Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Monday, June 29, 2009

I have ads!!!

Yee haw . . . at long last!! Yahoo & yippee . . .

I'm also cheering tonight because I'm an honerary auntie (again)! Homestead did good. It's a baby one with girl parts!!

I'm proud of you!!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

One of those days . . .

It's one of those blogger days . . . where I have tons to say, but nothing to share. My thoughts are streaming through my head faster than I can get any one of them out. It's a list kind of day.

1. Tell me how to publish a book.
2. Jodi Picoult is an amazing author. Sheesh.
3. I love mispronouciations. Big still says "brek-TRIST". Little says "brek-FIXT". There is green slime growing on the walls of the fish tank. That's "allergy". When Little wants something fast, he wants is "AT-mediately". He calls our dog "pro-thetic" (though she may have some visions . . he means pathetic.) He goes to "jig-nastics". When we drive in the country, sometimes we see "cantaloupe". They have white fannies and horns. When Big was small, she called her, um, "parts", her "pirates". That has stuck. There isn't anyone with a hat on down yonder. No skulls, crossbones, ships, treasure of flags . . just pirates.
4. Tell me how to patent a fabulous idea.
5. Tell me why my ads aren't showing up yet.
6. Teach me something about flowers.
7. Why doesn't this town have a botanical garden?
8. I went to the doctor today. Follow up. The good news is: my back is better. The bad news is: I still have a bad back.
9. The reality is: steroids change you. When I was 24, I complained about my body. When I turned 35, I wondered what the hell I was complaining about. Now, I'm feeling pretty damn grateful. It could be a lot worse. My face is changing. I don't recongize myself sometimes. I'm shocked when I see a photo of myself. This momentary confusion passes through me. . . . like, "that's not what I though I looked like." But I do. And, steroids have changed me. But, I have no pain. Round face with no pain. Slim face with pain. I pick round.
10. Tinky is really fun in the pool! She's fearless and a joy. She's getting blonder every day . . . .

And that's my top ten list for tonight.

These words ... .

These words make me cringe, hold my breath and close one eye . ..

"I can pour the milk by myself."

Friday, June 19, 2009

Morning . . . and July Resolution . . .

I'm a morning person. I haven't always been, but am definately now. There was a time that I didn't go to bed until morning. Heck, I wasn't done with work until 2:30 in the damn morning.

But now, I'm a morning person. I LIKE to hear the birds in the morning. I find peace in the repetition of making coffee. I like how it smells. I like the stillness that a fresh morning brings. I like dew on the grass in the summer and frost on the trees in the winter. I like sneaking down the steps, and carefully placing my foot far to the inside of the second to last step in the first flight of stairs. It creaks if you step in the center. Even that little creak can wake a child and shatter the stillness.

I like getting a few things done on my computer in the morning. I like sitting on the steps in the backyard. I like how the concrete feels cool on my butt. I like sitting with my hands cupped around a steamy mug of coffee. I like saying my morning prayers into a swirl of hazelnut coffeemate.

And after my few personal moments, I love children in the morning. I love hearing the thump-thump-drag of Tinky's padded feet coming across the kitchen floor. Incidentally, the drag is the sound of the tags on her special blanket. She takes it everywhere. Little is usually next up. I adore his morning's most profound thoughts. He always has a "did you know" in the morning. He'll say, "mom, did you know . . . " through slurps of cereal, "that Obee Wan is Kwai Gon's Pad Won?" He's a fountain of Star Wars trivia. I usually say, "no, bud . . you dazzle me every day." This is true, even if he says something somewhat mundane like, "Mom, did you know that today is Tuesday?" Middle always makes me smile in the morning. I'm not sure what happens in her bed at night . . but it's something crazy with her hair. She wakes up with a tornado style knot in the back and top of her hair everyday. Most days, it's a bee-hive style dreadlock that we call "knotted like a goat's butt." Big is to the sleepin' in stage . . . and she generally comes dragging out when the commotion of the kitchen is too much for her to avoid. She always, always, always (for years and years) comes into the kitchen and say, "Love you, Mom."

I'm not sure what prompted all of that morning-thought. MOTH, I think. He's NOT a morning person. He's a smelly, hairy, ogre in the morning. He drags around groaning for a while, then sits moaning for a while. After that, he paces around with his face in a wrinkle.

Many mornings, I sneak down and let MOTH sleep. But there comes a time when enough is enough . . . and sleeping in burns daylight. I don't like waiting for someone to wake up. Sleepers prevent the natural morning noise of happy children. When you have to "shush" them . . that's a drag. I think the point is . . . . that I'm turning over a no-grudge to the sleeper-in-er-leaf. That's a resolution effective July 1, 2009. I'm resolving to not wait, to go about my morning business . . . with Tinky's patter and drag, Little's profound trivia, Middle's knappy hair and Big's expressions of affection . . . .

I guess I'm coming home . . .

I did a little shopping today. Big and Middle spent almost an hour sitting on the floor of a sea shell shop, picking all the itsy teeny weenie shells unlike those they already have. A buck a scoop. They got a few bigger ones, too. I bought a sand dollar. And a starfish. I'm planning to decorate with them.

I bought a hoodie. $34. Expensive, but not horrible. Tourist sytle expensive. Plain would be $19. Plain color with the print would be $28. Plain color with the print and embroidered. $30. The extra goes to "tourist necessity". Not terrible.

I bought a pint of milk to get us through the last supper and cereal in the morning. $1.99. That's kinda high, but again, on an island, they have you over a barrel. Who wants to negotiate these narrow streets in a rented large size SUV when you are currently standing smack dab in the center of the adorable market on the corner (and have just walked around the island to get there??)

And then I picked up a real estate flyer. Now, I'm certain I'm coming home. There's lots for sale. A full sheet's worth . . . about 20-25 properties. I like them all. Who's picky, really. They range in price from 1.8 t0 9.7. Million, that is. The least expensive property is 1.8 million.
Dollars, that is. For that couple of million, you get a standard size lot with a house that needs renovation. It's just under 1900 square feet with 3 bedrooms and 2 baths. Holy schnikey.

So, to the mother of flower child . . . my friend back home. . . . I'll see you tomorrow. Brew a pot.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Catalina Snapshots . . .







Things I know today . . .

1. I thought I loved Balboa Island. And I do. But I also LOVE, love, LOVE Catalina Island. I like Island life. I like the isolation. I like the beach, the no-choice-ness of it. I like the away-ness from civilization. This was my first visit to Catalina. I love the tiny size of Avalon, but the vastness of undeveloped island land. I loved taking the Catalina Flyer for an hour plus high speed boat ride just to get there. I loved the breeze. I adore the dock. I love the sway of the waves. I loved the submarine reef tour. I loved every minute of today. Today was a really good day.
2. Vacation rentals are the way to go. So much better landing pad for a family our size than any hotel could offer. But, I do miss MY microwave. And my roomba. And the dog.
3. The way to get a 5 year old lego fan through a southern California vacation is to save Legoland for the end of the week. That little trooper has walked miles & spent a huge chunk of his days herding pigeons . . . he won't sleep a wink tonight . . he's so excited for Legoland tomorrow . . .
4. Sea World is pretty awesome . . . .
5. There are alot of fish in the ocean. I saw lots of them today . . .

Now, for some pictures . . . .

Monday, June 15, 2009

They were scared shitless.


Middle and Little got scared shitless today. Fear broke them. Paralyzed Middle.

The wanted to ride the roller coaster. They were both (well, all, but Big did fine). MOTH gently bowed out and volunteered to push the stoller in circles. Apparently, he has middle ear issues with coasters and swings (newly discovered, I might add.)

We got in line. We waited. And waited. With only 12 people in front of us, only 2 boats to go . . . . the standard airline "may I have your attention" voice came on and said something about . . . stand in line . . technical difficulties . . unknown length of time . . . .

So we waited. And they were all so excited, they were willing to wait for some more . . and then longer.

Then we loaded. And we went. And before we really took off, I thought I saw a tiny tear stream down Middle's face. But we went. And we went up, up, up. Then we went whizzing down, down, down . . . with our guts in our throats and screams stuck halfway out of horrified lips, we plummetted into a giant pool. With a Shamu sized spray of water.

Then Middle gulped great swallows of salty air. And Little asked if we were going to do that again. And by the time I had smoothed their hair, wiped the tears . . . . we were in up, up, up mode again . . . only this time there was a down, down, down with a sharp twist to the left . . only to rickety rocket back to the right, followed by a lurching halt and climb to the summit of one more "oh-shit" plummet.

And by the time we came to a very drenched halt in the loading and unloading zone, Middle's face was frozen in fright. And the only thing Little could get out was "I need to get to my DADDY."

I felt a little bit bad . . . but they recovered. And in the spirit of silver lining, MOTH said, "well, that's why we won't be going to Disney . . . without the rides, it's just a big-ass mouse in a suit."

Sunday, June 14, 2009

He caught a really big wave . . .




Body surfer extraordinaire .. . .

I'm done . . sold . . . AWOL . .not coming home.


The Benedryl Backfire . . .

Planning. I'm a planner. I always have been. I planned yesterday's flight to as close to a natural nap time as possible. I planned drugs for the tiny terror, so she would zonk out for the flight. On our drive to DIA, I let her watch action packed cartoons and eat popcorn in her carseat. This, to keep her awake . . . such to guarantee a very, very tired child once boarding occured. At the gate, I stuffed her full of warm milk and popped a little benedryl.

And her eyes got wide. And she began zooming around. Popping from me, to MOTH, to Big . . Over to Middle. Climb on Little. Roll on the floor. Stand up, zoom around, climb up, get down.

The "uh-oh" thought began to creep into the cloudy corners of my mind.

We boarded. She climbed.
Through the safety speech. She played with the very nice man behind her.
Through take off. She giggled at the sharp curve and the bumps.

She plucked a few hairs (the only ones remaining) off the man's head in front of her.

She took Bee (the blankie) onto the floor. And rolled around. Several times. In one episode, she back-scootched her way under my seat and ended up with the nice man from the safety speech.

She listened to the IPOD. And broke a set of headphones.

She watched a little Star Wars.

The beverage service came. It was a recipe for disaster. She ate enough chewed up ice cubes to choke a kangaroo. She stacked cups. She crumpled wrappers.

She peed. We went to the bathroom so she could wash her hands. Three times.

With an hour of flight time left, MOTH looked at me. I looked at MOTH. He raised his eyebrows at me. I shrugged my shoulders at him. We laughed.

We began our descent. She brought Bee up onto my lap (for the 89th time), and while I turned to check on the other three kids .. while she clutched a mini wheat in one hand and a stack of cups in the other . . . she fell asleep. Ten minutes of flight time left.

Serioulsy. Apparently, she's one of those kids tha has the opposite effect with benedryl . . . hyperactivity.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Have I said (lately) how much I love this kid??


Flippin' Hilarious.




I'm emptying the memory cards out of Big and Middle's cameras in preparation for our family vacation departure. A whole series of these pictures is on BOTH cameras. I almost peed I started laughing so hard. This is a very patient baby (in this moment, I guess) . . .




Something about a daddy and his daughter . . .







Monday, June 08, 2009

This is making me happy this week.

This time of year, my garden is almost completely purple, yellow & white. Iris: purple and yellow. Columbine: purple and yellow. Phlox: purple and yellow. Snow in summer: white. Candytuft: white. Yellow ice plant: well, yellow, of course. I have this fabulous creeping geranium. It blooms purple. So, this bright orange gigantic poppy makes me really happy. I love it.

Sad . . .


This is one of the 'things' in this life that I'm really proud of. It took me hours to paint this on . . . and I love it. I thought he'd never outgrow it . . so I thought it was an investment in decor. Yea, right. Anyway . . . I'll have the picture. It already has primer over it in preparation for "pinking and lilacing" Tinky's walls.


Little's New Room . . . .











And, wait . . there's more . . . . I really love the color and the blue stripe in this room . . . I'm contemplating another stripe, but may not do it, for the sake of changability later. The Star Wars mural is going on the wall behind the lamp.
And, gee, our dog is really a slug.

Big's New Room . . .







At long last . . . pictures of Big's new room . . .
The good news is . . . we both love it. I love the curtains . .. . (am proud of myself on that one). She loves the linens. She picked great fabric that coordinates really well.
We'll both love it alot more when the closet & the corner desk top are complete . . .






Sunday, June 07, 2009

A little epiphany . ..

I had a little epiphany this morning. I always try to tie my light bulb moments to what I'm doing in that moment. Wouldn't it be cool if you had a moment of clarify every time you cleaned a closet or matched a load of socks??

I'm digressing.

Point is. It doesn't matter. All that how-I-feel BS from the last couple of weeks. Doesn't matter. I lost sight of what I'm supposed to be doing.

I'm here . . on this earth and in this life, married to this man and mothering these children so that I can raise them. They are my tiny gifts. How someone makes me feel doesn't matter. How THEY feel matters. How I MAKE them feel . . . now THAT matters.

So, now, I'm taking advice on how to block out the white noise. The 'competition', (for lack of a better word.) The mother of flower child (my friend down the street) says there will always be competition. It will always and forever be "the working moms" vs. "the stay at home moms". I'm really stuck in a jam . . . there is no category for the "work at home moms"; so I'm up against the toughest competition from both divisions. But, competition aside.

I quit. Let's just say . . for the sake of arguement, that I'm done working. I've lost sight of raising my youngins in the race up the spiral staircase to the glass ceiling. Let's just say I throw in the towel, just say no, throw my hand up and forfeit. I quit. I hereby promise to do my best to complete my job; do the tasks I am assigned. I will check work at the door. I will say no to offerings, volunteer stuff and the like, so that others might say YES. I quit racing. I quit competing. I quit.

And now, the rest of my epiphany. If I am 'that person' to anyone out there . . . I am truly, totally, fully sorry. If ever I have unintentionally put you down, made you feel less, made you feel a failure, questioned your decisions or how you arrive at them . . . I apologize. If ever I have pitted my work at home self against your working or staying at home self . . . I am sorry.

I know we are all in this together, and it's best if we get along with those who will encourage us; and coexist with those who will not. Can I get an "amen"??

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Dear Homestead,

If I haven't told you lately that I miss you . . . . I . . . Miss . . . You.

I miss weeding our gardens together. I miss smelling the dirt of garden centers, contemplating container gardening, soil supplements and reblooming color. I miss you laughing at the one handed glove method. I miss working up just enough of a sweat that a lemonade break is called for.

There are tons of things I miss about you. But this time of the year always seems to bring them to a head, a point, a pinnacol. It makes me remember all the trips, the smiles, the laughs.

I'm thinking about the beautiful hedge of peonies that line your porch. I'm sure you have herbs in your pots on the corners. I'm positive there is enough grass grown into your beds to keep us busy for hours. We could do that while the kids play and make forts out of sheets on the laundry line.

When can we plan a visit? I miss you, friend.

xoxo
Elle

The Mouse

This is story about Middle.

Last week, she asked about tampons. 'Do you stuff the whole thing in your butt?' was the question.

In the spirit of seizing the teachable moment, we talked about holes in the undercarriage. What they do . . .where there are . . . what can go in or come out of the holes . . and which one the tampon goes in. I showed her (relax, freaks . . with my fist, not my va-jay-jay). How to hold the tampon and get it in. Lesson on applicator . . . lesson on how far. She was riveted at the point where the tampon was inserted into my fist with the string hanging out between my thumb and forefinger.

"What's the string for?", she asks.
"Well, it's conveniently located on the outside so you can pull it out when you got potty," I say, "go ahead, pull it."

And out it comes. And she says, "it looks like a mouse."
"Yes, it does", I reply.
And she runs away.

It was only 3 minutes of teach time, but gave her the leg up on the 7th grade wonders of where it goes.

Fast forward to the next morning, when I rolled over to wipe the sleep from my eyes and check the time. Laying on my nighstand, right next to Tinky's paci and The Absent Author is the mouse. Only she's now decorated it with a slinky pink nose, whiskers & little grey ears and spots.

Eeek. I don't think I'll ever think of a tampon the same way!!

So Frustrated!!!

I'm so frustrated!! I'm trying to figure out ad placement on my blog and making a half hearted attempt to rake in some moo-law with this fantabulous hobby of mine . . but I am chasing my tail. And I'm starting to get a little pissy.

So I signed up for an account. And I was supposed to verifify via email. Only the email never came. So I tried to request a new email, only you can't do that without signing into the existing account. Uh-huh. So you can't sign in to the existing account until you verify via email.

Does anyone see the logic in that. Of course, I visit the help center. Which is not helpful. And I visit the "ask" center . . . where many people have asked the same question as I . . . but, yes, you guessed it . . . I have to sign in to my account to view the answer . . . . and, there we are back at square one. I can't sign in the the friggin' account . . because I can't verify via email.

So . . . . I decide to axe the account and sign up for a NEW account. Yeah, except that didn't work either. Apparently, MOTH used that account to gain access to something, and now I can't manage it that way.

So . . . I decide to start from scratch and get a NEW email account, with which I will fill out a brand new adsense form . . . which will simply link to my blog and I'll be able to verify . . . because I just created it.

Except . . .it's not comcastic. These red letters keep appearing that say 'error'.

And, so now . . . I am quitting . . but not before I tell a few stories.

Friday, June 05, 2009

What am I reading?

Someone asked me what I am reading. Gee, I'm totally flattered . . . I didn't know YOU were wondering what I'm reading.

I'm singing high praises for Jodi Picoult's Handle with Care. Really . . one of the best written books I've ever read. It itched all my spots . . mommy-hood, career, marriage, love of child, OB/GYN doctor, the thrill of a law suit.

I'm reading Moby Dick. How did I forget that the whale dies?

A Year of Living Biblically. Go. Get. It. Now. You. Must. Read. It.

I'm reading Shiloh to the kids. Shh. Don't tell me how it ends. I'm practicing my best southern child accent. It makes Little laugh.

Mostly though, I'm reading the writing on the walls of the house where my soul lives. Days are passing, and I'm still listening to the whisper. It's not a deafening roar yet . . . but it's definately gaining in volume.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Musical Rooms . . .

I'm playing HGTV home renovation.

Big is moving to a room in the basement.
Little is moving into her old room.
Tinky is taking his old room.
And Middle wants pink polka dots on her walls.

Big is moved. We did a really jazzy geometric pattern in blue and green on her walls, bought a new bedspread at Marshall's and hung some cool curtains. I'm still working on the total cost of renovation for that room, since the basement finish yielded pointed corners in the closet, that require more skill that I have with any one given saw . . . . to build a flat edge where I can think about a sheft and bar. Two "oops" gallons of paint will be the saving grace on that one . . . I'm hoping to come in around $200.00 total.

I painted Little's new room last night. Here is my official "plug" for Home
Depot's Behr Premium Plus. It's the paint and primer in one can. Lovely. It's fabulous application . . . coverage in one coat . . . so with two coats, we're talking b0y-child friendly durability. He says he is done with the superhero mural I did on his "old" wall. I might cry when it comes time to paint over that one. But, good news . . . . . I'm contemplating putting Master Yoda on his wall now. He's the kind of tiny freak show that would like to wake up to a small green bald man with a big light up stick.

I'll post pictures soon . . . .