Thursday, June 30, 2005

I'm finally getting a turn

I feel like I've been away for ages...

I tried to write earlier, and it was kid-a-go-go in my house.  I gave it up when I got hit in the back of my head with a large bouncy ball.  And it kinda hurts your concentration at the keyboard when you hear "OW!"  followed by SM-ACK! and "Mom, it was an accident!" the second you sit down.

You guessed it-- the kids are indoors most of the day, what with the searing heat.  It's not like we don't expect it to be hot here in AZ, it's just that no one wants to be outside between 11 am and 3 pm (6pm, if you want me to be honest).  Seriously, if you need pot holders to grasp your steering wheel upon your return to the car after you run into the store for something, would you want to send your kids outside to play? 

"I'm meeelllltiiiingggg,"  I thought to myself as I got back into the van the other day after work.  Sunshades help, but they reduce the heat from chicken-nugget-cooking to keeping-bread-warm temperatures, and that's it.  I think this is the only state where finding a shady parking space could be an Olympic sport.  Is is worth it to park in the sun, close to the entrance, or farther away, in the shade, risking blistering your feet should you make a misstep and step out of your flip-flop?  I guarantee while you ponder this, some little old lady will flip you the bird as she goes for the shady spot. 

So it's indoors for the kids...and their friends...of course, there are video games involved...and computer games.  Looking for cheat codes online.  Playing games online.  "Mom, can I use the computer?"  Sigh.  "Go ahead."

I figure, I can go on later, when they are all sleeping, just like I always do.   Except that I keep falling asleep too, so I have to split the difference, and choose:  cranky, bitchy Mom from lack of sleep; or cranky, bitchy Mom because I can't write in my journal?   I have to choose to sleep, or else my patience reserve gets tapped before noon, and that is just not pretty.   So ugly that I would send them outside.  At noon.

The other hitch in my giddyup comes in the form of the pintsized princess.  For whatever reason, she's waking up in the middle of the night, and looking for me.  Now, the other night, it was highly inconvenient, and after the third (unsuccessful) try at getting her to bed, I pitched a hissy fit in the bathroom at Mr W (who was thank goodness, annoyingly taking it in stride, considering) about how "I haven't snuck around this much to fool around since I was 16 years old," rant, rant, grumble, grumble, "she's not going to sleep, so don't wait up for me.." hiss, hiss.  It was really quite amusing, in retrospect, especially since I think I may have even stomped my foot in indignation.  Ouch!  That's why my foot hurts...  Oh, I got over it.  I was snoring soon enough, so I couldn't have been that disappointed.  (but I was--who wouldn't be?)

I find it hard to be hard-hearted about her looking for me, especially since she snuggles right in, "I want you," and breathes a little sleepy sigh as she nods off again.

What can I say?  I'm a pushover. 

(and I'll tell you all about that, next entry...and btw, Max is fine, he's doing much better.  Back up to his jiggly self.)

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Puppy pepto?

Whew!  What a weekend...

I worked, a few more hours than usual.

I took Audrey to get yet another adorable bathing suit.  This last one is bright green, a tankini, with flowers and butterflies on it.  She is cute, though, and doesn't like it that her belly button shows, so she pulls the top down to cover up.  Sweet!

I baked a cake, and decorated it, for my little niece's birthday (the big "1") on Saturday night....I even got the lettering straight, and that was no small feat, considering I was tired (4 hours sleep Fri night and it was after 10 p.m. by the time I got finished.)  She loved it, too, and as soon as the candles were blown out, stuck her little chubby fist right into it.  Mmm, frosting.  I know she'll thank me later for the introduction. 

And here I am, staying up a little late again, because I think Max has a little tummy discomfort.   He had a huge accident in his crate earlier (not like him) and was whining a bit about 1/2 an hour ago, so I let him go outside...and he couldn't complete his attempt.  I have a bad feeling about that, so I'm staying close, just in case.   No one wants to wake up to any surprises, least of all, me.  I'll just mosey on into the Six, to stay up a bit longer---

Saturday Six - Episode 63

1. Yesterday, I linked to the journal "Mall Of America," a collection of photos from shopping malls of the 1960s and 1970s.  What store do you associate most with your childhood in terms of happy memories and why?  Is the store still around?

Okay, there are a couple.  As I've mentioned before, I grew up in a small town.  We had a local mercantile store that was the one of a few places to shop.  It was separated by departments, and they were like side by side's/boy's clothes; women's/girls clothes (with a shoe store in the back of these two sections); drugstore (candy, makeup, greeting cards, etc); grocery store; and furniture/toys (upstairs).  There were enormous display windows that changed with the merchandise they offered, and Iremember the excitement in the air when we got an automatic door installed in the grocery section.  I spent many an afternoon waiting for my Mom wandering around in the the toy section when I was younger, and the drugstore/clothes section when I was a bit older.  It still exists today, but I haven't been in it in years.  The last time I went into it, I had that adult realization that this huge place was really not that big at all.  Sigh.

The other was a few doors down from the mercantile, and it was a "variety store" owned by a friend of my Tata's.  I would go in there and walk around browsing as my Tata visited with his friend.  It was a bit dark inside, and I didn't mind going there because it was cool, even without air conditioning.  The gentleman that owned the store sold toys, shoes, clothes, sporting goods...a variety of everything.  It no longer exists, at least not in the form I remember it.  But I loved going there, because I was out with my Tata, he'd get me one of those small candy sticks, and the owners were very nice people.  Even after my Tata died, I'd find myself wandering around in that store, comforted by my memories of all the times I'd gone there with him.  My feet found the way my heart needed to go, I guess.

2. What song makes you the most emotional and why?

Oh boy..let's see.."Ave Maria" is one, it's so hard to sing, it's so incredible when it's done well, and I think of the church I got married in when I hear it.  There are others that turn me into a lump-in-my-throat-eyes-watering puddle of goo, but I'm trying to stick to the question, which says "song."  Not "songs."  :p

3. Take the
quiz:  What year were you born under, and what year should you have been born under?

You Were Actually Born Under: Year of the Monkey  Full of spunk, you are the original party animal.  You bring fun, activity, and stimulation to any event.  Self-control is not one of your strong points; you have been known to overindulge.  Cheerful and energetic, you can turn the most boring thing into something fun.  You are most compatible with a Rat or Dragon.

You Should Have Been Born Under: Year of the Dog.  You are totally loyal, faithful, and honest.
However, you don't trust others to be as ethical as you are!  Straight forward and direct, you really aren't one for small talk.  You are a great listener - and an agreeable companion when you're in a good mood!  You are most compatible with a Tiger or Horse

4. What time do you typically wake up each day?  What is the latest you're normally able to sleep?  How many hours of sleep do you get in an average night?

During the school year, 6:30.  Gotta get 'em up and moving by 7, and that 1/2 hour is plenty of 'me' time to procrastinate starting the day.  Now, it varies depending on either when the dogs are swooshing around in their crates, wanting out; or when my princess graces me with her presence.  The latest I've slept lately?  9, and it was a fluke.  On an average night, 6 hours.  Oh, and I'd love a nap, anytime.

5. What frightens you the most about getting older?

Losing the people I love.  Yeah, death is inevitable, but that doesn't mean it's easy. 

Debi:  If you found the house of your dreams, right price, then discovered that a murder or suicide had taken place in the house, would you still consider buying the house?

No.  Not even after  an exorcism.  Not even if they threw in a gorgeous poolboy.  No way.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Just a word

Saw this over at Mrs L's journal, thought it might be fun.  Fun, or like opening Pandora's box.

Please leave a one word comment that you think best describes me.
It can only be one word.  No more.
Then copy and paste this into your journal so that I may leave a word about you.

I am a bit pressed for time today, b/c we are going to visit with an old friend who happens to be in town this week. 

Did I mention Nolan has a crush on her daughter? It should be an interesting day......

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

The "go to bed, already" edition of the Sat Six

I'm too lazy for the nice graphic in the middle of the night.  I know I'm facing a self-imposed internet hangover tomorrow, but still...this cd is good, and I'm wide awake....

Saturday Six - Episode 62

1. Do you do a yearly "spring cleaning" in your home?  If so, have you done this year's version, yet?  I don't have a choice.  It's clean it up, throw it out, or be overrun by things we accumulate.  Yes, dust counts as a "thing" we accumulate, lol.  It's awful, too, to be cleaning up one thing and notice hey, there's handprints all over the door jamb, what's that on the baseboard...look, there's that earring I lost!  I'm not that much of a neatnik, I mean I just try to just keep it habitable, not dorm-room like, which is what it can quickly escalate into if I get too lazy.  I did this year's version a few months ago, when Mr W oh-so-subtly-slyly suggested we needed a maid.  (Nothing like psyching out the wife, and I've gotten over it.  Somewhat. :p)

2. Have you ever been blindfolded and asked to identify which of two drinks is Pepsi or Coke? My brother and I drove my Mom crazy re-enacting that commercial! And yup, I can still tell the difference...  If you haven't, do you think you could tell the difference? 

3. You find out that you're going to have a child:  what baby names will you choose? 
Ha, ha, ha.  Been there, done that.  But everyone has names on reserve...and one I bestowed on the puppy (Max).  There's still Aidan, Jack, and Henry; Sophia, Olivia (Mr W vetoed them both for Audrey), Isabel or Bella, Bette, Marisol (also vetoed), Cecilia...and Riley (boy or girl).  Emma.  David (but I'd never say  it in English, so that could get interesting...)  Must stop now, don't want to tempt fate or make Mr W nervous, lol. The words "baby" "name" and "Anna" tend to turn him pale, regardless of our state of fertility.  I reserve the right to hold on to these to drive any future prego daughter-in-laws and Audrey crazy.

4. You must become one of the Brady Bunch kids for a single day:  which one would you choose to become and why?  Okay, don't laugh:  The girls on the show were okay, but I wouldn't want to be any of them, not even for a day.    Marcia?  Please. She got on my nerves.   Jan?  Uh, no.  I'd make her brawl with Marcia instead of "marcia, marcia, marcia"-ing myself into therapy.  Cindy?  My hair doesn't play that.  

See?  I have to pick one of the boys, and I pick Greg.  Greg just had it goin' on.  He was cool.  He had the swingin' attic room.  He had fun.  Why not?

5. Where are you going for summer vacation this year?  We went already--to Disneyland and California Adventure.  A good time was had by all! :)

6. What is the most religious thing you do on a day-to-day basis?  Okay, I'll admit it.  There are moments during the day that I pray.  For patience.  For grace (not at meals, for myself).  For my husband to come home safely.  For the winning lottery numbers.   And I give thanks, too; for the rugrats, for love, for making it through another day.... :)   Hmm, does the occasional "thank you" with the glance upward when certain good-looking members of the opposite sex cross my path count too? ;p

And on that note, now it's time.  Time to go to bed, already.  Yawn....

Point the finger at me

Now I've done it...and I have only myself to blame...

I got home from work on Saturday, and was lounging around on my bed, with well, everyone.  Kids.  Husband.  One of the cats.

Nolan announces to me, with a bit of a mischievous glint in his eye:  "Hey, Mom, did Dad tell you about Audrey's new word?"

Uh-oh.  This can't be good... "No."

"Dad, can I tell her?  Can I say it?"

Oh, man.  Now I know it's not good... "Go ahead, son."

"Earlier, Mommy, Ben and I were online, and playing a game, and Audrey was trying to climb up on the side where she always sits, b/c she wanted to watch or play or something, but we told her "No" and she got mad.  She said: "You better let me do it, or Mommy's gonna beat your ass."

Now, before I go on, let me just say, that I have never, ever, beat anyone's ass.  I am not a huge spanker; while I may give the occasional pop on the butt, I certainly do nothing that would ever, ever, approximate "beat your ass."  However, in the course of my day, let's just say, for instance, that I've had enough.  To the point that I've become lax in my editing of language.  To the point that I'm threatening lives and such.  At this time, I have been known to say, "Knock that off, or I'm gonna beat your ass"  for dramatic effect only.  Dramatic effect can go a long way to both make them realize Mommy's indeed had enough, and also make me feel a bit better (in a comic relief kind of way, b/c really, "beat your ass" sounds ridiculous, once you hear it spout from your lips.) 


Nolan is giggling.  Mr W is giggling.  Well, of course, with all that mirth around her, Audrey decides she will repeat her statement for me.

I tried, really, really hard to keep a straight face.  Honest.  I bit the inside of my cheek.  I hid my face in my hand.

And then I burst out laughing.

Now, all the parents out there, you know what a big mistake that was.  I tried!  I really tried!  But the guffaws, well, that just egged her on.  She said it again.  As I wiped the tears from my face, it came to me in a flash--

"Sweetie, you're making Mommy cry because you are saying a bad word." 

Stroke of genius, right?  You should have seen the look on Mr W's face, he was so impressed--right before he mimed a Pinocchio nose in front of his face and pointed at me.

I think she even believed me, for half a second.  Before she started giggling, and I felt the smile betray my face as it spread from ear to ear.

To compound my guilt at teaching her bad language, she came into my room today, upset and near tears, muttering about happenings in the living room.

"Ben, he pushed me off.  I was playing the game with them <which really means she was bugging the big boys> and he pushed me off!" mutter, mutter... ?  Pushed?  I'm looking at her, thinking she doesn't look like anyone pushed her, I didn't hear any falling or anything like that...holy cow, all these years in Mommy U, I finally get my degree in Toddler Speak!  I know what she's saying!

But it's still not good.

"Honey, are you trying to say "Ben PISSED you off?"

"Yes, Mommy.  Ben pissed me off."

Oy.  I wonder, who did she hear that from?

Point your finger at me, and pass me that bar of soap, will ya? 

It's become apparent that I need to wash out my mouth.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Gift plates

Why is it that kids will eat anything, as long as it's on Mom's plate?

Audrey asked me for a banana.  I gave it to her.  I was getting something for myself, and she decides she wants that, instead.  After said banana has been opened.  Like cereal is some kind of gourmet delicacy or something. (Okay, in a moment of dietary weakness, I reached for a tortilla chip, and she saw me.  That's not the point here.  I really will have cereal, and she will switch to that too, and that is the point here...) Grr.

"Whatcha drinking?"  "What's that?" "Oh, can I have some?"  Don't they realize them's fightin' words?

As for Dad, he can eat whatever the hell he wants, and no one is interested in it, whether it's a piece of cake, or some spaghetti...he always gets to eat in peace.  (Although Audrey will bother him if he has a Cinnabon, that's not the point here.  He dines undisturbed, with nary a stray finger crossing his plate--that is the point here.)

It makes me want to eat nothing but broccoli and bananas until they turn 18. 

We'd glow, we'd be regular...there's nothing wrong with that, they'd get a fruit and a vegetable, which can be counted as an accomplishment, most days.

And maybe that way I could eat in peace.  That is, aside from all the noise from their gas.  I do have little ones, afterall, and it's all about body functions with them.  I'm sure I'd hear something.

As long as it wasn't 'can I have some of yours?' I think I could live with it...

The Dad-o-rama begins

I'm listening to the dishwasher running, I've watched a movie (Ocean's Twelve--while the story was not as good as Eleven, the eye candy was), and dealt with the dogs since 6 am.  What?  Where are the kids? 

Sleeping.  And it's 9:10 am!  What the ??  That's fine with me, considering it'll be nonstop mom-mom-mom once they're up, I can handle a bit of solitude.  

I should be cleaning....but I'm trying to stay quiet, so they sleep.  Yeah, that's the reason I'm procrastinating, really.  It has nothing to do with laziness...

It's Father's Day this Sunday.  I haven't gone out and gotten anything for Mr W, or his Dad, or my Dad, for that matter.  I know I'll be telling stories about them here, as the weekend progresses.  And I'm sure I'll be cooking up some favorite something (probably lasagna) on Sunday for my dear spouse and my Dad, so I'm not sweating it.  No ugly ties from me.  The kids, on the other hand, might craft an ugly tie for Dad, it's become a sort-of tradition. (Their preschool makes this tie out of paper plates, with glitter and all kinds of decoration, and it's hideous, I mean cute, and Mr W always allows me to take a picture of him wearing it with all the chitlins around him.  We have no one in preschool right now, but I remember how to make it, and may set them to work on it today..heehee, just because :p)

Anyway.  I knew the weekend assignment would have to do with Dads, so here we go:

Weekend Assignment #64: Tell us about a moment with your dad that serves as an example of one of his best qualities. That would be a personal moment between you and dad.

Okay, I'm not following this to the letter....

I am fortunate enough to have lots of great moments with my Dad.  Although he is one of those yell-y guys, he is really a sweetie, deep down, and now that we are grown, doesn't yell nearly so much (imagine that).

We spent alot of time in the car, growing up.  Because we lived in a small town about 2 hours from a city, we'd drive up for shopping, doctor's appointments, and to visit relatives.  During those trips in the car, I discovered my Dad was a good teacher.  He taught us fractions or did math problems with us during the day (drive up) and told us stories from Greek mythology or astronomy at night (drive home). 

When he coached Little League, we'd hang out at the ball park and wait for him.  I caught my first glance of Mr W during one of those times, watching this kid slide into home, all legs, eyes, and teeth; thinking he was cute even though I was probably about 8 and had no business looking at boys.  I remember he looked right at me, and it's just one of those things that stuck in my mind; that made me laugh once I actually started dating him.  Small towns, ya gotta love 'em.

When we'd be at family weddings or events that involved dancing, I'd beg him to dance with me, but he wouldn't: "Not until your wedding day,"  he'd say.  It took my breath away, on my wedding day, when he did finally dance with me, and was sooo smooth that he made me look good.  No small feat, considering my reputation for leading and stepping on toes.  The fact that he was at my wedding leads me to believe he got over that "green-eyed monster" coming to our house all the time, knocking on his door, seeking his daughter's affection.  (They get along just fine.)  We have never danced together since, either, which makes the one time we did that more special to me.

He's hovered over me throughout my pregnancies, scolding and clucking moreso than even my Nana or Mom, over every little symptom.  And he has been at the hospital or there soon after the birth of all my kids.  He rode the elevator up to the nursery with Nolan when Nolan was moments old.  He helped Mom watch the others as our family grew.  He was in my room with me, after I'd been wheeled in shortly after Audrey made her appearance.  Was I ever glad he was there when I started to throw up, b/c Mr W had stepped out and I couldn't reach the basin.  Dad crossed the room in a flash, trashcan in one hand, the other hand on my brow, telling me it would be alright.  Could this really be the same man, I wondered, who once yelled at me for using his last razor?

Watching him become enchanted with each of the grandchildren has included some of the sweetest moments of my life.  There's the time he got down on all fours so Nolan, Ben and Gabriel (my nephew) could wrestle him.  The time he let my niece put barrettes in his hair. His conspiratory times with Ryan, going over the Power Ranger pamphlets and picking out Ryan's next acquisition.  The time I saw him, just last weekend, carrying a drowsy Audrey from the van into Costco, because I didn't have the stroller with me, bad-back caution thrown to the wind.  And all the other times when I've watched him sit a grandchild at the table (on the table) with him to share his breakfast.  Sans chiles, of course.   He finds a way to spoil them all, and I have learned to step aside and let him.

Last Sunday, he had an interesting little job for Ryan, organizing one of his many tool sets...teaching him about fractions as they did it.

I don't think I need to tell you about the smile that was on my face as I watched them.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Sometimes trying something new is a good thing

I've always been really resistant to having any extra electronic doodads in the car.  Music is one thing, but I have always been old school about DVD players, etc. coming along.   I mean, why not read, or play road games, or oh, I don't know, talk?  I've travelled without them forever, and I'm hardly damaged by being forced to occupy myself with only a radio or a book.  Even when we've traveled with the kids in the past, they've been perfectly content with personal CD players and Gameboys. 

I am a big enough person to admit right here that I was wrong, wrong, wrong

This trip, my brother lent us his DVD system, that has two screens for for back seat, one for middle seat...and Jane lent me her DVD player, which we allowed the little miss to use (she wouldn't want to get stuck watching the big kid movies anymore than they would want to endure the Barbie torture).  We weren't even really out of town, when Mr W turns to me and says, "Wow.  Do you hear that?"  "What?"  "Silence."  "It's a beautiful thing, isn't it?"  Bliss!  No squabbling.  No "Give me that!  It's mine!" (before we leave the driveway) No "how much further?"  Just silence.

I'm so jazzed, we call my brother..."Thanks, man, for letting us use your DVD player setup.  We love it..."  I hand the phone over to Mr W, so he can say a few words..and he echoes my sentiments, then adds "It's sooo quiet, dude, and it's's better than sex."

Excuse me?  I raise an eyebrow, giving him an incredulous look.  How long have we been married?  You'd think he'd know by now that comments like that do not ingratiate you to your wife...maybe the next time he gets that lovin' feeling, I'll be ornery and point to the DVD player.  Although I must admit that the whole silence factor is quite noteable, I wouldn't say it's better than sex.  Dork!  Comments like that guarantee you are alone the next cold, dark night. 

At any rate, the movies kept 'em all entertained.  I don't think we heard one "are we there yet?" until we were indeed almost there.  And we still got to talk, because they'd come up for air every now and then with a question about the movie, or just to ask if they could have another treat.   We would have also brought along their game systems, but there just wasn't any room....

And that led us into daydreaming about getting a new van...with a DVD system, of course...and after we had our 'which-way-do-we-go' spat, I added, "and it has to have GPS, so that we don't -ahem- have to be at the mercy of Mapquest."  Not that we're rushing out for a new vehicle anytime soon, but should we do....

well, I guess I know where Mr W will be sleeping.

Monday, June 13, 2005

If he offers to share his M&Ms, just say no.

I count heads..."Where's Ryan?"  I ask the boys.   "Bathroom," they all reply.   I turn around, getting ready to send Mr W in to get him, and out bops Ryan.  He's all excited.

"Look what I found!  Two pennies!!" he exclaims, holding them out in his hands for everyone to see.

"That's nice, sweetie,"  I say, in that absent-minded Mom way when it's not something to get hyper about, but needs a response.

"I was using the bathroom, and I sawed them at the bottom of the toilet!!  So I reached in and took them out!!"  he adds.


The other boys start taking a few steps away from him.  "Ryan, that's gross,"  Nolan says.

"Oh, but I washed them off when I washed my hands,"  Ryan defends himself.

Mr W and I sigh, shake our heads, and move toward the exit of California Adventure.  We were headed towards Disneyland for the night.  I try not to concentrate too hard on the fact that we are by the main entrance to the Adventure park, and that a bazillion people have probably used that bathroom throughout the course of the day (it was near closing time).  I also try not to think about what kind of sicko would throw pennies into a toilet??

As we walk across the way to get in the line for the other park, the boys start running away from Mr-Toilet-Hands, and he's chasing them, and it's fun for a minute, but then it gets on my nerves, so I tell the kids: "Oh, stop it.  He said he washed his hands and the pennies with soap, so knock it off, so we can get in line without someone killing themselves on the sidewalk here."

"But I didn't use soap, Mommy!  I just rinsed them off with water."

Oy!  He can't be serious! <forehead slap> I massage my temples, and try not to think about how I talked myself out  of bringing the hand sanitizer along. 

I hand him a Wet One out of my backpack, as we have a little discussion about not picking up things we find in the toilet.  Especially in a public restroom.  And I have a little aside glance at Mr W, that says "See, I told you we couldn't trust him to go to the bathroom unsupervised."  (His brothers had gone in with him, and apparently, didn't think waiting for him was part of the deal.)

I can only hope, I'm thinking to myself, that your brothers don't decide to make a game of this when we get home.  "Let's put a dime in the toilet, and ask Ryan to get it out!!"  Yeah, that'd be good for hours and hours of fun.  <eyeroll>

This curiosity about money with the little guy has been going on for a couple of months now.  While I'm horrified that he reached for the pennies, I'm not really all that surprised.  At any rate, his curiosity about money and the ground in general paid off the next day.

"Look, I found a dollar!!!"  he announced as we waited for the monorail, waving it up towards me.

Quickly, I grab his hand, shush him, and make sure that no one was standing around him...because he didn't find 'a dollar,'  he found a twenty-dollar bill.

Hmm.  Maybe he'll get to pick some lottery numbers for me this week....and hopefully picking numbers from a hat will be as much fun as picking up pennies out of the toilet. 

But I'll be buying some hand sanitizer, just in case.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

I wanna go back

Is it too late to turn back, I wonder?

We are experiencing post vacation letdown.  Mr W was strangely disappointed to wake up yesterday morning and not have to plan which roller coaster we were going to get on first.  I offered to get him a riding lawn mower to compensate, but then realized we'd need grass for that, so that idea was nixed.

I just want to know, do I really have to wash my own towels?  Why wasn't my bed made when I went out yesterday?  Why are there water spots on my mirrors?  The trash can, it's still full...and I placed my breakfast order, but no one brought it to me.  Hmm.  Must complain to the management here.  This Casa is not all it's cracked up to be.

On the bright side, I am going on day two of pjs until noon.  Yesterday, I made it until 3 pm (okay, 5 pm) without feeling the need to change or jump into the shower, then I realized that the little things like dinner and oh, some milk might be nice to have in the house, so I reluctantly went out to do it.  Someone has to be the hunter and gatherer, it may as well be me.  If I left that up to Mr W, we'd be eating frosting and tortilla chips for breakfast...with a Pepsi.

Slowly, things are getting back to normal.  Nolan begged to go to rent games when he found out I was going to the store.  Ben is outside playing.  Ryan and Audrey are alternately nice and then fighting with each other.  I managed to get the laundry started, and gradually have gotten things back in their places, or the trash can when the kids aren't looking. 

That Disneyland gig is a tough one to follow.  I should've made the trip come at the end of our break, because there's nothing I can pull out of the magic-Mom-hat that's going to be able to top it.

We arrived at the Happiest Place on Earth okay, with one tiny hiccup of marital discord when we got to our final approach.  MapQuest can kiss my a** right after whoever it is that designs the construction of the freeways in California does.  There's nothing more frustrating than reading exactly what the paper says only to have it yanked out of your hands so he can read exactly what the paper says, and realize that you are indeed stating the truth...I was only half-way kidding when I joked to Mr W that he best pull over so I could really get in a good punch.  We had guests along, afterall, how could I explain to their mother, as I called from jail, that I felt the need to resort to fisticuffs with my husband over directions that neither of us bothered to double check?  We figured it out, with only a tiny detour, and all was well. 

Our hotel was amazing (our first time staying at the resort), and we unloaded our goods and headed out to the parks that very day.  The next few days are a blur to me, of rides and walking and "where to next?" and "can I have another Rice Krispie treat?"; overpriced drinks and "Wait for me!"  "Let's ride that again!"  and of course, "Is there FastPass for this?  Because that line looks long."

In addition to our kids, we had two of the older boys friends along (also brothers).  They are two of the best-behaved children I know, and having them along didn't raise the level of difficulty much at all.  But one of them, he was so funny, kept commenting on the lines, until I told him, a little exasperatedly, "We are at Disneyland.  ALL the lines are LONG."  :) 

We successfully hit all the high-point rides, all the kiddie rides we could handle, and all the ones in-between.  I highly recommend the California Screamin' rollercoaster,  the Tower of Terror, and Soarin' over California in California Adventure.  Disneyland has a new Buzz Lightyear ride that I really liked, and of course, I rode the Indiana Jones ride more than once.  We watched the fireworks 3 times, in different locations; once from just in front of the merry-go-round, once from our hotel room, and once from right in front of Sleeping Beauty's Castle (the best spot).  They were jaw-dropping, of course. 

While I was there, I was reminded that a  stroller is a beautiful thing, and that no one wants to stop and be bothered with eating when there is another ride they can get to.  I must've started each day with a backpack weighing as much as Audrey, loaded down with snacks, only to find it emptied by the time we returned to the hotel.  It was probably for the best that they didn't eat too much, because we didn't have a puking incident after a ride at all.  We even made it to Downtown Disney, a place I'd not been through before. 

Whew.  No wonder my house is not as entertaining.

I take that back.  It is entertaining, just in a different way. 

Where else can you get frosting and tortilla chips for breakfast, served not by Mickey or Minnie, but by a scruffy-looking man in a t-shirt? 

The plate might not have a garnish on it, but I know exactly what to leave for a tip.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Sat Six, Part Two

And so here's today's Sat Six, on a Saturday, no less.  Maybe I am organized after all, even without the six-graphic.

Saturday Six - Episode 61

1. When was the last time you looked your significant other in the eye and told him or her how much they mean to you?

Well, I, um.  I tell him I love him all the time.  But do I go on in verse about him?  Not really. (Okay, sometimes.)  We've been together more than half my life, if that and the four children hasn't convinced him I'm not going anywhere and what he truly means to me, then there's really nothing else I can do, is there?  I'm not about to get his name tattooed on my butt to prove anything, lol.

2. Which business do you have the longest continuous relationship with:  your bank, your auto insurance provider, your home telephone provider, your cellular phone provider, or your cable company?  How long have you been with them?

Bank, and auto insurance provider.  I've been with them for so long, I forget exactly how long, but more than 10 years.

3. What is the most embarrassing question you've ever been asked?

"Mija, estas (are you) pregnant?"  when I was about 7 or 8 months along with Ryan.  Huge.  I looked my uncle in the eye, and told him, "No, Tio, I just swallowed a basketball."  As if!  You'd think the hideous maternity dress would've clued him least his current wife was embarrassed for us both...

4. You have the ability to snap your fingers and be instantly transported to one of three places whenever you wish to go there.  Which three places would you select as your destinations?

This is hard...pick places I know, or places I want to go?  Oh, I'll take the plunge...Italy, Hawaii, Florida Keys...

5. Last week, the Reader's Choice question asked you to identify your favorite movie line.  Later this month, the American Film Institute will list the 100 Greatest Movie Lines of all time.  Which one do you expect to win?

That line from the Godfather (I may not have it exactly right, but): "Make him an offer he can't refuse."

6. You are given the gift of an original oil painting by any famous artist.  What painting would you choose and why?

Wow.  Another tough one...any of the Van Gogh's with sunflowers, or his "Starry Night" (like the colors), I like Rembrandt's "The Night Watch", too (something about the figures)...among others :)  AACK.  Just one?  Ok.  "Starry Night" it is.  The colors, the swirliness of it, it's neat to look at because I always see something new in it that I like.  Here it is:


Sat Six, Part One

I worked more than usual last weekend, and with getting ready to leave for our trip, I never got around to here we go :)  Last Saturday's six!

Saturday Six - Episode 60

Picture from Hometown

1. Who is the last performer you saw live in concert?  What is the last film you saw at a theater?  Which was more worth the money you paid?

U2; Star Wars III Revenge of the Sith; although both were worth it, U2 wins here, it was a really great show.

2. What do you do more of in a typical day:  work, sleep, eat, exercise. watch TV, surf the web?

I wish I could say 'sleep'...and maybe exercise... ;)  I juggle so many things during the day that my activities are really fluid and one doesn't take up more time than the next; because the entire day is poof!  gone before I can blink sometimes.

3. Your office brings in a new drink machine and it's your job to fill the eight selection slots.  What drinks (non-alcholic, of course) do you select?

Diet decaffeinated Pepsi or Coke, real Pepsi, Lemonade (not that canned icky stuff), Snapple Diet Raspberry or Peach tea, water, flavored carbonated water, coffee(something yummy), and choc milk.(pfft ;p)

4. Take the quiz: 
What is your expression number?   Do you agree with the description it gives you?  What do you disagree with most?

Your Expression Number is 4

Practical and down to earth - everything in your life is organized.
You are a great writer and teacher. You never forget a detail.
Very patient, you have the ability to cultivate talents in difficult fields.

You also tend to have an artistic side. You'd make a great architect or classical musician.
You face your responsibilities with a positive attitude - and you always get things done.
You are serious, sincere, honest, and faithful.

Sometimes your strong sense of responsibility leads to frustration.
You also tend to develop strong likes and dislikes, which border on dogmatism.
At you're worst, you can be a dominant disciplinarian.
I agree with most of this, although I'd have to say I don't think I'm organized, and as far as music goes, I've never tried to learn, I just sing offkey in the car and shower, :p torturing my family's poor ears.

5. Counting all light fixtures and lamps in your home, how many bulbs do you have in place, and how many of them are on right now?

About ten (don't hold me to it) and none are on right now...the kids are trained well, lol.

Laura: What is your favorite movie line ever and why?

"We're gonna need a bigger boat."  from Jaws--I think the look on Roy Scheider's face and his tone when he says it are just perfect.  I love this movie!

And I also like, from Ferris Bueller's Day Off: "Life moves pretty fast.  If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."  I like to think of it when I'm having a bad day, one of those 'how-many-times-am-I-gonna-pick-up-the-same-sock' days--it reminds me to tickle the little foot that the sock belongs too. (or kick the big foot off the chair he's in and tell him to pick it up himself ;p)

Easing back into it

Mood: rusty!

I was sitting here, trying to figure out how to ease back into my journal, because I've been away for a while.  Vacation :)

Since I just spent the last four days with six kids at Disneyland and California Adventure, I thought the weekend assignment would be perfect. 

Weekend Assignment #63: Amusing Amusement Park Moments Recount a noteable amusement park experience. No, it doesn't have to be about getting sick on that rollercoaster... although (heh) those usually are pretty good. It can be any sort of memorable moment: cute, scary, funny, nice, whatever. Hmm.  I have a couple, so bear with me.  And let me just apologize to my nephew, right now, before I get to his story (sorry, Gabriel). The last time we went to Disneyland and California Adventure, we took my nephew along.  He's Ben's age, and we thought he might enjoy hanging out with him at the park(7 at this time).  But there we were, one day into the park hopping, and he was not having much fun.  He was a bit surly, and didn't want to get on any rides.  That's ok.  Kids will be kids.  We just kept offering, and figured he'd come around.  In the meantime, however, he just sat with me and Audrey (who was not quite 1 at the time) while we waited for the others to get off whatever ride we were on.  At one point, we were waiting at the Grizzly River Ride (in Ca Adventure) for everyone to get off. My nephew didn't want to get on because he didn't want to get wet. (remember this) There's an observation deck where you can get close to the water and see your rafters come down a drop.  Yeah, there's the potential to get wet, and it varies depending on the raft and how it comes down, etc.  I'm on one side of the platform, with Audrey, cuz she was sleeping in the stroller and I'd gone over to make sure she wouldn't get wet.  My nephew is standing at right at the little fence of the platform, eagerly looking over to see his cousins come down the drop.  I look up, looking for them, and see Mr W and the kids coming down, look down at Audrey, look up again, just in time to see my nephew  overtaken by what can only be described as a tsunami-type wave that came up over the platform as the raft came down and engulfed him.  He was as wet as a drowned rat, and I had to stifle the impulse to laugh when I realized he was crying.  I mean, he was more drenched than the people that had gone on the ride to begin with, and it took all my auntly wiles to calm him I grabbed parts of his clothes to wring them out.  Lordy, I thought how can I save this?  Luckily, I remembered another wet play area, and we took all the boys there and let 'em have at it, since they were wet and the park was closing soon already.  We made a beeline for the hotel and hot showers after that!  (I only regret that I didn't get a photo of it.  I've never seen anything like that wave ever since.  LOL...poor little guy.  It's like the amusement park gods decided to take their wrath out on him, for refusing to get on rides and not having fun.  He was better after that.)

This last trip, I was standing in front of Sleeping Beauty's Castle waiting for the fireworks.  Mr W was off procuring drinks or something, and I was trying to hold my ground against the oncoming crowd jockeying for the primo space there.  I'm counting heads every couple of minutes, to make sure no one gets swept away or wanders off.  I have Audrey in my arms, and turn to see Ryan standing in front of a couple, with both his hands down the front of his shorts.  OY!  I notice as the <older>couple notices, and before I can think 'quiet voice, Anna', I blurt out "Ryan!!  What ARE you doing?  Stop that!!" as a circle of people turn around at the sound of my voice...think, think--how do I save this?---oh, I know-"Sweetie, do you need to use the bathroom?"  "Yes, I have to pee."  Thank goodness he said that and not um, something else.  I feel myself blush as I mentally berate myself for not using the quiet voice...and then realize that now I have to figure out how to get him to a bathroom while saving our spot.  Sigh.  Luckily, his Dad showed up soon after, and we saved our spot, and saw some truly amazing fireworks that I can only hope erased the memory of Ryan's wandering hands from the people around us, lol.  The looks on the kids faces as we watched this display made my night.

The first trip we took to these two parks, Nolan was about oh, seven or so.  Tall enough to get on some big scary rides, with his scary-ride-loving father alongside him.  At the time, I didn't do rollercoasters.  My Mom would never allow us to do it when we were small, so as a teenager and adult, I was a big scaredy-cat.  Faced with a little guy begging me and then goading me to come on the ride with him, I caved, and got on the California Screamin' roller coaster, the one that goes upside-down, with him.  Hey, I like to go big when I finally take the plunge, lol.  I screamed like a little girl, keeping my eyes shut the entire time.  I hear a little voice, "Be quiet, Mommy!" and realize that it's Nolan telling me to be quiet, like he was embarrassed.  Ooops!  I LOVED it.  I got on every roller coaster at both parks after that, and even rode the Screamin' one again.  Every time we've gone back, Nolan and I always ride that one together alone at some point.  It's one of those special moments I share with each of them when we go there. (Ben's is Big Thunder Mountain, Ryan is Screamin' now too, he rode for the first time this trip with me, and Audrey is now a graduate of the Matterhorn, but of course, being my girl, the ride I like to share with her is "It's a Small World.")  And I've come a long way--now when I scream on that coaster, it's more of the 'woo-hoo' variety than one of terror, and this time, for the first time during our ride, I kept my eyes open!  I gave him a very uninhibited giant bear hug when we got off this time--I thanked him for making me feel brave enough to do it, for introducing me to the joys of the roller coaster when no one else could.  I guess I could say I've been on the roller coaster with him (and his siblings) since the day they were born. ;)

Extra Credit: What's the scariest amusement park ride you've ever been on?   We used to have traveling carnivals pass thru my hometown growing up.  Until you've ridden a ride that rattles like it's got some screws loose before it even starts, you don't know fear; and this includes the merry-go-round....don't even think about the bladder challenge rides like "The Hammer" could induce--which brings me to the  even scarier thing, the outdoor portable restrooms....ugh! :p  (ahm, for the record, my Mom doesn't know about the one time I rode said "Hammer" so let's keep that between us, okay?)

Saturday, June 4, 2005

I should be asleep

I am such a baby.

I need to be asleep, but I can't sleep.  I'm waiting for Mr W to come home.  He's had a really long day.  I know he's fine, we've talked a couple of times on the phone.  Yawn.  Yet, here I am, pacing and listening for the garage door to open.  Just five more minutes, and then I'm heading in, I keep telling myself...and it's turned into two hours.

Ben is at my Mom's tonight.  He went to the baseball game (ASU hosting a regional tournament--they won tonight, go Devils!) and then home with my Dad.  He's excited about sleeping over at Nana's and the other kids are all jealous, lol.  In spite of all his complaining about how Ben annoys him, Nolan is having a hard time sleeping tonight too without his brother in the room.  I finally told him to go into my bed and that Mr W would move him when he gets home.

As I was driving around today, and I heard Ben say: "You blow the air out."  Very patiently.  He murmurs some instructions, and then I hear him say it again, and this time, I hear a little spit fly.  ???

He was trying to teach Audrey to whistle.  It has to be one of the cutest things I've ever heard.  She hasn't learned how yet, and he keeps trying.  Sweet!

Listening to him a couple of weeks ago at the ball game was sweet too.  He decided to take Ryan under his wing at the ball park, and teach him the basics of batting and how it works that each team takes the field after 3 outs, etc.  I was silencing him because he was kinda loud, and he says to me that he's practicing on Ryan, "for when I have kids someday."  Oy.  How do I tell him to shut up after that?  I couldn't help but just sit there and listen to his tutorial instead. 

Nolan has been saying, to my great surprise, "I'll take care of her."  "I'll do it." "What can I do (to help you out)?" He suddenly is interested in being Mr Helpful.  I'm certainly over my surprise now, and taking him up on it every chance I get. 

Ryan?  Well, he's prone to fits of temper these days, because he so desperately wants to be the big kid, and he's not there yet, so he gets frustrated.  Tonight, he was going on about apple trees, and how he wants one in the backyard.  I try to explain to him that that is highly unlikely in our climate, but he's not hearing any of it.  I suspect there will be apple seeds strewn about the yard any day now.  It didn't help any that the book he chose for me to read tonight was called "Apples, apples, apples" lol.

Of course, I've had my fair share of "DON'T touch her stuff" "Give THAT back" "Where did the dog pee?" "Go to your room"  And I cringe to admit this passed my lips today "DON'T make me stop this car!" Only the second day of break, and we're off and running...

Just like the little miss, who has been overjoyed to have the boys around all day.  Minions!  She has minions to cater to her whims, with no waiting!

And there it is, the sound I've been waiting for, the garage door opening.


Friday, June 3, 2005

It never fails

Why is it--and it never fails--that when you are not looking your best, you run into someone that you haven't seen in a while?  Or are out with your beloved spouse and this is the one time they remember to introduce you to one of their coworkers, while you are trying to pretend the large stain on your shirt is really noticeably in the shape of a grubby hand, and not something you dribbled on yourself during lunch?

It never fails--I run into people when I have a booger showing, or something in my teeth.  Or on my chin.  $%*!@

Yesterday, I took Ben and all the kids +1 to the pediatricians office.  Our pediatrician is an old friend of ours, and I wasn't really worried about the state I was in, because he knows that I clean up well. 

We were slated to go swimming later, so I was presentable, but less than fresh, to put it politely.  Jeans (okay, there was a hole in 'em), a tshirt, a little makeup (vanity :p).  The kids were in the same state too.  I didn't want to go all out, what with it being our first day of break and the upcoming swim later.  Grubby is good.

We're in the room, waiting, when I see a woman walk down the hall.  I know who it is.  And I know she'll be coming back to see me.

Sure enough, my friend comes back to the room, "Oh, I'm not here for you yet, but someone else out here is..."

And in comes his wife, also someone I know, but I'm not as close to her as I am to him--looking fabulous, of course.  Cute ensemble.  Cute everything, she's very petite, and thin, and well, um, endowed with the chic tank top to prove it.  It was one of those bull-in-the-china-shop moments for me.   Grubby is bad.

She looked great, I told her so.  It was nice to see her and the sweet kids I've not seen for a while.  We had a little chat, and I tried not to wince when she told me I looked exactly the same as when she saw me last--no aging, lol.  (Okay, I'll take that.)  She oohed at the size of Nolan, because she couldn't believe how much he'd grown...or how much all of them have grown.  She said she was going Father's Day shopping next.  Ack!  When is that, I asked her, because mentally, I can't get past this upcoming week (we're going on vacation).  Great!  Not only can I not manage to jump in the shower twice in one day, but I can't remember when the day is that I celebrate Mr W's contribution to our offspring's emergence.  I roll my eyes just thinking about this.

Oh well, at least my shirt was (remarkably) free of handprints and there was nothing in my teeth.  And Ben checked out just fine, too.  Growing.  Healthy!

P.S.  I have bigger fish to fry today.  Somehow, in the last couple of months or so, Ryan has managed to misplace his Gameboy Advance SP (must use correct name, or face the wrath of the boys).  I never thought a small silver piece of plastic could prove to aggravate me so much, but it has.  He was getting so good about putting it away, that I stopped monitoring its whereabouts.  Again, something I should know better about....ugh, hindsight is 20/20 or about 80 bucks, I think, if I can't relocate it.  I'm sure it'll turn up, someplace/sometime when I least expect it.  So today, that is my mission, to try and find it, in a closet, under a couch cushion, whereever Audrey chose to hide it...wish me luck, I've got a long drive coming up...and if I can't find it, well, he's out of luck.  I'm not buying him another, although I'm sure those big brown eyes will start working on Tata in time for his September--or Mom will eventually cave, in spite of her big talk.

Thursday, June 2, 2005

9 yrs for the 9 pounder

"Are you sure you aren't carrying twins?" my hr person says to me.

I resist the urge to knock her candy jar into next week as I reply, "Yes, I'm sure.  There is really only one in the oven."  Skinny blonde bitch.  I wanted to kick her, too, but my boss was there, and I know better than to do something like that in front of a potential witness.  (Why do people think it's perfectly ok to comment on your belly size just because you are knocked up?  I mean, it's expected that you will look different, but does one really need to hear that they are approaching the size of a zepplin?   While their hormones are chanting "kill, kill"?  I'm just curious.)

Well, the blessed day for Ben's arrival came.  And went.  WTH?  Ben, my second child, was a good pregnancy, for the most part.  I took naps in the afternoon when I got home from work, with Nolan.  I felt pretty good.  I was thinking that this time, I'd go into labor on my own, and things would be fine, I'd VBAC, and be uber-Mom within a week or so.

There's a reason that book is called "What to EXPECT While You're Expecting" and not "This is EXACTLY What Will Happen When You Have a Baby, Everytime."

Nothing humbles you more than realizing you are not in charge of the show, this alien kicking your ribs is, and there's nothing you can do about it, so sit there and let your ankles swell in peace.  Go ahead, have the proverbial pickle with your ice cream, you'll feel better.

Oh, and was I ever impatient.  He was due on a Monday.  Every day, every twinge, I was certain was THE ONE.  By Thursday, I was a wreck.  Anxious, uncomfortable, and getting pre-eclamptic.  When my doc suggested being induced on Friday, I was all over it.   Get him out, get him out, put me out of this misery, and get him out.  Of course, I knew the induction wasn't gonna be pleasant, but what part of labor is?

Off we scoot to the hospital.  The labor and delivery nurse that was responsible for checking me in was a piece of work.  She managed to both insult Mr W, implying that he was sitting on the stool next to my bed "with his thumb up  his butt" and make me cry within 15 minutes of getting us in the room.  (She checked me, even though my doc said he'd ask that they not, because he just did, and as I was at a negative 2 station, he figured why put me through it...but she insisted.  And I cried, because it hurt like hell.  I should've kicked her.)  If I'd known better, I'd have insisted on a new nurse immediately, but she was leaving soon, so we elected to suck it up, in light of the fact that I'd be there for a while.  This was around 5 pm.

At 2:30 am, or so, my doc comes in, leans against the wall and says, well, you're not going anywhere with this, and in light of the last labor, I think we should just go in and get him out.  Bring on the OR, I said, if it means you'll take this nasty mag sulfate out of my system.  That stuff is just vile, and if you've ever had it, you understand what I mean here.

Once again, the sweetest sound on earth, was the sound of my boy crying loudly.  He hasn't shut up since, my little chatterbox.

Actually, he wasn't little.  At 9lbs, 7oz and 22 1/2 inches, he holds the record in my household as the biggest baby.  I swear, he looked 2 months old when we brought him home.  And the uber-Mom thing?  Well, that was a not as easy a maneuver as I thought it would be.  He wouldn't nurse well for about 2 1/2 weeks, but I didn't give up.  And adding an infant to my 2 1/2 yr old's world was a bit of a challenge.  Thank goodness for the debut of Blue's Clues.

Ben also holds the record in my household for the biggest heart, and for being the biggest social butterfly.  We used to refer to him as "our little politician" because he was always shaking hands and kissing babies.  He is a sweetie, he's fun to be around, and you can't imagine how quiet my house is when he's not here, because, I'm really not kidding here, he talks alot.  ALOT.  "ben.  Ben.  BEN!!" is how I have to get his attention, because he can never hear me the first time around.   He used to call me "Mom-mom" and I used to call him "Ben-ben," but he never does that anymore.   :(   He still hugs me all the time.  And now, he pays me compliments, which I try to take with a polite "Thank you" while I resist the urge to ask him "What is it that you want?"  Of course, I'll never forget the time we were in the grocery store, right after he started kindergarten, and this little girl (and her sister) from his class saw him and it was like shopping with a rock star:  whispers: "That's Ben."  "Ben?"  <louder> "Ben, oh, it's Ben," girly giggles and sighs as they run over to him.  Yup.  I am anticipating dating nightmares with this one.  And the girl that decides to break his heart better enter the witness protection program, because his Mom will not have his gentle, sweet spirit trampled by some, some, girl.  (Isn't there a 12 step program for this, lol, I need to get a handle on this before they all start dating...)

I think all the boys resemble Mr W to a fault, through my Mom's-eye-view, but most people home in on Ben being Mr W's clone because they have similar coloring, and Ben has his father's amazing blue/green/gray colored eyes.  My dad refers to him as "ojos azules" (blue eyes) which coincidentally, is what he used to call Mr W (well, with a few other choice words thrown in).

Yesterday, my nine-and almost half-pounder turned nine. 

Happy Birthday, to my Ben-ben, the commentator of my days.

It happens to me, too

I made it to the graduation.  It was absolutely adorable.  You know, we tend to think our music teacher can be a bit over the top, but I have to applaud her.  Whenever the kids have something at school that involves a performance, the kids all participate, and it's a joy to watch.  I have to say it, even though Nolan would disagree--she rocks!  Had you seen the little kindies all singing together, hand motions in sync, you would agree.

The big boys came out of their classes to watch with us.  I could see how happy Ryan was to see us there, so jazzed to see us waving at him like mad from the back row.  He was excited that Mr W showed up, and in uniform to boot (the kindies are all still very impressed with a man in blue, lol, well, most of them anyway--"Who's Daddy is that?" was whispered as they all walked by, and I thought my heart was going to burst wide open as Ryan jumped up and down, "OH!  That's MY DADDY!!" to his friends that didn't already know.  And of course, the big grin on his Dad's face was nice, too.)

As they got started, I got ready.  Camera in hand...and a moment of panic b/c I forgot to put Kleenex in my pocket...wait, in the purse, there it is--I dug some out as Nolan looked at me: "Are you gonna cry?"  "Yes."  He rolls his eyes, and makes boo-hoo eyerubbing motions with his fists.  Ah, the sympathy and understanding of an 11 yr old.  "Are you gonna cry when I finish 6th grade next year?"   "You have no idea."  I wasn't embarrassed about getting teary until people kept coming up to me later, saying "Oh, that happens to me, too, I cry at these things all the time."  For the record, I was not bawling, just a bit teary, enough to wipe but not so much that I couldn't see.  Sheesh.  So I'm a little emotional, cut me some slack.  I'm just relieved Ryan didn't drop his drawers or do his regular shimmy onstage.

Anyway, after the kid's portion of the program, the video onslaught continued, with the "Wonderful World" song and pics of the kids...and I sat there, eagerly awaiting Ryan's picture.  Finally, there he was!  I was surprised--because--he made an unprecedented Mom-face!  You know what I mean, how the kids will have a facial expression that is a perfect mimic of the parent?  Well, my kid's expressions are usually purely Dad's, and it's something that totally amuses me.  To see him raising his eyebrow, smiling like me, really knocked me over.  Cool!  I asked his teacher if she'd send me it...hopefully she'll remember~

I'm so glad that we could make it, in spite of my bad memory.

Speaking of bad memory, I haven't done my Sat Six yet...and my week feels incomplete without it.  So here we are, on Thurs morning, gettin' 'er done.

Saturday Six - Episode 59

 Picture from Hometown

1. What is the most inexpensive, non-valuable thing you tend to collect and hoard?  Why do you do it?

Pens, stationery, blank journals.  I LOVE pens, it drives Mr W crazy that I have sooo many, but can part with none.  Don't you touch them, either, I don't like to share them.  Stationery and blank journals are just nice to look at, lol.  Actually--shhh---I write snail mail to my out-of-state friends, and I like to have a nice blank notecard to rattle off little notes to them when I have time.  Hmm.  Pens, journals, stationery--do I detect a subliminal love of writing here? lol.

2. What is the highest price you've paid per gallon for gasoline where you live?  Do you use regular, mid-grade or premium?

I think it was $2.79 or so (ugh, I'm nauseous just thinking about it, thank goodness I don't drive an SUV).  Regular, I don't think that there's a real reason to go with the other stuff unless you are driving some kind of sportscar that requires it, lol, which my van certainly isn't. 

3. What is your favorite Bible verse and why?  If you don't have a verse from the Bible that holds meaning to you, what's your favorite saying and why?

"Keep your friends close and your enemies closer."  Oh, wait, good advice, wrong book ;)

Tongue in cheek, because I have 4 kids, Genesis 9:7, about ahem, being fruitful and increasing in number, multiplying on the earth...

In actuality, and forgive my morbid bent, but Psalm 23:4, the funeral classic, "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me, your rod and your staff, they comfort me."  It really is kind of poetic, I think, and for whatever reason, soothes my savage beast within.  I will fear no evil--yah, there's something to keep in mind everyday, for evils real and imagined. 

4. What was your favorite movie from the 1970s?  When did you last view it?  Do you have it in your movie collection?

Okay, you all know how I feel about Star Wars.  But for my money, I have have to say "Jaws" here.  I love that movie, I watch it every time it's on, and it's the reason this desert rat won't swim in the ocean, lol.  I last saw it about 6 mo ago, and it's summertime, so it's gonna be on again alot soon (hooray!).  I don't own it.

5. Do you weigh more, less, or the same as you did one year ago?  Six months ago?  Three months ago?

Oh, fine.  Less :)  About the same :s  About the same, grrr...give or take the 2-3 lbs I gain and lose all the time.  Just what I want to ponder right now, gee, thanks.  :p  Gotta go steam some veggies now--

Jennie: What one lyric sums up your current love life?  Your view on life?  Your past?  Your hopes/dreams/fears?

Current love life?  From Sarah Maclachlan, 'Possession' "..and I would be the one, to hold you down, kiss you so hard, I'll take your breath away.."  and John Mellencamp's 'Cherry Bomb' "seventeen has turned thirty-five, I'm surprised that we're still livin' a few kids of my own, and some days I still don't know what to do..."  My past?  No Doubt's 'Just a Girl' "I'm just a girl in the world...that's all you'll let me be.."  My view on life?  Coldplay, from the Parachutes cd, "..we live in a beautiful world..."  (how Pollyanna of me)  My hopes/dreams/fears?  From Sarah again, 'Answer'  "I will be the answer at the end of the line, I will be there for you while you take the time, In the burning of uncertainty I will be your solid ground, I will hold the balance if you can't look down" (I think of the kids as teenagers when I hear this, and hope they realize I'm here for them and they can come to me.  How Pollyanna of me again!)

Wednesday, June 1, 2005

She's gonna make a run for it.....

This morning, I was thinking I was on top of things. I got up, and got to shower before the kids woke up.  Took the big kids to school, and delivered Ben's cupcakes.  Cool.  Smooth sailing.

Ryan getting set to go--no problem.  I remembered his cupcakes, the big boys yearbooks (they forgot them), and that I had to take money to the lunchroom so Ryan could eat today (big kids having pizza parties in their classrooms).  Whew.  I'm on a roll!

We go to pick up the little girl down the street to take her to school, and her Mom says to me:  "What time is the singing?"

"Singing? What singing?"

"You know, for the Kindergarten Star Day,"  Ryan and Yarely both say at the same time.

AAAAAAAAAAACCKKKKK!  Holy Crap!  I forgot!

I forgot that the kindies have their graduation today.  Here I was, thinking I'd drop them off for their last day, and putz around the house, not returning until pickup time.  What kind of Mom forgets her son's kindergarten graduation?  Obviously, Ryan is not my first child.  (The first child gets balloons, and cake, and grandparents, and video cameras, people shouting "look over here" as flashbulbs pop....and it goes downhill from there, doesn't it?)  Hell, by the time Audrey makes it to school, she'll be driving herself, because her Mom won't be able to be bothered.  Bad Mom!!!

I believe that if I didn't show up today at 1 pm, Ryan would never forgive me.  I imagine him signing me into the nursing home, telling them, "Yeah, she could've lived with me, but did I ever tell you how she missed my Kindergarten graduation?"

Hurriedly, I call Mr W.  "Ok.  It's official.  I have too many kids, and not enough brain."  I explain the situation to him, and it looks like he can come too.

Honestly, I've been so focused on getting everything else done, in anticipation of the last day of school,  Ben's birthday, Ryan's aikido test tonight, and our upcoming trip, that I missed this little, important, detail.

In my defense, I didn't actually miss it, I am going to make it and I will be teary, teary, teary.  I saw part of the morning program when I went to the lunchroom.  Louis Armstrong's "It's a Wonderful (?beautiful, I forget) World" was playing to a slide show of all their little selves.  Oy.  I'm verklempt just thinking about it.

Hopefully I will remember the Kleenex.  And my camera, which thankfully, remarkably, has film in it.

And the runner is SAFE at home!!