on an outing (to aikido) and he managed to hobble around just fine.

A little soap and water does a little good....

But so does a weed eater, lawn mower, and chain saw--


Monday, February 21, 2005

Laziness, craziness, which is it?

Okay, I am feeling, really, a bit embarassed.  I wrote an entry earlier, only to delete it a bit later.  Hmm.  What's going on in my brain these days?  Chemical imbalance?  Lack of chocolate?  Everyone's at home?  Laziness (I should finish the laundry) or craziness (I am feeling out of sorts--)? 

We have a winner--everyone's at home.  Mr W is alternately cranky and not cranky, but that's ok.  He's kinda my prisoner right now, because he can't go with me anywhere, even though he'd like to.  He's sick of the house, too.  The kids are all stir crazy in spite of the new video game and movie I got them yesterday.  That'll teach me to not have anything planned for a day off of school!  As a result, they've all resorted to the many different ways they can all call "mo-om!" and as many requests as possible.  Just when I think I'm alone, one of them stalks me and I'm hissing "what do you want?" before I can even blink.  I feel bad about that, because they don't want anything, just want to know where I'm at.  I can't convince them that there is no secret exit in the house anywhere.  "Oh, no.  Mom's out of sight!! Call out a search party!!!"

Mr W is hanging in there.  He hates the knee immobilizer/brace thing.  He is a bit unstable when he stands up at first, and says the knee feels like it wants to move in an odd way every now and then.  That's gotta be disconcerting, to say the least.  Right now, he's playing UNO with the kids in our room. 

I sent the kids outside earlier, b/c they were making me nuts.  I'd like to say that all the time I am the perfect Mom, that we gather around the kitchen table playing board games and bonding.  That we're baking cookies and singing 'Kumbayah'.  But I'm not.  Today, I'm just feeling moody, and want some peace.  I think I'll go shopping, lol, because that's what a bitchy woman needs, to go shopping, amongst regular people who have no idea why I took cuts to get to the dressing room next.  Watch out, girls...I saw those shoes first!  (And that purse...and those pants...)

I'll pick up some chocolate too, just in case the shopping doesn't do the trick.

A little insurance in the form of a Ghiradelli bar with caramel can't hurt, can it?


Saturday, February 19, 2005

Everyone's got an opinion

Thursday, I was soo jazzed with the lot of them.  It was one of those days when I had fun watching the kids interact with each other that didn't involve bloodshed or the latest wrestling move Ben could come up with.

When I dropped the big guys at school, I was surprised to see them walk away together, and so pleased that Nolan put his arm up around Ben's neck.  Of course, he pushed him a couple of times, but it wasn't obnoxious or anything.  They even raced to the gate without trying to trip each other.  Aww. A Kodak moment.

I realized I had to make a stop in the cafeteria to leave some lunch money for them...and again vowed that they need to start taking lunch from home, or get jobs.  The lunch ladies know me, the Mom who puts Spongebob stickers on the envelopes I send in, and get a kick out of Audrey.  I was about to leave when one of the ladies stops me:  "Your youngest--Ryan, right?--is here at the same time Ben's here.  He runs up to Ben, and they hug, and chat for a minute.  It's the cutest thing.  They are so close!"  I smile.  "Yeah, they are, I guess.  At least that's what I try to teach them to be."  Aww.  I'm grinning without even seeing that Kodak moment.

Later, afterschool, Ben has a running club race at another school nearby.  It's just the two of us and a sleeping Audrey.  I'm chatting with the mom of one of Ryan's friends.  She complements me on how nice Ryan is, that he plays with her youngest child too when he's over, and that he is overall nice to have around.  "What did you do to him?  He's so good!"  (blush) Aww.  Sugar(ryan) rocks!  No Kodak moment this time, just a mental note to squeeze that boy tight when I get home.  She continues to tell me some stories about Ben, from running club practice, and I am able to report that he hasn't done anything that makes him memorable in a bad way, lol.  We hung out at for the announcement of who won in each age group, and I had both Audrey and Ben sitting in my lap on the grass.  It's a wonder I could get up again, but Mom's lap is Mom's lap.  I'll take it that my 8 yr old isn't embarassed to still sit there.

I'm aglow with motherly affection from all this.  I want them to be close, and am happy to hear/see that they seem to be taking it to heart.  I'm relieved to hear that they do okay by themselves without me hovering over them.

Later that night, I'm finishing up getting dinner ready.  My back is to them, and they are all at the table, forks in hand, lol, watching tv.  A Barbie commercial comes on, and I groan, "Oh, no.  Please tell me that's not an advertisement for a new Barbie movie."  See, I've watched and heard Barbie's 'Princess/Pauper' movie enough times to hear myself mentally singing along to it.  I'd rather not be subjected to another one right this minute.  "Yeah, Mom, it's a new one,"  Nolan says.  Fabulous.

Suddenly, I hear Ryan scurry over to the tv, so I think he's gonna change the channel, or turn down the volume.  "Take that, Barbie!"  he says, and then I hear ~well~ a gaseous expression of his opinion.  I look over my shoulder in time to see that he's kinda bent over, and had his butt pointed at the tv as well, while he did it.  The other boys are laughing and totally amused by this, and high fives go all around.  I have to say that I laughed-- I mean, come on, it was funny-- and the little miss did too.

It never surprises me anymore how they bond with their bodily functions. Most days, I don't even bat an eyelash at all when they come up to announce that they've once again managed to clog the toilet; I just sigh and see if I can beat Mr W at 'rock, paper, scissors' so I won't have to deal with it.

Haha, I think.  If only the lunch ladies and their friends' Moms really knew...that all that wonderful closeness starts out with a....bang.



Early, early Sat Six

Saturday Six - Episode 45 Picture from Hometown


1. Other than Earth, what planet intrigues you the most and why?
Jupiter.  The sheer size of it, the red spot, all those moons with cool favorite.

2. What is the last business issue you wrote a letter or called to complain about?  What's the last thing you complemented a business on?
I can't remember writing or calling to complain about something recently.  The last thing I complemented a business on was the customer service at Lands' End.  Love them, they rock!

3. When was the last time you had your picture taken?  Did you like the way the picture turned out?   I last had a picture taken of me last month, and it turned out okay, I guess.  I am not a fan of having my picture taken...I'm afraid it'll steal my soul, lol.                                                                      

4. What was the last program you watched a rerun of on television?    CSI, sometime this week.  One of the Las Vegas CSI episodes.  
Carly:  The land has been referred to, by more than one person, as a community or a neighborhood. What would you call the metaphorical name of the street you reside on here in the land and who are your closest neighbors?   Mom's Court, but I can't name any neighbors as their names have been changed to protect the innocent.

Braxton:  If you had to write an essay that pertained to 'human life', what opinion or topic about mankind would you choose to write about? (exp. relationships, struggles, accomplishments, etc) And briefly explain why you chose said topic...         Hmm.  A bit too deep for me at the moment, give me a minute. I guess I'd write about how people get caught up in the day-to-day stuff and forget to stop and enjoy what's going on around them.  Look around.  It's not so bad here, is it?

Friday, February 18, 2005

Trust me, it works...

I never thought I'd be pimping diaper rash ointment, and toothbrushes, but....  You know you're a Mom when this kind of thing gets you all wound up and you have to get the information out there to the Parent-network.

Audrey has had um, diarrhea all week.  It was a parting gift from whatever bug made her hurl last week.  And her little bum's been quite red, of course.  She cries everytime she goes, and one night I found myself bathing her very late (10 ish) when she...omg, how does anything that vile come out of a little cutie like her??  Poor thing.

I'd been doing the usual stuff, afterall I know what to do about a diaper rash even if I can't get my computer to upgrade correctly.  The usual remedies weren't helping her, so I decided to try -and yes, it's really called this-- Boudreaux's Butt Paste.  Skeptical?  Go to if you don't believe me.  It's made in Louisiana, the tube says, and I don't care if it's made on the moon by tiny Martians in purple hats because it worked.  Her little bottom is much better, although her tummy is not.  Oh, boy! Just for fun, let's call the pediatrician on a Friday morning and try to wrangle an appt! 

I have also become enamored of a toothbrush called Firefly.  There are two reasons I love...a toothbrush.  It's cheap (99 cents, can you believe that?) and it lights up, blinking for a minute and shutting off on its own.  The bottom is rubbery, you bend it just so, and the light starts flashing, hopefully encouraging the little trench mouths to brush until it stops.  It works great too!!  Ryan can't wait to brush, but more importantly, Ben can't wait to brush either.  I'm all for anything that encourages their dental hygiene, lol.

I found both of them at Target.  I am amazed, but not surprised, at the stuff I find there.

Perhaps I could lasso a computer geek looking for office supplies and drag 'em home for this pesky upgrading business.

Oh, wait, aren't they all at OfficeMax?  I'd go there, but all those office supplies....I'd never leave.  Pens and pristine pads of paper?  Some women love shoe shopping, but forget that, just get me some Post-its and colored Sharpies.  

I'll keep them on a high shelf, of course. 

Even Mommy need some markers.


Thursday, February 17, 2005

Five minutes

Whew.  I'm beat.

I asked Mr W earlier this evening "Should I be this tired?"  I'm feeling wimpy.  It's not like I don't chase around after the Fab Four all the time, either, and I am surprised that after the last two days, I'm ready to throw in the towel.

For crying out loud, 3 of them have been in school for most of the time anyway, and Mr  W politely shuffles along from room to room not being too demanding.  The cats haven't peed on anything (ugh, today) and Shadow's been on her best behavior.  Why am I complaining that I'm feeling a bit worn out?  W I M P Y.

Ok, I hate to admit this, but I will.  Ladies, take note.

That five minutes of assistance that Mr W gives me each day?  The five minutes that I bitch at him from time to time isn't enough, that he could in fact help out more, that I want to be him so I can live my life by simply showing up?

Yeah, those five minutes?  Weeeelll, they are apparently pretty significant, because he hasn't been able to give them to me the last couple of days, and I am spinning my wheels to fill in the blanks.  I am feeling wimpy about it, because I pride myself on being well-organized (a survival instinct with these troops) and clear- headed.  I don't like to get fazed by something as simple as Audrey babbling at me before 8 o'clock.

This morning, I was getting Ryan ready for school.  I asked them both what they wanted to drink, milk or juice.  Ok.  Ryan says 'milk', she says 'yooce' and what do I do?  I pour them both milk, watching myself do it, realizing something's off, because she's babbling at me and it broke my concentration.  WTF?  Usually,I can drive, retrieve a shoe off the floor behind my seat, and change CD's without missing a beat, ("Weaving?  No, officer, I haven't been drinking..") but now I can't remember two different items?  OY, someone get me a chair, I need to sit down. 

So, girls, if you are lucky enough to have a man around that will help you out with the diapers, help them out with the homework, and give you five minutes peace by guarding whatever door you are hiding behind to keep the kids at bay, be thankful.  Should he agree to do the laundry (look the other way when he doesn't fold it) and occasionally cook dinner (!)(or at least spring for takeout), then you need to be very, very thankful.  A man like that needs some special, loving attention. 

Why are you still here reading this?  Is he just not home yet?  Shoo!  Go give him five minutes.  Or fifteen.  Or an hour.

I need to go check on my patient.  Bless his little pain-medicated heart.






Wednesday, February 16, 2005

She's galloping along

The My Little Pony invasion continues.  It started innocently enough one day when I was shopping and needed a diversion for the little miss.  Since she was showing interest in girly things, like brushes and makeup, I thought the easy-to-hold My Little Pony was a good option.  Little did I know what I was really getting myself into.

They are just so damn cute.  How can anyone resist?  Sweet sherbety pastel colors, big doe eyes, little design on the hindquarters, and the oh-so-groomable hair make them just about kill you with cuteness.  And she loves them. I'd have to say that next to PlayDoh, painting, and her various marker experiments, the MLP is her new favorite along with Hello Kitty.  Ok, so HK is really my favorite, but I share.  Everyone knows that one of the best things about having kids is getting to play with their toys too, without having to explain to the salespeople in ToysRUs why a grownup has been standing in the Barbie aisle for three hours chatting up the little girls about which one is best.

Right now, the girl toy in the Happy Meal at McDonald's is MLP.  It's a scaled down version of the ones we usually get, the perfect size for her.  They are giving out a variety of them too, not just the same ones over and over.  I've even scored two different ones on the same visit, by making the 'mistake' of asking for an extra girl toy instead of the boy one for Nolan.  He doesn't care about the toy anymore---much.

Tonight, we are on our way home from aikido, and I cruised the drive-thru for them.  As we are driving along, I hear:

"Oh, little mamas, you got a new one!  It's orange!"  "My poh-neee!  Open it, open it!"

Ben opens it and hands it over.  A few minutes later, I hear him say to her, "Want me to brush it?" 

I stifle a laugh, as does Nolan.  "What?  Her hair is a mess,"  Ben says, without missing a beat.  "You like them,"  Nolan teases.  "I've seen all of you 'helping' Audrey with them," I counter Nolan.  I give him the look out of the corner of my eye so he'll knock it off.  Miraculously, it does.  He knows not to mess with me at this time of night.  Good boy.

About a week ago, Ryan came up to me.  "Mommy, I have to tell you something, but don't tell the boys."  "Ok." "I like those little ponies.  NOT the big ones, the little ones like the one Audrey got at McDonald's. Don't tell them, ok?"  "Do you want me to get one for you next time?"  "Maybe.  But say it's Audrey's.  No, nevermind.  I'm just kidding, I don't want one for me."  Bless his little heart, I can see he does want one.  I snuck one in extra the next time around, and he took me aside to tell me not to do that again, but publicly made a show of 'giving' it to Audrey.  Even a six year old needs to save face now and then. 

I love it when they let their boy guard down long enough to have fun with having a little sister around.  Of course, they are sure to tell me that they are playing with her with her own toys under the guise of helping me out. 

They'd never admit that they're doing it because they might like her things, or because she's got them under her spell.

But I know better.



Bees, knees, please--

Actually, I think he fell asleep watching it.  I'm staying up, because in spite of all my threats, I'm really a good girl, and it's almost time for his medicine.  Anyone that has had surgery will understand--you can't let the pain get too big, gotta stay ahead of it, or you are in trouble.  So I'm waiting patiently for the time to arrive.

He's doing fine.  The doctor sewed the meniscus back together, because he could, and it's better than it getting removed.  But as a result, Mr W will be in a brace for a while, absolutely no bending of the knee allowed.  He can bear weight on it though, is doing fine with the crutches.  He's just loopy and groggy from the effects of the anesthetic and the meds.  Fun, fun, fun.  I actually am keeping an eye on him too, b/c neither one of us could remember which pain med made him hallucinate last time round, and we took our chances today that we picked the right one.  I was surprised the doctor gave us a choice, maybe I should've brought a list, sure, now I think of it... 


Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Splish, splash

When did bathtime go from being an event to being a (dare I admit it) chore?

I remember when Nolan was a baby, and bathtime was this fun occasion, with bubbles, and toys, and lots of time.  Singing, squirting, and waiting until the water got cold to get him out.

I carried on that special time with Ben.  We all had fun. 

Enter Ryan.  Hmm, how do I pull this off, I thought.  It was simple...rubadubdub, three in the tub.  Sure, it was starting to be more of an assembly line, and there were less toys, but we still played and had fun with soaps that we could paint bodies and the tub with.  Afterwards, I'd give Ryan his little baby massage, which he loooved, and rub the bigger boys feet with peppermint foot lotion from The Body Shop--you know, the one that they recommend you keep in the fridge so it's even more aaahhh?  It was still a good time, although it took longer.  Just seeing those little clean faces and smelling that awesome post-bath baby smell was reward enough.

And then there were four.  Four don't fit in the tub, so the big guy was convinced to try the shower instead. Or I wound up doing it in shifts.  First the big two, then the little two.  Sometimes we'd mix it up, for variety.  Ryan had eczema, so I couldn't leave him in long anymore, and bubbles couldn't always be used, so I started buying those tablets that change the color of the water (but leave all other things unaffected).  But there were no more toys (no room) and the water was still warm when I got them out. 

Now, it's ALL assembly line.  I color the water on occasion, but it's pretty much "move 'em in, clean 'em up, move 'em out" then get 'em dressed.  And this works, too, unless Nolan decides to take a 25 minute-I'm-the-only-person-in-need-of-hot-water shower.  Believe me, I thank God for indoor plumbing everyday, because if I had to resort to the pioneer boiling of water on the stove for a bath way, the only time they'd bathe is when it rains.

I'm embarassed to admit it, but only Audrey gets lotion anymore, which is ok, because the boys, well, aren't into it.  Yeah, yeah, they're boys.  While they like the shower poufs, they just aren't gonna let me grease them up anymore.  I do my part for the smelling good, however, with their shampoo:

Hi, my name is Anna, and I have a problem.

I love shampoo.  My kids have too many bottles of it.  We could probably wash the heads of Ryan's kindergarten class for a week, and still have some left over.  I also love the purple Johnson's baby wash.  I have extra bottles of that stashed too.

I am a toiletry addict.  I admit that I have a problem, and isn't that the first step to recovery? 

I consider it doing my part to instill the joy of smelling nice in those boys, because on some days, they definately smell less than sweet.  Don't get me started on how bad their room can get after a hot summer day, extra kids over, with their door closed. 

There's a reason that I'm looking into getting that hazmat suit.


Just call me Huggy Bear

Love, Angel, Music, Baby....

"If I was a rich girl, na na na na na na naaa.."

Where's my red lipstick?? Gotta channel Gwen whilst I lipsynch along...

I got this cd yesterday from Mr W, so I've kinda softened my stance on his pain meds, lol.  Who needs a sappy card when you can shake your moneymaker to this??  We got to go out to dinner last night.  ALONE. And I brought down the house when I asked him, "isn't this the part of the evening when you grab my hand, gaze lovingly into my eyes, and tell me how you can't live without me because I am the center of your universe?"  I think he dropped his fork, he was laughing so hard.  Of course I pushed it and asked him if he remembers anything about our 'early' years together.  And of course, he doesn't, but that's ok because I do.  I teased him that the only thing he remembers about that time is what was going on in the backseat of his car, lol.  Ahem.  Anyway--

How'd we manage to get out alone yesterday and to to dinner?  Because we didn't plan it!!  My brother was in town, and I had not seen my baby niece since Christmas, so we went over to my Mom's to see them all.  On my way over, he called me and told us they'd watch the kids if we wanted to go out.  Holy cow! Mr W slowed the car down barely enough to shove all the kids and their gear off before spiriting me away...just kidding.  We went in for a few minutes and hung out before deserting the ship.  

We went someplace new, and the food was good, and we didn't have to wait--see, no planning pays off sometimes. Of course, the next time this kind of thing happens will be ????? 


I'm on to journal pimping next.

Check out Chantal's new journal at:

I'm green with envy, I love the layout so much.  But I'm also a tightwad, lol, so for now I'll stick to my freebie.  Chantal is my parallel-life Mom, with 3 girls and a boy.  She knows where I'm coming from, because she lives it too~~except in Canada, lol.

She has an older j as well, at:

Check her out!

Hmm.  Perhaps I'll stop buying so much lippy, and go typepad too. 

OY!  I must not be feeling well, did I just say I'd give up my LIPPY??? 

:)  Seriously, check it out, it's that good.


Laugh it up, fuzzball

Mood: sleeeepy--but the chances of a nap are slim

Mr W has been having waay too much fun these last couple of days giving me crap about my hair.  It seems I'm an endless source of amusement for him.

Let's see...he referred to me as "Butch" Sunday when I got home from work. 

He looked over at me and started to laugh for no reason at my Mom's. 

I curse at him, and he says "Oh, I see the sailor mouth was included.  What port will you be in next?"

I remind him that unless he wants his port to be closed indefinately, he better knock it off.

But he's undeterred.  Apparently on the scale of 'threatening presence', I am at the level of a barking chihuahua, so he shows no fear. 

He should.  His knee surgery is scheduled for today.

Sailor mouth here will be in charge of his pain medicine.

Who's gonna laugh then???


(p.s.  I'm ok with the shortness now.  I forgot how liberating it is to be done with it in two minutes.)

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Is there a draft in here?

Mood:  happy, surprised, horrified (Oh, I'll live.)

Cue the horror movie music...imagine a darkened room...hit the spotlight...

It hasn't happened to me for a while.  I went in for the usual deal, and well, let's just say I won't be teasing my friend anytime soon about the many uses he has for the disposable razor...not when it looks like someone took one to the nape of my neck.  Ouch. 

I have hair trauma.  My hair has always been short.  I like it short.  But recently, my hairdresser (such an old-fashioned word) and I have been doing something a bit different with it.  I liked it too, but it kept growing out in a way that would get on my nerves, and I'd have to go back sooner than usual to see her.  Between my schedule and hers, this was no small feat.  Today, when I went in, I mentioned to her about how I liked it overall save for this one area that grew too fast.  And how I felt too coiffed, too "Mom-hair"ish. 

It's one of those instances when I should've known better.  She's been doing my hair forever.  I know when she's tired, cranky, and that I should not try to be the last appt on a very busy day.

She says to me, "Well, we can go shorter, but do the same stuff to it."  "Okay," I chirp, because like I said, I'm no stranger to short hair.  Snip, snip, snip.  I started to worry, but I trust her.

Oh man.  It's pretty short.  My oldest son has hair that is longer than mine (in the back.) 

I called Mr W on the way home.  I knew what he was gonna say, but I needed to hear it anyway.

I squeak out: "Hey.  It's reeaaal short."

He replies, as always: "It's your hair."

It's a blessing and a curse to have him be so nonjudgemental about these things.  I'm glad that I'm not held captive to any 'my woman must have long hair' caveman ideal, but at the same time, it would be nice to know if he had a preference.  But that's just him; he loves me for me, and let's me do whatever I want  (although I'm sure he'd have some comment to make should I show up platinum blonde with a new tattoo.)  Having witnessed the other end of the spectrum in a man that told me at a soccer party: "I don't bitch about how much she spends on her hair, she's just not allowed to cut it," how could I not be glad that he's so cool? (As for the husband of Lady Godiva, who knew Neanderthals still roamed the earth?) 


This is gonna take some adjustment.  I'll bet in two weeks, I'll love it.

Right now, however, it's a leeetle chilly.


There's just no escape from the bodily fluids

Well, it wasn't quite the greeting I expected when I got home from work today, but I'm not surprised.  I walked in to hearing Mr W's exasperated voice talking to Ryan in the bathroom...and Ryan was puking, of course, Mr W's favorite child malady.  (He's a sympathetic puker, so puke duty usually falls to me--I wonder sometimes how a man that can cart drunks around in his car to the station can manage to not toss his cookies when they do but can barely make it through the cleanup when one of the kids does it.)

I take over, and clean up the little guy, eyeing Mr W, who looks a little green in the gills.  Hey, I don't need the two of them to go at the same time so I make him sit down.  It's time for his nap anyway, lol.  He says he's mentioned to Nolan that he's gonna talk to him later about being up all night.  Yessiree, the boy was our resident insomniac again, inconveniencing the grown ups in the house.  No way both of us can concentrate on the task at hand when you never know if he's just gonna come running in.  It was a weird kind of showdown, what with us closing his door and him opening it. "I need to use the bathroom."  "I heard a noise."  "I need a drink."  I need a drink after all that.  Finally, we just gave up.  He won the round.

I am wondering what's up with him.  Hmm.  I decide we need to have a little talk.  Really, that's all I intended, to kind of ask him what was bothering him, or if he needed to get something off his chest.  Honestly.  I was thinking that maybe something might be causing him to be afraid to fall asleep.  Ding!  The light bulb goes on in my head.  Maybe he's noticing that he's having um, night time wood, and it's bothering him because he doesn't understand why.  The little talk I intended to have with him about insomnia and our privacy suddenly becomes THE TALK and I wasn't really expecting it.

I didn't go into extreme detail--no flowcharts or diagrams this time, lol.  I painted the picture with broad strokes so we (hey, his Dad is so not off the hook here) can fill it in some more later.  Simple, but informational and reassuring.  I guess the point I was really trying to hammer home was that he could come to me or his Dad at any time with any question and that we would always tell him the truth, even if it required a minute or two of collecting ourselves first.  I told him that he'd probably be hearing all kinds of information from his buddies at some point in the future, and that it may not always be accurate, but that the information we would give him would always be, so he should always, always, feel he could come to us.  I managed to get it all out without major interruptions, without embarassing him, and without blushing.

He looked relieved when we were done talking.  He was probably relieved that I stopped talking.

"But Mom," he says, as I brace myself for his question, "I had trouble sleeping last night because my room was too hot."

OOHH.  Guess I jumped the gun a bit, huh?  Oops.

 And now that I'm done with the 'serious parenting' part of my day, I can move on to the:

Saturday Six - Episode 44 Picture from Hometown


1. What one song or melody can make you smile even when you're having a rotten day?

I have to admit that I'm a closet Madonna fan, but her song "Holiday" always means that I smile and crank it up.

2. What are your plans for the day?  How much of it do you think you'll actually accomplish?

Work.  Come home and put out any fires.  Haircut.  Laundry.  Some housecleaning.  Let's see, I have been to work and back; you've just read about the fires I put out; my haircut is in an hour; and I've started the laundry but not the housecleaning.  Not bad for a Saturday, considering. 

3. What television show do you most enjoy watching when you're all alone and can devote your complete attention to it?

Hmm, the fact I can't just name one makes me thinkI watch too much t.v. but here goes:  Desperate Housewives (when we are home and I remember it's on); all the CSI's (even the reruns in syndication); House (love it); and Six Feet Under/Sopranos (when they are actually on--sheesh how much longer do I have to wait?) 

4. What was the last thing you remember arguing with someone about?

Oh, wow.  Mr W doesn't argue much (so aggravating) so I wind up ranting to him, and it's usually about housework (aka the "laundry doesn't fold itself so stop watching JAG and help me out, you idiot" rant.  I don't do it often.  What can I say?  I'm agreeable most of the time.) 
Bud:  Inspired by this article on cell phone technology, he asks, "What is your most aggravating public experience with a cell-phone user?"

I think the people that use cell phones when they are at a checkout in a store are the worst.  So rude to the poor cashier trying to interact with them and to the people waiting their turn in line. Hey.  You're not that important--get outta my way before the toddler chucks a milk carton at you.

Stacy:  Did you watch the Super Bowl and if you did, do you like the commercials, the half-time show OR the ceremony following the game the best?

Let's see, Paul McCartney, or a monkey kissing the butt of his boss?  I'll take Paul McCartney this time.  The commercials were a bit of a letdown this year (with a couple of exceptions) and overall, I think it was a "play it safe" kind of deal.  Blah.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

The best laid plans

Okay, this'll be quick.  People are trying to sleep...

I mentioned earlier today about milestones.  Well, I've had another going on recently with Ryan in that he's now gone for most of the day at school too, and I have more time on my hands with Audrey (and myself.)  It's been an adjustment, but I've done ok so far.  (muffled sob--no, really, I'm fine...give me another week, and I'll try to ship her off too.)

Today, for example I got to meet a friend for breakfast, which was fun.  I'm glad it worked out.

Then I went to run some errands, one of which was to get a new air filter and the other which involved getting valentines for the kids for school.  Luckily, I was able to find valentines they would approve of and that I wasn't stuck with some horrific Barbie-only choice (not good for boys, lol.)  So far, so good.

I went for the air filter, and took it upon myself to go for it and get weed killer too, in hopes of surprising Mr W with my yard-ittude.  And here is where things took a small twist south.

Vacuumed off the filter cover--check.  Vacuumed unside the vent--check.  Put up new filter to place inside vent--no go.  Somehow, I managed to get the wrong size.  How I accomplished that, I hadn't a clue.  Cool as Lowe's is, when I called, they said I could return it, and the guy in customer service didn't laugh at my expense at all. At least not to my face.  When I went to get the right one, I discovered my mistake was in thinking that the same size filter lay below the shelf above it (where the right size was, but a different type) when in fact it did not.  Oops.

As soon as I rectify that situation, I get set to step out into the yard and do the weed-killing deed when it starts to rain.  It's supposed to rain until Saturday, and I have since spilled the beans to Mr W, so so much for that little surprise.

I wound up bringing two of the boys friends home with us after school, which was no problem.  All of them are hanging around, having fun, while I'm working on my earlier entry.  Audrey comes up to me,"My stomach hurts."  Hmm.  I check her out, and she seems ok, so I tell her to sit still for a minute to see if she feels better...

She comes up to me a few minutes later, and climbs up on the computer desk next to me, and it's like watching a movie--she just hurls, and I'm comforting her but trying to get the boys to run grab me a towel ("Huh?" "Hurling, towel, now, run!" "Oh!") before things really get ugly.  Get her cleaned up, and calmed down, start a load to wash up the mess.  Poor thing, it's really her first hurl attack.

She's got a bit of diarrhea, to top it off.  Had a good nap, drank a bit, socialized with the big sympathy getting 'I feel yucky' face to all. 

Mr W hears it before I do.  "Audrey, are you gonna throw up?" he asks.  She nods, just barely, and I scoop her up and rush her into the bathroom just in time.  Oh, man, a 2 yr old heaving has to be the most pathetic sight ever.  She's been ok since, knocked out...of course I didn't let her drink anything else either (which she wasn't happy about.)

Where was I? 

Yard?  What yard?

Let's see:  weed killing vs. vomiting little one...I think the little one wins this time.

Either way, I'm covered in something stinky, so it really doesn't matter, does it?


You can take the girl out of the small town,

but you can't take the small town out of the girl.

Audrey and I have reached a milestone.  She officially has stopped nursing.  Yeah, a little old to do it, but she's the last one, so I cut her a little slack.  She's not done it for a few weeks now.  It's a double edged sword, however, because now our bedtime routine has changed. I wind up going to bed when she does, fully intent on getting up and using 'my time' like always, but I wind up knocking out too.  While the extra zzz's are nice, I have things to do and silence to enjoy once all the kids are down. 'My time' is important to me, and I've missed it. Yet, on the other hand, Audrey quitting me means:

WHOOHOO!  Mommy got to go shopping for some ahem, undergarments that weren't the usual boring maternity/nursing attire.  What, these things don't just come in serviceable white or beige?

One of my friends had told me how much she liked a particular bra at Victoria's Secret, so last week I had to check it out.  Usually, I walk right by that place, averting my eyes, lol, because it can be particularly depressing to look in there knowing you have the Playtex 3000 nursing model strapped to your chest.  But this time, I walked right in, cruised around, took it all in, and .....walked out empty-handed. 

What is it about that place that turns me into a ten year old?  It was really kinda intimidating; I was instantly regressed to the preadolescent memory of "oh, I don't look like that" in the presence of undergarments that are designed for only those fabulous chicks in their commercials.  I kept expecting Tyra Banks or Gisele to come out and point a finger (a la "Invasion of the Body Snatchers") ordering me to be cast out.  Yup, I got out of there in a hurry.  They certainly didn't carry things like that in the 'company store' growing up back home (they did carry endless rows of granny-panties --like bloomers in their coverage--and ugly bras that I still shudder to think about.  When I mentally compare it to the selection at Target, where I think even thongs are marketed to grandmas, I suffer pangs of horror.  Call it post-traumatic Nana-panties syndrome.)

Anyway, I decided I'd fare better with -pardon the pun- some support. 

Jane to the rescue!  Last Friday, when we went out shopping, she needed to go there.  This time, I did more than browse, I actually tried one on.  O M G.  What an improvement!  She could hear me giggling in the dressing room, so I put my shirt on and opened the door:  "Check this out!  Nice rack--holy cow, that's what they're supposed to look like?!"  Of course, a fitting saleslady was on us in seconds...and when she asked to help out, I actually let her in the dressing room with me...(which I never do) and chuckled at her suggestion that perhaps I needed to try the one with ahem, more of a barrier (lining.)  What is she, nuts?  I don't need anymore padding, highbeams or no highbeams showing, lol. (Gotta give Mr W a thrill whenever I can, right?)  In the heat of the moment, I decided to get a couple, even though they were a bit snug.  The next size is only available online, I was told.  I was so enamored that I took them home...and wound up returning one...and discovering VS online afterall.  Heehee.  Great, now I can feel inadequate in the comfort of my own home, without the benefit of bad lighting and 'helpful' salesgirls. (I'm kidding, really.)  Oh, the selection.  Definately more than the serviceable white and beige...

My package arrived yesterday (Oh, yeah!!) along with a catalog that I'll have to hide from the impressionable males in my house, and that includes Mr W.

Though now I think I may have swayed him into seeing the benefits of my time spent online.


Monday, February 7, 2005

It's a jungle out there

mood: tired, but still feisty

and it's a jungle in here, too.

I got home from work, no Mr W in sight.  "Where's Daddy?" I ask Audrey when she nearly knocks me over, saying hello.  "In his room," she replies.

Down the hall I go, wondering why the dog's crate is in the front room.  Oh, great, I think, Shadow blew chunks or something unpleasant, and he's dealing with that.  I assume a defensive pose (ready to run/duck) as I poke my head into the room and ask him "Whatcha doin?"  He's sitting on the floor of our bedroom, with the steam cleaner in pieces around him.

"Look in the bathroom," he says.  I look, see nothing too unusual...Audrey's Spongebob flipflops, the steam cleaner solution..."What?"  "Look at the bottoms of her flipflops."  I flip them over, and lo and behold, they are magenta.  Oy.  He continues: "Look at the front of her little ballerina outfit, her hands, her legs..."  I see the residue of magenta all over the place.  "What happened?"  "She colored the bottoms of her flipflops and walked all over the house.  I wiped down the toilet seat lid, but I think it may be stained.  I'm working on this carpet next."

"Please tell me that you didn't blow a gasket when you saw all this."

"No, I didn't yell at her."  "Good, because it's not like her brothers haven't done this too.  Remember the time Nolan and Ben made a map line from the living room down the hallway with black crayon so they could 'find their way' to their room?  That came out, I'm sure this will too."  Audrey is hugging my leg, shaking a bit, because she knows we're talking about her, and she did something wrong.  I take her to change her clothes, so I can try and remove the marker from the ballerina outfit.  Mr W gets the steam cleaner rollers working so he reassembles it and starts cleaning the rug.

It doesn't take long for something like that to happen.  Luckily, most of the time, you can take it in stride as one of those surprises you get from a two year old (or kids in general.)  I try really hard not to get worked up about these events, because it's not worth it in the grand scheme of things.  "It's washable" comes out of my mouth more often than a screech about how "it's ruined."  Let's just say there are no Persian carpets, Ming vases, or white couches in my house.

The jungle out there would be my backyard.  Yesterday, I went to put the dog out, and I swear I heard something say "FEED me."  Seriously, there are weeds out there that are as tall as Audrey.  Shadow stalks around like she's on the savannah hunting zebras.  "F**k,"  I mutter under my breath, but loud enough for Mr W to hear.  Biting my tongue to keep from really letting loose, I manage to clench out that I'd probably better call the service I used last time to come and take care of the yard before someone hides a body back there.

Mr W was not amused.  But hey, I've not nagged him at all, and I've watched it get worse, knowing full well I'd need to call for reinforcements. 

Surprisingly, after he finished the rug, he went outside to work on the yard.  He had said something that annoyed me but was bugging him, so I went after him to sort it out.  He asked me if I'd come outside to help him.

Damn it!  Trapped.  He asked nicely, so how could I refuse --can we say 'sucker?' I grabbed a shovel and started talking to him about his little comment that set me off.  It wasn't that big a deal afterall, ahem, just a little discussion about what it is that I do, exactly, with all this computer time...  Guess I'm back to incognito, everyone-but-Audrey at home online time (lol, just kidding.)

I kicked some serious ass in the yard, too.  Even though I really hate it.  I can't fault Mr W too much for not tending to it, we both are landscape-challenged.  Of course, I just realized this recently.  I couldn't have realized it when we were building the house, and had to have a big backyard.  I was envisioning swing sets, children playing, a dog or two, barbecue space, and maybe someday, a pool. 

Instead I got a fertile yard and man, so while I've definately got the 'children playing' part down, and a dog, the rest of the picture is still being penciled in amidst three foot tall weeds, stray trees, and the broken sprinkler heads.

Yard improvements can get expensive, and something else more urgent always comes up-- things like car repair, sick animals, new babies, or someone needing a vital organ replaced, lol.  I've got that 'new babies' thing under control now, so I've decided that we'll tackle this yard business next, one step at a time.  I'll try not to hiss at Mr W when he can't get out there, and try to help him out when he does.  

But I'd like my own machete first. 

Saturday, February 5, 2005

Sat night Six

Saturday Six - Episode 43  

1. What is your favorite restaurant to visit for breakfast and what do you order?
Hmm.  I haven't been out to breakfast in a very long time.  So sad!  I do know I'm partial to scrambled egg, potato, and cheese burritos from Carolinas.  Unfortunately, I rarely make it there in time!

2. Do you have any unique ability like those who appear on David Letterman's "Stupid Human Tricks?"  If so, how did you learn you had this talent?

Publicly, no, I'm boring, and quite graceless-- no tying of cherry stems into knots with my tongue here.  Privately,, I'm boring, and quite graceless--  ;) 

3. There are plenty of sites on the internet for pen pals; some of them are specifically designed for communicating with people in prison.  Have you ever or would you begin corresponding with a stranger who was in prison?

No.  The only exception here would be Martha.
4. Name two questions you have always wanted to ask a pair of identical twins.

Besides the obvious sicko ones?  
5. If you looked back at your high school yearbook photos, what is more embarrassing?  Your hair, your clothes, your glasses, or your complexion?

Mr W weighs in on this question.  He says "clothes, I could never be embarassed about hair" (he shaves his head b/c he's balding.) LOL! As for me, everything about my high school pictures is embarassing, esp clothes and glasses.  My glasses were soo big, I'm sure they could've been used to signal passing aircraft in an emergency.  Come on, who really likes their high school pictures?

6. If you had to change the color of one of the following, which would you change and why:  the walls in your living room, your car, or your eyes.

I've changed the living room walls a couple of times my car color...  If you'd asked  me this before I had kids, eyes.  So brown (blah.)  They have little flecks of yellow and green, but no one sees that due to the glasses.  I used to wish they were blue, or green.  Now, though, I've learned how beautiful brown can be by looking at Nolan's (dark) and Ryan's (like chocolate) eyes, so I've come to like mine a whole lot more.  (A different roll of the genetic dice gave Ben bl/gr/gray like Mr W's, and Audrey's are hazel.) Think I'll keep everything the same color for now!!

Friday, February 4, 2005

Double booked

I think I'm gonna have to resort to that old standby, writing things down.

I managed to double book myself today.  I was so caught up talking with Mr W at his desk yesterday (he hates being stuck at the station, and I dropped by with a couple new CDs and some of his favorite snacks...finally got to see his cube...) that we when we agreed to go out to lunch today, I forgot I already had plans with my friend Jane.  

Even worse, I totally forgot, and it was Mr W that reminded me as we were emailing back and forth this morning.  Ooops.

So we decided to do it early, so I can do both.  Whoohoo!  Lunch and the mall, somebody pinch me.  If Audrey knocks out (highly likely today) during either event, I'm kissing someone.

I hope it's Mr W.


Thursday, February 3, 2005

Here we go again

As I put the kids to bed earlier, I started to really think about what was making me so nuts.  I know one of the reasons, but the other was eluding me, until I let my mind really wander and hit it.

It's Mr W. 

He has to have surgery on his knee again for an old injury (long story) that he acquired at work.   Before I go on, bear in mind that this old set of injuries required four (?) different surgeries already, along with recovery/phys therapy/the works.  It was a long haul to get back to work to being with, not to mention back out on the street.  And although the next hurdle he's facing is supposedly not a big deal, it is. 

It's another six weeks or so of light duty, which he hates.  So he'll be extra special to be around, lol.  It's another few days of him being loopy on meds.   It's another couple of months of me holding my breath hoping that this'll be it.  Silly, I know that it's probably not, but I hope nonetheless that he'll be ok, feel as himself as possible.  No one tells you when they say 'hey, we can fix this' that what you get is an approximation of what you started with, as close as they can get, sure, but not the same. 

I have remained positive and supportive for him throughout all of this.  Hey, that's my job, right?  I don't want him to see me sweat, I want him to concentrate on healing.  I think I'm pretty good at it, too.  I'm so supportive, in fact, that I let him do what he got hurt doing to begin with a second time without batting an eyelash.  Encouraging him to go for it, breathing a sigh of relief every night when he got in.  (I get really annoyed when Mr W comes home with a story, like: "So-and-so said he wants to do narcotics/motors/whatever but he won't do it because his wife won't let him."  WTF??  Man, I don't get that, for a lot of reasons.  They're big boys, their job's dangerous no matter what their current 'specialty' is, let them do what makes them happiest, because happy is a good frame of mind to be in when you carry a gun to work.  But maybe that's just me.)


Today, I got a call from the dr's office telling us when they've got him scheduled for his procedure.  While his ortho is total eye candy, I am not looking forward to this at all. 

I'm sweating.  I'll admit it to myself, if not to him.  Luckily, I have friends that'll hold my hand when I need it, and won't think I'm not uber-wife when I let them really know what's going on in my head.

Whew.  Who can't use a few of those?





Only in my house

Only in my house--

can a purple tutu bring so much joy and body hair so much distress.

The reign of the princess continues, when today her mother caved and bought her her "dancy ballerina" ensemble.  It's lilac, sleeveless with velvet trim at the neck and armholes.  There's an applique of toe shoes on the chest, and the tulle has sparkles with ribbon trim on the tutu part.  I even got her little socks that look like ballerina shoes.  They don't match, but she doesn't care.  She twirls around in it anyway, arms outstretched, and then lifts them up over her head like she's posing.  She is quite pleased with the whole deal, and I am anticipating that this is gonna replace the pink Barbie nightgown as her new favorite.  Which, I'm sure you can guess, means I'll have to spring for another one; to have one to wear, one to wash.  I don't know where she gets this from, this fascination with all things 'dancy.'  But I know that there'll be a class on down the road sometime, with mini-ballerinas twirling together.  Given her penchant for dancing around naked, I can only hope that this isn't the first step in an illustrious career on the marquees of "gentlemen's" clubs.  I'm not worried...afterall, her brothers all outgrew this stage, and they'd no sooner dance around naked at this point then sport a big pink bow on their heads to school.

Speaking of brothers, tonight the big guy is feeling the weirdness that comes along with your body marching to its own tune.  "Mommy, look--there's hair on my toes.  Do you think I have some kind of disease that's making me age faster?"  Oh, man.  He has no idea how much fun we're in for.  "Mi vida, that's perfectly normal.  You're a guy.  Guys have more body hair.  And all this is happening for you at the time it's supposed to, don't worry, it's not some disease."  "But I'm bigger."  "Yeah, and aren't some of the other boys in your class getting bigger too?  I can't predict puberty, but I can assure you that you are not the only one at its door."  This is the same child that thinks he has a unibrow and has asked me to wax it.  OY!  First of all, it's not that bad, but to him, it's a full-on unibrow.  Secondly, my sweet is 11.  I'm not about to wax an 11 yr old!!  Thirdly, I am suspecting a female influence here.  One offhanded comment from a girl is, I'm sure, enough to strike fear in the heart of a preadolescent.  I remember when he first started wearing glasses, a little girl in his class told him he looked better without them; he's been after contacts ever since.  Mom-tuition tells me this unibrow idea came from a girl.  He's such a cute boy, so sweet...why can't he see it??  Oh, man, the insecurity of this age on up, holy cow~~I signed up for potty training, and conveniently (?) forgot this is part of the deal too!!  Where's that confident Mom who tells all her friends that "I just want to raise boys that turn into good men." ??  I'll tell you where...mentally, I'm hiding in a semi-cower in the closet; physically, I'm taking a big gulp and trying to look like I've got all the answers.  Hey, it works for now. 

Only in my house--

can my bad mood be assuaged by a walk and a pitcher of tulips.

I've been struggling lately.  My mind is all over the place, sometimes where it shouldn't be.  It's making me really cantankerous, cranky, annoyed at myself.  Earlier today I went to Trader Joes for pizza dough, and came home with that and the most perfect shade of blush/peach/pinky tulips I've ever seen.  I love tulips, so graceful, but I'm not brave enough to attempt to grow my own.  I knew I'd be thinking about them even tomorrow if I didn't bring them home with me, so I bought 'em for myself.  They're really the prettiest color, I wish I could carry them around by my face like some lost little Dutch girl all day.  The kids are fascinated, and keep sitting at the counter in the kitchen to get a closer look.  So far, looking, no touching... 

I remained a bit on the grouchy side, so after we got settled early this evening, I grabbed Shadow's leash and took off.  I cranked up the tunes and in the state I was in, probably would've just kept on walking...but my feet found their way home because it was late and I knew everyone was probably hungry.  Cranky, but not irresponsible, haha.  Selfish enough to keep the tunes on, though, so I wouldn't hear the beginnings of every little fracas!  Besides, that way I could dance around the kitchen stretching the pizza dough and only look like half a loon...except I caught myself singing out loud a couple of times :)   Fortunately, no one said anything about it, and all that stretching must've been therapeutic to some degree, because although my evil hormonal twin still lurks within, I've once again prevailed.  She's been sent away with a back issue of GQ and a chocolate bar.  (No, it's not pms. Really. Can't say.)

And to reward you for putting up with that little rant above:

Only in my house--

can my heart feel like it's gonna burst with pride, twice within the span of 15 minutes.

Today, Ben had a running club race at school.  He was really nervous about it.  We got there before they started, and so I went up to pep talk him.  Ryan and Audrey hugged him.  But when Nolan came up, he and Ben approached each other, too cool to hug.  They give each other the chin-tilt-up and five.  Then Nolan says, "Do I know you?" but smiles and pep talks him too.  YES!  They really do like each other!

Mr W arrives at this point, but Ben's gone back with his group.  We're chatting, our kids running all around us, and Audrey starts fussing.  Nolan steps up to the plate, "Hey, Mom, I got her.  I'll take her to swing."  ??? Wow.  "Ok."  So I'm kinda enjoying chatting with Mr W, but getting a kick out of him at the same time.  He does this thing, where he's talking to me, but not looking at me.  I'm used to it, and he's not ignoring me.  It's a cop thing, to be looking at all the people in the crowd, back, forth, constantly.  There were a lot of people there, so I wasn't surprised, and the fact that I find this amusing is probably one of the reasons we're still married, lol.  One of my friends (also a cop) once said if you get two cops together, and they're talking, they're facing different directions, not looking at each other, but all around.  It's so true, it's comical.

I look over at Nolan, and the princess is sitting in his lap on the swing.  As the swing goes up, she breaks out a smile as bright as the sun.  I'm filled with happiness at this little scene.  I look away for a minute, at Ryan on the next swing, amazed he's actually not asked for a push.  When I look back at Nolan and Audrey, I can't believe it.  They are swinging still, but now Audrey has leaned back onto Nolan and raised her arms overhead (like you see people do on rollercoasters.)  They're both smiling, and I'm convinced I won't be forgetting this moment, even though I don't have a camera in my hand. 

And with that memory, folks, I think my evil hormonal twin is willing to let me have some peace.  For now.

She knows she can't compete with that degree of cuteness.


Wednesday, February 2, 2005

Girly, and I asked for this

First, let me say, I adore my boys.  I actually thought Audrey was another boy, even though I was hoping she was a girl.  I'll admit it. 

At first, I resisted the urge to go all out and paint the house pink.  I was afraid people would give me a hard time about overshopping for her--like I didn't overdo it for the others.  Silly.  I finally gave in, because she is the only girl, I'm not having anymore (really), and this is a one time deal.  No little princess again when she turns into a teenage girly terror.

And I'm so enjoying it!!!  I can admit that too.

She cracked me up today.  This morning, she announced she needed to go to Target.  To get more "Hey-o Kitty lippy," of course.  I am outside, wheeling the cart into Target, and she gets all excited.  "Lippy!  Tights!"  Clap, clap, giggle.  She loves her tights, to death, and we needed to replace a couple of pairs that were beyond help.

She got barrettes too.  More excitingly, however, she saw the undies in the girls section, and we got some too!  Maybe the pull-ups will go soon.  Then again, maybe not, but that's ok.  Hello Kitty again, after she looked at Barbie, Finding Nemo, and the Princesses.  Whatever happened to the days of the week pack, lol?  She's running around the house 'em right now, in her second outfit of the day.  My money's betting we'll be up to four outfits by bedtime. 

Earlier, I also got a laugh out of her.  It's only fair that I get a giggle after she scared the hell out of me and tipped over the stroller with her in it by standing up--I've seen that one coming for a while, but she caught me off guard today.  She's fine, not a scratch on her.  Phew.  We were perusing the makeup counter, I was trying something on, and BANG!  At any rate, she calmed down enough to let the lady put makeup on her.  And ask for a mirror, so she could see it.  (It wasn't anything garish, and it's just for fun, don't worry, folks.)

Mr W should just put bars on her window now, lol.

"Sparkly!"  she told him, when we went by to see him at work a few minutes ago.  I told him she had tarted up at the makeup counter, so of course we had to show him too.

Ever hear a grown man say "Sparkly!" ?? 

Where's my tape recorder??

When she unwraps him from around her finger, he enjoys the girly girl too. ;)




Tuesday, February 1, 2005

Three dirty words

Mood:  happy, but frustrated, like only the mother of a toddler can be-

When I first started being interested in boys, I remember wondering if I'd ever hear those three little words, feverishly whispered into my ear on a warm summer evening, before I reached the spinsterish age of 18.  You know, when 18 seems a lifetime away, and 'I love you' seems like an improbable string of words to be said together in your presence.  Those three little words, an overactive imagination, and too many pilfered romance novels fueled many a daydream back in the day.  Little did I know then that those three little words would pale in comparison to these: 

"I do it."

These are the three little words that fuel my days now.  They instill a sense of dread that can only be compared to the sense of dread brought on when accompanied by "scoot down please" at the doctor's office.

When spoken by a toddler, they are the most accursed words in the English language. 

"I thought you said you'd be here in 10 minutes," my friend said to me.  "I do it,"  I say, gesturing to Audrey.  "Oh."  There is no need for further explanation.  'I do it' suffices because anyone that's ever dealt with the whims of a 2 yr old daily understands what 'I do it' really means.

It means "I'll put on my own shoes," even if you have everyone else ready to go and are running a few minutes late.  Okay, so at least the shoes match (this time), but still...ever watch a toddler put them on the wrong feet first, then struggle with the (easy) Velcro, then insist on taking them off, putting them on the right feet, and struggling with the Velcro again?  It's agonizingWhile you listen to the garage door going up and the car starting? (Start for the medicine cabinet now, you'll be needing something extra strength.)  No amount of 'hurry up, we gotta go' will break their concentration.  I have a friend who used to put the kids shoes on after they were already strapped in their carseats just to avoid this.

It means "I'll brush my own teeth," and the walls, and the floor, and the sink...while making a fresco out of toothpaste on front of the bathroom cabinets.

It means "I'll dress myself today," in shorts when it's cold; in clothes that don't fit (but you haven't put away yet); in colors that don't match; in a bathing suit and patent leather Mary Janes; in my pajamas (when you are heading to the mall); or in tights (in the summertime.) 

It means "I'll comb my own hair," parting it like a bad comb-over; combing it so it sticks straight up;  omg, is that red gel, and will it wash out?  I have comb duels with her every day, and as for the boys...if it's laying flat, why mess with a good thing?

It means "I'll pour my own drink," even if there's no one else around, and then it means "I'll clean my own mess," while exploring the finger painting qualities of white grape juice.

All this independence, surely it is not a bad thing.  On some days, it can even be adorable.

However, on other days, "I do it" can be surpassed by its uglier, teeth-gnashing cousin, "I help you."

On these occasions, I not only need something extra strength, but also something 80 proof.

"Mommy, I yuv you." 

Okay, that works too.