Thursday, March 29, 2007

It's only a dream

I have had a weird sleep schedule lately.

Over the last few months, Audrey has become quite the insomniac.  She stalks me all night long, until she knocks out.   Then in the middle of the night, I feel her climbing into bed with us.  Ordinarily, we wouldn't care, I mean, the boys slept in our bed forever. But, as Mr W likes to put it, you can't sleep facing her, or risk losing a vital part of your frontal anatomy.  She's fidgety in that way where she jumps and smacks you with a limb, just as you are drifting off.

The other night, I took pity on Mr W and I took her back to her room.  I was irritated.  And I lay next to her, planning on returning to our room once she fell asleep again, but I fell asleep too.  About an hour into it, I felt her scoot closer to me, and cuddle up, her arm around my neck.

I cracked an eye open, just in time to see her pucker up.  She kissed me.  In her sleep. 

I don't care what kind of glacial heart you have, there is no way you aren't going to be touched by that.  I forgot why I was ever irritated with her in the first place, as I snuggled up next to her and drifted off again.

Tonight, Mr W is working late.  Very late.  I forced myself to bed at around 10:45, which is early compared to the wee-hours-of-the-morning I've been staying up till this week.

I was having a really good dream, which suddenly took on nightmare proportions.  For me, if I am going to have a nightmare, it happens within 30 minutes of falling asleep.  I wake up groggy and disoriented, my heart pounding; I have to tell myself to take a deep breath.  Then I get up and prowl the house, checking on my kids, the dogs, the doorlocks.  I listen to everyone breathe until I settle down.   I couldn't call Mr W, he had told me he was on his way to take someone to jail when we spoke last; I'm not waking up Nolan for a pat on the I did what any respectable adult woman would do.

I called my Mommy.

She's a nightowl, I knew she'd be up.  I had a cover story, but she knows me well enough to ask me what was up.  So I told her.

"I had a bad dream."

"What was it about?" 

"I...can't talk about it."

We talked about other, more mundane, safe topics, and I said goodnight.

Here I am, wondering when my daughter is gonna outgrow the need for her mommy in the night....when apparently, I haven't outgrown the need myself.

At least I didn't ask her to trek across town to make me a midnight snack.

Friday, March 23, 2007

I realize you just had a birthday but...

....who are you and what have you done with my husband?

The big I get in trouble for, at least once a week, is leaving the radio on too loud in whatever car I've been in.


He'll get into the car, start it up, and almost immediately,  I get the scowl/headshake combo, along with some interesting hand signals that are designed to let me, ahm, understand the true nature of his annoyance.

"Honestly,"  I huffed at him one day, "I can't believe you are giving me crap for this, considering the entire hatchback of one of your cars (back in the day) was a giant speaker."

I could feel him coming down the street, what with the bass thumping making the ground vibrate like a rocket had gone off.  "I don't care if you play it loud, just remember to turn it down when you get out.  I'd like to retain some of my hearing."

"Turn down your hearing aid, dude.  If it's too loud, you're too old..."  Note to self:  Duck next time.

While his hearing might be in question, his aim is perfect.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

It was a good time to keep that thought to myself

I know I have mentioned I have an obsession with the "Dirty Jobs" show on the Discovery Channel.

Particularly with Mike Rowe, the host.  He starts talking (the voice kills me), and between that and staring at the screen, I'm pretty much useless for the hour, and yes, I do watch the reruns on the weekend.  He's just so good looking, in a normal guy way.  I dig that. 

My husband is on to me, but he likes the show too.   So out of respect for him, I try to keep my ogling to a minimum, or at least sit so he can't see my jaw drop or me bite my lip like I do when he looks particularly...fetching.  Tshirts and jeans never looked so good.  (I've saw him cleaned up once, for an appearance on some late night tv talkshow.  OMG.)

Anyway, at the end of each show, they ask people to go to the website and suggest more dirty jobs, as they often take viewer ideas and use them for episodes.

Tonight, I had this thought spring into my head, as that bit played on the tv:  "I'll bet it's a dirty job cleaning him up at the end of each episode, why don't they do a show about that?" followed quickly by this one: "ggrrrr, I'd do it."  My thought process went quickly downhill from there. 

I clapped my hand over my mouth, lest any of that escape my head.  I started to giggle at my mind's absurdity; my husband of course asked, "What?"

"Ahh, I'd rather not say."  I kept my mouth shut, I didn't want to get into trouble.  

Now, there's a first.  The first rule of Marriage 101, right?

"If you think you shouldn't say it out loud, DON'T."

I hope writing it doesn't count....

Monday, March 19, 2007

Shamelessly stealing an idea in hopes it will distract me from me

A friend (and coworker) of mine has been after me for about a year to come to her house and drink, hang out, socialize.

The stars were in alignment, I dropped the kids off at my Mom's for the night, and Mr W and I headed over. 

It was not to be a huge deal, just some friends from work hanging out and drinking a shot or two (or seven) of tequila.

Yes.  Worst case scenario, it was seven.  Best case scenario, it was six.  They were beautiful shots of tequila, too.  The beer washed them right on down. 

As I held my hand out, before my first shot, to be salted I suddenly forgot the order of events.  What on earth?  It has been a long time, too long of a time, when you forget the lick-swallow-suck order of tequila.  Rest assured, it's like riding a bike.

It all comes back to you.

I wish I could say I have perfect recall of all the events of the evening, but I really don't.  Which is where Mr W comes in.  He was drinking Diet Coke.  He knows.  He asked me this morning, "Do you remember______" and I said, "Not really."  "Do you want to tell me what you remember?"  "If you insist."  "Oh,  I insist."

Apparently, I was arguing with one of the drunk guys (now, that's totally smart) and it got pretty ugly.  "I remember I was trying to make my point."  "In Spanish?"  "What?"  "You were both yelling at each other in Spanish." 

Suddenly, I have a vague memory of words flying out of my mouth that would have had my mother reaching for the bar of soap. 

And one even more shadowy memory of Mr W leaning down and whispering in my ear, "You might want to shut up.  Now."  Greeaaat.

Mortified, I drew a blank at that moment on anything else. 

I don't know what is worse.  The "Oh, my God, I did/said that?" as I think about the evening; or the forehead-slapping moments of shame that have come over me on and off all day as my memory snippets reappear and disappear at will.

Tequila, while a friend of mine, is the bad-influence friend.  The one that makes you feel like you, in Dolby stereo; a little less inhibited and a lot more stupid.

I'm afraid I'm going to have to stop taking its calls.

Another good friend of mine, when I told her what I knew and how I was feeling both annoyed and embarrassed with myself said to me: "Don't sweat it, Anna.  EVERYONE has a tequila story.  E-v-e-r-yone."

I guess the good new is that while mine involves some not-like-me behavior, it does not involve the removal of clothing in public.  And my hangover is not physical, it's mental--time will take care of it.


Anyway, I was over at Chantal's journal, and she wrote about how she succumbed to the siren call of the iPod shuffle.

As I will be wearing my headphones at work, the better to look serious and not like a lush with, I decided to steal the meme she spoke of in her entry.

I mean, you all know how much I love my iPod.  Recently, my husband got me the cord that enables you to play it in your car via the FM frequencies, and I love that too.  So much so that if I could dip that cord in gold, I'd wear it like a necklace.   A little iBling.

Here's the deal:

Instructions: List seven songs you are into right now. No matter what they are. They must be songs you are presently enjoying.  Then tag seven other people to see what they’re listening to.

Well, I won't tag anyone else, just play if you want to.

Here they are:

1.  A Sorta Fairytale, Tori Amos

2.  Shape of My Heart, Sting (I've loved this song for a long time)

3.  Sam's Town, The Killers

4.  All These Things That I've Done, The Killers

5.  LoveStoned/I Think She Knows,  Justin Timberlake

6.  Into the Ocean, Blue October

7.  I Don't Trust Myself (With Loving You), John Mayer

I actually highly recommend the Continuum CD by John Mayer.  It's the reason I can drive my kids around, tranquilla, without tranquilizers. 

Or tequila. 

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Wallpaper: Free, no glue

I confess that I stumbled upon something, so good I have to share.

While we were in Georgia, one night I tuned out a bit and read my FIL's National Geographic.  I got the address for their website, and once we got home I checked it out.

Aside from the usual coolness you find in the magazine, they have something else:  Free wallpaper.  You can download certain fabulous pictures, and voila!  your desktop is the Serengeti.  LOVE it.

Check it out for yourself.....

Quick, and painless.....and comatose.

My oldest child got braces yesterday.

I knew it would hurt, so I premedicated him with some Tylenol, before we went for the appointment.

Just like I'd do before I took him in for well-check pediatrician visit.  Which are really a thinly disguised excuse for the two, or twenty, vaccinations recommended by the American Academy of Blah, Blah, Blah.  I'm a good Mom.  I'm thorough.  Turn the kid into a pincushion, for the greater good?  Sure.

Anyway.  Back to braces.

The boy was brave, the appointment quick and relatively painless.  For him.  He wasn't signing any checks.

No, the pain for him hit him later in the evening.  And I'm a good Mom.  I don't like to see my kids suffer.

I was concerned, though, that my campaign of Tylenol and Advil wasn't doing any good.

So, let's just say I made a trip down to a seedy part of town...

I'm just kidding.  I made a trip down the memory lane of our medicine cabinet.   Where, surprise, surprise, I found an old pain pill, not wrapped in lint, and not too far away from an expiration date.

Moral dilemma #1.

I pondered, to halve or not to halve?  Give it or toss it? 

"Owch, it hurts, Mom." 

"Here, mijo.  This will make you feel better, but you will feel sleepy."

As this morning has worn on, he hasn't stirred.  I was just checking to make sure he was still breathing about an hour ago.  Ack!  Bad parenting decision #2?

Perhaps I should've just rubbed his aching gums with some spirit.  Like our grandmothers used to do, instead of delving into 'Better Living through Chemicals, 101'.

He got up at noon. 

I don't know about me, but he's fine.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Hello, my name is Anna, and I'm a dork

Nolan and I were watching tv when I looked up and noticed the time.

"Where is your father?"  I grouched.  "He said he was going to be home an hour ago; and I came home just for him.  I'm going to kick his ass,"  I added.

Just then, Ben hollers:  "Dad's home!!"

Nolan sits up on the bed, nodding appreciatively, "'re goood."

"You remember that,"  I told him, raising an eyebrow.

I'm really not.  But how could I not take advantage of a coincidence like that?  Better he think I know all than he know the truth. 

Like today, for example, I had high-speed internet installed in my house.  But before I could be seduced by it's fabulosity, I had little hitch.  Great signal, the tech got it to work on the laptop; he left and boom, no surfy for me.  I was annoyed, but figured I'd get to it later, or I'd call everyone I knew for "tech support."  Later, when I had time, I started looking at the router, the modem, and touched some of the cords, checking the connections.  I wasn't even really thinking about it; yet when I tried to get on the internet again, it worked.  THE CORD WAS LOOSE.  We must've bumped it when I moved that part of the wall unit back in.  Doh!  And isn't that the first question they ask you when you call for help:  "Did you check the connections?"  Double doh!

So, it's a) admit I am the dork that I really am, or b) let the boy think I totally rock. 

Hmm, which would you choose?

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

I am Sam

This past Friday was Dr Seuss' birthday.  Our school participated in Read Across America, where volunteers come in and read Dr Seuss books to the kids.

Is there a better way to spend the day??

I signed up for Ryan's class, Ben's class, and Nolan's-teacher-from-last-year's class.  I also wound up doing it in two other classrooms, too.

When I was little, my Mom didn't really let me read Dr Seuss books.  She thought they were too easy for me, not realizing how much fun they are. 

I've made up for it.  My favorite is "Green Eggs and Ham" and that is what I chose to read to the kids.

Ryan was so excited and proud when I came to his classroom, he was practically vibrating. 

I cannot even begin to describe the joy it is when a roomful of second graders all respond "anywhere" at just the right moment.  ("I will not eat them anywhere.")

So. Many. Smiles!

The really cool thing for me happened that night.  Audrey was walking by my chair, and I heard her, just under her breath:

"I could not would not on a boat...not with a goat...." babble babble "I will not eat them in a house, I will not eat them with a mouse" babble babble "I do not like green eggs and ham..."

She caught me watching her.

"I had fun today, Mama,"  she said.

Me too.

I didn't know paradise had so many levels

One of my very good friends is learning how to speak Arabic.

I have no idea why, but it is just so like her that I didn't even bat an eyelash when she told me.  It was like the time she woke up and decided "I think I'll run a marathon today" or the time she said, "I think I'll join the Marines." (That one was a close one--and another story entirely.)  "I'm going to law school."  "I'll be spending a semester in England."  Aside from some scary parasitic intestinal bug she brought back from a trip to India, most of her adventures are a good time. 

She's the type of girl who will put her 11-months-pregnant friend into the Porsche, shushing her protests with "The seats are leather, we'll be fine."  It is most unfortunate for me that she lives out of state now.  (But probably safer.)


Her name is Janna, she's a knockout, and she's learning Arabic.  She told me her name in Arabic is 'jen na'; one of the seven levels of paradise. 

Of course.   Would it be, could it be, anything else? 

I had to respond, "My name must be related to the seven levels of mess in my house.  The seven levels of insanity I go through every night from the time the backpacks are dropped on the floor until bedtime.  The seven levels of grime my floor.  The seven levels of "No.  Because I said so."  Surely, nothing as glamorous as one of the seven levels of paradise.   I am picturing something more in line with nine circles..." 

I'm kidding, of course.  I know all about the seven levels of paradise.

I just haven't been able to assume that position since about 1992.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Pigment to dye for

My oldest son is about my height now.  As he enters the freakshow called adolescence, I know his body will be full of surprises for him, some of them not always pleasant.

There's nothing quite like it when your body decides to go rebel on you, and you are left wondering what the hell happened.  Who okayed this change?  I wasn't consulted...

A few weeks ago, I was doing the usual eyebrow maintenance and as I looked in the mirror, I paused to brush a stray piece of cat fur off my brow before getting to work.

Except it didn't move.

Upon closer inspection, I realized there was a white hair in my browline.  I stared at it for about a minute, amazed, before I plucked that baby out, horrified, and ran down the hall with it on my finger to show my husband. 

Who of course, you know, said something soothing, if memory serves, I believe it was: "Get out of the way, I'm trying to change the channel."

So I called one of my one of my more-sympathetic friends, who said, "Well, wait until you find one, down there."  

Um, I don't know if she remembers, as well she should, that I am a good, Catholic, Mexican girl.  I don't look at that.  I mean, I know where everything is, how it works, how to make it work; but for the most part, me and my hootchie-koo are on a need-to-know basis.  (Really.  If someone took a picture of it--hypothetically, of course-- and put it in a lineup, I would not be able to pick mine out.)  Has she really forgotten already how she talked me through the Mystery of Tampons over the phone when we were in seniors in high school?  Besides, that part of me is not going gray.  So I am not going to talk about it anymore. Nah nah nah nah nah nah. 

However, it appears the onslaught of gray on my head will continue, undeterred by threats and bribes.  I was putting my hair up in a clip last Tuesday, and I saw....them.  As in many of them, waving at me gently from behind my ear.  And in my bangs.  Heeellllooo, they whispered.  Aren't we pretty?  Aren't we silvery? 

Plucking them out is not an option.

I feel like it's some kind of cosmic joke, that I decide to grow my hair out, and they appear.  To add insult to injury, I also had a zit, one of those immortal types, show up last week too.  Shouldn't the slate be wiped clean somewhere?  "Oh, she's got some gray hair.  Scratch her off the zit list."   That is just too much to hope for, isn't it?

Of course it is.

I usually get my dye job done by my stylist.  However, she has had some surgery, and we have a fill in until she gets back.  Who is more than capable to do it, but her schedule is packed, my schedule is packed, and this time when I scheduled my usual appointment, I made it for a cut only as our timing wouldn't work out any other way.

Which made the gray that much more glaringly annoying to me....and by Friday there I stood, eyeballing the choices in the dye aisle at the store.  I talked myself out of it.....

.....but Saturday night, I couldn't take it anymore.  

Gamely, my husband accompanied me to WalMart.  Because when I told him what I needed to do, he knew he would not get any rest unless I did it right then.  And WalMart after dark in my Mom's neighborhood is no place for an unaccompanied girl.  (I'm not that tough.)

I stood in front of the rows of hair dye boxes, trying to decide.  "Black lea-thaa,"  I throatily read to Mr W, "I could be your Goth wife."  I giggled when Mr W touched my shoulder, "Is that really what it's called?" 

Oh, he's so adorably male. 

"Yup.  See?  Black Leather."  I  showed him some others, you know, the usual, "Sunny Blonde" (aren't they all?); "Coffee"; "Sangria".  I spared him the lecture on how we women are suckers for makeup with cool names.  Red lipstick is no fun unless it's called "Garnet" or "Attitude."  Who among us can resist the blush color named "Orgasm"?  Reading the name on the bottles of nail polish is almost as much fun as the pedicure itself.

Box of haircolor (not Black Lea-thaaa) in hand, I stood in my bathroom at 11:30 pm, ready to do battle.  I wasn't going to wait until the clear light of day, that would be...sensible.  25 minutes and a shower later, I looked at it, thinking, eh, it looks alright--but I didn't really look at it as I was momentarily distracted by the man in my bed.  (He did accompany me to WalMart, afterall, I was compelled to show my appreciation for such a gesture.)

The next morning, I got ready for work, and was sitting in the car, waiting for it to warm up a bit.  I decided to see what my hair looked like in natural light.  In the sun.

And once again, waving gently at me from behind my ear were a few stray hairs.  Not gray.  Look at us, they whispered.  Aren't we an unnatural shade of "Cherry Cola"?

I looked at my whole head and winced.  It's bad.  Not unbearably, look-at-that-wacko bad, but bad enough for me to know that:

1. I've learned my lesson.

2. I am not a colorist.

3. Water will not remove errant dye stains. The one on the side of my cheekbone means wearing my hair up is not a good idea for a day or two.

I will never do that again, no not ever, not ever, I swear. 

This is a by-appointment-only endeavor from now on, or at least until the next gray revolution.

Viva le strands!