Thursday, March 31, 2005

Slowing down

When you have a new baby, everyone says "nap when the baby naps".  Over time, once you get over the newness of it all, you forget, and attempt to do a ton of things while the little one sleeps. 

Until the little one decides to give up naptime, and makes your life a living hell from 5 to 7 pm.   It's a trade off, a compromise only a toddler understands.  'I won't sleep all day, I'm too busy having fun, mwahahahaha, Mommy.'  Then you hit the witching hour, everyone's home, everyone's hungry, and the sweet little two yr old is suddenly Godzilla to your Mothra.

For me, this has been the norm.  I've experienced it with the three boys so far, I'm a seasoned "let's just get through the next couple of hours" pro.  And then there was a little girl...

A little girl who gave up napping at home the minute Mom stopped providing the naptime snack.  If we are here, she's up.  Yeah, her head might be bobbing up and down, and her eyes are glazed, but she's up.  If we're out and about, however, she can fall asleep in the time it takes for the light to change.   She will blessedly sleep in her stroller for a while too (and is the only kid of mine to ever do that).

But I can't always be out and about at naptime.  There's only so much shopping I can (and should) do. 


Today, I tried an experiment. I told her we were gonna have a nap, and set the alarm so I wouldn't leave the boys stranded at school.

We snuggled up into the bed, pink Hello Kitty blankie close at hand. She noticed my glasses on the bedside table: "You take off your glassie."  Oooh, I could see the wheels turning in her head, Mommy means business.

She flip-flopped around for about 10 minutes, then I felt her kicking her foot like she does right before she knocks out.  As I held her, I remember thinking there are worse things I could be doing than cuddling a baby in the middle of the afternoon.  

And that's all I remembered until the alarm  went off.  No way, I thought.  Has it been an hour already?  I groggily got up to get my shoes, watching to see if she'd stir.  Nope.  Out cold.

She stayed asleep until all the kids were loaded up in the van, ready to come home.

I think I could get used to this.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005


The princess and I were out running errands today when Mr W called and asked if I wanted to meet him for lunch.

We were sitting there, eating, chatting, and trying to keep Audrey from knocking herself out under the table or stage-diving into the next booth.  We were having a pleasant time, considering.

And then my supreme dorkness genes took over.  These are the same genes that leave me embarassed with oh, let's see:  food on my chin, or on my shirt; a laugh or sneeze at an inopportune moment, spewing forth food or drink in a shower of grossness; a lovely zit on the end of my nose that I don't notice until the end of the day; waving madly at someone, thinking they're someone I know, only to realize they are not the person you thought they were, and not only are they not the person, but they are --ewww- approaching you in what appears to be a leisure suit circa 1975.  If I'm walking, and anyone's paying attention to me, you can bet I'll trip on a crack in the sidewalk, real or imagined.

So there I sat, with my beloved, eating in a civilized manner, you know, with utensils and everything, when...

I broke my heavy duty plastic fork in two. 

Oh, for crying out loud.  It's a burrito, not a block of cement.  I start to blush just as Mr W starts laughing.  The only thing that could've made it a real me moment would've been if the broken half went flying and struck Mr W or an unsuspecting diner in the eye.

At least we weren't in a steakhouse.  I cringe just thinking about the damage I could do wielding a knife.

Why am I listening to the washing machine right now, you ask, at this late hour?   I let Audrey, Ben, and Ryan fingerpaint while I made dinner.  I put the paint out, and went about my business.  I kept wondering why I saw paint smudges on the edge of the countertops, but chalked it up to Audrey going in and out.  Well, that might have been what got the paint into the kitchen initially...but I managed to get some on my light pink t-shirt and spread it around myself from counter to counter.  I had no idea it was even there until Mr W came into the kitchen and looked at me with the "uh-oh" face, pointing at my shirt.  "Will that come out?"  "What?"  I look down.  Fabulously true to form, one of my favorite shirts, and what appears to be blue, red, and purple (my own mix) on the bottom of it.  Me and my Kohl's couture.

"It might, if I wash it right now."  (At least that's what the fingerpaint jar says.)

So two hours later...and some oxy power spray n wash voodoo...I finally get it into the wash, and here we are.  Oh!  The washer just stopped...gotta check it...

It worked!  Out, out damned spot.

Course, I'm not wearing my glasses, so the potential is there that I could be singing a different tune tomorrow.  And knowing me, it'll involve cursing under my breath.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Smells like spring spirit

"Honey,"  I breathed into the phone in my best low voice, "I have something that I need you to help me with tonight, after everyone goes to bed."

I felt him sit up on the other end of the phone like an alert hunting dog. "Reaally?" he asked.

"I'm in one of those moods.." <pause for effect> "and I was wondering if you could help me...sneak around the house to throw out some toys."


You know you've been married and fighting to beat a path into the kids' rooms past the toys for a long time when talk like that can get your heart rate up.  Dodging things falling out of closets to save the one unbroken toe you have left after tripping over another Power Ranger ("RY-YAN!!") tends to make you look forward to that big bag heading to Goodwill or the trash can. 

Under cover of darkness, or when they are at school, is the best time for this kind of mission.

Oh, and I'm all over it.  I just need to act before I get soft, and sentimental, about the Godzilla that roars when you push the right button.  Hmm.  I'm gonna try to get to it tonight, but I have a feeling I'm really going for it on Tuesday, when they go back to school.  Heh heh heh.  Out of sight--out of mind--out the door!

I was walking around the house today, making mental lists of what I want to tackle.  One of the tasks came to me in the middle of the night, during a bathroom excursion.  OMG, I thought, as I looked around their bathroom.  Is that...toothpaste?  And what IS that smell?  Are we missing our mark again, boys?  OY.  It's a good thing I was sleepy, and eager to get back to my dream, because I might've cracked out the Scrubbing Bubbles at 3 am, it was that bad.  Guess what I did today?  "MO-OM!  Why is the toilet water blue?  I have to go!"  "No, you don't.  That just needs a few more minutes, and you'll live.  There's always the backyard, buddy."  "I'll wait."

I should've seen this coming.  Earlier this week, I was reading Remo's journal about the spring cleaning taking place in his house. And I was reading Chantal's journal yesterday, and she was talking about her car and the fragrance within.  All this me thinking...

It reminded me of what happened to me earlier this month, when a friend of mine asked me to give his son a ride home one night, and another asked me to bring her daughter home from school the next day.  I transport kids all the time, back and forth from school, etc. so I don't mind at all giving anyone a ride. However, since I have Audrey's carseat behind the driver's seat, I rarely look into the van from the passenger side.  For whatever reason, the day my friend made his request, I looked inside the van from that angle, and felt that vein in my forehead start to pulse.  You know, the 'danger' vein all parents have and all kids know means trouble should they be seeing it throb out the "I'm gonna kick your ass" beat. 

Holy crap!  Jackets.  Happy Meal toys and their wrappers (empty wrappers).  Valentines and valentine candy (and this is March, people, March).  CD players.  Stray headphones.  A few Gameboy games (this is a serious offense).  Bits of ....paper?  What the hell, are they shredding government secrets in the backseat?  And what is THAT, a dried up splatter pattern on the underside of the seat (thank goodness, on a wipeable surface)?  And WHAT is that SMELL?  Did someone sneak a rodent in here that died??  A stray sock.  A sock!! 

I have to admit, I usually leave the unpleasant cleaning the van duty to Mr W.  Hey, if I'm gonna do vomit, then the least he can do is don the HazMat suit for the van.

But I realized that he wasn't in any condition to do it, and should he see what I just saw, well, I might be down a kid or two by the night's end.

You know it's truly a mess when you are embarrassed to let a 12yr old get in your car.  So the next day, I vacuumed, and informed the children that if it was important to them, they had 2 minutes to claim it, or it was getting thrown out.  I never knew they could move so fast.  I had to laugh, though, when Ryan threw up his hands and said, "But Mommy, I can't carry all that.  Can I have a bag?"  "EXACTLY," I told him.  "There is too much crap that shouldn't be in here in here.  You should never have to ask me for a bag!" I took out Audrey's old carseat, and graduated her to Ryan's "big kid" carseat.  I'd bought skinny mulligan a new booster seat earlier that week, and in it went. I wiped off the splatters.  I wiped out the cup holders.  And yet...that smell.  Sweaty little bodies?  Probably.  I grab some air freshener, and spray enough in there that I nearly started to hallucinate.  Oh well. We drove with open windows for a few minutes, and no one passed out, but I did swear that I saw stars until it aired out some.

I knew after that incident, it was a matter of time before I was gonna be itching to get to their rooms.  And I'm itching, itching, itching right now.

But I'll have to suffer until Tuesday.  You know what they say, about scratching an only makes it worse, so I'll wait until I can do the job properly.  And hopefully, they won't notice right away that some things are...missing.

I wonder, would Godzilla make a good addition to my dresser?

I don't have to wonder how long my van will stay clean.  Here it is, two weeks later.  They are still cooperating about getting their things out of it when we get home.  But we go back to school next week, and I know that once that happens, all bets are off.


Tuesday, March 22, 2005

I don't get it

The kids, I just don't get them.  Right when I think I have a handle on them, they come up with something else.

They are now all on antibiotics, because as it turns out, we have/have been battling sinus infections.  Nolan is right on the border of being big enough for the adult dosages; but my dr wanted to make it easy on me and get them all the same thing.  Guess even he realizes I can't keep them straight!  We got chewables, chewable Amoxicillin, no problem, right?

You'd think.

Nolan and Ryan--chew 'em up, move on like pros.  Ben--bitches, chews, gags, vomits it up.  At least he missed my foot.  Whatever.  I don't care if I have to hide it in a chunk of peanut butter, that boy is taking his meds.  Actually, the pharmacist couldn't fill the whole rx, so I have to go back to get the rest tomorrow.  And I'll ask her to please make Ben's chewables a liquid.  <eyeroll> OY!

Nolan cracked me up tonight.  We went to get some food, after aikido.  He looks at the clock and says, "we have to hurry!"  I look at the clock, adding "I'm gonna miss 'House'--you bet we better hurry!"  "No, Mom, the Star Wars Clone Wars is on at 8 too!"  (We are into the animated Star Wars on Cartoon Network, the little episodes are 15 minutes long this time, one each night all week.)  "Oh, don't worry, we'll make it."  I'm looking outside, and turn back to him, and he's curled up in the fetal position with his thumb in his mouth.  When I look at him, he says "I don't think I'll make it, Mom."  I gave him a little smack on the leg, I was laughing so hard.  Where did that come from?  It's a good thing he rolls out some good ones once in a while, it makes the sullen pre-teen act much easier to take.

I have a six yr old that won't give up my room, and a two yr old clamoring for her own bed.   With "Hello Kitty" sheets, of course.  I have created a little HK monster.  Here I thought I was introducing her to something cute that I love too, and she's taken it to the toddler extreme.  The toddler extreme of love, love, loving it to death.  Oh well.  At least it's not bugs or something unpleasant.  (I can deal with the boy stuff, but bugs, they give me the willies.  Not that I don't stomp when I need too, lol.)

Speaking of boy activities...I'm in the bathroom helping Audrey (yay, potty training, can I get an amen?) when Ben and Ryan come bursting in, no knock, no warning.  Talking at the same time, of course, because that's what they do. 

"Mom!  Ryan farted on me!"  "Ben farted on me first!"  Giggle, deep breath, giggle.  "You know what?  I don't care.  No one got hurt <stifle giggle> GET.." "But Mo-om.." "OUT.  GET OUT. GO. Now."  I shoo them away.  Those things don't get to me, not anymore. The little miss just needed her "privacy".  Besides, the bodily function antics are only gonna get worse.  And, according to my friend that I relayed this story to earlier, they will not outgrow it.  Big boys fart on each other too.

And they wonder why we like scented candles, sprays, and potpourri so much?

Hey, it's better than running around lighting matches all the time. 

Safer too.  Hey--I get that!


P.S. "if I were a king, if I had everything, if I had you then I could give you your dreams...if I had it all"  Hmm.  I gave my cousin a list of DMB songs, and voila, he burned them on cds for me.  I'm so digging it (and the Gwen/No Doubt one he made me), I'm gonna have to bake him his favorite cookies (he likes Mexican wedding cookies/also known as Russian tea cakes, or snowballs, or...) in gratitude.  I am very much looking forward to the release of the new DMB cd in May.  I've heard the new song on the radio, and on that AOL:radio thingy.  Love it.  I looked 'em up, and they'll be in concert in August here.  Happy Birthday to me!!  (LOL, better start looking for a sitter now...)  Thanks, Rod-




She's planning ahead

Audrey's birthday is coming up, in about a month.  I have already been informed by said munchkin that she wants a "pink, Hello Kitty birthday", with "pink cupcakes, and pink ice cream with sprinkles."  She has been chanting about "my birthday's com-ming, my-yy  birth-daaay's comm-mming" all weekend.  I haven't been able to figure out if she understands that it's a month away, or if she just thinks it's 'coming'.  She is very, very excited, not only about her big day, but also about something else that's expected next month.

Heehee, we are getting a puppy, and he'll come home right before her birthday.  He's mine, of course, a yellow lab.  I've wanted one for a while, esp after our last old dog died (he was a great dane/lab mix, and a wonderful dog).  I've always had dogs, and I've really missed Samson since his death. I had planned all along for this, and had postponed the notion when we acquired Shadow,'s always been in the back of my mind.  And um, I finally wore down Mr W.  It was one of those things, like in any relationship, where there's give and take; when you just finally throw up your hands and say "Oh, go ahead, do it, quit bugging me", lol.   Usually, he's the one wearing me down, and he has the motorcycle to prove it (and the truck before that, and ....).  I was feeling quite spoiled on our way back to my Mom's after we saw the puppies, and I said so to him: "You know, I'm feeling quite spoiled this year, I mean the iPod, and now a puppy.." when out of the corner of my eye, I see him grin and say "Well, I'm just buttering you up." 

Great.  He wants something.  And I know what it is, too, and it doesn't seat all of us, so I'm gonna keep saying 'no, no, no'.

No, no, no.   No new Goldwing.  No new Mustang.  (Although, I am somewhat relieved that should he have a midlife crisis, these things are mechanical, and not 22 yr old well-endowed blondes.  I mean, at least he's not asking for that out loud, HA!) 

Well.  It appears I have a pink birthday to plan, and I have a puppy name to come up with, and a neck to measure.

About a 17, 17 and a 1/2, I think.  I wonder if the shock collars at PetsMart go that large? ;P 

Just in case he says something he shouldn't...out loud.



Hmm, what's next?

One morning last week, I woke up and it was really cold in the house.  Hmm, I knew it was cold outside, so I was surprised Mr-I'm-freezing-and-it's-70 degrees-outside didn't have the heater turned on.  I sat up in bed and felt cold air coming out of the vent.  As I knew the day would warm up, I just turned off the system and mentioned to Mr W that I thought he'd need to go check it out.  And I forgot about it until that evening, when it got chilly again and I was putting the small fry to bed. 

"Hey, did you go deal with the reset thing on the air conditioner?"  "I'll go right now."

Well, to make a long story short, our air conditioner gave up the ghost that night.  RIP.  We've nursed it through two summers too many as it is, and saw this day coming.

Today, I'm getting the new one installed, and trying to keep the kids (and the dog) out of the way.   I'm not doing too badly so far, and it's not like I wouldn't have stayed home anyway, but I feel so stuck.  And I'm holding my breath, thinking 'what's next?' because in the grand scheme of things, it's never just ONE thing that breaks and needs to be replaced.  Last time this happened, my dishwasher, washing machine, and freezer all went nuts at the same time.  Oh, the joys of home ownership...

At least it happened now, and not in mid-July, when temperatures would be high and the chance of getting an install done quickly would be low.   Ya gotta count your blessings, right?


Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Young at heart

My friend Jenny is the closest thing I have to a sister.  We've been inseparable since we were 8 and she told me she liked the pink fruffy dress (my Easter dress) that I'd begged my Mom to wear to school that day.  Oh, sure, we've lived in different cities from time to time over the years, but with the understanding that we were never more than a phone call away from each other.  She and my kids have a mutual adoration society going on, and to them, she is "Tia Jenny". 

I bug her all the time, because sometimes it's good to talk to another grown up that's known you all your life.  Someone that'll tell you to stop being such a....a MOM, that you've forgotten how to talk to her in sentences that don't begin with a name other than your own.  And while it is true that we don't always see eye to eye on my kids, we usually can find middle ground or concede that the other has the better argument.  For example, if I let her have her way, my boys would be rock-climbing, bike-riding, bungee-jumping outdoorsmen catching fish with their bare hands.  At age 5. Don't even get me started on her plans for Audrey.

I, on the other hand, according to her, would rather envelop those boys in shrink-bubble-wrap to prevent them from ever getting hurt while they are riding their bikes down the street in front of our house.  It's all about perspective, lol, and it's good to have hers sometimes when I'm a little out of overprotective control.  She reminds me to let go.  And she reminds me to take time out for me, and not feel bad about it.  

I even have to give her credit with introducing me to Mr W.  She was talking to him after a school event when I came up to meet her (her Dad was our ride home).  I was standing there listening to their conversation, and she turns to me, "Oh, have you met...".  I looked up at him, into those amazing eyes of his, and the rest is history. 

As I mentioned, I bother her all the time, usually when she's at work.  This is troublesome for her at times because she isn't in a private place there, just a giant cubicle with people all around her, and sometimes the topics we are discussing aren't fit for her coworker's ears. "You know I can't talk," she whisper/hisses into the phone, "about that."

Yesterday, I called her with a special question.  "I need some fashion advice."  "Yes, pink is your color."  "Nooo, that's not it.  I need to know, um, well...okay here's the problem, I have a couple of hickeys." <I hear her snicker> "And I need to know, if you were me, would you sport them with pride, and let the world see them, or would you go with the mock turtleneck and hope no one could spot 'em?"

"You know, if I was at home right now, I'd be lmao, because I'd feel it was karmic retribution that you have this problem to begin with after you wrote about that picture of 'I could tell it was her from the shape of her hair'.  Since I'm not, I'd say that I'd personally go for the conservative look."

"Oh, you read that?"

"Actually no, I didn't read it, Chad and Phil did.  They read your journal more than I do, and they were the ones that told me about it."

Oops. But I'm pleased.  I thought the only other guys that read this were my hubby (when I think he might like the entry) and Remo.  (Hello and welcome, c & p.  mmm-mmah)

"OOO, the boys read this?  Holy crap, am I glad you told me, because your wonder-boy almost made it into an entry just the other day.  In a favorable light, of course." 

"Of course."

I went with the mock turtleneck.  And Mr W was embarassed about leaving his mark, so to speak.  At least that what he says.  The look on his face says otherwise.  I told him so. "No, really, I'm kinda embarassed.  Here I am, 40 years old, leaving hickeys on my 36 year old wife.  That's sort of, well.." 

"Tacky?  You're birthday isn't until Friday, dude, and I'd say that I think you are a little proud of yourself, from the look on your face."  "I'm not."  "Oh, come on.  At least be grateful that at your age, you are still um, managing.  Without medical assistance."  I had to duck and run at that point.  Some things a girl just shouldn't joke about.

I was just talking about his upcoming b-day, mentioning to a friend that "when did that cute 17 year old boy I used to date turn into a man?  omg, he's gonna be 40."  (and he's still quite the looker)

Oh, I don't think that 17 yr old boy went too far away.  And I bear the marks on my neck to prove it.


Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Routine relief

Ahh, the washer and dryer.  Of all the background noises in my life, this is the most constant one.  Laundry--it just has to be done, doesn't it? 

I had to laugh the other day, because Ben came up to me, all serious, and he was trying to tell me something.  I could see him choosing his words carefully, obviously trying not to irk his Mom before he even leaves for school..."Um, Mom, I need some socks."  Deep breath.  "I've not gotten to that yet.  Here"- rummage through older son's drawer- "take these."  That child, I think he gets a fresh pair of socks everytime he puts his shoes back on again, which is at least 3 times a day.  Time for some reprogramming, or some new chanclas.

Of course, this is also the same kid who a few years ago stopped changing his underwear.  I'm sorting, thinking something doesn't seem right, but I can't put my finger on it. (Ha, you want to do some real detective work, pay attention when you sort.  Every knee stain, every rock found in a pocket, every "oh, there's that receipt"--it all tells a story).  When I go to fold, and see that the pile of Nolan's undies is way bigger than Ben's, it clicks in my head.   It turns out he just decided he liked the comfyness (!) of the ones he was wearing, so why change them?  "You mean I should change them every day?"  He was only 5.  I bit my lip to not giggle, I didn't want to make him feel too bad.  "Yeah, my Ben-ben, that'd be a good idea."

So funny, from one extreme to the other, sometimes within the course of a day or two.   As many times as they change their minds about baths (baths vs showers), food, toys, and friends, I'm surprised I can keep up without a notebook in my pocket to write it all down.  Well, there are some things that are constant, thank goodness.

Like laundry.  :)

The bonus is I don't have to hear: "I don't like that."  "It's too spicy."  "He doesn't want to play."  "But I don't stink, I just took a shower on Monday." (when he's gamey on Thurs night)

While I'm always reminded of the dirty clothes, no one complains about clean ones. 

Sigh.  The dryer just stopped.



Blasts from the past

First of all:  we are over the hump!  With the exception of Mr W (who is always the ahem, exception), it looks like we should have complete recovery in another day or so.  Believe me when I say that the only thing left hissing and spitting in my house better have a tail and whiskers, lol, or it's out the door.

We ventured on over to my Mom's house today. I haven't been there in about 3 weeks, which is a looong time for me, considering that we usually go over there at least once on the weekends.  The kids were very happy to go see their Nana and even more excited to see her home improvements.  I don't know what's gotten into my Dad, impending retirement thoughts, senility, who knows, but suddenly he's embarked on this mission to take care of all the things he's put off in regards to his house.  So they will be getting new furniture later this month (their current stuff is at least 14 years old, and could win the "ugliest couch" competition with ease--sorry Mom), and they had the flooring replaced in the entryway and kitchen, and had some carpet repaired/installed.  Whew!  While the new stuff looks good so far, the stuff they had to move around was still all over the place.  My Mom has been busy trying to move it all back, but as she has her hands full taking care of my Nana, she needed some help. 

Gradually, we managed to move her things out of the living room, and I successfully bit my tongue about what a packrat my Dad has become.  Best not to rile my Mom; she's got enough going on already without my smarty-pants attitude pushing her over the edge.  She was so relieved that we were able to help her out, that she mentioned, oh so casually, "You know what, mija?  That box over there is full of old pictures, and there's one of Nolan and your Tata that's so cute!  Here, let me find it." 

Uh-oh.  What other pictures are in that box?  What other potentially horrifying things am I about to see?

AACK!  There's an out of focus (oy, she'll be grateful to know that) picture of my friend Jenny, with big, big hair, thin as a rail.  I can tell it's her by the shape of her hair.  There are pictures of my dog, our house, my various family members on one of our Easter picnics, my Tata, my brother, school field trips (Geez, Mom, ever heard of an album?), and what's this?

No, no, no-o-oh, not the school pictures.  Me at 7 with bangs and fat curls in a little pink dress with a rose on the bodice.  Me at 8 in big curly hair (how she got that to happen, on my straight hair-- well, let's just remember for a moment pink spongy rollers and a headache from sleeping in them).  Me at 5 in a parade, twirling a baton.  Me at 3 in a cowboy hat.  (OMG.  Audrey looks just  Eww, me at 12.  What on earth am I wearing?  Me and my brother and our bad big glasses.  The only thing that I'm finding amusing at this point is that my brother's glasses are even more frightening than mine.  Oh, and that none of the ensembles I'm sporting in these photos are saved somewhere in a big box. (At least I hope not, but with my Mom, you never know.)

The real fun begins when she starts holding up pictures of me and Mr W.  Back when he had hair and a mustache.  ROFL.  "Look, honey," I say as I hand a photo over to him, "is that a mullet?"  "I do not have a mullet in this."  "Do so.  It's a baby mullet, look, all short on the sides and longer in the back."  "No, it's not.  But check out the sideburns/chops."  "Redneck."  There's one of us at homecoming, and one where Mr W says "I look like I'm on something in this one."  He wasn't--it's just that baaaaddd.  "It wasn't drugs, honey, you were just dazed from the glare off my glasses."

Longer hair, bad skin, it's all recorded in my Mom's big box of shame. 

I was afraid to look at first, because I thought that the sight of a younger me would make me wish that I still looked like that more youthful self.  A bit shiny and rough around the edges, but still cute, big lenses, bad skin, and all.  I was worried that the sight of a somewhat thinner me would push me into a funk.

I went into the bathroom, and happened to catch myself in the mirror.  I stood there for a second and took a look, mentally comparing myself, the younger girl from the photos and the woman reflected back at me now. 

And you know what?  It wasn't all that painful.  Sure, things have changed some, but I think it's for the better.  Better hair.  Definately better glasses.  Still cursed with temperamental skin, but it's better too.

As I walked down the hall, Mr W came up behind me and I said to him, "I think I like us better now."

And he laughed as he said, "Me too."

Thank God, because if he tried to grow a mullet now, well...he'd need to buy a wig.

And let me just add, for the record, there will be no posting of any photos.  Some things are better off staying in the box.  But the picture of Nolan and my Tata, I'm framing and putting up somewhere, cuz it really is cute.   :)

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Facemask, anyone?

Okay, folks, here's the deal:

I did the wknd assigment for two reasons.  One, because I love art, and I wanted to.  Two, because I wanted to grant you a break from Plaguewatch:2005, you know, the show that's been in my house for 2 and 1/2 weeks now.

Okay, here we go:  Ben and Nolan are fine now.  Audrey broke out in this weirdo rash and I took her in again as a precaution, just in case she was allergic to her antibiotic.  Nope, doc says viral rash.  She looked terrible yesterday, but is much better now.  I talked him into sending me home with a breathing machine b/c Ben and Ryan were still having some issues at that time.  Ryan, well, he's better, but he still looks bad, so I'm kinda holding my breath with my fingers crossed that he'll look fine tomorrow.  Haha, what kind of voodoo is that?

I woke up feeling congested yesterday, but I am convinced that it's just an allergy attack.  It is, because I got all itchy, took some Benadryl (oy, the wonder drug of wonder drugs) and a long nap.  I feel fine, lol.  Four hours of sleep on a Saturday afternoon can only do a body good.  I dosed up Audrey too, and she joined me.  Bliss.

Which leaves---Mr W.

I told him on Tues/Weds that I'd schedule an appt for him, b/c his cough was just wicked, but nooo, you know how men are: "I'm ok." <hack, hack, hack>  "I'll be fine." <sneeze, hack>

So Thurs afternoon, I called to get him in, thinking he'd probably get in on Fri.  The receptionist, I could practically feel her drop her shoulders and sigh as she said this, told me that she could get him in.  On Saturday.  Fine, I say.  "But if you want, call back at 8 am on Fri and maybe if one of the emergency appts is available, he can have one of those."

Mr W had an awful night on Thurs.  I even cheated and made him use the breathing machine, thinking that'd do it.  Friday morning, I called the dr's ofc at 8 am, like they told me to.  And she couldn't get me in, and it was flippin' 8:04.  Aye, yi yi, I um, lost my temper.  And in my best bitchy receptionist voice (remember, I used to be the receptionist), I said to her: "It's unfortunate that we can't get in today.  I mean, it's not like I can plan 2 weeks in advance when we're gonna get sick.  Are you seriously telling me that there's no one, not a PA or another dr, with an appt open today?  Afterall, I called at 8, like I was told to do."  "No.  I'm told we have to schedule you with your own dr, or the PAs, and I have nothing left."  "But it's eight-o-four."  "It looks like your dr only had one opening, and it's filled."  Sigh. "Fine.  We'll keep our appt on Sat with the PA."  And that was that, or so I thought.  I hung up, because we were done.

Mr W calls me a few minutes after I get home.  He says that our dr called him at work. ??? And that I must have pissed someone off, because she told him I was um, upset, and a little forceful with her staff and that I hung up on them.  NO WAY!!  I told Mr W about our exchange.  He said that the dr told him she'd get him in that afternoon. 

Man, I was really hot.  I called and asked to speak with the office manager.  I don't hang up on people, I'd told Mr W, not when I can express my displeasure to them while they're on the line.  Honestly.  How pissy of a receptionist do you have to be, to go running to the dr because of the mean lady on the phone?  If you are gonna work in a busy medical office, you have to have a thicker skin than that, missy.  I've been on the receiving end of much, much worse in my time at the helm of a 100- calls-before-noon-office. (really, I counted them once)

So I spoke with the office manager, and told her what happened, and that I didn't hang up on anybody.  I told her that I understand that they are busy, but I shouldn't be instructed to do something like call at 8 am when in all likelihood there would be nothing available.  I told her that my entire household had been going on 2 weeks of being sick, and that I'd exhausted all my at-home remedies to no avail, and that I really didn't want my husband to have another bad night.  And I reiterated that I certainly did not appreciate her staff lying about my hanging up on them to the dr and that I was concerned my husband's care would be compromised because the office would know that his wife had gotten a little bitchy on the phone that morning.  "Oh, no, that would never compromise his care, our phone staff and front office staff don't even hear each other, they're separated."  Yeah, right.  I've been the receptionist.  I know what goes on, wink, nudge, that's the unruly patient.  Sure, no one's gonna be outright unprofessional towards you (you hope) but somewhere, somehow, it's recorded for all posterity that you are difficult.  Handle this one with care, or get the clipboard thrown at you. 

What really got under my skin is that I stand up for myself, and I'm the bad guy?  Oh, I don't think so.  The office manager didn't believe me when I told her the dr herself called Mr W at work, so I suggested she talk to him herself.  He said she called, and they went over it, but ultimately this is what they both said:  "I wasn't there, so I'm not exactly sure what went down."  He added, in my defense, that I don't hang up on people, and that my frustration stemmed from dealing with all of them being sick, for so long, and not being able to get him in.  Ok, so I'm only a little bit mad about that, because really, he wasn't there, and he has heard me at my pushy-receptionist voice finest, so I'm sure he has his doubts about the degree of unpleasantness I unleashed.  Whatever.  He got in.

When I picked him up afterwards, he'd had a breathing treatment, and pulled a small stack of prescriptions from his pocket, 4 in all.  Antibiotics (just in case), steroids (for all the swelling in his lungs), an inhaler (you know, for the nonimportant act of breathing), and cough syrup with codeine (lol, for me--just kidding-it's to make him maybe sleep instead of hack all night).

Sometimes, it pays to be pushy.

And it definately pays to be my pharmacist, or my pediatrician, holy cow, all the copays I've left there in the last two weeks...someone's getting a new car!


P.S.  Mr W is doing a little bit better, he's still coughing, but I think he's not so short of breath anymore.  Inhaler-a-go-go.




I caved in

I usually don't do this, this wknd assignment business.  But the topic this wk is irresistable to me, and I caved.

Weekend Assignment #50: Tell us about an artwork -- painting, sculpture or other visual work -- which had a significant impact on you. Note this doesn't have to be your "favorite" piece of art, or the one you like the most (although it can be, if you want): I'm looking for the work that made you think, or affected you in an unexpected way. 

What can I say?  I'm a Renaissance girl.   (well, that Renoir up there isn't Renaissance, it's just a favorite of mine :) and I had to include it).

I stumbled into Art History as an elective one year, and I was hooked.  It provided a welcome break from my usual classes.

The Renaissance fascinates me because of the coming together of art and science in such a breathtaking way.  The images from the Sistine Chapel all are so incredible, individually, and then when you consider them all as a whole, and the work that went into them, it's hard not to be speechless.  I sat in my classes and had my jaw drop more than once.  I still remember the first time I saw Michelangelo's sculpture, David, and I couldn't imagine how a huge block of marble could be turned into something like that.  Art, science, math (linear perspective)--all the stuff I love, all rolled into one, that's what the Renaissance represents to me.  The fact that Leonardo was a lefty too is icing on the cake. 

Brunelleschi's Dome was such an achievement architecturally and artistically that I go back to it again and again.  I believe, if memory serves, it's the largest free-standing dome in the world.  It's definately stood the test of time.

The accomplishments of this period always make me think, "how did they do that?"  Aren't these the same folks that used bloodletting as a cure for illness?  And then in the next thought, "wow".

As for my Renoir, I am an Impressionist fan too.  I love the colors, the style...and this image is one of my favorites.

Since my talent for drawing goes only as far as the stick figures I draw to amuse the kids, I have an appreciation for those who can do it.  Even my Play-doh sculptures always wind up being snowmen, lol.  The extra credit question involved if money were no object, how much would you spend on a piece of art?  Well, I don't think I'd spend my money buying it, because....I'd rather spend it traveling, because....

Someday, if they are still open to the public when I get around to it, I'm gonna go to Italy and see these things in person. 

If I'm not too old to fly.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Sat six on Sat, for a change

Saturday Six - Episode 48 Picture from Hometown

1. Have you ever called 911 for an emergency?

Yeah.  My daughter was 7 mo old, and Nolan, my then 9 yr old, was holding her on the couch while I went into the kitchen to take something off the stove (w/o the baby in my arms-gasp!).  Like most babies tend to do, she wriggled, and he dropped her.  From the couch to the tile floor, my back was to them and all I heard was "ss-smack"When I went to get her, her little eyes rolled back in her head and she went limp.  My heart's pounding, waiting for the big cry that usually comes...and it doesn't.  She looks at me for a sec and out she goes again.  Think, breathe, call Mr W at work; no silly call 911.  So I'm talking to the 911 people and Mr W at the same time, trying to access Audrey and keep the others from freaking out, because they were scared, and -I swear to you this is true-change Ryan's poopy diaper with my free hand.  The whole world showed up at my house at the same time it seemed, but by then she was rousable and looking around a bit.  My friend Jane made it here in record time to watch the other kids (I think she arrived with the ambulances, lol, I know she was speeding and just as concerned as we were, bless her).  We wound up transporting her ourselves, after much discussion with the EMS people b/c I was worried she'd be too scared in the ambulance, and she was coming around.  So we spent a long night in the ER, where the dr patted us on our heads after checking her out and sent us home.  No, I was not thrilled about that, no CT, no xray--but she'd been nursing a bit, and no puking, and was alert, so I took her home and then to her dr the next day.  The sight of her limp little body haunts me to this day, it had to be one of my scariest Mom-moments ever.  And poor Nolan just couldn't bring himself to hold her for a looong time after that, even though we reassured him that it wasn't his fault.  I tell him now that when she's a teenager, and acting goofy, he can say to her that it's because he dropped her on her head when she was a baby.  He is looking forward to it.
2. Do you spend more or save more?

Um, let's see.  Four kids, I work what I refer to as extreme part-time (couple days a wk), and my husband is in the glamorous, high-paying profession of law enforcement, lol.  What do you think? 
3. How many live plants do you have in your home now?  Do you give them enough attention?

ROFL, I just looked at my last holdout plant today, thinking it looked like it needs repotting.  There is only one anemic looking live plant right now.  I don't give them enough attention and that is why there is only one.  Hey, I can barely manage to take care of the family pets on top of everything else, much less a plant-- the plant doesn't make noise for lack of care.  (gasp, gasp- 'waaattter', gasp- light, gasp- space....)
4. What was the last thing you did to exercise?  How often do you exercise?

I walk.  I shoot for 3 times a week, but I'd like to go more often.  I wish I was blessed with a hummingbird metabolism, like some people ;)  but I'm not, so merely chasing the kids around throughout the day won't cut it.

5. Where do you compare with regard to your parents:  do you feel like an adult, or still like the "kid?"  If you feel like an adult, when did you first feel that way?

I feel like an adult most of the time.  Depends on the day, lol.  I first felt like an adult when I had my own kid to bring to their house.  But if I cross the line, and my Mom gives me the look, then bam!  10 yrs old again.  God forbid I irritate my Nanas.  Then I have to run for cover, Shrimpy Nana is very quick, and she pulls hair.

6. Who is the last person you received a personal card or letter from that wasn't sent to mark a special occasion? 

My friend, Janna, sends me little fun Spongebob things in the mail and little notes once in a while.  Last time, she sent me Spongebob flipflops, and the time before that, Spongebob stationery and a pillowcase (that I don't share with the kids)  :)

Friday, March 11, 2005

I swear

Cursing.  We all do it.  I try to edit my language even though I have an 11 yr old, because I don't want the 2 yr old to sound like a sailor.  And she would, if I let loose like I'd occasionally love to.  I can't help myself if the Spanish cursing comes out automatically, but I try.

So what's the big deal? 

Well, my 11 yr old keeps asking me for permission to curse.  You know how it is, all the 'cool' kids do it, and you probably did it at this age, as long as you wouldn't get caught.  I don't have the heart to explain to the boy that if you have to ask permission to do it, that in itself is not cool.  Sigh.  I know that the other more worldly friends in his class make fun of him for it, but...I really don't feel like giving him carte blanche with this is gonna make him the most popular kid in school, even if he does.

Imagine my surprise this morning, as I'm writing a note to his teacher about some homework, when I hear Ben, BEN the 8 yr old, pipe up with an "f-you" to Nolan. ??? 

"Excuse, me buddy, what was that you just said?"  He guiltily looks back at me.  "Hey, Nolan says it too."  Oh, man.  "Dude, that's not something you are allowed to say." Rant, rant, "And neither are you, Nolan.  If I hear it come out of your mouth again," "But Mo-om, I didn't say the whole word.." "in ANY form, you will regret it."

I went to see if Mr W was ready to go yet, and he looks up at me quizzically: "What was that all about?"  "Oh, an 'f-you' before 8 am out of the mouth of the 8 yr old."  ???

I tell him about the whole "Mommy, can I curse?" discussions Nolan and I have been having.  "Didn't you, at this age," I tell Mr W, "curse when you were with your friends, and your parents didn't know?"  He looks a little sheepish and mischievous at the same time as he says "Of course."  "So, what do we tell him?  That he can, as long as he's with his friends?  And as long as we don't hear him?" 

I'm brushing my teeth, as Ben comes into the room and I hear Mr W asking him about what he said.  He tells him the same thing, that he's not to be running around spouting off 'f-you' like he knows what he's doing.  "Cussing is not gonna make you sound like a stronger person, Ben, it's just gonna get you in trouble."  When Ben leaves, I ask Mr W, "So, now what are you planning on telling the big guy?"  Again, I'm tucked into the bathroom, doing the girly thing, and I hear him talking to Nolan this time.  He repeats the same thing he told Ben.  He listens to Nolan express his frustration at not being able to toss back a few um, well-chosen words when the need arises.  And then he tells him  no.  "I'm not ready to say okay to this to you at this point in your life, son.  Should you choose to curse, and I'm not there, there's nothing I can do about it.  If someone, like for example, a teacher hears you, and you get in trouble for it, your Mom's not gonna bail you out. And you better be prepared that whoever you are talking to might spew something back at you even worse than what you're saying.  Got it?"
"Okay, Dad, I got it."

Oh, I knew LOVED him!  Got me off the hook, and hopefully, it'll be another couple of days before I hear that request again.  Because you know it's gonna come up more and more.

For some reason, I am hearing George Carlin in my head at the moment, what is his bit about 'seven dirty words?'

Ok, so I'll be even more selective in muttering "jackass" at the little old man that cuts me off in traffic, but I'm not making any promises about my cursing in Spanish.  Hey, if it gets them interested in speaking it too, lol, then it can't be all bad, can it?


Esplainin' for you

"LUUC-CCCY, you've got some esplainin' to do..." 

Okay, I took the plunge for the list, now here's the esplainin' for you. 

Ten Things I've Done...that you probably haven't:

1. I've had four c-sections. There must be something about me, but none of them would come out the 'normal' way.  It's my warm, nurturing womb, lol.  Actually, my dr had the gall to tell me it's because I have --get this-- a narrow pelvis.  WTF!!?  Of all the things I have to have be narrow, it has to be something no one is privy to except my dr?  Something no one sees??  Why couldn't it have been, oh, I don't know, my ass that was narrow?  No one says, "Oh, she's a lovely girl, such a nice narrow pelvis.."  "Man, you're hot!  I dig narrow pelvises!  Can I have your number?"  I tried the usual way with the first two (43 hrs with #1, and 12 hrs with #2) and after that, we just used the zipper.  Why be a hero?  "Just get the kid out!  I have to go and plow my fields!  And could you neaten things up when you're done?  Thanks!"  I wouldn't recommend 4 sections, though.  I got a lovely hernia parting gift that needed to be repaired when Audrey was only 10 weeks old.  Ahh, the joy of childbirth....that one, she owes me cleanup fees for wrecking the joint on her way into the world...maybe she'll be a nice plastic surgeon someday, and I'll forgive her, but only if she fixes EVERYTHING!

2. Experienced all my "firsts" with the same person, and married him. Aww.  It's true.  Met him right before I started high school, first boyfriend.  Pushed him off my porch, graceful girl that I am, when he attempted my first kiss.  We did better on that other important first, ;) and contrary to popular belief, we were actually indoors at the time.  He's been around for them all, and stuck around for the repeats.  So of course, I had to marry him.  No one else would have the willingness or patience to put up with me! 

3.  Wore two different shoes out in public, and neither Mr W nor I noticed.  Okay, you have to understand, we weren't on a date or anything.  We were on our way to the hospital for Ryan's delivery.  I was wearing two different pairs of fashionable Birkies at the time (one presentable for work, the uglies at home) and they were right next to each other by the door.  I never even checked, not that I could've seen my feet anyway.  He's a man, and about to deal with the whole hospital shebang, so of course he didn't look or notice.  When we got there and I went to do the requisite 'pee in this cup' I sat on the throne and looked down, and burst out laughing.  Different shoes.  Here I thought the nurses were looking at me because I was a stunning huge pregnant lady (not, lol).

4.  Puked down a hallway in the middle of an exam, then returned to finish taking it like nothing happened.  Can you say food poisoning and cramming late into the night?  It was general genetics, and was I ever grateful for the trashcan I made it to in the hall.  Oh, it was still a mess, and I have no recollection of how I did on the test, just, well, ewwww.

5.  Finished my last semester of college pregnant.  Talk about course load.  Never thought it would go that way, but it did.  Nolan had the grace to wait two weeks after my last final to arrive.  It's a good thing, b/c I barely fit behind my desk in that class at that point.  Hey, it was general genetics.  OOPS, gawd, I guess we know now how I fared on that other test, huh?  I did really well that semester, though, and I joke with him now about how he's already attended college :)  (remember son, go devils!)

6.  Shot a cop's gun. Yup.  Ok, so it's my husband's, but still, I did fire it once or twice.  Not at him, of course not... ;)

7.  Had my amnios analyzed by people I used to work with.  No pressure there, lol. I've had two amnios, Nolan's and Audrey's pregnancies, both for high MSAFP results.  I work in cytogenetics, which is just a fancy way of saying I analyze chromosomes, which is just a fancy way of saying "hey, she went to college, and all she does is count to 46 all day".  I wasn't in cyto until after Nolan was born, but the lab I worked in did his analysis, so I used to go pull his chart and stare at his karyotype when I worked there.  With Audrey, I had no access to tissue culture or anything, cuz it wasn't my lab doing it, but I knew the people handling it, and well, I made a few calls.  I've never seen hers, and I don't want to.  I'd just make myself nuts looking over every little detail, and I make myself nuts over the details of how I raise them everyday, I don't need to put any more pressure on myself, lol.

8.  Nursed my firstborn with my husband's grandmother literally in my lap, commenting on the quality of my milk.  Go ahead, cringe with me.  There's a fine line between tolerance and respecting your elders.  Oh, man was it ever hard not to mouth off to her, postpartum hormones and all, as she went on about Nolan "enjoying his beefsteak". OY!  But I bit the bullet, and Mr W eventually found a way to rescue me by distracting her into spilling the local gossip.  It's a good thing he did, because how do you explain to the dr, "Oh, she fell off the couch because of my elbow in her ribs"?

9.  Uttered the words:  "I don't want to hear any more about your balls" and "I wonder what I should make for dinner?"  in the same five minutes.  Oh, the things that I say when I'm driving...Ryan and Ben were bickering in the back seat of the van, and I heard all about it, with the capper being "ugh! ow, my balls!" "Ryan, I don't want to hear any more about your balls!!"  and then I turned and asked Nolan about dinner.  No subject is too delicate when you are raising boys, right?  Just doing my part to toughen them up for jr high.

10.  Saw my father-in-law (a true Southern gentleman)...naked.  My FIL is a real gentleman: "yes ma'am", opens doors, says "please" and "thank you", all in an adorable Southern accent that he's never really lost.  I was housesitting for them (I was still in high school) and so I had a key to the house.  I saw they were home, and let myself in, announcing my presence the entire time.  I saw someone was in the hall bathroom, which to me was the domain of Mr W's Mom, so I walked down the hall, announcing my presence all the while.  I turned into the doorway of the bathroom, and there stands my FIL, buck naked.  I didn't see anything but a naked side view, no parts (thank god for small favors); he was shaving, and well, I got the hell out of there in a hurry.  I made it home in record time, and as I walk in the door, my Mom's calling me to the phone, it's for me.  Oh, crap.  Here it comes.  "Hello?"  I squeak out.  --Laughter--"Hi, sweetie." OMG it's his MOM!  I'm banished for life..."Dear, are you ok?"  "Um, yeah." --more laughter--"Dear, that is the darkest shade of red I've ever seen Gene turn....thank you."  We chatted for a minute, and she kept on laughing, and I was not banished for life, but it did take me a while before I had the courage to look him in the eye again.  I chuckle when I think about it, and when we get together, Mr W likes to bring it up, to see us both turn red.  Gentleman that my FIL is, he still opens my doors, and we look each other in the eye all the time.  Hey, I've seen it all (well, most of it), what else can he do?  I'm grateful every day that he passed on his best qualities to Mr W.  Maybe I'll write him a thank you note, lol. "Dear Dad, thanks for showing Mr W how to be such a good polite loving man, and a wonderful father, and for bestowing on him your nice butt.  Love, Anna"   Yup, that should do the trick nicely.

And, ladies and gentlemen, there you have it.  The true stories behind my boring list. :)


Thursday, March 10, 2005


Come on, sing it with me (to the tune of "superfreak")

"She's a super-geek, super-geek, she's super-geeky..."  I won't attempt the vocalization at the end of that line unless I've had enough to drink, and I'm sober as a stone right now--so I'll skip it and spare everyone the agony.

You know that you are geeky when you are willing to endure the horror of the "O.C." just to see the movie preview for the new Star Wars movie coming out in May. (BTW, we had shows like that when I was younger, and they were better:  Melrose, Dynasty, 90210; not that I ever watched any of them :P) (And is it just me, or do the girls on that show look like they never eat?  wtf?  Have a cracker, Mischa, it won't kill you and has what, 2 carbs?)

Not only did I endure the "O.C." but we all hollered for Mr W to come and watch it with us when the preview finally did come on.  No one spoke, and we all were riveted to the set.  Another happy Norman Rockwell moment, lol.  No one spoke.  That alone should shock and amaze you.

I'm very excited at the prospect of going to this movie with the 3 boys (princess is just too little) even though we'll be in line for a long time, and I'm certain that'll be the day that we hit 100 degrees, of course.  People will be swooning in their Chewbacca get-ups, lol. 

I'm so geeky that I even penciled it in on my calendar.

What was that I said earlier about needing to get out more?

I feel a Star Wars film festival coming on...hey, we'll all be home next week, it'll be perfect.

As long as no one speaks, of course.  And the chances of that are ?????? 

"Here, kids, have some gummy bears."  So chewy, so perfect, so silencing

If all else fails, I'm sure they make great ear plugs.



Oh, alright

Although I've not been writing in my own j, I've been reading everyone else's, commenting, etc.  I've managed to squeeze that in. But I usually write late at night, when they're all sleeping, because otherwise, it's "mom" "Mom, I have a question."  "Hey, Mom, what's that?"(pointing at what I'm reading)  Ben even quoted an email I was writing to a teacher the other day after I sent it.  Who taught that kid to read?  UGH.  So I have to remind them yet again, this is my time, I need privacy just like I'm on the phone. Yeah, right.  We all know how that usually goes....

And because of all my running around of late, I've been unintentionally knocking out when they do.  Books unread.  No writing.  No quality time with my spouse..weelll, there's always a way to make time for that ;)   Before I knew it, the week was gone, and I hadn't been here.

Anyway, I've been reading the "Top Ten Things I've done that you probably haven't" around, and all week have been trying to come up with my own.  I suck, I'm so boring.  I don't think I can come up with ten, but I'm willing to try. 

Ten Things I've Done...that you probably haven't:

1. I've had four c-sections.

2. Experienced all my "firsts" with the same person, and married him.

3.  Wore two different shoes out in public, and neither Mr W nor I noticed.

4.  Puked down a hallway in the middle of an exam, then returned to finish taking it like nothing happened.

5.  Finished my last semester of college pregnant.  Talk about course load. 

6.  Shot a cop's gun.

7.  Had my amnios analyzed by people I used to work with.  No pressure there, lol. 

8.  Nursed my firstborn with my husband's grandmother literally in my lap, commenting on the quality of my milk.  Go ahead, cringe with me.

9.  Uttered the words:  "I don't want to hear any more about your balls" and "I wonder what I should make for dinner?"  in the same five minutes.

10.  Saw my father-in-law (a true Southern gentleman)...naked.

See?  Boring.  No scandals involving foreign dignitaries; no drinking with boy bands (although Maroon 5 is coming to town in May...ha!); no flashing my ta-tas at Mardi Gras (hmm, there may be time for that, I'm still young, even if they aren't); no torrid tales of dark deeds...

I need to get out more.


Lost time

Okay, it's been a while.  I've lost track of time, I actually thought today was Friday!

I've realized that all the chauffering around is not only sucking away at my spare time, but my brain cells too.  I just called the school, because today is an early release day, and well, it's a good thing I did, or I would have shown up an hour late to pick up everyone.  No, not good. 

I know next week will be better, Mr W is off (yay!) and the kids are on break too (um, yay?) and no driving around unless it's to the movies or the zoo.  Oh, but I'm sure they'll come up with something else, I don't expect total peace. 

Speaking of Mr W, I did something nice for him this week, even though he's gonna have to wait for it.

I bought him a new rocker recliner.  We are very excited about it, because our old one (which has served us well) is looking bad and falling apart in spots.  We went looking for it together, he knows it's coming, and I'm not sure how I'll make it through the next 8 weeks. 

Surprisingly, we resisted the siren call of the perfect living room arrangements that we saw while we were there.  We were very enamored of this really simple couch and loveseat, but decided to wait on it for now.  I want to look around some more, and make sure we really like what we get. And I don't want it unless we can pay for it outright, so it'll have to wait. So (for the moment) I'm gonna slipcover the other sofa, because I can machine wash that, lol.  Ha, I had to laugh as the salesguy went through his spiel about stain guarding, like not getting it was an option.  According to him, it covers everything, punctures, rips, stains of all kinds...for ten years... and if they can't fix the stain, rip, etc. you get a credit to the store for the price of the chair and you get to pick a new one....are you laughing with me too?  Four kids, two cats, a dog, a puppy if I get my way, extra kids, the resident klutz adult (me).... yeah, paying for stain guarding is not something I lose sleep over. 

Ahh.  I can't wait to fight over who gets to sit in it first.

Monday, March 7, 2005

Sixy Sun night

Saturday Six - Episode 47 Picture from Hometown

1. What is your favorite color for an automobile?  Is your car this color?

Silver/grey.  Yup, the mom-mobile is grey.

2. You decide to start a diet on Monday.  What is the "bad food" meal that you must have "one last time" over the weekend?

A rib eye that's grilled till it's still a bit pink in the middle, with a nice salad and au gratin potatoes.  Dessert too, lol, of course, and it better have chocolate--maybe one of those molten lava chocolate things that ooze warm chocolate when you cut it open, with good quality vanilla ice cream or whipped cream on it...

3. How do you balance your checkbook?  In your head, with a calculator, or with software?

With a calculator, using my online statement to double check Mr W's omissions, lol.

4. How many of the Oscar
winner movies did you see before the awards this year?

Haha, are we counting the animated winner? If not, then none. 

5. In what room of the house do you find yourself the most comfortable and why?

My bedroom.  Room enough for all to sit on my bed, and lounge around to watch tv or hang out.  I almost said "bathroom", because that's the only room where I can be alone (80% of the time, lol) or kitchen, because it seems I spend a lot of time there.  How much do four kids eat?  (think about the most you've ever eaten in one sitting, and add a snack on top of that.  really.)

Scott:  What is the "one thing" that the mere mention of sends shiversdown your spine?

"The test is positive.  Congratulations." 

Friday, March 4, 2005


Chalk it up to some kind of ESP that I got the Spongebob movie earlier this week, and didn't wait for today.  (Friday is best to avoid the temptation of staying up too late on school nights--)  It is entertaining and Ryan is watching it now.  Audrey's a fan, but scared of it and hiding out watching PBS in my room.

Earlier this morning, I walked into the kitchen to a surprise.  It looked like oregano all over the floor...hmm.  What's she been up to?  "Kitty yum-yum," she says behind me.

Meet my daughter, adorable toddler, dress wearer, shoe hound, and cat drug dealer.

She's discovered that the cats like their catnip.  She knows where I keep it, and will go get it whenever she wants.  I was wondering why the cats seem to like her so much, and now I know.  She's hooking them up.  I think she just needs to open the drawer, and they come running from whichever corner they are hiding in.  "Look.  There's that kid.  Follow her!  Rub up against her leg!  Come on kid, open the drawer--YEEESSS pour out a big pile of it, thata girl..."  and within minutes, they are rolling around in it, licking their paws, pupils dilated.  I just need to turn on the Jimi Hendrix and dim the lights, and they're all set.  So nice that at least the cats are pleased--for the moment.

As you know I've been losing my war with the microbes.   There's nothing I can do about it except provide comfort, care, and medicine.  I can accept this.

What I cannot accept, however is being down to one tv.  I can only take sooo much Nickelodeon, and my tolerance is high (I like cartoons :D too). 

I resisted having two tvs for a long, long time.  I knew we'd all go to opposite corners of the house, and I wanted everyone to learn to share and spend time together instead of separating.  But before Audrey was born, I took the plunge, and now I don't know how we did it before with just one, lol.  It's hard to please everyone all the time, and now I have options.  Gotta keep 'em all happy.  Two is the limit though.  Our house is little, and there's no need for a tv in every room.

The cable box in my bedroom is out.  We get the basic channels at the moment by not using the box, but it's amazing how much you miss having a zillion channels to surf, isn't it?  On top of all the pain-in-the-keister stuff I've dealt with all week, at least I know I can fix this one.  YAY!  Something that can be fixed!  A timeframe that'll work for me (a miracle) and they will hopefully show up on time!

Hmphf.  I better not push my luck.


Thursday, March 3, 2005

Tell the worm to move over

Mood: quiet, yes, but mildy annoyed.  Call me a bad mom. WHAT-EVAH.

You know, my day started off well enough.  I got to shower uninterrupted.  Got everyone to where they needed to be on time.  Made it to have breakfast with a friend, and not only was I able to have a conversation but Audrey was as good as she can be.  So far, so good.

I picked up Mr W at lunchtime (more on that later) which is proving to be kinda fun, in spite of the fact that it forces me to break up my day in a weird way (half-hour lunches, I mean, what's the point?  I skip mine at work whenever I can get away with it-)

Afterschool, there was a running club race for Ben at a nearby school.  I wasn't planning on letting him run, I mean, he's hardly recovered, but it was our last race of the year.  I made him promise to walk if he started coughing and not overdo it, even while my overactive Momvision imagined him coughing up a lung partway through it.  There was quite the crowd, and luckily there was a playground in the midst of it all.  Nolan, bless him, took Audrey-duty. You'd think the ear infection would slow her down, but no, she was all over the place.  I was feeling the love, but then he says: "You know I expect to be paid for this, don't you?"  I didn't even have to answer, I gave him my best Clint Eastwood eye-narrowing maneuver as he said "I'm kidding, I'm kidding."  While we were there, Ryan was really clingy, moreso  than usual, and I bumped his forehead.  "Hey, are you hot from running around?"  "I want to sit in the shade."  "Okay."  He felt normal to me later, so I just chalked it up to the nice warm afternoon.  The other three were bored, and Audrey kept me busy, so we left as soon as Ben finished.  He didn't cough up a lung, but he was very tired, so we came straight home.  So far, so good.

I'm reading when the little guy crawls into my lap.  "Oh, man, dude, you're hot."  I get the thermometer out--and....

no way, No Way, NO WAY!!!!

No freakin' way. If this was someone else, I might shake my head in understanding, and be wondering "wtf?  are they living petri dishes?  doesn't she wash anything?"

But noooo, no, it's me.  And the boy topped out at 102 before I snapped out of denial.  I knew it was a problem when he fell asleep on the way to pick up his Dad from work.  I could see his little flushed cheeks in the rearview mirror. 

I'm about to burst into tears, a reflex reaction borne of pms and frustration, when I hear "Enter Sandman" (that Metallica song I mentioned a couple of entries ago) come on the radio, and I have to chuckle at the irony.  I haven't heard that song in a while, and now all of a sudden I mention it and here it is? 

Anyway.  I medicated the little guy when we got home, and he cooled off before bedtime.  Of course, though, selfish girl that I am, I take the time to rant to Mr W, that I did have plans tomorrow, that I've looked forward to all (insert colorful word here) week, and now I can't do it.  I said: "I had plaaaans.  I've been looking forward to this girly excursion aaalll week, and I'm tired of playing nurse to all of you and chauffeur and cook and yeah, I'll get a break, at work this weekend, and and blah, blah..."  Yup.  Snapped like a twig, no tears, just a lot of telenovela-style hand waving and eyerolling (I save the chest-beating for real serious occasions).  Totally unreasonable of me, yes, and amazingly fabulous of my husband that he didn't shake me until my silly head fell off.  I'll take some cheese with my whine, thank you.

What can I say?  He rocks.  He puts up with me with good humor, always when it counts.  And this picking him up for lunch thing?  Dig it.  Yesterday, it was all I could do to not plant one on him like I meant it as he was getting out of the car (Ben and Audrey were with us, afterall.)  To lift an idea I got from a book I recently read, um, he gets to me in a "hearts and flowers kind of way" as well as a "phwoar, what's-in-his-trousers sort of way".  ('Phwoar', my new favorite word, so perfect of that sentiment, and better than my friend Janna's "unh" grunt, lol.  Not a Hallmark kind of word, but it gets the job done.) 

So nice to have both aspects of attraction present in the relationship, waxing and waning, sometimes dead on equal, keeping things interesting.  At the very least, it keeps me from killing him for not taking out the trash.

PMS, what fun.  My mind is on sex and chocolate, not in any particular order.  I'm about to start mainlining that wicked Ghiradelli caramel/chocolate bar that's been sitting on my counter all week in case of emergency.  (Man, I need to have one of the kids eat that or something).  And I'll have to start taking a cold shower, ahem, before I pick up Mr W for lunch. 

I'd say "poor guy, a leg brace, and a ranting, oversexed wife", but somehow I don't think that the latter thing is something that would invoke anyone to feel pity for him, would it?

Well.  Guess I better look into getting Ryan checked out tomorrow, and stopping by Costco for the industrial size bottle of tequila and marg mix so I don't have to rely on Jane for my medicine ;P .

I'm gonna ask the worm to move over, cuz I'm moving into the bottle too.  If one more person gets sick in this house.....oh wait.  That's me.  I'll pass on 'the plague', and take 'female hormonal disorders' for a daily double, Alex.

And the bottle I'll really be reaching for is my water bottle, because the sex-chocolate-tequila option is only good if you're in Tijuana, I think.

Pero yo hablo espanol.  Hmm.  Vamos?



Wednesday, March 2, 2005

Miracles of modern medicine

Okay, I'm not insane.

I took Audrey and Ben (with the other two in tow, oy!) to the pediatrician, who confirmed that Ben wasn't moving a lot of air (on the right side) and Audrey had the beginnings of an ear infection.  I even got to look in her ears, too.  Pretty cool stuff.  Ben got a breathing treatment and an inhaler.  He was a different kid after the breathing treatment, still coughing, but at least he could breathe!  And the ear infection has hardly slowed Audrey down at all, but he said that had she not come in, tomorrow it would've really set in.  Score one for me, maybe I do know what I'm doing, lol.  She got the usual pink stuff, and we'll see how good she is about taking it. 

Speaking of medicine, I have to thank my friend Jane.  She mixed me up a margarita to go, and I picked it up on my way home from aikido.  I promise I didn't sip it until I got home.  Really.  Mr W and the kids were with me, even I'm not that desperate!  So I'm taking my medicine right now, haha.

Ahh, the restorative and numbing powers of tequila. 

I may make it through this afterall.



Driving Miss Daisy

Mr W went to see his dr on Monday, and was cleared for takeoff--he got to go back to work on Tuesday, but he's on light duty.  Ohh, and he loves that--not.  His dr still has him wearing a brace, but it's one that allows him to bend his knee to a whopping 30 degrees, so basically it's still straight.  What does this mean for me?  Well, aside from the pleasant demeanor he will adopt in about a week or so of being confined to his desk, it means that I get to add him to my list of taxi stops.  Oh, joy. 

He's going in at 8, so I drop off the big kids, then Mr W, then come home to get Ryan, Audrey, and me ready to turn around and drive Ryan back to school again.  Factor in the sickos hanging around all week, and it makes for a fun morning, all before 9 am.

It's so nice to be needed--

Especially at 3 am.

I was up with Ben, who was coughing so much I was imagining my bed had the magic fingers and that's what was jostling me around.  I got up with him and ran the shower really hot and sat in the bathroom with him in hopes the steam would provide him some relief.  The first time I pressed my ear against his chest, and asked him to take a deep breath, when he exhaled it sounded funny.  WTF?  Am I really hearing that?  So I made him do it again, and it sounded like the air being let out of a balloon.  Oh, that's not good.  However, after the shower ran for a while, he sounded better.  He even was able to get back to sleep, and I only sat up to listen to him a couple of times.  I couldn't get back to sleep anyway.

So.  It looks like I'm off again to the dr, because that's beyond my Mommy voodoo medicine, and no way I want to hear that noise in the middle of the night again without some assistance.

Better living through chemistry, I always say.



Tuesday, March 1, 2005

Pull over

Something's pushing on me, waking me up---Oh.  It's Ben's foot, against the small of my back. 

Mmmm.  I was dreaming this morning, in that space between truly asleep and wakefulness,  about a big bed with perfect white linens, plump pillows, and a warm body spooning mine...when..ow, there's Ben's foot.  Dreaming is right.  I'm a practical girl, and there's no way in hell I'd have white linens, even if there were no kids in the house, spaz that I am.

I read or heard somewhere once that Oprah said the first thing she did when she started making real money was buy really nice towels.  I think if I had oodles of extra cash, I'd spring for linens that would make Martha green with envy.  6 billion thread count, down plucked by hand from virgin goslings, fluffy, opulent, beautiful bedding.  And I'd sleep in late every day, lol.  Oh, that's funny, sleep in late.  What is that to a Mom other than 8 am (without a tug on her pillow wakeup call?)  Guess I'll add that to the 'someday' list.

The little ones are still battling their bugs, although it occurred to me last night that Ryan was feeling better when he announced, with a great deal of fanfare: "OOOH!  Hey Mommy!  Audrey just blew a nose bubble!!"  Sigh.  Such a dainty little girl...

He went to school today, and since Ben succumbed and Nolan is still hacking, they stayed home.  I hear coughing even if everyone is quiet now, and am seriously thinking about listening to music just to drown 'em out for five minutes.  Pobrecitos.

Now, I'm not a girl to call the dr and be pushy for meds, but by Sunday afternoon, I'd had it.  All of them so miserable, and not much sleep for me, I was weak.  I called.  However, the nurse wasn't into my veiled plea, and she went over the list of things to do with me:  "It sounds like you're doing everything we'd keep it up and call us tomorrow and maybe bring them in to be seen again."  CRAP.  I just want some really strong decongestant, and a knock'em dead cough suppressant, is that too much to ask?? 

Now I know why pioneer children got a shot of whiskey with their mustard plasters.  It's because their Moms were knocking down a shot or two at the same time.

I spent the day keeping an eye on them.  I was ok with it.  Then Nolan starts complaining of a canker sore--again, no biggie, he gets them a lot.  I go to look at it and holy moly, there's one big one, and like 6 new ones coming up in the area around it--and you know, it looked like a rash, and I've told you how I am about rashes.  EWWWW.  I know it hurt him too, so I called the dr, again, to see if we could get him in.  I like the peds we see, but it's a huuuge practice.  I've been meaning to downsize.

When they told me that I'd have to wait and talk to the nurse because there were no appts left, I made my decision.  I called my ins to see if the dr I was thinking of was on our plan.  And I changed drs.  I know him, too, so when I called to get an appt and explained what was going on, I had to leave a msg...and was called back and offered an a.m. appt, which was fine...but then they called me again and fit us in..hooray! 

My ped friend examined the boy thoroughly, and made me not feel bad that I was worried that after 3 day of antibiotics Nolan was still ailing.  We talked for a while, he gave us some options, and off we went.  No problemo, right?

Then why do I feel so cheap, lol, like I'm cheating on my other dr?  What, someone waves a rx in my face and suddenly I'm chasing it down the street?  A little medical advice and a hug from an old friend, and I'm giving up my copay with a smile?

Well, yeah.  If you'd had the weekend I'd had, listening to all that coughing, amid all that snot, you'd have done it too.  And I really was gonna change soon, anyway.  Really.

On our way home, Nolan started coughing again, only this time, I heard a gurgle.  That distinctive gurgle that says "PULL OVER NOW" with no words spoken.  He tried to roll down the window, but I was faster, and I whipped the car over and told him at the same time to open the door before he let 'er rip. 

There are times that it's a good thing that I drive fast and can multitask.  He was a champ, leaning out far enough not to make a mess, and not freaking out.  That's a skill that'll serve him well during his college years...oy, why did I say that?? 

Well, at least one kid is feeling much, much better. 

Now, if I could only find that bottle of whiskey, maybe I can get to work on the other three.

Aww, you know I'm kidding...

I'm just gonna teach them how to play quarters with cough syrup.

Except MY glass will have the fun stuff in it.