Saturday, May 31, 2008

Master of Disguise

We've been busy. Very busy.

We're getting ready for the insanity of summer. That and making lots and lots of curtains and painting the kitchen a color that will likely make my mother lose her appetite. Maybe a little less than the gorgeous dark yellow of my last kitchen. I'll post when all the touch-ups under my new crown moulding are finished. That's right, crown moulding, too, a la friend who traded curtains for crown moulding! What a week!

Monday, May 26, 2008

A Teaser

This will be the first time in my children's young lives that they will be in school past Memorial Day. Well, at least the older two. The youngest one had preschool graduation last week and promptly asked after crossing the stage with his cap falling off his little head, "Do I get to go to Kindergarten now?"

But, to make things worse, they gave us a four day weekend. FOUR DAYS. Three of them involved Daddy being home! And painting the kitchen! It was a real vacation!

And so, tomorrow, I have to send them back to school. After swimming in the pool with friends, watching baseball (both on TV and live! in my backyard!), grilling and staying in our pajamas past noon, it just seems wrong to send them back to school.

Granted, both weeks are short weeks of school, and I'm pretty sure no learning will occur, but honestly, I even asked Sarge to call me about 7:15 to make sure that I hadn't turned off the alarm. I'm a little nervous that I'll think it was a big mistake, fall back asleep, only to awaken when our friends who we walk to school with ring our doorbell. That would be bad.

All this time, I thought that I was dreading summer, but after the four day teaser, I'm totally ready for my family to be back together day in and day out.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A Fairy Tale

Once upon a time, there was a princess who hardly ever shopped. But one day, she found the perfect little rug for her house. It was so perfect that she bought two, one for the back door and one for the front door. She was so happy.

Prince Charming came home from work and they were happily eating dinner. The royal dog barfed in a giant, noisy pile in the middle of the princess' new rug near the back door, which was within smelling distance of the kitchen table. The princess said to Prince Charming, "Oh, I bought new rugs today. What do you think? I loved them up until about a minute ago."

The Charmings hosed off the new rug that didn't smell so new any more. Then they lived happily ever after.

The End.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Why my CFL's will save me lots of money

Because they are so unbelieveably bright and I can see ALL of my flaws and wrinkles, I just don't turn on those lights in my bathroom as often.

Seriously. They are so bright. Granted, there are eight of them, but my bathroom is the size of a large NYC apartment, and the mirrors, so many mirrors. Too many mirrors!

Because oh, wow, my face. Is that what you poor people see when I go outside? Y'all should have told me! Yikes.

So, yeah, they don't get turned on as often as the old fashioned bulbs. Because it scares me.

Deep Breathing

We had a last-minute small gathering of friends here last night. When I say small, I mean 24 people. But half of them were small.

It was fun, the weather perfect for slip-n-slide, water balloons and root beer floats, none of which I provided for the party, which is one of the reasons that you should always make sure that you have great friends. That, and last minute runs to the grocery store for cheese and no one complaining aloud at the fact that your bathroom didn't smell like pinesol.

As much as I pride myself on being low-key, no stress, the party will be fun no matter what, I found myself at the end, trying very, very hard to not freak out.

There was mud on my carpet, water all over the floor, water balloon pieces all over my grass, at least a dozen flies in my house, my dog ate two burgers and the kitchen was a disaster. None of these things even made me blink twice. None of them bothered me a bit.

BUT. BUT. There was recycling in my trash. Lots of it. Partially my fault, because I didn't put a recycling bin out next to the trash, but no joke, I had to take deep breaths as I walked by so that I wouldn't dig my hands into that trash can and pull out every bottle and can in there.

I had no idea that it would affect me that way. Can we say, issues?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Dinner for Breakfast

Apparently we have bacon, eggs and biscuits a little too often at dinnertime and not often enough at breakfast. The youngest child demanded that they were not a breakfast food.


Monday, May 12, 2008

Warning Labels That Should Have Been


And, no, that was not necessary for my children. Unfortunately, it is for me.

I put my sunglasses on this morning, and they were horribly spotty. A casualty of yesterday's geiser in the backyard - a little unexpected fun for the children and panic for the parents when the sprinkler line was punctured by the garden tools.

In the car, I needed them. But I couldn't see through them. I used the only moisture I had to rub them clean. So I licked them.

They tasted bad. Very bad. A little like dirt. Honestly? A lot like dirt.

My sunglasses are clean-ish, and they left a very bad aftertaste. I don't recommend it.

Sunday, May 11, 2008


My husband stopped taking our dog to doggie preschool after the second week. He was so embarassed by her inability to not embarass him, he solved it by not going. The last straw was when she decided right in the middle of learning "sit" that it was time to poop, right then and there, that their fate was sealed. He sent me instead. She's twelve now, and can sit, but only "stays" because she's too darn lazy to get up anymore.

I started to notice a pattern when Sarge stopped going to the oldest child's soccer games when he was four and stood in the middle of the field and howled like a coyote instead of running around like the rest of the children. He was trying to intimidate them. They were four and just thought he was weird. Sarge quit going and sent me instead.

I'm quite proud of Sarge, seven weeks into our eight week flag football season that he's only missed the games when he's been working, and even then he'll show up when he has time during his shift, which is quite amusing, because it sends all the parents parked in the fire lane into quite a state.

But here's the thing. We sit in the back of the bleachers with one other couple and quietly heckle our own team. Don't get me wrong, we're fiercely loyal. When the other moms on the other team shout so loudly that we want to stuff the flags down their throats, we'll instead shout a little louder. And we share in the joy of a great play, a great flag pull or even a surprise touchdown by the center. Or we are indignant over a "bad call" by the referee (because they're all "bad calls" when their against our team, darnit) or call not made on the other team when we're sure it should have been a penalty.

But. But. Sometimes we giggle a little at our boys. Quietly (most of the time). That's why we sit in the back, I suppose. We're quite sure that our boys won't go on to the NFL. We're quite sure that our boys won't even make the flag football playoffs. And sometimes it's funny when their flags fall off or they run the wrong direction. And it's adorable when they glare at the ball like Vulture Snoopy before a play - okay that's not adorable, but it's worth laughing at my kid for.

I suppose it only cements my status as a slacker-mom that I don't bring my own folding chair and sit daintily on the sidelines while the dads pace. That I sometimes laugh at my kid and I sit in the back. Just so long as he can't hear us, but he knows where to look when he does something great to see us cheering him on.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

mother of the year --RIGHT HERE! OVER HERE!

I'll take my award tonight, thankyouverymuch.

We had a friend over today, Sarge was working a million hours in a row. Those aren't the real excuses - really it's because Sarge bought me, er, the kids, MarioKart, and I was terribly busy.

I forgot to feed the children dinner. And next thing you know, it's time to get to Brownies. Ahem. Yes. The award now, please. Oh, you say I haven't earned it? Let me continue.

I dropped the girl at Brownies and politely bowed out, because something about Brownies and all those little girls in one place make my boys act some kind of KAH-razy. We went to Subway, got food, ate, dropped the girl's food in the fridge and walked the dog over to the school to pick up said girl child. We got terribly distracted by the playground.

It's 8:15, time to go get a bath. Oh, you. You say you haven't eaten yet? Oh, look friends! Let's go chat! Oh, gosh, it's 8:30, the boys have gone inside. You? You should eat! Oh, but you had cookies at your meeting? Lovely! Go inside, eat a sandwich. Friends! Chat! Talk about barf! (Isn't that what all moms talk about? I mean after we pass the diapering and talking about poop stage? I thought so.)

Food! Oh, how did the TV get on? Yes, you may watch the end of this show. No, you may not watch another. Yes, I know a new Jon and Kate plus 8 has been recorded - we'll watch tomorrow, it's practically morning! Get upstairs.

Ew, your hair is crusty. Hair washed. Get back in the tub, you have soap on you still.

One hour late, everyone is in bed. I think everyone ate. I think everyone had their vitamins. Maybe.

Thanks, I'll take my award now. Oh, wait, I forgot to feed the dog.

Into the mind of a berry...

We watched my second favorite better-than-ambien show last night, apparently, as I only made it through about half before I fell sound asleep before 9:30, Modern Marvels.

(My first favorite insomnia-breaker is First 48, which I LOVE, and Caroline Mason is totally my favorite - she shows up to crime scenes with her high heels and then goes and makes a hardened criminal cry for his mama all in the course of a day's work. But nevertheless, I don't ever see whether or not they catch the criminal, because about the time they are questioning them, I fall asleep. EVERY. TIME. I wake up at the end, "did they catch him? was it that guy?" And Sarge wakes up and says, "I don't know. I guess I fell asleep." Like it surprises him every time.)

Ahem. Modern Marvels. This time it was about The Pacific Coast Highway, which there was a particular section that I spend a good number of hours riding up and down when I was a young teenager. But they totally skipped over the section that I knew - I think that's when I fell asleep.

But it got me thinking about those drives, sometimes as a family, sometimes just me and my parents, as we got older and my sisters escaped, er I mean, went off to college. My favorite part of that drive, hands down, was not the gorgeous scenery, the dramatic cliffs, the ocean. It was San Francisco. We drove up 19th avenue, across the "alphabet streets," which we all had memorized, or forgot one or two and the others came up with it. Or if we all forgot, Dad always knew.

Wawona, Vicente, Ulloa, Taraval, Santiago, Rivera, Pacheco, Ortega, Noriega, Moraga, I don't remember L, Kingston, what was J? and I can't remember the rest, and there was a break somewhere in there, then we passed through Golden Gate Park and was there a tunnel before and after? The rainbow tunnel was the shorter one after, and there was a longer one before - am I right about this? I know that there are a few commenters that will remember for me, right?

But my most favorite part was the houses. I still have a thing for those row houses, right in the city. I spent hours imagining living in one, picking my favorites and decorating them, even though I'd never been in one. I looked in the windows, paid attention to the ones that had garages and to the ones that were taken care of or not taken care of. I think I usually wanted one that wasn't taken care of, so that I could make it pretty again.

Right before I went off to college, my mother took me house-hunting in San Francisco. No, she was not buying me a house, but she knew how much I loved those houses, so we went on a Saturday and went to open houses and she brought me in to some of those houses that I'd dreamt about. They were just as fabulous as I had dreamed - some more so than others, but as can be expected when you are looking at a giant price range of houses!

Really, not a single point to be made here - just some fond memories (gosh, that makes me sound old) that I know that my family can fill in for me, because I have the worst memory of all of us.

Saturday, May 3, 2008


I am officially signed up as a Proper Texas Mother. Er, I mean, I signed my kids up for football today.

Not kidding, it was a three hour ordeal. This is a come-and-go process for two entire Saturdays, and the lines were still that long. We stood in no less that seven different lines and spent no less than four hundred dollars. This is serious business.

Both boys are signed up, and the girl said she wanted to sign up, too, but I told her she had to play a season of flag football, just like her older brother. The little one is only five, so he plays flag. Here in Texas, they can't tackle each other unless they can hold up their heads with the helmet on, and apparently that happens around the age of seven. The oldest one was fitted for pads and a helmet, and I regretted not feeding him a giant breakfast, because he weighed in on that scale at 69.5 pounds.

Both boys had to weigh in, get measured, do the long jump, run some random yardages that were timed. They were nice enough to let that little one run barefoot, because he made sure and tell everyone in the most pitiful way that he just couldn't find his sneakers. WHEN YOU LOOK FOR TWO SECONDS IN ONE PLACE, IT'S HARD TO FIND YOUR SNEAKERS. But I refrained and allowed them to pity the poor baby and let him off easy. THIS TIME.

All for the fun. Here's hoping that we don't see the inside of the emergency room. For my bouts with insanity when we're practicing SIX DAYS A WEEK. They give you Sunday off so that you can watch football. This is Texas, after all.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Bullet: Dodged

I've been a little hesitant to type it in black and white, but I am confident that we have officially dodged a vomiting bullet.


The littlest one came into my bed (why not to Sarge's side of the bed? WHY?) and said his tummy didn't feel good. Not unusual for him. But I sat up and snuggled him a minute and he burped. I panicked - "Sarge, towel, I need towels! Immediately!

The littlest one said, "It's just a burp, Mommy." And proceeded to burp again. Towels were thrown from the bathroom. Just in time for dinner to be served all over me. Then lunch. Then breakfast. In that order. Thank goodness I couldn't really see much because it was dark and my contacts were not in, but I could feel one of the meals dripping down my leg.

Sarge stood there, frozen. I sat there, frozen. And then we started laundry. A LOT of laundry. The littlest one was fine the rest of the night as we slept on my bare mattress with blankets covering it. He was fine the next morning and all the next day.

But I wasn't. My stomach ached with anxiety. I was desperately washing things to get caught up; I was cleaning things so they wouldn't get thrown up on. I served bland meals to the family to not upset their stomachs (and so I wouldn't have anything too colorful to clean up) I was about to lose my mind waiting for the other two to throw up all over me - I'm always the catcher, always.

I got the kids so stressed about it, the next night, the oldest child tucked his precious mommy blanket under his bed so that in case he threw up it wouldn't get hit. We talked about what to do in case of stomach ache (the toilet, people, not your mother's pillow!).

To say the least, I got a little anxious. It's been more than 48 hours, and I'm feeling mostly safe, but I'm stressing myself out. There's nothing that I hate more in this world than throw up. Nothing.

Thursday, May 1, 2008


If you had been walking near my childrens' elementary school this morning, you would have overheard this:

"Did you just lick me?'

"No, I just touched your arm with my tongue."