Saturday, January 30, 2010

Meet Anika.

This is princess Anika.



She's from Barbie in the Princess & the Pauper. Many, many years ago, Big and Middle L.O.V.E.D. that movie. Loved. And the barbies. There were two. And they sing. Anika has a magic button on her back, and when you press it, she sings, "I'm just like you . . you're just like me. . . it's something anyone can see." The accompanying doll also has a button and when pushed, they belt out the most lovely duet.

Mimi has discovered the joy of barbies. It's recent. The barbie bucket has come out of storage (again . . sigh!) and she is busy dressing, doing hair, playing in the bathtub & hauling them around in shopping carts.

Last week, she accidentally took singing Anika into the tub. MOTH discovered singing Anika tubside, looking dapper & with freshly conditioned hair and said, "she shouldn't have that barbie in the tub . . . it has a battery compartment." Before I could admit guilt or provide a confession for just plain not looking, he was already several sentences into the rant about (what's the word) festered batteries? Is it corroded?

Anyway, here is a story that speaks to the depth that MOTH sleeps. Anika sat tubside drying out for most of the afternoon and evening. Apparently, round-a-bout 2 am, she got her lungs back and began singing from tubside, "I'm just like you!!" MOTH got out of bed in a big-hairy-man-nut-scratching stupor and proceeded to look at Anika's back, determine that a screwdriver was needed to remove the battery back . . . . and somewhere between locating the screwdriver and desperation for silence, he just started banging the shit out of her head on the counter next to the sink. Traumatized, of course, Anika fell silent and MOTH put her back in the toy bin next to the tub. On the top. Where she lay until 2:09, when she began her operetic yowl anew. This time, he merely moaned and rolled over. So, I got out of bed, wrapped her in the bathmat to muffle the sound of her soprano, and went downstairs for a screwdriver so I could truly shut her up.

Next morning, MOTH remembered NOTHING of the previous night's adventures in barbie choir. And, best of all, Mimi found Anika and the bathmat. The batteries were tossed aside, screwdriver still present. I didn't even both to put the back compartement back on. And now, Anika has not one, not two, not four . . but SIX band-aids on her back. Mimi is slathering "bo-kened Bo-bee" with lots of love to fix her "uh-oh, Mama, big Owwweee!"

Friday, January 29, 2010

I've gained WAIT.

I'm feeling cooped up and pooped out. Being home with Dogzilla on house arrest has put a crimp in my social plans this week. He's dangerous and untrustable in the lampshade. I also don't trust him not to chew his leg off if left alone for kennel time, with no supervision or lampshade. What a conundrum.

I managed to sneak away long enough to pick up food provisions. And MOTH was home one evening, which allowed me to take Middle to gymnastics.

And here's what I have to say about it.

People who do NOTHING all day long must be exhausted. All this sitting around has been hell on my mental state and on my ass. Coming into this week, I'd lost 3 pounds and was feeling like a swimsuit model. I was half a pound away from getting naked in the kitchen. Now, though I've not actually gained weight . . . I've gained WAIT.

I'm party planning for Little's 6th bash. Yes, it is a month late. Over a month, but who is counting? That's what you get for sharing your day of birth with Christ our Lord. On a high note, our pantry is looking svelte. I've purged and organized the blue room, which described both the color of the movable flooring, and my mood upon entry. I did a number in there this week, and am feeling really good about progress. I also dove into tax preparation, which sucked the remaining life right out of me.

Good news generally comes with bad. The alien's returned MOTH, at least in part. More good news and a true highlight of the week: I've earned my cool points back with Big. Why? Yes, prepare to be amazed . . . because I can still Moon Walk. In the cleaning spree in the blue room, Middle found an old highschool yearbook. She's thinking mom is pretty rad right now, since she caught some gymnastics in black and white stillshots. Also in the sorting madness, we came across my highschool, college and UCA cheer uniforms. I had this epihany. "Damn, I was small." My UCA skirt fits Big. Now. She's ten.

I also did some heavy self-work this week. I'm finishing up a goal from last year . . . and it was really good for me. So glad to have done it, and eager to share . . . so as of February 1st, when I am truly finished . . . I will do just that. Share.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

MOTH

An alien kidnapped my husband. And replaced him with a new and better version. I like this version. Alot. I might even LOVE this version.
I hate tax time.

The End.

Monday, January 25, 2010

For the love of his paws . . .

I went into this weekend with extra mental 'umph'. MOTH was gone for the weekend & I was amped up to play single mommy. I had all my ducks in a row . . . eye therapy, sleepover, gymnastics, basketball, dinner plans, craft idea. I didn't plan for a vet visit.

Saturday, nestled tightly between "let the dogs out before kennel time while we are at basketball" and "drive to basketball" . . . all hell broke loose.

I went to the back door to let the dogs through the house for kennel time (kids were already loading and getting Mimi in her seat.) Uh! The sight of thousands of bloody pawprints brought my hundred-mile-an-hour-moving-forward mind to a screeching halt. Oh my land! I've been in surgical cases and not seen that much blood. Blood, blood, everywhere . . . up the hill, around the bushes, across the patio, on the furniture. He had walked through it and splashed it up on his other paws, on his chest & under his belly. Tana had skated through some on the patio and caused drag marks. It looked like a carcass had been dragged by angry lions to its untimely demise.

Luckily, Moose was willing to accept my help and didn't act like a psychotic hurt animal. That really would have been bad!! I was able to identify the bleeding spot. Right front paw. I gave him a pressure dressing and led him to kennel, thinking if I could lay him down & work against gravity, I'd be a leg up. It seemed the bleeding was slowing. He was stable, drinking, off his feet. Yeah!! But not for long . . . As I took the bandage off, spurt, spurt, spurt. Bright red. Spatter.

And we were on our way to the e-vet.

Fast forward 5 hours, almost a thousand dollars, 125.9 pounds of dead weight, one severed and repaired paw artery and one secondary nasty gash.

He was doing great . . . recovery and all . . . until he realized he was in the lampshade. And then, he went psycho, bucking bronco style ape shit. He still had limited use of the back legs, but that didn't stop him from bucking, thrashing, crashing into both walls of the hallway with his garhugic head as he panicked. Such crashing woke up two kids, who stood on the landing with mouths agape.

Eee-gads. And the good things have to be summarized.

1. We live 5 minutes from our vet's office.
2. Our vet is flippin' fabulous. Just fabulous.
3. He let me help him when he was hurt.
4. With lampshade off, but 6 socks, a baggie and a surgical dressing on his foot, he's not messin' with it. Whew.
5. I was able to clean up the garage, kennel and car with the able and helpful hands of Big, Middle, Little and Mimi.
6. I didn't hurt my back any worse by helping lift him into or out of my car. He's stinkin' heavy!!
7. He looks so very stylish and handsome in his stripey sock!

Friday, January 22, 2010

We're on 'the team'

I have a daughter: Middle. She's been in gymnastics for, oh, a year or so. She started in a regular class on the same day as Little. But their classes were not at the same time. Through wait lists and changing times, I finally got their classes at the same time. I was so excited. Two kids. Two classes. One hour of ass kicking workout. Yeah. And we went to class. And after the first class, her teacher came out and said, "I want to move her up to the advanced class." So much for my wait lists and getting them in the same classes.

So, we moved her so that the class suited her ability. And there she stayed for about a session and a half. That's 12 weeks, in gymnastics lingo. And her teacher came out and said, "I want her to go into a pre-team class . . . I really feel like she needs to work out with the girls on team."

So, we moved her. That move added another class to her week and changed us from paying session-ly to monthly. She was nervous as hell, but in a couple weeks' time, she had all the skills of the class . . and had made two friends. Yeah. Hooray for frienship.

For Middle, the next step up is a hand-picked invitation to join the 'team'. 'Team' is used as in 'the team' and 'a team' as well as just plain old 'team'. Much to our surprise, the first practice back in January, her coach handed her an invitation. She's been hand-picked.

The information pack is long and overwhelming. There is a parent contract and a code of conduct. There are rates and dates and coach's fees. There are rules and regulations and a brag pack about college scholarship money and junior national team.

Gulp.

Middle has been torn up. Nervous about moving. Overwhelmed at the opportunity. Caught in conflict in her mind. She's has been wanting me and MOTH to make the decision for her and just tell her what to do. There have been many talks. Many talks. And here is the final word (special thanks to Martin Luther King, Jr.) for the fab entry into "what is YOUR dream."

She says, "momma, when I close my eyes and dream, I'm standing on a podium with a shiny gold medal around my neck."

And there you have it. I signed the contract and paid February's fees. We're on the team.

Muffin Cup Pull Apart Pizzas

A night of desperation last week was the source of my clan conjuring up this little doozy. It's actually very fabulous!

1. A tube of refrigerator biscuits -- cut them in quarters & put the four pieces back into a lightly greased muffin cup.
2. Add a spoonful of sauce. We had no sauce, since we are doing the quarterly cabinet clearout . . . so we used leftover spaghetti sauce & it was perfect.
3. Add toppings of choice. Last week, we had a leftover piece of ham steak, a handful of pepperonis & a baby can of black olives. We made some plain, some mixed . . . all of them were good!
4. Add a handful of cheese.
5. Oven . . . I bake everything at 350, but I seem to recall increasing the temperature. Maybe follow the biscuit tube's advice?
6. Bake 'em until the cheese is melty & the visible biscuit parts are light brown.

YUM!

Great Aunt Lola's Garbage Salad

A couple handfuls of fresh lettuce, anykind will do (best the day right after taco night) . . .

Top with whatever is leftover but still good in the refrigerator. Don't discount things you might perceive as un-salad-ly. A spoonful of leftover mac and cheese on Great Aunt Lola's Garbage Salad is delic!

Add something crunchy . . . pumpkin seeds, almonds, peanuts
Add seomthing chewy . . . raisins or craisins

Don't forget fruit . . . strawberries are fab. Mandarin oranges will do.

Top with your favorite dressing & dig in . . .

Fabulous, fresh & fast.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Dear M&Amp;Co . . .

Thanks for the rice suggestion . . . . I did that with the 2nd round . . . . And the real question . . . What kind of dog food do you use?
What is the word for the unmistakable, undeniable, overwhelming urge for a mother to protect her brood? What is the word that describes how the hairs on the back of your neck and arms stand up when a threat is perceived? When uncertainty is on the wind and the odor of distrust is in the air . . . . when that foul, foul odor of a liar is detected . . . what is the word for what happens to a MOM?

And where is the balance between "living and learning" and "laying down the line?" How far can you let them, yourself, your family fall before you step in and open a can of whipass? How many feelings get hurt before you lay it all on the line, risk lsoing friends and let the mama bear come out?

Monday, January 18, 2010

An expirment in doggie digestion. Woof.

Ten years ago . . . . I never thought I'd be so obsessed with lots of things. Here is one.

I never thought I'd be so wrapped up in dog crap. I know, I know. I have a two dogs. One of them is big. Big dogs equal big poops. Right, right, right. Still, I never thought I'd be so obsessive about dog poop.

Moose came into our lives from a foster home in Nebraska. He was eating a kind of food that is not available in Colorado. Unless, of course, you order it via mail. Which, I didn't have time to do before he arrived. So, when we got hime, his tummy went through a food switch. That didn't agree with him.

We did a period of nothing my mouth. And a gentle new start on food that comes in a green bag. And he did okay, but the end product is a touch, er, um, softer that I would like. So, I did a one to one mixture of a food higher in protein and fiber in efforts to alter the consistence of the dukie. And it has backfired. Completely. Right now, I'm thanking God for a snowbank in the back yard. If it's gonna be mushy, I prefer to let it freeze and chip it out. I'm also feeling a somewhat desperate urge to fix it before the grass is green. I need logs. Come summer, I'll need 100%, Grade A, bonafide turds. Solid through and through.

I'm two days in two food change number 3. I almost turned a cartwheel in the yard when this morning, a solid nugget emerged. Party on!

I'm hoping it will allow me to be less obsessive. They are outside . . . and solid. What more could I ask for???!!!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Things to write home about this week . . .

1. My son, looking serious and solumn up at me, raising his hand and saying with a very straight face, "I solemnly swear, I am up to no good."

2. Mimi, at the dinner table, passing gas and blaming it on her sister.

3. My son, again, gazing up at me with those trout green eyes, totally honest: "Mom, did you know only love can drive out hate."

4. Middle: "Please pass the salad thongs."

5. Big, at her first college hockey game. "Dang, this is violent."

Friday, January 15, 2010

Duct tape.

Love it. Around our house, there is a running joke about duct tape. Fixes everything. A car I drove in college had a window held in place with duct tape. Someone I knew had lights or a bumper on a white beater . . . held on with duct tape. Duct tape spans the space of generations. Can't y'all remember your dad cursing at his inability to lift the end. My dad could put on a rant about it freezing up in the shed, and how much money when to waste in unused duct tape. Once, he actually warmed a roll up in a saucepan on the stove.

This morning, I busted out a roll of duct tape. Not the classic steal grey stuff of my youth. Now it comes in jazzy colors. Thanks to Middle's need to identify HER scooter, we have an only-partially-used roll of hot pink. This is what I used this morning to fix the dishwasher. Again.

There's hot pink duct tape holding the upper rack in place in my dishwasher. Big will be so happy. Tonight, when she unloads, she won't need a spotter to catch it in mid-descent. The old girl (I'm talkin' about the dishwasher) has been on her last legs for a while. (Sidenote: why are things women? Cars are women, when a lawnmower won't start . . that's a woman . . . my dishwasher is a chic . . why??) Shortly after we moved in, er, um, about 6 years ago, the wheels fell off the bottom rack. Fine, except it makes it kind of hard to roll the rack out. But I found a scrap dishwasher at a flea market. And I bought the wheels. And it worked. When my spicy friend up the street got a new LG, I stole her wheels before the move-away crew took her old washer. The front of our old girl is bent up backward. MOTH is constantly complaining about gunge in the bottom of mugs. Middle hates that she has to dry everything when it comes out. If I could only have a nickel for everytime I've said, "be nice to the dishwasher . . . she's getting old." When the top rack went careening across the kitchen last week full of sippy cups and tupperware, MOTH about went through the roof.

And now, duct taped . . . I'm hoping she'll last another week or two. I'm off to dishwasher shop. Ew.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

This day has been shit.

There. Nothing to hide behind, no secrets here. This day has been shit. And it's noon. I have nobody to call and no friend in sight . . . . so I'm pounding the hell out of my keyboard in a self-centered desperate attempt to get my bitch out before I have to deal with an innocent bystander who may suffer collateral damage.

Here's one of my soapbox moments. Do what you fuckin' say you are going to do. I'm out of the house and sans children for a whopping three hours per week. There are exceptions to that, but generally, during the school year, I volunteer at school on Tuesday afternoons. My sitter arrives here around noon. And I arrive home at 3. Including transit time, it's less than three hours. It's a standing agreement that we have. Noon to three, every Tuesday. My sitter is not a teen "great" sitter. Teen sitters and GREAT sitters. They sit on the floor with your kids and play. They get toys out that have been mentally discarded. They fix them, add fresh batteries and breathe life into tired games. My sitter watches TV. She doesn't go outside. She doesn't play. She takes care of basic needs. That's it. She doesn't clean up. Rather, she leaves the toys out so we can 'see what they did.' (Read: And create more work for me, upon return.) So today, at noon. I'm watching the front door. No sitter. At 12:05 (which, for an ANAL, type A person like me is L.A.T.E.) . . the phone rings. It's my sitter. "Do you need me today?", she is asking, much to my chagrin . . . since I just confirmed with her yesterday . . . a mere 18 hours ago, that yes, indeed, I am in need of her services today. After a string of excuses . . . she says she'll be around 12:45. What? Huh? What the fuck? Seriously?

And here is my resolution stemming from this very incident . . . even as I sit here banging away at the keyboard: I will be more aware of what I promise to do. I'll make good on my promises. (Dear Homestead: I'm sorry I didn't call you back yesterday . . . did I say I would call you RIGHT back or I'd call you today?? In any case, sorry.)

Bitch number 2: I'm a volunteer. I coordinate a program at school that is specifically for fathers. I manage 158 dads, their volunteer hours, time logged, rewards, registration and communication with our parent body. I coordinate the events, deal with funding and pretty much wipe their overgrown hairy asses. Recently, we have results of a major survey in. As part of my job, I sent a summary of results and training synopsis to my group of dads via email. This morning, one jackass joker emailed me back. His email: "Please change your font immediately. It's hard on my eyes and makes me reluctant to read messages, especially when they are lengthy." What? Huh? What the fuck? Seriously? His email went on into a soapbox solilique on the appropriateness of signatures in the business world. To this, I poke the button with the X on it; hit delete and yell, "screw you" into my computer screen.

And away I go. I'll breathe deeply, count, and hope that a little distance brings clarity. But still . . . assholes.

Friday, January 08, 2010

This Face . . . .

I'm beginning to believe our children have a special gift, transferred, of course, via the Y-chromosome . . . for making this "pretty picture face" . . . .

This is Big, at about 2 1/2 . . . In the background, you can make out details of the hospital room where Middle spent almost two weeks. And, Mimi, on her 2nd birthday . . . C-H-E-E-S-E-B-A-L-L-S!!


Two, Uh, Six, Eight . . . My December Birthdays



Thursday, January 07, 2010

Yesterday.

T'was the morn before this
And all through the house,
Not a creature was stirring
Not even Mimi.

Fourty one minutes past the hour of six
Proclaimed my fancy schmancy projection alarm.

HUH?

BECAUSE THIS IS FRIGGIN' UNHEARD OF, DO YOU HEAR ME? I HAVE NOT OPENED MY EYES AND BEEN IN MY BED, WITH MY HUSBAND ALONE IN THE LAST DECADE . . . . WHERE ARE THE KIDS??? WHAT'S WRONG?? OH, SHIT . . . WE'RE HEADED TO THE EMERGENCY ROOM . . . THOUGHTS RUNNIN' THROUGH MY MIND!!

I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.
The children were nestled
All snug in their beds
With visions of pancakes dancing in their heads.

Big is known to sleep in
Not much to fret
Middle sacked out
Her face in a pout
Little curled up
His bum in the air
And Mimi
Softly snoring

And now, I'll drop my dreadful semi-rhymie-prose . . . to say, SERIOUSLY . . by the time I had peeked in on all of them, my heart was racing & I was short of breath from near panic. In my clamor, I woke both dogs and MOTH. MOTH, of course, can roll over in the morning & fall back asleep, but my mind was reeling . . mile a minute at both the wonderous miracle of all the children sleeping and the awesome relief that they were all still breathing!

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Peanut Butter & Nutella

Peanut butter and nutella. Two staples in our house. But, serioulsy . . . why can't they come in a tub? Like butter? You could scrape the last bit out like butter and it would be ever-so convenient storage. I might even be willing to pay a slight packaging upcharge for a convenient stackable peanut butter tub. And nutella. Who designed that jar? It has a rim, for pete's sake. You can't get a damn thing up under there to scrape that out. Tub, people. They should come in a tub.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Resolutions.

Are you making one? Seems like I post on resolutions every year. Hmm. I see a pattern. Resolutions are more goal and health oriented to me than concrete numbers that set me up to fail. Last year, I resolved to find some peace with the new body that birthing children bestowed upon me. I think I did. Took a decade to get this body . . . one year ain't gonna bring no true RESOLUTION. But, I did some heavy internal work. I also resolved to work at holding steady . . . no gain, even in the face of pain & a new medication regimen. I also resolved to work on being true to my TRUE self, honest with myself (even when it hurt), and to continue to systematically purge all negativity from my life.

And here is this year . . . it may be incomplete. I reserve the right to alter, change and rearrange as I see fit throughout the course of the year.

a. Last year's health research project shed lots of light on kinds of eating plans & exercise plans. Picking and choosing from each plan, I'm creating my own eating plan and exercise plan that works with my lifestyle, my children, & my exercise ability. It's a combination of South Beach, Body by God & Core Secrets, and a plain old-mostly-vegetarian-mostly-organic food diet.
b. I have this box of greeting cards. But, I'm not much of a greeting card person. So, this year, I resolve to send them so I get rid of them. And, not to purchase or "stock up" on shit that I won't use.
c. I'll continue to purge negativity . . . people and their energy from my life. In the unfortunate circumstance where I MUST deal with bad energy, I'll do my very best to leave the situation balanced & centered. If my kids are involved, I resolve to use it as a teachable moment and to speak in truth to them.
d. I'm seeing a doctor this year. It's a resolution because unless I write it down, I won't do it. I'll begin "well" checks as recommended for a, cough, hack, MIDDLE aged woman.
e. I'm knitting again. I love digital scrapbooking, and would not go back to the cut and paste version unless money came to me. BUT, I do miss holding a finished product. I miss having a creation made with my hands. I have no major projects planned. Socks and washcloths. Maybe a few mittens or hats.
f. I'll make the drive to see my dad at least 5 times this year.
g. I'll concentrate on the people and things I love. I'll grow my garden, train my dogs & be absolutely real with my friends.
h. Money. I make a money resolution every year. This year, I'll add money to savings every month. I'll switch the kids' accounts over to a higher interest accounts. I'll be better about saving the receipts for flex spending and I will submit them on time. I will make at least one extra mortgage payment.
i. I will continue last year's work on finding a postion that lights my fire.
j. I will give back . . .
k. I resolve to teach Mimi how to count.
l. I resolve to teach Little how to hold doors open for ladies.
m. I resolve to help Middle make a conscious decision, daily, if needed, to CHOOSE happiness.
m. I resolve to assist Big as her body changes and her emotions roll. I resolve to embrace her gift for dramatic flair. I resolve to be a source of strength, positivity and honesty for her.
n. I resolve to be the best wife I can be.
o. I resolve to appreciate, communicate & negotiate.

And there you have it. In a nutshell, that is . . .