Friday, February 27

Jinxed

There was a post that I almost wrote a couple of weeks ago, but I just couldn't get myself to do it. Then I almost wrote it last week, but again, I stopped myself. I was afraid that if I wrote it I would jinx us and what I was writing about not happening would surely then come to happen. You see, everyone in my town is sick. EVERYONE. Except us. According to the many mothers I see on Facebook and the chatter about town, kids are puking, spiking fevers, and getting infections all over the place. Ear infections, bronchitis, strep throat, the flu, who knows what else, and so far we have managed as a family to scrape by with just a cold. Sure, its a nasty cold that makes you feel tired and blah, but a cold doesn't knock you on your ass. Just a run of the mill cold, that started with Jack, moved on to me and then hit Abbey, and now I believe is making its way back to me. Tuesday night I thought we were done for, Abbey took a 2 hour nap and woke up with a slight temp. Yup, I said to myself. This is it. Here it comes. But the next morning her temp was gone, and now she just has a cough and a runny nose. I just have this constant ominous feeling that something icky is on the horizon. It is to the point where I just want them to get sick so we can get it over with. It's inevitable, right? But how sad is that. Wishing germs on my children so that we can "get on with it." Actually, I am convinced they are both waiting until we are back in the house to get truly ill. I can see it now, it's our first night back in the house, the smell of fresh brand new floors and carpets, and then in my vision I see them running down the newly carpeted hallway, spewing vomit in a million directions all over the new painted walls and floors. Oh damn, now I really have jinxed myself.

Wednesday, February 25

Meltdown City

Why is it that at 5:11 everyone is happy, everyone is calm. No one is hungry. But come 5:18, the children are STARVING. They are starving like they haven't eaten in 2 days, they are violent and cranky and obnoxious. Does this happen to all children? Their appetites remind me of when I was pregnant, when I would go from perfectly fine to ravenously hungry and then completely stuffed all within the span of 4 1/2 minutes. Of course, if I was a good mother, a planning ahead and all knowing mother, I would realize this and time dinner to be precisely at 5:17 pm. But this never seems to happen. By the time I start to think about dinner it is usually sometime between 4:45 and 5, and then of course there is that pesky little problem of the food cooking. Believe me, I have thought about just throwing the fish sticks at them frozen, but I stop myself and try to cook them first. Then the problem becomes that they want a snack, are whining and yelling and throwing themselves on the floor for a snack, but with only 12 minutes until supper is ready there is no time for one. Sure, odds are that Jack would still eat dinner 12 minutes later (Abbey wouldn't) but it becomes a really unnecessary snack. Why can't the kids just wait the 12 frickin' minutes. Its only 12 minutes. 1 Spongebob. Please.

What do they call it, the witching hour? I agree. I think it originated back in the middle ages when actual witches would come upon this hour, turn their children into toads, and fly off into the sunset on their broomsticks. That's what I would do. . . if I were a witch.

Saturday, February 21

Standing Still

Do you ever feel like all that you are, all that you do, you do for your children? You cook for them, clean up after them, tie their shoes, wipe their noses and their butts. You pick out their clothes and put together toys. You drive them here and drive them there, to sports, to clubs, to birthday parties. You help them with their homework, play games, do crafts. You read endless books and make up countless stories. You watch G rated movies most of the time. You comfort their boo boo’s, put an end to their squabbles. You are the human napkin for their tears. You watch, you listen, you sing. You negotiate with them through the waters of their very lives, their core is your core. It is more work than you've known before or will know again, it is exhausting and it is so worth it. Isn't this the way it is supposed to be? Isn't this what it means to be a mother? I have a favorite quote, it’s from “The Bridges Of Madison County.”

“You build a life of details and then you just stop, and stay steady so that your children can move, and when they leave they take your life of details with them.”

That’s what we do. We stand still, so that our children can grow around us.

Friday, February 20

Cookie!

I ordered a new magazine during a recent "help your favorite Girl Scout" magazine drive. Browsing through I saw that they offered "Cookie," a fairly new magazine that I had glanced through once or twice at the library. It was really reasonable, like $12 for the whole year, so I thought why not. Well, my first issue arrived, and I tell ya, I am NOT impressed. The cover looked promising. "Secrets From The Mom Who Always Looks Together" "1 Meal That Will Give You 4 Days Of Dinners" and "Probiotics - Why It's Good" or something like that. First, that mother that always looks so "together"? Well dear reader, when she has to run out the door and just needs something to "throw" on in a hurry, she always grabs for her "go to" dress. An adorable little wrap item, that you can also own for around $2,000. FOR A DRESS! And her little girl has just been "living" in her new "skinny" jeans (only $145). Uh huh, thanks for those wonderful and realistic tips, biotch. On to the wonder meal that you can make on Sunday in your leisure time and then throw the leftovers together Mon-Wed to make great meals. Here are your starting items - Braised Pork Ala' can't pronounce the rest, Simmered Apple Slices with Fancy stuff about it, and some odd looking Artichoke number. You simply cook this up (on Sunday) and the family eats it, presumably, and then for the next 3 days you take your leftovers and add things to them that you already have in your kitchen, like tartlets and fresh tarragon, and viola~ dinner is served. Hah! And don't even get me started on "Probiotics." Good bacteria? Bad bacteria? In a powder form? As a chewable vitamin? Yup, not caring. There was also an adorable spread on children's new looks for spring. Little dresses for girls (only $305!) and pinstripe vests for boys ($135, what a steal!) As far as I could tell the only reasonable items throughout this magazine were the tights the girls were wearing ($6) and even that is a bit steep for one pair of tights. The best part, an article describing a new "Candy/Ice Cream Shop" in New York City. Shots of Celebrities and Fashionista's and their dressed to the nines children noshing on sundaes and candy, while the mom's lounged on red velvet settee's sipping cocktails before they were all whisked away on horse drawn carriages to the opening of a new "Ralph Lauren" store.

Yup, it's like this magazine has been peering right into my life.

Monday, February 16

Super Slow Internet and Underwear in the Toilet

So what's making me grumpy this long weekend? Number one, I have a really icky nasty cold, complete with itchy watery burning eyes and a clogged up snotty head. I even had to forgo my contacts for the last couple of days, and I HATE to wear my glasses. I think the only thing that will make me feel better is copious amounts of Valentine's candy and rest. Unfortunately I am living in a giant metal box with two incredibly LOUD children so rest is a bit out of the question. Good thing I've got the chocolate. Number two, for some reason my Internet connection has been on super duper slow mode since Saturday, and with all of my computer expertise and knowledge (yes, that's sarcasm) I can't figure out why. It's as if its 1999 again and I have dial-up, which drove me so crazy with its slowness that I cancelled altogether and we had no computer at all, not for 8 years. Number 3, last night Jack accidentally dropped his underwear in the toilet. Apparently he was trying to shoot them basketball style into the laundry hamper and they went awry and landed in the toilet. I had to fish them out. One hour later Abbey "accidentally" dropped her underwear in the toilet as well. Hmmmm, wow. What a coincidence! No underwear in the toilet for years, and then boom, twice in 1 night. Lucky me. Not that I haven't had to deal with much more disgusting and nasty things in my life, in fact I was actually quite thankful that the toilet was CLEAN at the time.

Now, what is making me happy this long weekend? Number one, we didn't have any pressing plans so I was able to hang around and do much of nothing for most of the time, which was a blessing since I am wearing my coke bottle glasses and wanted to stay in my sweatpants. Number two, a TON of painting got done at the house over the last 3 days and there is a light at the end of the tunnel. The den is done, downstairs bathroom, upstairs hall, Abbey's room is back together with walls and wallpaper and everything, and the kitchen is making steady progress. With the floors due to go in later this week, we might be able to move back into the house in another week and a half or so. Yes, this makes me happy. This trailer is shrinking by leaps and bounds. You can't walk anywhere without bumping into something and the kids are always at such close range to me that we might as well be Siamese twins, or Siamese triplets actually. Compared to here the house is going to seem so vast and giant when we get back in, it will be like living in a mansion. I'll feel like Annie when she first gets to Daddy Warbucks.

Saturday, February 14

Friday, February 13

Frost Heaves

Number one, let me say that my town is great. I love that the elementary school where Jack has thus far been so happy is only 7 minutes away, and that we have a great rec field and playground only 5 minutes away. We have lakes to swim in, pancake breakfasts, and contest to see when an outhouse will fall into a frozen lake. When I stop at the gas station to get a cup of coffee in the morning I'm always bound to run into someone I know and can have a nice morning chat with. But we also have an exorbitant number of frost heaves. What are "frost heaves" you ask? In order to educate my loyal readers I will elaborate. Wikipedia defines them in the following way: Frost heaving (or frost heave) occurs when soil expands and contracts due to freezing and thawing. This process can damage plant roots through breaking or desiccation, cause cracks in pavement, and damage the foundations of buildings, even below the frost line. Moist, fine-grained soil at certain temperatures is most susceptible to frost heaving. In layman's terms, frost heaving causes your car to seem as if it is driving along an off road track full of pits, bumps and crevices. Seriously, at times I feel as though the wheels of the mini-van are just going to fall off. We're jostled all around town, wherever we go. And these craters rise up overnight. Where there was a smooth patch yesterday could easily turn into a bottomless pit that could swallow your car whole the next. So, although I'm not really complaining and do love my town because of its many wonderful qualities, the road conditions have become quite suspect. Due to the fact that we voted down some override or another a few months ago they are no longer "treating" some roads. This may explain why the van has gotten stuck more and more in the last few snowstorms. You just have to get used to being a more observant driver I guess. It is not at all unusual for me to yell to the backseat "hold on kids, its going to be a bumpy ride." Of course, I don't say it in a raspy Bette Davis kind of voice, at least not all the time.

Tuesday, February 10

Don't Pick Up That Phone!

What can we tell about this woman in the picture? Number 1, she has dark hair. Number 2, she's talking on the phone. Number 3, there are NO CHILDREN in her vicinity at this time. How do I know this? Because she could never have this apparently delightful and uninterrupted conversation if there were. Why is it that when you pick up the phone the children immediately need your undivided attention. They can be completely engrossed in a movie, lets say about penguins. They have not made a peep for 45 minutes and have a little line of drool dripping down their chin from their comatose state. But you pick up the phone to have an adult conversation with someone on the other end and BAM! They need you NOW! They need a snack! A drink! Bathroom help! They have to tell you something QUICK! RIGHT NOW! They pull on your arm and grab at your clothes, screaming MOMMY MOMMY MOMMY I NEED YOU! And the bitch of it is that when you get off the phone, more times than not, they don't need you anymore. Go figure.

Saturday, February 7

Warning: Deleted

So lately I have been going on Facebook more and more. I'm not sure why, I think it is basically just a nosiness gene I have that requires me to know what my friends are doing at all times. Last night while having some wine and snacks with a few girlfriends in town (see, face to face visiting, not just in cyberspace) we were debating the ins & outs of Facebook. Our big question: what happens when you delete someone? Do they know? Can they somehow tell that they have been . . . gulp . . . deleted from your Facebook life? After much discussion we decided that probably you just disappear from their screen. And I suppose their "friend" number goes down. Most people probably wouldn't even notice because it seems like a lot of people have WAY too many friends. I mean, hundreds . . . hundreds. Who has hundreds of friends in real life? Personally I have 75. Well, I did, before I started deleting. Even this fairly small number sounded a little bit ridiculous to me. I thought to myself, if Dennis threw me a surprise party and invited ALL of my Facebook friends, would I be glad? Then I deleted 7 people that I didn't ever know that well in the first place, were certainly never really friends with, and only I suspect asked me to be their friend to "up" their own friend number. Phew. I feel better now. Cleansed. Also, how many times can you "ignore" a friend request before they give up? Diane wonders. She has ignored someone 6 times, and they have not given up. Hmmmm. Cyberstalking?

Unrelated topic, the kids and I just watched Madagascar 2, Escape to Africa. LOVE this song. Could be my new theme song.

Thursday, February 5

OPDH

OK, I will admit that I am usually running late and in a hurry, but the last 2 days on my way to work I have been behind the SAME old man. I could tell by his giant car and his old man hat visible through the back windshield. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against the elderly, but should all of them really be driving? Sure, some are good drivers. Some have their wits about them, but others? Not so much. This morning I was forced to go 27 miles per hour in a 40 zone, all the while drumming my fingers on the wheel while trying not to get so close to him that a quick stop for no apparent reason (sun in eye, turtle in road, oh no wait that is a piece of trash) would cause me to rear end him. It wouldn't bother me so much if I wasn't on my way to work. I also seem to get behind old drivers on my way to take the kids to a doctor appointment. Or anywhere really that requires us to be on time. Perhaps the elderly could have designated driving times? NOT during morning or evening commuting hours. Like maybe from 10 - 2 they are allowed on the road. Late enough to not get in the way of people going to work, off the road before kids start to get out of school. Yes, that's it. 10 - 2. Old People Driving Hours. OPDH. Look at that, new legislation.

Monday, February 2

Barack Obama

Jack's class watched the inauguration a couple of weeks back, and since then it's been Barack this and Barack that. It's amazing to think that the very first President my children will know in their lives is African American. It's wonderful and fabulous and unreal. It just shows how far the world has come. When I was a little girl it was Ronald Reagan. Old. White. Male. Just like all of the presidents before him (except Kennedy who was dreamy and movie star like). He was the first President that I realized as the Pres. I didn't know if he was a Republican or a Democrat (not that I knew what those labels meant anyway), or anything he did politics wise, all I knew was that he was on t.v. a lot. I just thought he was grandfatherly and had a kind voice, that he would be the kind of man that might have candies in his pockets for no other reason than to give out to little kids. I never knew him as an actor and always thought that was a riot whenever they would show some old movie that he had been in. When you are little you never think of people as having whole lives before they became what you know them as. I remember being astonished that he had this life before Nancy and the White House.

So Barack Obama will be my children's Ronald Reagan. I hope that he can live up to the task and be the kind of President that they will look back on as a great man. As one of the best.

Only time will tell . . .