Friday, August 31, 2007


He glances at the van, accessing the condition of the interior.  "Which package would you like?"  he asks.

"I'm not sure.." 

"I bet the kids make a huge mess in there,"  he adds.

"Kids? I don't have any kids."  I laugh throatily as I run my perfectly manicured fingers through my long, freshly blown out blonde hair.  "This is my sister's car, and believe me, the mess in here is nothing compared to the mess in her house.  The dog hair alone...."  I shake my head in dismay.  "I'm getting the car cleaned as a favor to her, while she's having a spa day.  Right now, she is in the capable hands of Eduardo, my favorite masseur.  His hands are magic.  She'll be a new woman."  I exit the van, grabbing my clutch and Blackberry.   "Give it the works,"  I decide.

As I sashay inside to wait, I step gingerly over the puddle in front of the door.  Can't wreck the new Manolos....


Okay, so what really happened is that the van had gotten to such a state of ewww that I thought I might have a family of rodents living under the seats.  I'd gotten a coupon at the gas station I frequent for a car wash, and partially for me, and mainly for Mr W, who really likes a clean car, I took the van in. 

I cringed a little at the comment about the kids making a mess in there as I knew the truth:  much like some people clean their houses before the maid comes over,  I'd given the van a once-over, tossing the trash and removing extraneous stuff (so it could be properly vacuumed).  He tried to sell me a detailing package, but he lost me when he said they could make the interior look "like new".  Honestly, dude, the only thing that would make my car interior look "like new" would be a new interior.  Puh-leese. 

I blew my mousy brown bangs off my forehead and shook my sad wilted ponytail, straightened my shoulders, and selected "Pacific Breeze" as my interior scent.

But I still sashayed inside to wait.  As 'sashay' as one can get holding the hand of a sick 8 year old (Ryan is a little under the weather).

When I got home, I still wound up wiping a lot of spots they missed, but that's okay.  When you are paying someone ten bucks (I had a coupon, remember) to tend to the Battle Van, clean windows and carpet go a long way in my forgiving them some spots around the base of the seats.

"Pacific Breeze," meet floral Fabuloso.

I may not be blonde, but courtesy of the haircut appointment I kept after the car wash, I have a fantastic straight diva blowout.

It's as "grrrrrrrrr" as I can get in mom-jeans and Vans.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Here, use my shirt

After aikido, Ryan gets a little sticker for participating.  He always gets one.  Then he comes out of class, and hands it to me or puts it right on my shirt, every time. 

I have to keep it on, until I change for the night, or else he gets a little offended.  It's just one of those little gestures that became a habit and is now a ritual.

As I sat there waiting for them the other night, I was talking to Remo over Audrey's head, amidst her interjections, trying to hang onto my chain of thought.  I swear, Remo gets a medal for being able to have conversations with me that get to the middle, shift to another topic altogether; then get interrupted as he stops to answer whatever question whichever random child of mine has posed to him, then pick up the original half-finished thought I started with without going "huh?"  (Or at the very least, he is gracious enough to pretend to know what I'm talking about.)  It's like I exhibit a form of adult ADD, trying to talk with the kids swirling around. 

All of a sudden, here comes Ryan, down the hallway, hand out in front of him, finger extended.  He headed straight for me, and thrust his little hand out under my nose.

Naturally, instantly, instinctively, I recoiled.

He looked at me, all offended.   "Mooom--  I'm trying to give you your sticker."

I looked down at his finger, and sure enough, there was a sticky-side up tiny star on his finger.

I felt bad.  But I started laughing, and clasped him carefully by the shoulders, so he wouldn't drop it.

I realized, just then, you know you are the mother of boys when you can say this:

"Son, I'm sorry.  I thought it was a booger." 

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

A different view

My meltdown the other day came to mind as I was straightening up all of Audrey's papers last night, the ones I found after she went to bed. 

She has taken to school so much that she will color and do her alphabet all night long.  And draw pictures.  I don't want to discourage her, so I let her run around with her clipboard full of paper, crayons or pen in hand.  However she tends to leave it where she stands if we call her to do something else.  She's not doing that to aggravate me, she's just doing it because she focuses on one thing, gets distracted, focuses on another, etc.   Thank goodness for her little white board.  She can erase that and start over, and there's no paper involved.

Except I nearly sat on the marker she left on the couch.  Doh!  **@#@

I thought of who it was I called whilst in the middle of losing it over a pile of papers and dust.  I called Mr W.

Ordinarily, I don't mind it too much when I write and I am frustrated, like the other day, because sometimes, you just need to vent.  But in all fairness to Mr W, I guess I should give him some props.  Not every man will patiently talk his wife down off the building when she's ready to jump.  I mean, some guys, they'd just offer a little push.

He listened to me the other day, and then I heard him answer someone else, so I realized he couldn't talk.  Which was okay.  He was busy.

I just needed to hear the sound of his voice.  He managed to get out something neutral but soothing, and off I went on my day.

The thing is, I can't do all the crazy things I do every day without support.  Mr W is my support.  While he is my cheerleader from time to time, giving me the "Yes, you can do it" when I'm faltering, he also just goes about his day knowing that I am taking care of business from my end.  He doesn't call me, micromanaging every second of "Were the kids late to school?"  It's more of an unspoken confidence that he has in me that I can do it, it''ll get done, and I do it well.

And that is what gets me through the day.

So even though I might rant, and feel the stone I push is bigger than the one he has, it's not really that way.

Sometimes, he pushes mine right along with me, and I just don't see it....

...because he's behind me.

Monday, August 27, 2007

The enforcers

Audrey came home from school earlier this week with an interesting story.

"Mommy, there's this boy, in my class, his name is Adrian, and he says he likes me, and when we grow up, I'm going to marry him."

I had to laugh.  She sounded a little disgusted.  "Did he ask you, or did he just say he was going to marry you?"

"He didn't ask.  He just says he's going to marry me."

Obviously, this child has no idea what he's getting himself into.  "Does he know about your brothers?  And your Dad?"  I asked her.


When we picked up the boys, she shared her story with them.  They were not impressed.  Nolan said he wouldn't allow it without meeting him, and Ben was just planning something with a staff.  Or was it a club?

I called Mr W.  "Audrey got a marriage proposal today,"  I said.

He laughed, but he couldn't talk (he was at work).   Later, I saw Audrey sitting on his lap, telling him about it.  "Eh, no big deal," he told her.  "Just tell him no."

"Can Ben come to my class to do it?"

And so it begins.

And after that, I have to tell you about this

My trip to Mexico was fantastic.  We got there late in the afternoon on Saturday, dropped our stuff off a the hotel (our room was not ready) and proceeded to pick up big, fat, cold beers and walk down the street with them.

We didn't even get in trouble for it until we were almost done with them.   Oops!

We walked around a lot that night, first to dinner (where we could look out over the ocean, in this second-floor, open air restaurant/bar); then through town, back to the hotel.  We went to a bar that was full of a frathouse vibe, so we left....and had street tacos in the middle of the night instead.   Later, as we sat on the beach with our beers, I was surprised we could still see the ocean, and surprised when my friend turned to me and said "Happy Birthday"-- it was well after midnight.

The next morning, she went for a run, and I went for coffee.  I met her on the beach, and collected all kinds of shells, then we gathered our stuff so we could check out, grab a bite, and shop some before heading back.  We were trying to get an early start as she promised my jailers I'd be home by like four or five.

They say that the best times are had when you don't plan them.   I'd have to say I agree.

We went back to the same place we'd eaten the night before as I was enamored of the chiliquiles; and the waiter recognized my friend (she goes to Mexico frequently) so he was chatting with us.  "Your boyfriend, from last time?  He works over there."  (He pointed across the street.)  The waiter leaned out the window and hollered across the street.  I saw a man turn towards us.  My friend looked over, waving, and although he is not her boyfriend anymore, she still wanted to see him, so I told her to go, content to just sit and look at the ocean, sipping my juice.

A few minutes later, she came back, and said that the restaurant/bar was empty, and that her friend, Javier, wanted us to come over there.  So off we went.

Like most times, when you go someplace empty, once you arrive, lots of other people come.  Javier was the only waiter over there, so he motioned for us to have a seat, and asked us what we wanted to drink.  I asked for a coke.  He brought me a Tecate.  "It's five o'clock somewhere," we joked as we squeezed in our limes.  Javier came and sat with us in between waiting on the other patrons (a couple, and a table with 2 men and a lady).   Suddenly, my friend grinned and told Javier, "She needs a caballito."  I'd never heard of a drink called a 'little horse' but I was game.  I panicked, initially, when I saw him pouring three shots; but relaxed when I realized it was one shot for each of us. 

One of the patrons at the other table looked at our shots with a quizzical, 'I-want-what-their-having' expression, and my friend said, "Oh, it's her birthday," as she gestured to me.   "Really?" the man responded, "It's his birthday too."  as he gestured to his tablemate.

After that, it was all over.  They ordered shots too, and us another round.  To toast our birthdays, of course.  I had another Tecate, because Javier set his down, and was busy, and why waste a cold one?  The guy who shared my birthday had a name I know and love --- Ben--- and he proved to be every bit as sociable as my Ben.  Pretty soon, he was introducing all of us to each other (more people had arrived), and the tequila and conversation was just flowing.  We ate, we socialized, we drank...and it was great fun.   I even remembered to text message Mr W that we were going to be later than I thought, early on in the festivities while I was still coherent.

The funny thing is that I didn't get toooo hammered.  I was keeping up, but I was eating too, and the atmosphere was festive, not "let's drink until we puke."

I was so excited that I got an entire place to start drinking in honor of my birthday.  Loved that!

Javier wound up driving back with us partway, as he was having a good time, and he hadn't seen my friend in a while.  

It was a really good time.  I really enjoyed speaking  and hearing all the Spanish, and it was really hard to leave.  I wish we could've stayed another day.  I got back home at eight.  I found myself longing for a big fat beer.....Monday morning.

But that's okay, because that means I will have to get back there that much sooner.

I may even take Mr W next time.

And surprisingly enough, he's game. 

(Yes, Remo, he knows that there's no Wendy's there.)

I'm getting to it, I'm getting to it...

This is the part where I whine, about how I have stupidly added more work in to my schedule without the foresight into how it would affect me...

I'm mental.  Frazzled.  Overwhelmed.

My head is going to pop right off my neck, and that is not pretty.

Consider my week:

Monday, I am off.  But so is Mr W.  Should be a win-win, and for the most part, it is.  But.

Tuesday thru Friday, I have the morning mad dash that makes me wonder what the hell I've gotten myself into.  Get up, shower, get myself halfway ready; get the kids up, make lunches, and breakfast, simultaneously while hollering at the sleepy heads to move, move, move; run them to school (cross fingers bell hasn't rung); run home, get Nolan finished with his breakfast and drive him to school; drive to work, work, work, work (yay!); run home, pick up first group of kids, take them home, breathe, use the bathroom for what feels like the first time that day; jump in the car about 1/2 an hour later and go get Nolan; praying that meltdown-girl catches a nap on the way; get home, get homework started, dinner started, clean up, bathtime, bedtime....hey, I'll get on the computer, in a minute...zzzzzzzzzz.   Is that my alarm going off?  What do you mean we're out of bread?

Saturday is a walk in the park, only me to get ready, off to work, see you later.

And Mr W?  Oh, he gets up, goes in to work out, goes to work, sometimes works out a second time, and shows up for dinner.  On the weekend, he does the laundry.  He comes home for lunch every day and deals with the dogs.

But I'm not bitter.

Much. :p

The house is a mess, I'm tired of taking cranky kids to the store with me afterschool, and I had a meltdown the other morning because Audrey left her crayons on the floor.  And there was dust everywhere, and dog hair on the carpet.  Not to mention the fact that is looks like the kids get off the couch with the cushions implanted in their asses, so the couch looks like someone drove over it with a semi.

So I am considering instead of four four hour days and a six hour Sat; three four hour days and an eight hour Sat, all so I can have an extra day off with everyone at school and Mr W at work.  

I'm sure I can fill that day with something.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Back so soon?

I made it back early Sunday evening, in one piece. 

It was really hard to leave our nice hotel room with the view of the beach....

I have to say that the things you don't plan are often the funnest part of the trip.

WIll be back with the details later.  I may have gotten a couple of days and a night off, but now that's over, and I am once again in charge of bathtime and packing lunches.

I was smiling right now at the small pile of seashells on the table that I brought back for the kids.

I can still hear the ocean in them.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Making a run for it

You know that scene at the end of "Terminator" where Sarah Connor is driving the Jeep, heading for Mexico?

I always kinda envied her that.  I mean, sure, she was running from a crazed robot intent on her demise, but there was just something about that scene that always made me wish it was me.  (Except for the robot part.)

I will be thinking of that tomorrow, as I am going to Mexico for my birthday.  My bday is Sunday, and I have a friend who has been itching to take me down there.   A couple of months ago, I told Mr W I wanted to go, for my big day, alone.  No kids.  No him.   He said:  "Go ahead."   Yay! 


What the hell am I going to do with myself without my line of quail babies following behind me?

It's only an overnight trip, yet Ryan was totally concerned:  "What's going to happen to our family?"  he asked.

Oh, for crying out loud.  Do I need that kind of drama?  Hand that boy an Oscar.

"Ryan, it's only overnight, and your Dad will be here with you.  Get over it."  "Oh."  (As if I'd leave them ALL alone here while I was out gallivanting around.)

I'm very excited! 

Since I've touched on the birthday, I have to say that on Thursday, when I went into work, I was treated well.  Everyone was SO nice!!!   Cards, a gift card from a couple of the girls, and a giant cake. 

This weekend, I don't think I'll be having cake...... 

No matter.

After a shot or two, I'll forget all about it.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Nirvana of the lap

Oh.  Oh, oh, oh.

I don't know how I didn't think of this sooner.  I am lying on my back, laptop resting just so, typing this entry.  Lying down, people.  With the a/c overhead.

Surely this is a testament to the new sloth.

This morning I helped out in Audrey's class.  Her teacher has been absent the first three weeks of school (recovering from surgery) and today was her first day back.  We had a good sub, and our teacher kept in touch with everyone--it hardly seemed like she was gone.

Now, I know lots of my journaling pals have kids starting kindergarten.  I want to pass this on:

Kindergarten is hard work.  In spite of it's crayons, cut-and-paste image, it's work.  These last three weeks, I've been gritting my teeth as Audrey has had a meltdown EVERY I realize why.

The day does have it's sing-songy moments, and yeah, there is cutting and coloring involved, but there's also a ton of other stuff going on.

Take care of yourself.  Do your work.  Keep an eye on your tablemates.  Clean up your messes.  Get in line. No talking.  No running in the classroom. 

And in the middle of all that, the gentle and not-so-gentle reminders to the ones who are not listening and need guidance.

Not to mention the directions for the tasks they are performing.

I was exhausted half an hour into it.  I can only imagine how hard it is for the little ones, who are learning all the school rules, and how to interact with each other, learning in general, and adjusting to being separate from their families, all at the same time.

Our teacher makes it look so easy, smoothly transitioning from point A to point B.

All I can think about is a nap.

To the top of the coconut tree

I have to admit, that in my sick, twisty mind, the first time I saw the title of the children's book "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom"  I stifled a laugh.  At best, it sounds like the soundtrack of a bad 70's porno; at worst, the stage name of your new daughter-in-law.

I was eventually bowled over by the colorful fun within its pages, and while I can't recite it like I can 'Goodnight, Moon', I have read it more than once.

I was going through the bookcase in Audrey's room, looking for 'Mrs McNosh Hangs Up Her Wash" (she's big on rhyming stories these days) when I found Chicka Chicka.  "I know that book!  Can we read it?"  Audrey exclaimed.

Half joking, I handed it to her and said, "I know you do, why don't you read it to me."

Now when I handed it to her, it was in the grand tradition of mothers giving children a momentary distraction so they may continue the task at hand, and absentmindedly, I prompted her, with the refrain of the book.  A few seconds later, was I ever surprised to hear her little voice...."reading" the book. 

I realize she has it memorized, but was so dazzled by her brilliance that I stopped what I was doing, and sat back on my heels, Mrs McNosh momentarily forgotten, watching her.

When she got to the part where "J and K are about to cry" and she rubbed her little eyes and said it in a theatrically crying way, I could only envision her ruling the world.

I sat through the rest of the reading, and then, we went and read it to Daddy.

I continued looking for Mrs McNosh, but she is nowhere to be found in the bookcases.

The word on the street is that she was last seen working the late shift at the Chicka Boom.

Monday, August 13, 2007

The checkout lane

There I was, scurrying down the baking aisle in the grocery store.  I heard a few guys coming down the aisle behind me, so I sped up a bit, only to realize that in my haste, I forgot something.

I turned around quickly to go get it.

And was very surprised to cold bust one of the guys behind me checking out my butt.  No doubt about it, right there next to the sugar, in front of God and everyone, a more-than-once-over.  He gave me that smile and oops-I'm-busted look that is both appreciative and apologetic at the same time. 

I grinned back at him, I couldn't help it; I mean, I certainly wasn't gonna say anything, that kind of thing never happens to me, I decided to just roll the cart on....

...and keep grinning from ear to ear.

Audrey could've bought six bags of candy, and I probably wouldn't have noticed.

One week away from my (cough cough gasp) thirty-ninth birthday, it's nice to know someone thought I had it going on.

Once I got home, I realized I forgot the milk.

I attribute it to the shock of a cute guy looking at my ass and not the memory loss attributed to age.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Stepping outside

I tend to get into little ruts.  It's easy to do, with all the kids and the things that need to get done; I don't vary the routine much or I'd drop all the balls, then where would everyone be?

So last Monday, I had the chance to step outside my box, and I am really glad I did.  The petite wonder, Suzy, was in town, and as she likes to walk, Remo suggested we take her to the arboretum.  I'd never been there, so I was all for it. 

I knew I was in for a good day when he showed up with a breakfast burrito.  Considering I'd just choked down a banana and was going to call it a meal, I was very happy.

(Geez, I'm a little easy.)

Anyway, we met up with Suz, and were off.  It was a perfect overcast day, and the arboretum was pretty empty, considering, and that was nice.

What a wonderful place. (I am now kicking myself for ignoring it all these years as it was mentioned in the 'things to do this weekend' sidebars in the newspaper.)Walking around there, some of the areas reminded me of walking in the desert near where I grew up, and it felt so much like home, I couldn't help but relax.  You just gotta love that.

Remo was an excellent tour guide, so much so that he got us to try some jujubes growing on one of the trees.  We decided they tasted a bit like apples.  Not bad.  There were lots of butterflies, caterpillars, a fat black widow, and a snake.

A sizable rattlesnake.  Far enough away to not make anyone run screaming off into the wilderness, but close enough to know that you probably wouldn't want to take it home for show-and-tell.

I did bring home a plant, as did Remo, and I am happy to report that while mine isn't in the ground yet, I have managed to keep it alive.  Et tu, my friend?

The funny thing is, I can't pronounce 'arboretum' to save my life.  It comes out in the most ridiculous incarnations, my tongue just refuses to cooperate.

I was in the car, giggling to myself, trying to get through it in my head, whispering my attempts.   Ben and Nolan overheard, and questioned my sanity.  I said, "It's just this word I can't pronounce" which they assumed to be a bad word.  As though all I do is curse.  *ahem* I do not.

I might not be able to say where I am going, but I will definately go there again.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

They work cheap

I blanched but kept my mouth shut today when my husband told the kids to clean out the inside of the battle van.

I didn't have to say anything because they protested enough all on their own.  I saw his point, though, so I also ordered them out.

"But Moooom," Nolan whined, "there's nothing in there that belongs to me, do I have to?"

"It's just like the house, son.  We all live here, we all clean it up.  We all use the van, we should all clean it up.  I spend a lot my time in it, hauling the lot of you around, and yesterday, when my co-worker and I used it to go to lunch, I found myself praying it didn't smell too much like ass as I unlocked the door.  I gave her the "I have no idea what's in there" disclaimer, too.  Thank god I had taken those blueberry muffins to work, and their scent lingered."

"I guarantee you will find at least one thing, hmmmm, let's see, like a game recharger, that belongs to you.  You'll see."

Sure, I fretted as they went out the door, but I didn't follow.  I told them where our freaky outdoor vacuum was, and that was that.  I giggled as I overheard Nolan and Ben bickering, over who would do what, and I really chortled when I overheard my words coming out of Nolan's mouth:  "You just have to make this more difficult, don't you??"

I walked down the hall, stood in the doorway to my bedroom, and bowed down to Mr W.  "Brilliant!  Genius to put them to work..." as I updated him on the comments I'd heard.

It didn't go entirely smoothly, but they all tried--even Audrey helped.  Nolan found a game recharger, as predicted.  (Behold the power of Mommy and fear her omniscience!!)

And now the van smells like Simple Green.

With a hint, just a teeny hint, of ass.

(You can't have everything when the labor is free.)

Wednesday, August 1, 2007


These last two weeks have been full of that special kind of crazy that life throws at you.

I'm bulleting it, because it's kind of all over the place.

*I was in not one, but two car accidents, within five minutes of each other, on the 20th.  I can't really go into too much detail, as it is embarrassing and still a little unsettling for me.  The long story short is that I had the kids with me in the Cadillac, and I stopped for some traffic, and the person behind me didn't; but he did stop asap, it just made a helluva noise.  It was someone I am related to, by marriage, yes, him; and I was rattled, just beside myself as it was a loud,hard hit.  I was calming kids down (all except Ryan, who said "WOW!  Mommy that was COOL!") as I waited to turn left into a shopping center, mentally rehearsing the phone call to my Dad ("Um, yeah, I wrecked your car" which, in the grand scheme of things is not as bad as "Hey, I got knocked up on prom night") when I thought I noticed the traffic moving, and assumed I needed to go too, only to realize the left turn lane never goes as fast as the rest of the traffic and rear ending the lady in front of me.  Oh, joy.  The upside is we were all okay, we are all okay, and only my pride was injured.  Cars are replaceable and people aren't, and all that.  We're okay.  Really.  I am almost past second-guessing every move I make behind the wheel.  And I am grateful somewhat for insurance, even though they are snarky assheads who are more concerned with who got the citation (no one) than "are you okay?"  (Bitch.)

*The kids started school last week.  So now I have an eighth grader, sixth grader, third grader, and KINDERGARTNER.  The little miss started school!!  I was fine the first day, as Mr W was home, and we had the lovely Kaylen visiting us, and Nolan had a dental appt (nice planning there, Mom).  But Tuesday, I dropped her off alone, and when she turned to go into her classroom....**sniff**  I came home, and even though I didn't have to go into work Tues, I did--no need to cry in the house all day.  Or clean it, for that matter.  She has adjusted seamlessly, even if I haven't.  The nice thing is I know everyone at the school, as does she; and people were very kind to me last week, filling me in on little Audrey-anecdotes when I'd be going to pick her up.  My favorite is that on the first day of school, I was told she was telling one of her classmates "Relax.  Just relax." complete with the hand pat.  Her teacher sent me home a lovely note "Audrey helped out with the other kids today.  Thank you for sending her so well prepared for kindergarten."  I find myself feeling better about the whole thing every day.  My little smartie!  The boys are doing well too.  Ben is well, Ben.  His teacher said the kids like talking to him, even if he is not always starting up my little politician will be sitting alone for a bit.  And can I just say I want a gold star for getting them all up, fed, packed lunches, while getting myself ready for work...and getting them to school ON TIME?  On time!  Me!  It's a miracle.  Maybe that's the reason we are getting so much rain.

*Speaking of work, my work has moved into a new building.  It's so nice!  And you know what a new building desk.  NEW office supplies!  Combined with the new school supplies, I am in Crayon-smelling-post it purchasing-I gotta get new desk stuff-oh, do you need another binder-nirvana. (I take the fifth on my pen situation.)  We have a magnetic partition at our desks, so I have some cute magnets, too.  Now if it were not sub-zero in my section of the building...(although when it's as humid and hot as it is right now, I am not complaining too loudly about that)...

*Staying on work, I have increased my hours officially.  I had been working extra over the summer, and I found that getting paid better feels pretty damn good.  I've increased to twenty hours, and it's not bad, I retain some flexibility on my days as long as the twenty get done.  I get vacation and sick accrual now, and I can participate in the 401k, and stock stuff now too.  And get health benefits if I need to.  It's only hard in that it makes me totally juggle the schedule now.  I get up, get the kids off to school, leave once Nolan's ride gets here, and work 9-ish till 1:45, T-F, and at least 6 hours Sat.  Once I leave at 1:45, I head straight to school to pick the first group up, get them home, then about an hour later head off to pick up Nolan.  Keeps me busy, but I like it.  I'll have more opportunity to learn/relearn some things at work.  I should still be able to squeeze my volunteer time in.  Hooray :D

*My birthday approaches.  Ordinarily, I'd dread it a little, but I am looking forward to it, because I am going to Mexico.  It's only two days, and overnight, but I am not taking kids.  Or my husband.  I plan on sitting on the beach, drinking a little, and people watching.  Without hearing the words 'potty,' 'mommy,' or 'do you have any ideas for dinner yet?'  I'd let out a mariachi yell, but I can't do one.  Feel free to imagine one here.

*It's monsooning, a lot this week, and it's fantastic.  Nothing like a dust storm followed by crazy thunder and rain to make an afternoon interesting.  They can last two seconds, or two hours, and there's nothing like it.  I think this is my favorite time of year, even if it's so humid that parts of your body you didn't even know existed get sticky the second you step outside.  It's a small price to pay for some natural fireworks.  (At least until you get your utility bill.)

*My dad is officially not working.  His workplace got sold, and closed down, so now he's semi-retired.  All I have to say is "Poor Mom."  They're gonna drive each other nuts.  He'll be working again, in some capacity, by Christmas, mark my words.

How'd it get so late?

I better get to bed.  Don't want to mess up the on-time-for-school track record so soon.

I'll wait until next week for that.

This is what friends are for

My best friend participated in RAGBRAI last week.  For those of you who don't know, it's a bike ride across Iowa.  This is her second, maybe third year doing it.  She always asks me to come along, but it usually coincides with the beginning of the school year for my kids, and I can't bear to leave them during that crazy week.

So nice of her to think of me and send me this.  She may as well have included the "Wish you were here" across their butts to make it complete.

But that would spoil the view.


Oh, my.

Every night, I tell myself I will get to do an entry once the kids go to bed....only to find myself drooling on the remote, arm asleep from holding my girl (don't ask), all hot and sweaty (and not in the good way), two hours later.

At which point I stagger down the hall, put her to bed, crate up the dogs, and go to bed myself.  I only make a little bit of noise (okay a lot) as I climb in--why let the hot and sweaty go to waste?--but am unsuccessful (he snores on) and pass out anyway.  Sigh.  That's what dreams are for.  Rrrrrrrr. 


So I was trying to get caught up tonight, and find that Laura has tagged me twice.  Twice!  And I am just getting to them.  Sorry, L.  I'm usually not so lax.

Thanks so much, for naming me a Rocking Girl Blogger.  I am delighted.  :)

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I so dig that graphic.  I wonder if I could get that tattooed?  Hm.  Better settle for a tshirt, or I'll pop it over on the sidebar sometime.

Laura also tagged me for this meme, Crazy Eights:

1.  I have to post these rules before I give you the facts.

2.  Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.

3.  People who are tagged have to write their own blog (entry) about these eight things and post these rules.

4.  At the end you have to choose eight people, list them,  and tag them to do this too.

5.  Don't forget to leave them a comment telling them they've been tagged, and to read your entry/blog, too.

I think this is a good way to get back into the swing of things, after my unintentional hiatus.  Can I think of eight things?  What eight things?  Holy cow, can I narrow it down to only eight?  Ack!  Maybe not as easy as I thought...  Ack!  I'm afraid they're quite L-A-M-E. 

1.  In light of the Harry Potter book just being released...oh, wait.  I forgot to mention, I caved and let Nolan read it first.  I read two chapters, and he begged, I'm a bit of a softie; so I gave it up.  He read it as quickly as I would have, and then I took over and pounded through it.  So, my habit/fact is that no matter how much I want to know, how badly I am excited, I never, ever turn to the back of the book or read ahead.  No way.  That's cheating, people.

2.  I snort when I laugh real hard.  So ladylike.  So like a trumpeting elephant.  Nice, especially since I like to laugh so much.  I don't hold it in, because that hurts.

3.  I have bought my favorite treat at Costco (the giant ice cream bar, dipped in chocolate and covered in almonds, from the food court) had it wrapped to go, hidden it in the freezer and eaten it after everyone else has gone to bed.  I only get one for me.  Oh, yes.  Some people drink.  I choose chocolate, or this.  It is soooo good.  Heh heh heh.  It's probably a good thing I don't do that often.  But I have done it within the last two weeks.  I'm about due for one...

4.  I love the library.  I like Barnes and Noble, bookstores in general; and while there are some books I love and do buy and read again, it's the library that really holds my heart.  

5.  I will get up and brush my teeth in the morning the second I wake up.  Get up, use the bathroom, brush my teeth.  I hate morning breath.  I brush before bed, too, every night.  Without fail.  If only I were so diligent with the floss.  I'm good, but I'm not that good.

6.  Even when I pare it down, I always have at least 5 lip products in my purse.  In any combination of liner, gloss, lipstick, tshirt might have a hole in it, but mmmwuuaaah, let me find a way to distract  Got my eye on the next one right now, but it's Lancome, so I am trying to restrain myself from dropping that kind of dough on something I'm going to ultimately lick off or leave on my glass.  No matter.  It's glittery.  It's a little red.  I need it.

7.  I still find myself sucking in my tummy when we're um, in the preliminaries.  Like it does any good at this point.  Like he hasn't seen it before.  Ridiculous. 

8.  I force myself to maintain eye contact to avoid doing the once-over-check-you-out.  It's not difficult, as I usually look people in the eye anyway, but when I am doing it for this reason, it takes so much of my concentration, I can't make a coherent statement.  Don't look!  Don't look, don't look, don't look down!  Doh!  Busted!

Thanks for thinking of me, Laura.

I'm not tagging anyone else, as I am so late with both of these things that there is no one left that isn't private.

Play along if you want.

And to all the Rocking Girl Bloggers out there...well,

You rock!