Wednesday, April 27, 2005

The other side

I think I've mentioned how I volunteer at the kid's school.  Up until a couple of months ago, I was lucky to be able to do it alone, as Mr W was home at the time and could watch Destructa. 

Then his schedule changed.  While I was able to continue volunteering, making copies and whatnot, I had to do it with a toddler in tow.  I freely admit that I shamelessly bribed her with snacks from the vending machine in the teacher's lounge.  Okay, I thought, I can do this.  But I was perturbed because there is another volunteer activity I do at the school where I wouldn't really be able to bring her along without sedating one or the both of us.

Once a month (for about 5 months) I do a presentation for Nolan and Ben's classes called Art Masterpiece.  It's a district-wide program, where we go to the classroom, show the kids an artwork, talk about the artist and style, etc., and then the kids do a piece related to what I've showed them.  Not exactly something I could accomplish with Audrey along; imagine trying to maintain the attention of 25 or so students while trying to keep the toddler from running with scissors or swan-diving off desks.  I like the program alot, we are short of volunteers to begin with, and I didn't really want to quit, so there I was, trying to come up with a solution...

Who could I ask to watch my girl?  It would have to be someone with time off in the middle of the week.  Good with kids.  Preferably someone she knew (and someone I trusted). 

But who?  I came up with a very short list...and at the top of it was my friend, Remo.

Yes, that Remo, our resident malcontent. ;)

I've known him for a long time.  He is really good with the small fry.  My girl was familiar enough with him that I knew she wouldn't run from the room if he was in it.  And I trusted his ability to handle the whims of a two year old as well as make sure she didn't set anything on fire.  A seasoned-pro Dad, what more could I ask for? 

He was nice enough to say yes, he'd take on the toddler so I could do my thing for the boys.  I was thrilled.  And yet, I felt a bit guilty because I was taking up some of his 'day off' time, time he uses to do the millions of things we all do on our day off, and time he uses to nap, of course. (When you keep a vampire schedule, you tend to sleep on your days off!) But he was so okay with it, that I didn't feel bad for long...and I assuaged my guilt by baking cookies for him on the days he watched her.  I don't think that's such a bad deal...sugar's a good thing, right?

I knew he'd be fine with her, but before his first visit, I bought some new Playdoh for them to play with.  She loves Playdoh, and I wanted to make it easier for him, for it to go well.  "Go," he said to me, when I lingered (Moms!) that first day.  "We'll be fine," he added, shooing me out the door.  [How cool was that?]

When I got back, I had to laugh.  There they sat, at the table, with a huge pile of paisley Playdoh. (Who ever said the colors need to stay separate?)  He'd taught her how to pretend that something was hiding in it, and she was squealing with laughter whenever he'd act like it caught his finger.  He's a hit, I thought.  (As if there were ever any doubt.)

I really knew he was, though, when she began to refer to him as "my Remo" and actually made a facial expression just like one of his one day when she and I were playing with the evil dough.  Any mention of his name, and she'd go to the spot where I kept the Playdoh stuff and get it out.

She really likes him, and who wouldn't?  There's the Playdoh, of course, but he also fingerpaints; he's sat through "Cats and Dogs" once or twice with a drowsy toddler by his side; and he plays with her just about the whole time I'm gone.   She's had so much fun that after he leaves, she usually will take a nap without a fuss.

Did I mention he's prompt, doesn't sweat it as long as I make it back so he can be home for his own kids, and no matter what I've left in the kitchen for him, it's like he wasn't ever in it?  Amazing.

Today was my last Art Masterpiece presentation.  I have a feeling she may miss her new playmate even though we will still run into him as always here and there.  I know I will--he's my naptime hero, lol.

Recently, Ryan was talking to us about his zoo trip, saying something about the lions escaping.  Remo joked that he'd only need to run faster than all the kids were, up a tree or something, and Ryan said "well, what if they still ate you?"  Remo told him he was too old, tough, stringy; that the lions wouldn't like him.

I bit my tongue, because I wanted to tease him that he was only tough on the outside, that he was a softie in the middle, however, I didn't want to ruin his image.  He does have that street cred to uphold, afterall.

It's enough for me that I've caught a glimpse of the other side of Screamin' Remo.  I'm fortunate to have a friend like him.

He's definately full of surprises.


Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Just look at the time

Audrey had her well-visit at the pediatrician's today.  She's healthy (knock on wood) and growing and perfect (her Mommy says so). 

She was not pleased at all to get a shot.  You'd have thought the nurse hit her with a dart from across the room with the holler she let out.  Sigh.  Sorry, sugar, it's gotta be done.

I was talking to my pedi, and he asked about how everyone else was doing.   I filled him in, and then I made a comment that has been floating around in my head for days.

It went something like this...

You know when you have a baby, and you are constantly looking at them each day, noticing how they change overnight?  They reach new milestones, crawling, walking, talking...learning to potty, getting teeth, learning to potty-mouth (!)...and you eagerly await each new thing every day.  You check baby books to make sure that they are reaching them with the zeal you used to reserve for other activities--you know, the ones you enjoyed when you could still shower before 5 pm?

And when you get together with your friends that have kids you all sort of compare notes, especially if they are close in age: "Yes, he's sleeping through the night." "Oh, my god, you should have seen her tantrum!" "Does he run around naked too?"   Not so much to brag (ok, some people do do it to brag) but rather to remind yourself that things are progressing the way they should be, and you are getting most of it right, no matter your degree of experience.

It kind of levels off once they hit school age, because they all have enough similarities about them that the differences are just quirky spots of individualism and not necessarily signs that something is awry.  They stop having that baby-face kindie look, start losing teeth, and just behave like kids...and then you hit 5th grade.

I find myself looking at Nolan everyday, searching for signs that he's changing.  It's like he's a baby again, and I'm looking for signs that he's cutting new teeth, or trying to walk.  Sometimes, the change is subtle; it's the way he holds himself, or the way he moves.  Othertimes, it's a surprise, in-my-face kind of thing; like when he displays his sense of humor, and I crack up until my sides hurt; or outgrows his clothes; or comes up to hug me and I realize as he does it that he's taller.

It's not just limited to Nolan.  I've seen a lot of the same kids since they were in kindergarten, or younger. Whenever I'm at the school, I'm always amazed when I see how quickly they are morphing into teenagers.  Somebody always looks taller, or more grown-up, and it's fun for me to compare the little kid they were with the big kid they are now.

And the parents, I find, are comparing notes again.  We are all in this next gig together, and I think (at least for me) it's reassuring to know that your friends' sweet children sometimes turn into raging hydras too. 

They're reaching new milestones, crawling toward adulthood, gaining inches, changing appearances, and learning to potty-mouth (still !).  Pushing the boundaries again, just like they did during that amusing adolescent preview known as the "terrible twos" --aw, you know you remember that! <I'm still living it ;p>

I'm so lucky that I have fellow parents-in-the-trenches to help me keep up, and remind me that we're all getting most of it right.  Fellow sufferers to hand you a Tylenol, offer you a stiff drink, or just listen as you vent.

Sometimes, it's this support that keeps us from um, locking them up or shipping them off until they turn 18. 

Ha, now there's an option.... ;)

Sunday, April 24, 2005

She moves me

"Close your eyes, honey.  You've had a busy day."  She rolls towards me and I feel her hand on my cheek.  I'm in her bed, trying to convince her to go to sleep.  (She's been doing ok so far in her own bed, and yes, it has Hello Kitty sheets w/ a hot pink blanket, of course.  But I have to stay with her until she knocks out, and I always fall asleep too.  Comfy bed.  Soothing room.  Tired, glad-to-be-staying-still Mom.) 

"Those boys are soo lyowd." 

"Yes, they are, but once you are asleep you won't hear them at all.  Close'em."

I stroke her bangs off her forehead, as I tell her:  "You had your pink balloons, tiny pizzas, a huge pinata, some presents, and birthday cake.  Did you have a good day?"

"Yes."  "But what was your favorite part?"

I see her pause and think..."um, my birthday?  My Hello Kitty."  I sigh--so much for that idea. 

We lay there for a few minutes, and I suddenly hear a little voice as I feel a little hand reach up to stroke the bangs off my forehead.

"What was your favorite part?"

The answer comes out before I realize I'm saying it:
"Laying here next to you, looking at the clouds."   

(I painted clouds on a blue ceiling for her--and Ryan--before she was born.  The walls are a light purply blue, and it's very soothing in there, with the night light, there's just enough light to see them and it gives the room a glow.  This room is one of my favorite places to be.)

We had a great time today.  I think the most fun the kids all had was beating on the pinata.  How often does Mom hand you a bat and tell you to have at it?  It was simply enormous (taller than Audrey) and the boys in particular loved the idea of hitting Hello Kitty--imagine that.  I believe it was Kaylen that delivered the fatal blow, and Nolan who proceeded to try and hog all the candy into a pile in front of him...

And the cake was delicious.

Friday, April 22, 2005

My fertility disclaimer


It didn't dawn on me when I wrote my entry about Audrey's birthday that I was a bit misleading with that first sentence.

Here's my fertility disclaimer:

I am not pregnant, trying to get pregnant, wanting to get pregnant, or wishing I was pregnant.  No uterine twinges at the sights of newborns or spontaneous shopping at baby stores, no "what if" discussions (he'd have me committed, I guarantee it), no choosing the next name "just in case", no hoarding of gently used clothes/toys/swings "for the next time."  [I dutifully find moms-to-be that can use the stuff as soon as I am finished with it.  "No, really, you can have it.  No, don't offer to pay me, just take it out of my house, it takes up too much room."]  If someone hands me a baby, I ooh, ahh, coo, and hand'em back with nary a sigh.

While I do still practice the baby-making activity as much as I can, the making of one just isn't gonna happen. [Here's a tip, for you ladies out there who have men that just can't bring themselves to put their precious cargo under the knife:  Tell 'em how much more, um, enthusiasm and spontaneity you could display if you knew that there was no danger of an, ahm, 8 lb prize waiting at the end of your practice sessions.  See if that helps him put big Jim and the twins up onto the chopping block, lol.]  But for me, well....


Now, back to your regular programming...

My girl

How on earth does a girl get inventive when she's gotta tell her man that he's knocked her up--again?

I don't think I handled it very well with Audrey's upcoming appearance.  He was home for lunch (oh, good timing). He's getting some ice, and I tell him that not only had I not received the monthly visit yet, but that I wouldn't be receiving a visit anytime soon.  Smmooth, that's me.  I can't remember much of his reaction, other than the deep breath he took.  Hey, the kitchen was dark...

As things progressed, I always worried at the back of my mind about how he was dealing with the whole 'another baby' issue.  Sure, we talked, and he was reassuring, but I still worried. 

Until he came home with a funny story one night after an ASU football game.  He'd run into a childhood friend of his, and had told him the news of our new addition.  His friend said to him, "Another baby?  Why don't you just climb on up there (gestures to the top of the stadium) and jump off right now?"  Mr W was laughing, and had a huge grin on his face, so I knew then that everything would be fine.

Today is Audrey's birthday.  She's 3!

She was supposed to be born on the 19th, but I had a really bad cough/cold, and as she was a C-section, I didn't want to be coughing up a lung and dealing with my stitches too.  Luckily, my dr agreed and rescheduled us.

It's surreal when you have a scheduled C-section.  You basically just show up, and a couple of hours later, bam, there you have it.  It takes longer to prep you than to actually get the baby out...usually.  Being the old pro at that that I am, I was laying there, pretty much waiting to hear her. What's taking so long? Tug. Tug.  "We're having a little trouble getting her out." (Great.  Why don'tcha just push on me a little more, because that is so pleasant?)  And suddenly, there she was, crying away.  I looked up at Mr W:  "Can you see her?"  "No, not yet."  Someone appeared at my side, "Here she is..."

Oh!  Look at her--chubby cheeks; round, perfect head.  Ugh, waxy!

And little.  At 7lbs 11oz and 19 inches, my smallest baby.  LOL, as she was the 4th, I thought she'd weigh 15 lbs and come out walking...but instead, I got a baby that looked very babyish for a long time. 

She's grown into a handful, though.  I often tell Mr W that had she been the first baby, she'd have been the only baby. (Kidding, of course.)

So spunky, funny, spirited, smart, and beautiful...just like her brothers.  And so much fun for Mom to finally be able to have some pink in the house. 

The thing I like the most about her is that while she is a very girly girl, she likes to play in the dirt.  In her dresses.  And she's not afraid to be rough--for example, she very daintily removed her shoes yesterday, told the big boys "Ok, I'm ready" and jumped right into the fray afterschool, leaping right onto their dog pile.  My girl with sass.

Tomorrow, we're having a little "Hello Kitty" party for her and she can hardly wait. Of course, she's running around making the boys do her bidding as usual, but today, she's announcing "it's my birthday" before she issues her commands.  Offers they can't refuse, so to speak.

We don't stand a chance, and that's fine.  Three only comes once, and it's a tryrannical year, so I'm starting it off with a bang. 

A big, PINK, bang.


Thursday, April 21, 2005

Sense of humor, my a**

Mood:  a bit annoyed

"You have nice skin,"  he said. 

Okay, I'm thinking, maybe this won't be so bad.

"It's smooth, we won't have to retouch that alot.  I tell people that if I lost weight, I'd be all wrinkled, because it wouldn't be filled in and pushed out."

Okay, maybe he's an idiot.

I'm sitting in a darkened room, on a comfy couch, surrounded by portraits.  I'm looking at a projection screen, a decent-sized one, at pictures I had just posed for, so I can pick my favorite.

It's kind of hard to feel any of them are a favorite when your face is suddenly 3 feet tall and no touching up has happened yet.  OY, what is that?  Do I really need to see myself from that angle?

I'm as vain as the next person, but...I'm feeling like I am gonna run out of there into the first plastic surgeon's office or Baskin-Robbins I see; whichever I come to first.  You see, this wasn't his first comment...

A few seconds earlier, I'd joked that I usually am not accustomed to being the person in the photo, because I'm always the person taking them.  And does he say "Oh, it's cause you're the Mom?" "Oh, it's cause you are the only one that remembers?" "You must be the only one that can use it?"

Oh, no, he says, "I find the safest place to be is behind it." ?? He ponders, murmurs as he's moving the mouse around (gotta love instant digital gratification, at least) "Yeah, like most of the population, myself included, there's an extra pound or two(as the arrow goes over my neck, jaw), but you look good.  Nice skin, no bags under the eyes, big smile...."   I was taken aback.  

I didn't know whether to thank him or kick him in the nuts. 

Why subject myself to such an experience?

I had some work done on my teeth last year.  For me, it was the equivalent of going from an 'a' to a 'dd', for want of a better analogy.  I love my  new teeth, and they look good.  I've been totally pleased with the result--movie star, baby (they were stained before).   My dentist sent me to this photographer to get a picture done for his book.  I was totally okay with it, because I like my dentist alot, and have been so pleased with the result, I thought "why not?"

I even get to keep a copy, all magically touched up, just for me.  :)  Win-win, right?  Maybe.  Not.

Well, I had no idea, Mr Photographer, that I had an 'extra lb or two'--thanks so much for pointing that out.  <eyeroll>

I was brought up to think that I am so much more than a sum of my parts.  My Mom wasn't one of those horrid put-pressure-on-her types that monitored my appearance (a blessing and a curse, lol).  She always made sure to say "you are smart and you are a pretty girl too."   A little attitude goes a long way, and thanks to her, I can call upon it when I need it. 


Where was that attitude today?  It was stuck in the heart of the 13 yr old girl who had her favorite teacher tell her that "you know, you're a pretty girl, but you could be so much prettier if..."  [you get a prize if you fill in the rest of his sentence correctly] " lost a little weight."  [Cringe with me--In retrospect, we were standing by the stairs in my jr high, and I should've helped him have an unfortunate accident, but well, seeing as how I'm the bigger person here... ;) I let him live.  I needed my 'A', afterall.] 

It ultimately didn't matter.  I still had enough going on that I attracted the attention of a certain young man, and on occasion, when I take the Cheerios out of my hair, I clean up nicely.

Get over yourself, girl.

That comment is a demon I need to exorcise.  And if I ever run into that teacher again...

He better hope he's not standing by the stairs.

It's a good thing

Sometimes when people tell me "I don't know how you do it" I smile and tell them "It helps to have a sense of humor."

It's true.  I try to laugh as much as I can...and sometimes it helps, especially when I'm trying not to sweat the small stuff.  It really helps when I'm ranting and Mr W points out how absurd I'm being by cracking up himself as he repeats whatever just came out of my mouth. (okay, sometimes I want to throw something at him, but most of the time, I see it and laugh too)

This morning, I'm rushing kids out the door, so I tell Audrey to go get her chanclas (flipflops).  She says something back to me, but I don't get it right away...then it hits me...she's saying:  "I go in my toes."  As she points her little foot just so, and points to her toes.  Ahh.  The little barefoot contessa will be returning for another summer of "Audrey!  Get back here!  The sidewalk is HOT!!" 

We live in AZ, remember, the sidewalk here can be an eye-opening experience at noon in I don't think this will be a problem.

Well, not for long, lol.

No wonder I'm confused

All these last couple of weeks, the boys have had school projects to do.

We've been nagging Nolan to do his pop-up book report, looking for information online for Ben's rainforest animal (caiman) report, and trying to get Ryan's zoo animal (orangutan) report squared away.

I am just trying to keep track of their progress (well, except for Ryan's, because I'll need to help him out anyway) and make sure they get done.  This can be immensely frustrating, because you know they're gonna insist it's getting done, and you want to believe them, but that sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach tells you otherwise.

Monday, I had a meltdown of Mommy proportions.  Nolan was working on his report...great.  Dad was helping him...even better.  Ben was flitting around...not good.  "Hey.  Dude.  What/where are you at on your report?"  "Uhm, didn't you sign that thingie in my backpack?" 

Before I go on, I need to mention that although their father was home, I'd had about a zillion "Mom." "Mommy." "Hey, Mom" "Get Audrey" and bickering "Stop it." "Mom" "Leave me alone" "I'm telling" comments floating around.  The two hours that had passed since school let out had felt like an entire day.  Considering Audrey's constant soundtrack and the other things I was doing at the time, I was pretty much done at the point when Ben said "signed" and "thingie."  He is notorious for bringing me home huge stacks of paper that appear to have nothing I need in them, but hidden within, have some important must-see document that needs my signature, attention, or both.  And he will invariably ask for it right after I throw out the trash, when no amount of "it's just a little spill" will salvage it.

I lost it. "No, I did not see any 'thingie' and I signed nothing...that last stack of paperwork had just old worksheets in it...I'm DONE with you, Ben, go to your room."

And Mr W, in his infinite wisdom (read: irritation that I was in a bad mood--) turned around and told me "Go. Get out. Go run your errands." Hiss.

Which not only annoyed me more, but made me feel guilty, too.  What, Mom's not allowed to be a bit pushed to the limit now and then?  Grr.

So on the way to collect my shoes, Ben comes up to me with said paper, which he had retrieved from his backpack.  I read and signed.  And apologized for getting mad at him when it was kinda my fault.  See, he had it in his backpack, and I had asked him to put it away before I looked in it.  My bad.  It's just that while I used to be good at going through them right away, now I'm a little lazier, esp now that we've been at it so long this year.  And if I don't make them put their things away right when we walk in, then I have a pile of backpacks and school paraphenalia on the table until dinner.  No way you can look at that clutter and not grit your teeth!

I think next time, I'll just take a deep breath.

Before I steady my aim and fire.


Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Puppy love

Max is back home again.

The vet said that he most likely ate something he shouldn't have, and started the vomiting...then got dehydrated...and couldn't bounce back from it because he's so small.  Also, she says that even though he was weaned, that he may have been sneaking a sip from his Mom occasionally, and that would count for his fluids too, but when we got him maybe he wasn't drinking enough to make up for that loss.  I told her I'd have to agree, because I've seen him searching and trying to nurse on Shadow when they're together!  Poor little guy! 

He's a much different pup today.  Playful, curious, and much more active.  He was playing and running around with Shadow; chasing Audrey, and looking for trouble earlier.  He's eating a bit, and keeping it all down.  And he follows me!  I was making cookies this morning and he was at my feet in the kitchen.

He's asleep at my feet right now.  Aside from the shaved parts on his leg where his IV's were, he looks really good.

Bless his little furry heart.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

What goes in comes back up

I got back in last night from my run to find Mr W sitting on the floor, with Max right in front of him.

At first, I thought, "How cute" and then "how unusual" as Mr W isn't all warm and fuzzy when it comes to our pets.  Then I noticed some paper towels on the floor in front of the pup, and a pile of crumpled up ones next to Mr W.  Another glance at the pup was alarming--he looked pathetic.

"He's been puking for 20 minutes," Mr W informed me, "and I'm just trying to keep him in one spot to prevent him from spewing all over the house."

Great.  I know nothing about this.  And it's late.  My vet is closed.  Consult the book.  No help.  So I'm thinking out loud, and ask Mr W his opinion, then get irritated with him when he says "but it's your dog".  

[You ever have those moments (or days) when your spouse irritates you for no other reason than they irritate you?  He's irritating me.  And I'm trying to ignore it, but grrrr.]

At any rate, I wound up taking Max to the doggie ER at my vet's suggestion/request (she was on call when I left a message for the office).  I was almost out to the main road when he um, had an ugly bowel movement in my lap.  While I was driving.  It's a good thing that with all these children, this didn't even faze me--much.  Ahem.

At the ER, he had a parvo test, which was negative, then they gave him a shot for his nausea and some fluids.  Fabulous. 

I got him home, and he slept pretty much all night, which was surprising.  He hasn't slept well at night since we brought him home. His bleary-eyed owner hasn't slept much either!  I'd chalked it up to new house jitters, and the excitement of being poked and prodded by the kids while narrowly dodging a beating from my black cat.

This morning, I woke up to find him perkier.  I was hopeful that he felt better.  Scooping him up, I give him a cuddle, only to put him right back down again as he was fragrant with eau-de-drunken-frat-boy (after an all night kegger).  Yikes!  He got a bath, of course...

Imagine the assault on my nostrils when I went to take the boys to school and discovered I missed a spot when I cleaned up the van after last night's episode.  I scrubbed away again, and still am getting a whiff of phantom stench with a hint of lavender.  I hope it's phantom, I mean, I don't think I missed anywhere else, and that it's just burned into my brain.

My vets' office called this morning and asked me to bring him in for a recheck.  "He's still dehydrated," my vet says.  "Feel his gums."  His gums felt as dry as the back of my hand.  OMG. He's really sick, poor little guy.  She went on to say that she wanted to keep him overnight and pump him full of fluids to rehydrate him.  She's gonna do some lab work and xray his belly in the morning, b/c labs are known for swallowing and chewing on things they aren't supposed to. (Now I feel I wasn't vigilant enough, and he's swallowed something I missed.  Mommy guilt--extended to include the pets.)

I explain to Audrey that he has to stay, and she's ok with it.  Cool.  I'm crossing my fingers at this point, because she seems to get it...

However, when we leave, she bursts into full-on crying "My puppy!  My Max, he's coming!  I want my puppy!" with such feeling, I'm almost in tears myself.  

"Oh, sweetie, he'll be okay,"  I say reassuringly, for her as much as for me.

And she cried all the way home....

Right about now, I'm feeling pretty fragile myself. 

[P.S.  Mr W was concerned last night even if he didn't come forth with his opinion.  And today, he's worried too, and wondering what's up just like I am.  He's just one of those guys that remains annoyingly neutral at times.]

Monday, April 18, 2005

You look so beautiful tonight...

I just have to gush for a minute or two....we went to U2 on Friday night.  It was fantastic!  I told Mr W that if we won the lottery, I'd fly to see them again anywhere.  Dublin, anyone?

They opened the show with "City of Blinding Lights," coming out onto the circular stage lit with curtains of multicolored lights, just really grabbing onto the audience.  They didn't let go, either, perfectly melding old and new songs with showmanship--there's just no one like Bono.  They sounded great!

The stage was concentric ovals, with lights that would go on around the edges, and a space between the end of the stage and the largest oval where some very lucky people were standing.   The band could walk around on that outer oval, and it was really cool how they used that to connect with everyone.  We were up behind the band, but I'd be hardpressed to say our seats were bad, because we could see everything.  I had clear view of the stage and the video screens, and the speakers were at that feel-it-in-your-chest level right in front of us that was peerrrfect.  I was on my feet, dancing and singing along for almost the entire time.  I still have a bit of hoarseness in my voice this morning to prove it :) 

About 3 songs into it, I leaned over and planted a kiss on Mr W's head, and told him "I DO owe you!"  I'm so glad that he was listening to the radio last Monday, I'll never tease him about his choice of stations again.

While I enjoyed the concert, I enjoyed people-watching too.  I haven't been to a concert in ages, but some things never change...I saw lots of interesting characters...

Mr and Ms 'Oh, just-get-a-room-already':  This couple were so busy canoodling,  I think they missed half the show.  Should've scalped their tickets and used the money to check in at the motel down the street.  Don't get me started on the slip she was wearing to pass as a top...I don't know you, do I really need to see that much of your underwear before we are formally introduced?

Enraptured chick:  This lady was really, really, into it.  I don't think she saw anything because her eyes were closed, her hand was outstretched, and she was swaying; not unlike anything you might see at a church revival.  I told Mr W that the ushers better keep an eye on her, I was so certain she'd be moved into jumping off the edge of our section...and a few minutes later, the usher did come down and tell her to scoot towards her seat.  Whew!

Mr I-Have-No-Rhythm-But-I'm-Gonna-Dance-Anyway:  I looked over my shoulder at one point, and caught a vision of this man, slinging his arm around in what was not a seizure, but a dance move.  He must've bought the seat next to him, no one could've been sitting there without being in danger of losing an eye...and saw another guy doing almost the same thing across the aisle.  Who knew you needed a set of protective pads to go to a concert?

Ms Don't-Hate-Me-Cuz-I'm-Youthiful:  It's her outfit.  Really.  Just because she's 45 and is dressed like a 16 yr old, doesn't mean she's not fun.  It just goes to show that if you are gonna get carded to buy alcohol, you should also be carded to shop at Roxy once you hit a certain age.  I'm not saying older women aren't fabulous (because they are), I'm just saying look in the mirror.  If your ensemble screams "16 yr old tart" and you aren't 16 anymore, use some restraint, and some more fabric.  Please.

Mr Leather:  This man is the reason why SPF exists.  He was sooo dark, he'd make George Hamilton look like he'd never seen the sun.  Although we live in Arizona, the perpetual rays state, you have to admire someone who is willing to sacrifice that much time into getting a 'bit of color' in his skin.  (I resisted the urge to ask him for the phone # of his dermatologist :p)

The 'Gotta Dance, Gotta Sing, Gotta Shout and Do My Thing' along group:  The band came out, and the crowd rose to its feet. Yet  this group of people were scattered throughout the arena, shaking their groove thing and having a good time even after some of the crowd sat down...yup, my group!  We know all the words, we sing along, and aren't afraid to dance either.  Why sit down?  You can sit in the parking lot afterwards, while you wait for the 20,000 other people that are leaving too.  You're thinking 'I'll sit down after this, my favorite, maybe after this, this one...hey, they're all my favorites!'  before you know it, it's time for the encore, and you've been up the entire time.  Oh, so that's why my feet hurt....

I had a great time, and so did Mr W.  Although I don't know if he had a better time watching the concert, or watching his wife jump around like a rabid fan. 

I didn't have to walk home, so I think I know the answer to that.

Now, where's my passport?  ;)

Today's Blue Screen Special

Ohhh, don't the powers that be at AOL know better than to mess with me on a Monday morning? 

I'm just trying to get my daily dose of "Un-Common Sense"....and there is nothing but the big BLUE screen to greet me.  ??  What's up with that?  The answer to this mystery was revealed to me by email:


EDITORS(s),   I can no longer reach my primary journal at I returned from vacation to find out that there was an apparent attempt to up-load improper files to my ftp space.  I loaded cute beach and bird pictures, not TOS violation trash.   My screen name was locked.  When this was corrected, I could no longer reach my primary journal; however, I can reach my other journals.   Attempting to deal with the Community Action Team is extremely .. EXTREMELY .. difficult.  Several .. SEVERAL .. times, I have to repeat .. REPEAT .. what I had already stated in very clear and uncertain terms.    I simply want my main journal put back where it was and with all of my past journals as they were - and I don't want to be transferred to 17 more people who have to struggle .. STRUGGLE .. through their communication skills to accomplish a simple task.   As I stated in my journal while I was featured at the top of your list, I would be more than willing .. MORE THAN WILLING .. to pay extra for every single call where I can speak to someone who understands English.   I am having to spell, re-spell, and re-spell, and re-spell my journal name - screen name and URL to people who continually "re-assure" me that they are going to help me... and that I should worry about anything.   This is ridiculous.  RIDICULOUS.   What do I need to do to get my journal back?   Please, oh please, oh PLEASE give me a phone number where I can speak with anyone .. ANYONE .. at AOL who speaks English and is capable of solving problems.   Regards,   Armand


There you have it.  Interestingly enough, the only objectionable thing you might run  into in Armand's journal is an opinion that might differ from your own. 

I'm off to practice my language skills.   When the journal lock is off, and Armand is back, I'm gonna need them to complain about those cute beach pictures (because even a seagull shouldn't be seen wearing a Speedo).

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Time for my Six pack

Saturday Six - Episode 53

Picture from Hometown

1. If you played last week, did you actually go back to the very first edition of the "Saturday Six" to see what the first set of questions really were?  Were you surprised at the answer?
I did, but not until this morning.  I wasn't surprised, b/c I got it wrong!

2. When you signed on to AOL today, how many new E-mails were in your Inbox?  How many were in your Spam Folder? I had 6, I think (I check it all the time, I'm sooo important, ha!).  Spam folder had 3.

3. If there was one childhood friend from your youth that you could meet today to find out what happened to them, who would it be and why? My first best friend, Ana Marie.  We kept in contact for a bit when she moved in 4th grade, and the last time she resurfaced for a day or two we were in high school.  Mr W developed a smidge of a crush on her, so maybe this isn't a good idea after all....

4. How much weight would you like to gain or lose?  Whose body would you most like your own to resemble?
HAHAHA, gain? Ugh, I'll just say there's a loss goal, but it's private.  (We girls are touchy that way ;p) The next part is easier, or at least more fun to consider: I'd like it to resemble is Salma Hayek's, with Gwen Stefani's perfect belly.  I'll just call that plastic surgeon who specializes in gene therapy while I'm at it, lol.

5. What is the last CD or cassette you listened to in your car? The last one was U2 ("all you can't leave behind"); concert hangover, I can't help it.

6. RAPID FIRE QUESTION #1:  "The last time."  When is the last time you:
a. ...Lied to someone you care about? Thursday, it was harmless, and I told him the truth immediately because it was a surprise for him.  And I couldn't wait.
b. ...Were tempted to reveal a secret that no one else knows?  The last time one of my work friends was pregnant (a few months back.)  And you know how hush-hush some people can be about these things, even when everyone else there is starting to get suspicious.  Oh, but there are a couple I have on standby that are secret, secret, top secret.  I could tell you, but I'd have to kill you.
c. ...Payed a bill online? Aack!  Never.
d. ...Saw a movie trailer that made you want to see the movie it advertised? The one for the latest "Star Wars" installment that I saw in March.
e. ...Took an aspirin or pain reliever? LOL, I have 4 kids, I take Tylenol to drown out the voices constantly.  Just kidding, maybe last week sometime.
f. ...Hung up on someone? Why bother?  If I'm that annoyed, I'm gonna let you know right then, not waste it with a hang up.
g. ...Turned down an invitation to a party? Thursday, for a baby shower taking place tomorrow.  I have to work.  

h. ...Filled your car's gas tank? Yesterday.  I still have sticker shock.
i. ...Had an unexpected knock on your door? This morning.  And it wasn't for me!
j. ...Ate a meal that left you absolutely stuffed?
  Thanksgiving.  I don't like the 'stuffed' feeling and avoid it whenever I can.


Adding on


Yesterday, I brought home this little cutie. 

We named him Max, because Audrey won't call him anything else.

We are still getting acquainted.  The way the dynamics around here have gone, I may have just brought home another baby, what with all the competition to hold him, the 3 hours of sleep I got last night, and the misbehaving on Audrey's part because she wants to do it all.  "I do it!"   "No, honey, I'll clean that up."  ;) 

On the bright side, bringing home this baby didn't involve gaining 20 lbs, sore nipples, and mood swings--well for me, anyway.

OMG, is he ever cute....

In two more weeks, when he's chewed up all my favorite books, that might be his saving grace, lol.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Pack it up, move 'em out

It never ceases to amaze me the things that can get a kid worked up.  Ryan lost 40 cents in the van yesterday (playing with his change after I told him to keep it in his pocket) and it was a major emergency.  I was about ready to pull over, thinking something serious had happened, when I realized he was fine and it was hardly a reason to come to a screeching halt on the shoulder of the road.  And my Dad wonders why I have a CD habit and play the music too loud...I just tell him it's music, my sanity; or no music, kill the grandchildren. 

He saw it my way, and even sprang for a couple of CDs the last time we were out.

But I digress.

It's spring, and I look around the house, thinking about projects that need to be tackled.  Audrey needs her bed set up (buy the mattress, do up the room for her and Ryan, kick 'em out of my room); I need to repaint the bathrooms, and get a new baseboard for my bathroom (yeah, that's been a to-do for 3 yrs now); blinds need to be replaced before they crumble into dust when someone touches them, not to mention the blinds my formerly fat cat has bent back in his quest to ogle the birds in the front yard; and general sprucing up in all the spots that get ignored but over time are well, untidy.


I hate doing this stuff, because I am forced to realize that we are squeezed in here pretty tight.  I like my house, and sure, it's little considering the whole of us, but I hardly think it's a horrible thing that the kids share their rooms.  I figure it's just preparing them for their future dorm/apartment lives when space is limited and close-quartered.  I'm also counting on them getting along with their sibling in such close proximity will make them better roomies for someone else.  Life skills, isn't that what I'm supposed to be teaching them? 

I was smarting recently because someone made a comment about how she thinks about "all of you crammed into that little house."  I ranted on to Mr W about it, telling him what I told her; that I'd love a bigger place, but don't want to move, I like our school, and a bigger place means I'd have to work more, which would cancel out my staying home for the kids...and that by the time Audrey is old enough to need her privacy, Nolan will be 21 and hopefully finishing up school/out of the house.  Mr W points out to me that perhaps we might even have two out of the house, as Ben would be 18 or 19 by then...and I clutched my hand over my heart.  "Stop it," I told him, "I have my mind wrapped around ONE of them being gone, not TWO!!" 

Yeah, for all my bitching and complaining about 'grow up, I need a break', I'm not nearly as ready as I'd like to believe to see anyone go.  I've got some  time to work through this, however, and I'm sure by the time I have 3 teenagers running around, I'll be begging for the relief of graduations.  That or I'll be quietly be attending a 12-step meeting of some kind at the local community center.

It hardly helps this restlessness about the house in general that it seems everyone is finding a new, fabulous place.  I've got Chantal talking about her farmhouse that she'll be moving into soon.  I imagine all that space for everyone to run around, and her giant rooms, and honestly can relate to her getting excited about the laundry room.  If you think getting hot and bothered about the size of your laundry room is odd, well, you haven't been stuck trying to figure out how the hell you will soak out that ugly yellow mustardy stain (if breastmilk is  so natural, why does the resultant poo stain worse than anything manmade?  So glad to be past that) in the hallway bathroom's sink without the kids "helping" and making it a project....the prospect of a laundry room with enough room for's worth some heavy breathing, I'm telling you. 

Then there's Tara, who has found the perfect location, location, location place for her and her roomie.  She's been fantasizing about fixing up her new beautiful  bedroom with lovely windows in a fabulous way.  I'm just trying to find a bedroom set that will look great and take the beating of everyone jumping and lounging on it.  Mom's bed is best for that, afterall, isn't it?

Laura's been repainting her house and I'm feeling lazy about not getting to my various repainting ideas....

And then there's the moves that are hitting closer to home.

My good friend Darin and his wife that live just a couple of miles away are moving back to Tucson.  I'm excited for them, they sold their house here rather quickly and for some serious moola, and I know relocating will work out well for them.  I'm trying to be reasonable about it...don't want them to go, what with them being so close, but honestly, with our schedules, I'll probably see more of them when they move to Tucson than I do now, lol. 

Another good friend of mine, Jane, and her family are also gonna move soon.  They will be moving further from us, and so her daughter won't be going to school with us anymore; but not so far away that I won't be able to visit often.  Her house-to-be sounds pretty cool, with a loft and everything.  "Someplace to throw the kids when they come over," she said.  They have a waterpad and pool in the community area there too, I think she mentioned.  Water fun is always a bonus in AZ in the summertime!  Wow, someplace to throw the kids that's not my bedroom or outside and water fun?  Sign me up, we may move in with her over the next heat wave!  (just kidding, Jane ;p)

I have to admit it's getting to me, and I'm wistfully looking at all the house ads in the paper. 

But this morning, I read Remo's entry.  I'm laughing, and suddenly I feel a bit better about staying in my own crowded little corner of the world.  I feel even better after Mr W reads it and says "Funny, and true."  Should your plan B not work out, Remo, you can always park the Airstream in our big unlandscaped backyard, lol.

Where's Audrey?

<deep breath> Well, there's an argument right here, behind me, for staying put until  the kids are older.

It seems the Princess was entertaining herself with "my painting".  I had given her watercolors while I was doing this...Mr W points it out to me as he's heading out the door.  She's spilled her little cup of dirty watercolor water on the carpet.  (I have predominately tile in my house, yet the kids and the cats always seem to make a mess on the carpet, go figure, Murphy's law, I guess--)  I gather up the cleanup supplies, and get to work.  I'm on my knees, blotting away, when I look up.  What's that on the wall?  Oh.  It seems she also "cleaned" the wall with her dirty watercolor water too.

Watercolor is a beautiful word.  It comes off of almost everything.  My carpet and wall are fine.

I'm not moving until the kids are bigger.  Will there still be messes?   Of course there will be.  They'll just be different ones, and I'll be able to enlist them to help clean them up without having to do it again behind them.

As for the space issue, well, I don't think that there's ever really enough space.  You find other things to fill it up, and wind up being crunched again.  This way, I'm forced to get rid of the peripheral, unimportant junk that follows us around (the papers!  the toys!), and focus on the important business of squeezing us together in what Ryan calls a "hug pile."

And a hug pile is absolutely worth the space it takes up.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Another edition of "Mommy what's ___?"

I had another teaching moment, and I went overboard.  Poor boy.

Nolan and I were watching t.v. alone (he likes to watch "House" with me).  During the show, a commercial came on for the local newscast, with the usual teasers they throw out to get you to watch.  One of them was "if you're thinking about breast implants, you'll want to see what ...has to say about silicone."

He says to me:  "Mom, why would anyone want to think about that?"

At first, I almost dismissed it, but then I decided to run with it.  "Son, when you see images of women on t.v. or in magazines or ads, or even some video games,  what do their breasts look like?"

"I'm not gonna answer that."

"Nolan, come on, humor me, don't be embarrassed.  Big, or small?"

He murmurs, almost whispers, "Big."  Well.  At least we can chalk one up to the big media machine perpetuating the bigger is better image when it comes to boobs, lol. 

"Yup, big.  A lot of men think bigger breasts are sexy, and you'll understand that in a few years.   But they come in a variety of sizes, and some are big, some are small, some sag, some don't.  Now, women that have smaller ones sometimes have a special surgery where they get a balloon-type sack full of saline or silicone put inside their boob to make it look bigger.  You know how you hear me make comments like "fake ones" when I talk to your Dad sometimes?  That's what I'm referring to.  They look um, different.  No sag.  No movement."    I didn't get into the reasons why someone might have this done (self-image wise), b/c I was losing my audience, and I'll get to it some other time.  Of course, I realize all this is not gonna matter to him one whit once the puberty monster rocks his world, but I do what I can to inform and educate.

"Oh."  And that was that.

I'm thinking "oh"?  All he can say is "oh"?  I'm glad that my 11 yr old can tell that there is a preponderance of 'big' ta-tas in all the media he sees.  And I'm glad that he's also seen um, as one of my friends put it, "working" breasts (as in nursing).   At least there's that to balance it out (or scar him for life, whatever the case may be, lol).  But I thought he might have had something else to add besides "oh." 

Got a little ahead of myself, went overboard?  Probably.  But I don't want to not address it either, especially when the opportunity presented itself and he asked a question.  Granted, he probably didn't expect a lecture on the imagery of women in media, but I couldn't stop myself once I got started.  I want to point it out to him, so he knows oh, I don't know, truth in advertising maybe? (I'll tell him about non-surgical ways to fake it someday in Victoria's Secret, or maybe not, some things are better left to find out on your own, lol.)     ;) 

My question is why do these things always come up when his Dad isn't home???   Oh, man, I'm sure he would've loved to hear me give that bit of info, right before he stepped in to take over and save the boy from another of Mom's not-entirely-age-appropriate tirades about the roles of women in society.   Next time, it's definately his turn, even if I have to have him phone it in.

I don't mind discussing issues like sex and puberty with Nolan.  I don't want to be puritanical about it, and I am the science girl, so I can at least give accurate information.   True, I may blush as I do it, but I'll tell him what he needs to know.

However, this time, I have to agree with a comment Remo once made:  "Moms don't give the Talk!  That's icky."

I'll just have to pass that on to Mr W and step aside until the boy comes to me.

Words that strike fear in my heart

"Mommy, Audrey has disgusting PURPLE lips,"  Ryan announced to me.

Oh, no.  I know exactly where she is, and what she's doing, and it strikes fear in my heart anyway.  I scoot down the hall, asking her to come to me, and turn the corner into my bathroom (expecting the worst) to find her perched on the toilet seat.  She's looking into the mirror, wiping her lips with toilet paper.  And there's the distinctive color of one of my favorite MAC lipsticks on it.  I'm gulping in horror, envisioning that I'll find my lippy in the trash can, or worse, with the tip I maintain perfectly mashed down, but there's nothing there.  What did she do with it?  

"Where is it?  Where is my lippy??"  I asked her, still fearing the worst.  She points to the jar where I keep them (the ones not currently in rotation, lol), guiltily, like she put it back the second she heard Ryan telling on her.  At least she didn't use it to write on the mirror or the walls, and the end of my lippy is not mashed down.  I'm so anal retentive about it that my friend Jenny teases me about it, that the tip of my lippy must be maintained in the shape it originally came in.  I can't help it, it's so pretty that way.  Could I be any more girl than that?? 

I may let everything else slide, I let the kids play pretty much with all my stuff, but my makeup/lippy are off limits.  My purse is too, most of the time. 

It's a good thing, because I don't think Viva Glam III will look as nice on the boys as it does on me.

Monday, April 11, 2005

He is Wonderful, indeed!

Okay, here's the deal:  I bought the new U2 cd a while ago, LOVED it and told Mr W I wanted to go...and maybe take the boys, cuz I thought it might be fun. 

The tickets sold out for two shows here before I even knew they were on sale.  I was bitter, because I've seen them before, and they really put on a good show.  I even started to seethe a bit everytime a song came up on the radio (I'd change stations) or my iPod (I'd skip it) like a big baby (WAAAHH!)  Oh well, I thought, it's for the best, I couldn't have taken all of us anyway--kinda expensive, lol.

Last night, we were in the car, and of course, the radio guys are talking about the upcoming concert, and I told Mr W, "You know, I'm gonna try to win tickets all week."  And I still pouted like a big baby because I was disappointed about the whole deal.  Ultimately, it's not something that would've mattered in the grand scheme of things, but I really wanted to go, and felt silly for dropping the ball and not finding out when the tickets were gonna be available in the first place.  

Mr W walked in today after physical therapy and started feverishly typing on the computer.  He calls me over, hands me a piece of paper, and says "Call this number, and tell them you listen to 620, and that you are calling about U2 tickets.  They have some available at face value.  You SO owe me :) "  He went on to say that he's horrible at remembering phone #'s, so he turned off the radio to concentrate, and chanted the name of the ticket place all the way home.  AWWW.  I'm feeling the love.

I called.  I got tickets for FRIDAY NIGHT!!  It's a DATE!!!  My Mom will babysit, and puppy sit (more on that later) and the bottom line is I'm going to the concert! 

Now, I just need to find out exactly what it is that I owe him....

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Where'd the week go?

I thought I had allergies, but maybe it's a cold.  (Thanks, mija.)  At any rate, I took some medicine earlier, and I'm feeling Benadryl-mellow.  Hope I can stay awake for this, and that it makes sense!   

Saturday Six - Episode 52

Picture from Hometown

1. Where did you buy the last fast food you ate?

McDonald's.  Kid's choice.

2. What was the last movie you watched in a theater?

"Robots"  (Kid pick again.  Funny movie!)

3. When you walk into a room, what do you think people notice first about you?  What do you wish they'd notice first about you? 

LOL, people don't notice me first when I walk into a room, they notice my kid posse. I wish they'd notice...that there's a lot more to me than just the kid posse. 

4. You win a special lottery but you aren't allowed to keep any of the money.  Instead, it must go to a single charitable organization.  Which would you choose and why?

Susan G Komen Breast Cancer FoundationBecause it seems pharmaceutical companies are more concerned with heartburn, allergies, and four-hour erections than this. 

5. What was the subject of the most recent E-mail you forwarded? 

I usually don't forward email, but the last one was poking fun at the South. 

6. Without looking, which of the previous five questions would you most expect to have been asked in the very first episode of the "Saturday Six?"  After you answer, if you go back to the first edition, don't reveal the answer here.     

My guess would be #2.

Saturday, April 9, 2005

Comfy, comfy

Well, it's finally here--Mr W's recliner!

I got called a couple of days ago that it was in.  Initially, I was supposed to have it delivered, but impatience took over and I changed the arrangements so we could pick it up today.  It's this chair in this fabric.  You'll have to use your imagination to put the two together.  Trust me, it looks good in the room.

It comes apart into two pieces, and that's how I got it home in the van.  So we had to put it back together when we got it into the house, and let me just say that it's harder to do than it looks...and Mr W got a little irritated while doing it.   Men!  Chill, dude, it's a chair...

He's been in it since we got it set up.  I think he's taken bathroom, dinner, and snack breaks, but that's it, lol.  We've all been circling him like sharks, waiting for our chance to strike, but he's sneaky and quick, so we've only managed to have 'try-out-tap-your-butt-down-into-the-seat, okay, that's enough' moments.  I'm surprised he doesn't encase it in bubble wrap every time he gets up so we don't sit in it or <gasp> soil it.

He's so very pleased with it, that I teased him:  "Yeah, sure, I see how this'll turn out,  if something happened, and you left me.   I'd get the kids and the dogs, you'd get the chair, right?  Do I need a post-nupt now?"  I think I may have briefly seen a smile cross his face, but he's so relaxed, it's hard to tell.  (Although, as rooted as he is in that thing, I don't think he'll be in a hurry to go anywhere anytime soon.)

That's ok.  I'm a patient girl, remember?  He has to go to work sometime...and I will seize his spot the second the garage door closes on Tuesday morning. 

That's if the cats and kids don't beat me to it. 

A little catnip and "it's time for school, guys" oughta take care of that.  ;)

Friday, April 8, 2005

It was a zoo out there

What was that book, "All I Ever Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten"? 

Today, on our kindergarten trip to the zoo, I learned:

*The quickest way from point A to point B is a straight line.  And to a kindie, a straight line includes a lot of look at what's in the water, to walk on the curbing, to dash across the path to the exhibit on the other side, to run up ahead to try to catch another of their know, a straight line.

*"We need to hurry" is a cue to walk in as many straight lines as possible.

*"When's lunch?  I'm hungry."  will be the first words out of their lips the second you set foot inside the zoo, before even asking to see the lions, tigers, and bears (oh my!).  (You really didn't think I'd pass that one up, did you? ;p )

*You will be grateful for the other adults that volunteered to come along, and especially grateful to the other Mom in your group for not glaring at you as you bring up the rear.  (She lead, I got the stragglers to follow--teamwork!)

*Your trip is well planned, by your teacher (bless her, now, and often).  However, as many schools as possible with other well-planned trips will be there at the zoo on this very day too.  Kids, kids, and more kids--everywhere.  AND they are all pretty much the same size.  Why didn't I think of matching colored shirts early enough to tell the teacher when she passed out permission slips? 

*Put one of the three adults in your group in charge of the two yr old tag-along you brought with you...before she nearly follows another group into a tunnelled exhibit and you look up in time to see her floral dress making the turn with them, losing years off your life in the process as you sprint faster than you ever have, making promises to yourself to look into that kiddie leash thing the next time you are in Target.  OY! 

*You will not have enough time to see anything but the highlights, but the kids will have picked animals located the furthest distance from each other in the place to do their zoo report on, so you'll be forced to march them from one end to the  other as quickly as possible, (see "hurry" and "straight line" above) while they want to stop at every exhibit in between.

*Lunch will be a nice break.  And they'll still be hungry after they eat it.

*The line to the women's restroom will be longer than the line at the last concert you attended.  You will contemplate asking your husband to take all the kids (yes, the girls too) into the mens' room just to get 'em in and out of there quickly so you can make it to the bus departure in time.  And you will contemplate going in there too, before you reach the breaking point and run behind the highest bush (4 pregnancies= weak bladder = desperate times, desperate measures.  Oh, not to worry, I held it, and tried not to laugh or sneeze the rest of the time we were there.  Can we say Kegel, ladies?)

*You will have a really good time in spite of it all.  Especially when you get your husband and his colleague--who was there with his daughter's class from another school, small world--to pose goofily so you can waste the last exposures on your roll. (This is where I learned not to say "I dare you" to a cop, ROFL.  I was giggling so hard, and trying not to, I think those will come out blurry.)

*Toddler will knock out on the drive back, but wake up the second Daddy exits the car and cry all the way back to the school.  Crankyville, cured by Barbie DVDs and snacks. (She's on "Princess and the Pauper" now, where are my earplugs, I'm about to sing along, omg--)

We had a great time, especially so after we put Mr W in charge of Audrey and my heart rate returned to normal. The kids, while all over the place, were really good.  I even managed to run into my brother, who was there with my nephew.  His school had an overnight zoo field trip, how cool is that?  The kids got to bring home a zoo animal they stuffed themselves, and everyone is happy. 

I didn't mess up the lunches this morning (running low on chips doesn't count as my fault), zipped my pants, was relatively on time, brought along the camera...

And I remembered where we parked the van.


I have been thinking about dreams ever since last weekend's Saturday Six.

I dream, all the time, and can recall them pretty well the next day.  When I was getting married, I'd have all these dreams about things going wrong with the ceremony, etc. that my friend Janna used to reassure me were just my mind working out the stress in a (somewhat) non-threatening way.

When I was pregnant, it would always intensify.  I had a gory dream about my cat being vivisected (ew) and dreams about swimming with whales during my first time around.  And every single night that I was pregnant with Ben, I had dreams about a particular celebrity.  LOL, I was the best-rested preggo ever, I mean if you were dreaming about um, david duchovny, wouldn't you be?  Of course, these dreams were interspersed with heart-pounding ones where I dreamt that I lost Nolan or someone took him from me while we were out shopping. (I still have these, about all of them, and I've noticed a pattern to them--they happen when I'm stressed about whatever is happening to them in their kiddie lives that I find worrisome-)  And with these, I also attributed them to my mind working out the stress of pregnancy, having another baby to care for, or preggo hormones (aren't they fun?).

I was amused when I read this month's issue of InStyle (my fav annual best beauty buys issue).  There's an article with Sandra Bullock, who says that she has "vivid (racy) dreams that I'm convinced are real, where I'm with someone I know, and the next day I can't look at the person.  And they don't know why-in my head we've had this torrid affair."  I had to laugh.  I have these dreams too, but most of the time, it's not someone I know, and I can figure out how Mr W works into the grand scheme of the thing.  However, if it does happen to be someone I know, well, there's a lot of stammering and blushing the next time I happen to run into them, if I can manage a sentence at all without recalling some of the dream at the same time.  Oh, so embarrassing!  (LOL, there is no kind of stress I can give these credit to, which makes it even worse, even if they are entertaining.  And although it may seem racy to me at the time, when I think about it, my dreams rarely get past the get-acquainted stage...not innocent, but hardly pornographic-)

I had one of these last night.  I'm blushing right now. And yet, it was strangely disappointing, what with the attitude of the person in it, who was almost mad about the whole thing.  Hey, that's not my fault, I didn't chose the guest star this time.  Aack!  At least it's not someone I see on a daily basis, I have time to recover my composure.

Hee hee.  Until tonight? ;)

Ha, my mind is a funny thing lately.  Forgetting things, odd dreams, what's next?

I need a nap....a dreamless, restful one.

Thursday, April 7, 2005

It's still missing

Some more tales reflecting my total lack of focus:

The other night, I was following Mr W home.  He left the garage door open since I'd be pulling in shortly.  I saw the door still open as I drove up, and I still reached up for the remote anyway, and shut the door as I drove into the driveway.  At least he got a laugh out of that.

Today, I'm looking ahead, planning for Audrey's big birthday.  It'll just be family and friends, cake, and 'tiny' food.  (She is currently obsessed with 'tiny'.  She holds her index finger and thumb just about an inch apart, and proclaims "tiny" juice, "tiny" poop, "tiny" whatever.  It's adorable.)  She happens to conveniently like 'tiny' bite size pizzas I get from the Schwan's man, so I thought, oooh, perfect for our get together.  'Tiny' oven work, 'tiny' cleanup, 'tiny' is good.  

I clear out some room in the freezer to make space for the extra pizzas.  I order extras when he shows up.  I'm loading up the freezer, telling everyone that these pizzas are not for ordinary consumption, but for Audrey's little party...when it dawns on me the Schwan's guy comes every two weeks.  He'll be here again a couple of days before I'll actually be needing them, which would have worked out just great, but instead, I have a freezer full of 'tiny' pizza right now. 'Tiny' is not so good.  

Ordinarily, this would be nothing to get all wound up about, but with the size of my freezer, I have to at least sigh at myself as I rub my temples wondering 'what was I thinking?' At least now, if they do eat some of them, it'll be no big deal.  I can still get some more.  And if no one eats them at her little soiree because they are all jacked up on sugar and excitement, and I still have a freezer full,  well, I can always count on my coworkers.  Nothing goes unclaimed for long there, even if it looks like it could walk out of the freezer all by itself.

This airheadedness is really getting to bug me.   Okay, so you forget something once or twice, it's charming, it's idiosyncratic...but for the last ten days or so?  I better stop the vitamins, and start the ginko biloba.   I hate it when I'm off my game, off my rocker, just off.  Egad, who has time for that? 

Tomorrow, Ryan and Nolan both have field trips.  I have to pack lunches for both of them.  Anyone want to place bets that I somehow mix them up?

Mr W has the day off, and we are taking Audrey and joining all the kindergartners (Ryan's class + all the others) at the zoo.  I'm not worried about keeping track of kids, or not having fun (it's Audrey's first time there).

I'm just hoping I remember where we park the van.

Wednesday, April 6, 2005

Ok, who took it?

Okay, who took my brain? 

The other day, I was doing laundry, and getting Ryan ready for school, among other things.  I remember putting the detergent in, and closing the door.  The appropriate time elapsed, and I went to move the clothes from the washer to the dryer....and there were no clothes in the washer.  The load was sitting in the hallway where I'd left it

This afternoon, I ran the dishwasher.  I remember putting detergent in it, making sure the tap water was hot, and turning it on.  This evening, Mr W is unloading it, but then I hear noises in the kitchen that sound like he's reloading it.  "You put the soap in but forgot to run it."  "Nuh-ah, I remember running it, I know I turned it on."  "Well maybe it's the fact that the Crock-Pot <it is a a big one> is sitting right in the way of the mechanism that comes up and actually does the washing...that blocked it and the detergent is all bunched up on the dishes and the top rack of stuff is still dirty."  Faaaabulous.  Sigh.

Late this evening, I hear him start up the washing machine.  Oh, crap!  I remember the little load I threw in yesterday morning before I took Ryan to school, ran Audrey to my Mom's and went to work for some 'mandatory' training...and never moved to the dryer, which also, it seems, had something in it.  I     just          forgot.  It should count in my favor, somewhere in here, that I did finish at work and get back here to pick up all from school on time, shouldn't it?

It appears to me someone must have taken my real brain and replaced it with Folger's crystals.    (remember that commercial? if you don't that means I'm oooold, so just smile and nod like you do--)

And I can tell the difference, so please bring my real brain back.  Before I do something else ridiculous, like drive off to take the kids to school, but forget to put them in the van first.  Or try to start the thing up using the wrong car key (oh,yes, I've done that too). 

I'm taking solace in the fact that everyone in the house is able to holler, at least, if they see me start to leave the house in an embarrassing state of undress, should I forget to button my shirt or oh, I don't know, put on pants.

Thank goodness for small favors.


Patience and aging

As I catch my breath and count to ten, I often joke to Mr W that it's a good thing that we're done having kids, because I'm getting too old to maintain the level of patience it takes to be around them.  I like to think I'm a patient girl, and those who've seen me in action can feel free to agree or disagree, but sometimes...sometimes I must throw my hands up in the air in defeat, raise my voice, lose my temper, burst into tears, or just plain go for a walk in order to preserve my sanity.  I love them, I planned for them all (and I hate, hate, hate it when people think otherwise--oh, I can tell when they are giving me the 'doesn't she know about birth control look-- or give me the 'oh you finally had your girl' 'would you have kept going until you had a girl' 'are you gonna have another' 'aw, look, you almost have a basketball team'-- seriously, these people, they think they are being clever, they can just bite me), but its still not the easiest thing I've ever chosen to do. 

After I'm done telling Mr W that, I usually move on to a teary tirade about how I'm shortchanging the younger two, that I'm different with them, that they aren't getting as much attention because the older two sucked it all out of me and now there's just no time at the end of the day to play in the bathtub or linger over anything because it's an assembly line for everything now, and sniff, sniff, bwaaah, there I go.  He pats me on the back, or makes some crack that leaves me in stitches, and I'm ready to jump in the saddle again.  Until the next breakdown.

I'm beating myself up lately because I'm feeling the pressure of potty training.  I have a bright girl, and she'd be trained by now, I'm sure, if her mother were more uber and less lazy.  She's been interested in and trying the potty for some time.  I've been encouraging, but not in a way that has moved things along as quickly as they could be.  And you know what?  She's learning anyway.  I'm getting more on the ball with it, and I think she could possibly be done soon (I can't put a time frame on it, lest I fail).  But, OMG, I've forgotten how hard it can be to deal with this when you are out and about.

Today, we were in Kohls and the bathrooms there areALL the way in the back of the store, past the kid's section ("Look, Mommy!  Dressies!  I want that one!") AND the little overpriced toy section, too. [believe me when I say I can tell you where the bathroom is and the quickest way to get there in any store, go on, quiz me, I dare you]  I needed to look at some shoes, on the other end of the store, and look around the ladies section too (hey, I'm already there, aren't I?).  "Walking" was the order of the day from my little one, ok, she is big enough to walk...and stop every five feet to look at something, to touch something, to make me nervous as she scoots away--to hide in a rack and jump out "Peekaboo!" (it's cute).  I had to go potty, so I figure she's gotta go too (of course I remembered to ask her, I do recall that much from training the boys, lol).  And voila!  she went, no big deal.  Off to Mommy's business.

We are almost to the shoe section, after she's touched all the squishy pillows in the center aisle, and we've looked around the ladies section (felt like forever, took about five minutes) when she stops dead in her tracks, clutches at herself and announces she's gotta go "poop, my 'tomach hurts."  Sigh.  "We were just there...are you sure?"  ***I never would've asked the boys this, I would've whisked them off right away, appropriate treat/praise in hand, and not worried about it***  "Yes, I gotta goooo!"  Sigh, roll my eyes, realize that I'm being unreasonable, lol, and whoosh her up to put her in the stroller "No strollie, I have to go..." "Honey, we ARE going to the bathroom, this is quicker.."  and off we go.  I even feel nervy enough to tell her "You had better really need to use this..." as I carry her into the bathroom, and we go into the stall closest to the door... ***I can't complain, she's not particular and will actually use a public toilet, large seat and all, as long as I hold her up, not all kids will do that :) *** and she of course was right.  So I feel like a big idiot, naturally. 

In light of this, I know I will have to restructure our outings, and think I will be able to do as much anymore...a quick trip is sure to be a not-so-quick one with umpteen trips to the bathroom...and I remember, not so fondly, being in the furthest corner of the store from the bathrooms whenever nature called the boys.  (ALWAYS, it never failed--)  I don't know anyone up to a two hour trip to Target to pick up five items, lol, do you?

Ah, well.   I made it through her decorate-myself-with-food-needing-two-baths-a-day phase, I can get through this one, especially when I consider the end result.


Just gotta keep my eye on the prize......

Monday, April 4, 2005


Over the weekend, I bought some new socks for Mr W.  I was looking at them as I went down the hall when it suddenly dawned on me that Nolan could wear these socks now too.  OY!

  He's been wearing a man's size shoe since school started, you'd think I'd have noticed this little detail before.  I let him try them on, and of course, they fit.  They fit better than the socks he's been wearing, too.  Back to the store I went, to get some more, and this time, instead of little 'x' marks denoting which are Nolan's, which are Ben's; I have little 'x' marks to let me know which ones are Mr W's and which are Nolan's.  Gotta love the laundry marker, it saves my sanity when it's time to distribute identical things.   His foot grew, too, so I get to take the tween to do his favorite (ha) task, and shop for new shoes afterschool. 

On the way to Nana's yesterday, Ryan excitedly informed me he had a loose tooth.  I was excited for him too, because this is his first one.  I wiggled it (eewww) and sure enough, it's loose. 

I'm just getting used to the idea when he comes running up to me this morning.  "Mommy!!  Guess what!!  When I was brushing my teeth, my tooth fell out!!!"  He held out his hand, and sure enough, there in his palm sat a perfect little tooth.  He has a cute little gap in his bottom teeth now, a 'strawholder', as my friend Jane likes to say.

"I wonder what the tooth fairy brings 6 yr old boys?"  Ryan pondered.

"About a buck, I hear," I said to him. 

As we walked down the hallway, I thought to myself that things better slow down for me to catch up.  I have Nolan hurtling toward his father's shoe size, Ben shooting up overnight, Ryan beginning to lose teeth (my little guy!), and Audrey turning 3 this month.  Throw in my girlie hormones, and I'm tearing up like a Hallmark commercial. 

I wonder what the tooth fairy brings 36-yr-old Mommies?  True, I'm not losing any teeth, but I am losing something else that's important.

I'm losing the 'littles'.   And while it is as exciting as losing your first tooth, I'm still reaching for them in my mind, just like your tongue searches the space where your tooth used to be. 

And yet, you know that there's something new coming up in that space, and you just can't wait. 

For Nana's amusement

Once I got in from work yesterday, we dropped off Mr W at the ASU baseball game (where my Dad was gonna meet him) and headed over to my Mom's.

The kids were very excited to be going over as Nana just got some new furniture and they couldn't wait to run their grubby little hands on it.  We're all lounging around her house, just hanging out.  Nolan was watching tv, I was reading, Ben and Ryan were playing a video game in the bedroom, and Audrey was....?  (I thought) with my Mom.   There were no bloodcurdling calls for help from anyone, so I figured she was following Nana around like she always does.  The phone rang, but Nolan and I were beached on the new comfy furniture, so neither of us made a move to get it, lol.   

A few minutes later, my Mom comes into the living room, and she's amused. 

"Guess who that was?"  she asked.

"Shrimpy Nana?"  I answered.

"No, that was the 911 operator.  Your diablita apparently called them.  The operator said to me 'Excuse me, is everything ok?  The cutest little girl just called me, and said it was her birthday, and she was having a party, and then hung up.  I'm just calling to make sure you are all ok.'  I told her we were fine, mija, and she was really nice about it.  She was laughing.  Esa muchachita!  I can't believe that she called 911!  All these boys, all these grandchildren (she has 8 now) and no one has EVER done that before!"  My Mom just laughed. 

"Great."  That's all I need, a child cold-dialing and chatting up strangers.  What's next, dialing China, making travel arrangements?

At least she hung up the phone.  At least someone heard it ring and answered when they called back to check on us before a policeman was sent to do it.

Oh, that would have been fun to explain.  "No, we have no idea where the toddler is or what she's doing." 

Just another reason for me to get nominated for "Mother of the Year", right?  ;)