Friday, December 30, 2005

Broken Foot, Useless Mommy


Marinate on this: Amy trying (unsuccessfully) to descend gracefully down a dirt hill (pavement in front of podiatrist's office has been uprooted for what better be a damn good reason) on what can only be described as the most out-dated, mis-matched crutches known to man -- one is 5'6" tall, the other is 5'8". This is NOTa joke, nor is it surprising, seeing as how the Dr's x-ray machine was a nice olive green, sporting oh-so-mod 70's lettering. Result? Shoe stuck in dirt, Amy on her knees, crutches flung wildly about.

Let the good times roll.

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Hypothetically Speaking

How would you rate your day if you spent the entire morning:

1. Changing 3 overflowing, shitty diapers (within the span of 3 hours). Hyper-toxic, turn-your-toes-yellow SHIT. Everywhere. Including the carpet. All the while cursing Gerber and their clever little pears-chicken-hummus combos that seemed soooo cute and healthy when you bought them.

2. Attempting to be a "Good Mom" by taking your daughter to a playdate at the YMCA so you could return home to take down all Christmas decor without boring (ignoring) said daughter, and subsequently fracturing/dislocating/severely spraining your foot -- you're still not sure, seeing as how divination didn't work and all WebMD came up with was "a possible dislocation, fracture, or severe sprain." You have no time to run to ER, as said Shitter has just awaken and is screaming for re-fueling, and daughter needs to be picked up before the clock strikes 12 and they throw her out.

3. When you arrive to pick up daughter, hobbling while hauling newly fueled Shitter (the babysitters insisted on seeing his shitty little face, otherwise he would be locked in the car; admit it), you begin scanning playscape for Miss Thang when from the girls' bathroom you hear, "Somebody!! I went poop! I need help wiping!!! Hello!!!", which would normally leave you laughing, but considering the fact that you now have to hobble while hauling Shitter #1 into the bathroom to wipe shitting Shitter #2's ass, you're not really in a laughing mood. (You're not sure why you didn't just hand off Shitter #1 to the adoring babysitters, and you don't appreciate anyone asking you that question, either.)

Hypothetically speaking, of course...

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Why We Can NEVER Have Anything Nice...

Furniture, lingerie, or likewise... Any guesses on what she was trying to do with the bra???

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

I Blame Opie

Ryan: Mom? Umm, I accidentally broke one of your ornaments.

Me: Okay, I'll pick it up. Wanna tell me what happened?

Ryan: Well, I was just trying to be like the Grinch.

Me: Uh huh... What exactly does that mean?

Ryan: You know, like the way he ate one in the movie.

Me: You tried to eat the ornament?

Ryan: Yeah!!

Where No Man Has Dared Go Before

We have achieved crawlage. Mr. Man is moving freely about, only going as far as he thinks he has to in order to get to the object of his desire.

One crawl, two crawls, nope, not there yet.

Exasperated, he bangs his head on the floor (really -- he constantly sports a nice big red mark right about there), no doubt repeating his "in with the good, out with the bad" mantra, and bless his stubborn, just-like-a man heart, he tries again, and again, until he can grasp what he's looking for and deliver it to his waiting lips.

It's a sight, I tell you. Straight out of the action/adventure movie cliche of a man desperately reaching out to save his loved one from certain death off a cliff (or the chic flick genre where he desperately tries to get away.)

This particluar stud usually ends up trying to crawl underneath our dresser. Then his head gets stuck, he gets pissed off, and I have to run over and pick him up, rescuing him from certain death under the never-met-a-vacuum recesses of the unknown. Did someone say MOTY??

Monday, December 26, 2005

Merry Christmas From The Family

Well, my dears, I must of the most enjoyable Christmases to date. I'm not sure if it was the abundance of alcohol (!) or what, but things for the most part went well.

This is not so much what you tuned in to hear, though, of that I am certain. You were looking for something a little south of pleasant perfection, no? Okay, if you insist...

So, the Honey thing. Oh, how this subject rips me wide open with the fervor of Freddie Krueger. Love the woman -- defend her to this day for forcing the girls and I to clean the floorboards with our own toothbrushes while Dad was suffering his first heart attack in hospital; what can I say? The woman epitomizes the Mommie Dearest era, but I feel her pain. I can't explain it, I just chalk it up to the crazy. However, the rate at which she is bending to Parkinsons is so alarming, it truly requires waves of inappropriate laughter to make it minute to minute without melting into a sobbing ball on the floor.

At first, it was a bit sad to walk in and find her arguing with the stove, and not in the normal, "why must you burn everything!?" way; more like, "Hi hon, how was your day? Can you give the kids a bath tonite -- I'm beat." So you ignore it until it becomes more and more prevalent, to the point that you find yourself chuckling and playing along, totally ignoring the burning flames of hell awaiting you. Eventually, however, you reach the point of annoyance, where you start raising the volume on the television in hopes she'll take the conversation to another room.

I know right now I sound like I eat babies for breakfast, but really, you have to experience it to understand. I, for one, feel that my grandfather deserves the biggest fucking Miller Genuine Draft a 78-yr old man could hold down, and then some. He will one day be sainted, mark my words.

He moves her from spot to spot EVERY 5 MINUTES. You think a baby is tough? Pff. I will never complain about Jax's neediness again... at least not while Pappy is in the room... and even then, not without feeling enormous waves of guilt. She never knows where she wants to be, and once she gets there, she realizes that, nope, that's definitely not it, so away we go again. And when I say "away", I mean as slow as freakin possible.

Just when you start really feeling inconvenienced and a little pissed off *God, we are such martyrs*, she goes and wishes she was a roach. Out loud. You know, so she could "crawl all over the place and find those glasses" she didn't bring with her, but swears she did. Ahhh yes, fun for the entire family.

Alrighty then...moving on to Diana Ross. I was not aware that she would be in Texas over Christmas, so you can imagine my surprise when she popped in to entertain.

Thank God for the 80's and the Cruise Ship craze, huh Mom?

Finally, may I interest you in the 21st century Fairytale, "Boys Need Love, Too"? Here's the 2 minute movie-pitch version:

Prince Charming meets a special new friend. Gathering the frog in his arms *cough* ham hocks *cough*, he pulls it closer for a more thorough inspection, at which time the frog apparently double-dog-dares him to lay down a nice big wet one. Never one to back down from the double- dog, the Prince goes open-mouthed, tongue and all. Bibbidi Boppidi Boo, he lives FABULOUS ever after. The End.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Crappy Chic

This is the tree we gave to Ryan because we were too busy/lazy/poor/tired to get a real one this year, and because she's really the only one who cares.

Yes, the garland is made of cheap ribbon pieces I tied together. And YES, I did buy the cheap fake snow that doesn't ever congeal and is now coating all of my carpets. But Ry loved it and totally thinks we "rock, mom", so shut it.

Look, it's a freakin' tradition in my family, okay? Remember the year we waited until Christmas Eve and bought an 18' tree for $15? Or what about the year when we were little and Big Daddy just chopped down a tree on the side of the road and brought it home? Actually, I think that was also the year my mom gave us painted mugs as Santa gifts...

Anyway, we have my parent's fake tree that they were just gonna throw away, and we'll be making a great big huge deal of putting it up tonight, to make up for the fact that we really don't have any presents to unwrap like normal materialistic Americans. It's all about the experiences, people. * proper choking and gurgling sounds here*

Speaking of experiences (so smooth), did I tell you about the early Christmas we celebrated this week where Honey wished she was a roach, Diana Ross made several appearances, and Jax lived out what can only be described as a fairytale ala "Queer Eye"? No? Well, I guess you'll just have to come back and read tomorrow, then, won't you?

Ho Ho Ho.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

His Mother Should Be So Proud

This is SOOO wrong on so many levels.

Hey, at least I gave you something to watch while I'm on "vacation" *choking back tears w/laughter* -- more on that later.

Color Me : LAZY

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Dick Vermeil

What the hell is wrong when 2 28- yr- olds get a WEEKEND without the kids, and opt to sit on their asses like they do every other night? Seriously, inject us with something. Please.

I know we must be expected to at least hit the local Chili's and mingle with our buds, but ever since Lea left, it's not as much fun.

A movie? A Bar? 4th Street? Sonic?" Anything? Huh. Allow me to delight you with the most interesting moment of the night:

ME: "Tikki Barber is good."
HIM: "Yeah." (removes sausage balls from oven)
ME: "Do those taste done to you?"
HIM: "Yeah"
ME: "Do those look done to you?"
HIM: " they look done to you?"
*pause, while I entertain the horrors of being stricken with trichinosis*
ME: "I dunno, you're the one who plays with pork all day." Bahduhmbum.

Sad, right? Worse? We then proceeded to have a lengthy discussion regarding who is older, Dick Vermeil or Bill Parcells.

Bring on the Depends.

COLOR ME: Rachel -- "They're my new, 'I don't need a job, I don't need my parents, I've got great boots' boots."

AKA: Link Happy

It's the Cockroaches, Isn't It?

Blimey, someone please buy me a laptop and wifi so I can start posting without having to get out of bed. I mean really. Here I am, my one day (was gonna try and push it till Monday, but just talked to Mom, and looks like they'll be needing me sooner) w/o lovely little life-suckers (read:kids), and I'm actually having to get out of bed to type this. Christ on a cracker.

I was gonna go ahead and just clean the Sh*T Hole today, but man, who really wants to spend their free day doing the crap you do (or are supposed to do, whatever) on every other regular day??

Have just spent the last hour browsing through some of my favorite blogs, like this one, that one, and this here. Oh yeah, and this one, too. There are some funny ladies out there -- which is what I want to be when I grow up, btw.

Sweet Jesus -- Weekend At Bernie's just turned up on Comedy Central. How can I pass that up? I'm off to laugh and search for the goofs.

*Note To Self* MUST MUST MUST put up Christmas tree before kids return. Remember, Christmas is for the kids, Christmas is for the kids, Christmas is for the kids...(repeat as needed)

Friday, December 16, 2005

The Bitch Is Back

I had a dream last night that Jax had sprouted a mouth full of teeth, fangs and all. Any guesses what's been on my mind lately? I've stopped counting the number of people who tell me "It looks like he's teething, Mom..." Now I just glare at them and walk away.

My favorite part, though, has to be when they ask how old Ryan was when she got her first tooth. As if I remember anything beyond 2 days go (and that's pushing it). Most days, around 5 pm as I'm on my way to melt-down status, I find myself scratching my head wondering whether or not I took my Prozac that morning (and usually end up taking another one just in case, or for good measure -- whichever fits).

So, "No, I don't remember when Ryan got her first tooth, but does it even matter? Aren't we always talking about how each kid is sooooo different? Are you just asking me this to once again emphasize the fact that I am a less-than-stellar mother?? *cue eye twitch* "That's right, run away, run little cretin, run!"

Prozac, please...NOW!!!!!!!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

As If I Needed ANOTHER Reason NOT To Clean

I'm really not a materialistic person. I love designer everythings, but I'm also A-OK with Target, WalMart, etc... This comes in handy seeing as how we are not made of Designer Money.

That is not to say, however, that material things are not important to me. Our house, for example, is of great importance. The "right" neighborhood, the "right" schools, the "right" lawns...all of it was major in our ultimate decision. But jewelry? C'mon...

As it turns out, apparently I am tied to my jewelry; namely, my wedding ring.
I discovered this unknown tidbit about myself last night as I was *grrr* cleaning the kitchen. I was innocently putting away a jar of spice when the metal over-hang vent-holder- thing above the stove ATTACKED my ring and flung one of the diamonds into the nether-regions of my kitchen. I can't even think the "K" word without being filled with venomous hatred.

Right away, I had that sinking, "I'm going-to-puke" feeling that people are always talking about. That was a nice little treat. I quickly screamed for Shawn's help, tears brimming as we moved the stove, the fridge, destroyed cabinetry, etc... all in the quest to find the missing gem.

Ryan quickly asked the question all of you are most likely wondering: "What the hell is the big deal?? It's just a freakin' ring!" Okay, maybe she didn't use those words, but humor me please.

I have never never never been attached to my personal belongings. Never. Well, except maybe for my Volvo station wagon in High School, but can you blame me? ( I rocked the Ha Ha) Anyway, the surge of overwhelming sadness I felt was monumentally shocking to me. I couldn't figure out why this was effecting me so strongly.

Turns out, I'm a sentimental pussycat. Turns out, the fact that the diamonds came from a ring my grandmother left me when she passed away really is meaningful to me. Turns out, I really was touched when my Dad took Shawn, ring design in hand, to the jeweler to have it set. Turns out the Grinch has a heart...

I didn't go into this speech with Ryan, but I think she got the gist:

"Don't worry Mommy. We'll find it. It'll be okay. Here, I'll sing you a song. It's called, 'My Mommy Always Finds Her Ring'."

That made me feel much better, by the way.

Anyway, diamond is still MIA, ring is sitting lonely and forlorn in jewelry box (I cannot bring myself to wear it), and ring finger is merely adorned with lone wedding band, which was the way it started -- yep, we pretty much do everything in reverse here: baby, courthouse (James Avery 's $36 band was all we could afford), church wedding, pretty diamond ring. Rest assured, I am aware that all is not lost, unless Shawn's forecast turns out to be true: "So does this mean our marriage is going to fall apart now??" Bah Dah Bum.

Does he know how to make a girl feel better or what?

Well That Makes Sense...

It's been a while since I've been lucky enough to come downstairs and find Ryan rubbing some sort of substance on something that shouldn't be rubbed...Just now found her with the front half of her hair plastered to her head, emitting a sickeningly sweet perfume-y smell.

"Hey Ry, what's up with the 'do?"
"Your hair, Ry. What's in your hair."
"oh, well, um, it's, um, lotion..."
*sigh*" Okay, well, you know I'm gonna have to re-wash your hair now, right?"
"Well Mommy, I just didn't like the way my hair was all mushy and tangly. That's why I put lotion in my hair, so I won't cry when you brush it."

Laugh, Cry, Scream?? Take your pick...

P.S. Stay tuned for stories of my Wedding Ring Tragedy from last night...

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

"C'mon and take a free riiide..."

Ok, lots I wanted to divulge, but since I'm TOTALLY computer-retarded and had to re-do my whole template (don't ask), I'm just gonna cut it short. I still have 2 kids to bathe and bed, kitchen to clean, cookies to bake, PLUS it's South Park/Project Runway tonite, and I really can't cancel on that, so...

The kids and I were bored today. I was not at all intrigued by Ry's suggestion of playing Magical Princess Journey, and she was less-than-enthused with my idea of sitting and reading quietly. Could be that she's only 3, but whatever...

So we high-tailed it to the mall, which was stupid stupid stupid. When you are a SAHM trying desperately to cling to a "normal" existence while remaining on a budget that a shoestring would laugh at, the mall is NOT the place to be. Especially not 11 days before Christmas.

"Retail Therapy" only works when you have $$$ to spend, and we don't. So, we walked around for a while, playing the old make-believe game created by my sisters and I when we were young and penniless. It goes something like this: The Mall is really our house, and each store belongs to one of us. Now pick the ones you want.

Most of the choices were gimme's, though we did battle over the Cookie Store and Victoria's Secret (she thinks its pretty. French Madam, anyone??). She won out on both. I didn't need the cookie cals, and she insisted the items in VS were "only for Princesses, not old Mommies". Snarky little b*tch.

Yeah, so that lasted a little while until we hit the Mother Lode: Disney Store, where I was (as always) regaled with shrieks of "You never get me anything!! I'm so done with you!!" This launched a 5 minute boycott of any conversation at all with Mommy, until we saw Santa Claus, and all was forgotten.

We did the Santa thing -- "No pics, please..she just wants to sit & chat, thank you." For the love of Pete, those things cost $20 min. now! For 1/2 that I could put a costume on Shawn and take my own damn pics (and we ALL know he'd do it, too). Anyway, Kris Kringle came off as a little too much of a "Chester" (IYKWIM*winkwink*) for Mommy's taste, so off we quickly headed to the Food Court/Game Zone.

After digging through my bag for, oh, 8 minutes or so, it became horrifying obviously that I was without change/cash of any kind. Not good when venturing into Game Zone. She wasn't really all that keen on just sitting on the non-moving buses/cars/"rollercoasters", etc..., so I suggested she "find one with a kid already on it who's Mommy did come prepared and bum a ride, man." *MOTY Alert* What??? I ALWAYS let other people's kids snag rides when we're there (shut up, I do). Anyway, no one complained, she was happy, and we left in high spirits.

Tomorrow's Itinerary: Storytime at the library, followed by sampling at Sam's and then on to the Y for 2 hours of free babysitting/free time. Work it, baby, work it...

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Make With The Happy

Just got home from Ry's gymnastics, where it was Parent's Picture Day. All the mommies got to crowd into the gym to watch our little Nadia's up close and personal. Naturally, I'm the ONLY one wielding a camcorder (can't miss even a second!!), thus making my child the one to get in trouble all class long.

I'm just gonna go ahead and type up a form letter to all her teachers: "Congratulations! You are now the temporary safekeeper of the Diamond In The Rough -- and trust, us she's very rough. She will push your buttons, make you tell her 2 and 3 and 4 and 5, etc. times what you do/do not want her to do, and then she'll make you explain why you do /do not want to her to do it 2 and 3 and 4 times, etc. You will be tempted to pull out your hair in frustration, but right as you get a good grip, she'll hug you and use those impeccable manners of hers and you will be dazzled by the brilliance that is Ryan Elizabeth. Then she'll ask you if you can see her buttcrack, and you'll be right back where you started. Have fun, sucker!!!"

Right now we are clawing (literally) our way through a playdate with one of her buddies from gymnastics. They love each other very much, except when they are the only 2 kids around and thus required to entertain each other through sharing. I believe the "sharing" part is where we hit a tiny snag. For all intents and purposes, both of them are "only children", so sharing is still a bit of a foreign concept. Along with this challenge, we're also dealing with the "everything here is boring" syndrome. Cue Mommy running from room to room throwing out ideas "How about Yahtzee?" , all met with exuberant "Yeah's!", followed shortly thereafter with "We're bored!!". I've tried to coax them into sitting mindlessly in front of the tv and watching a Christmas movie, except that has only led to the age-old quarrel of who gets to sit where. I think we've finally achieved some level of zen, because all I'm hearing now are giggles and whispers coming from the bathroom, interrupted only by the occasional sound of rushing water.

Hang on -- I just heard the ever-fateful combo of shrieking/laughing/"shhh -- don't tell her!" whispering. Wish me luck...

Monday, December 12, 2005


Ryan has a thing with us keeping our door open at night while she's in bed and we're up watching TV. Shawn always "forgets" to do this, and thus has just been admonished by Her Royal Scaredycat.

"Ugggh! I TOLD you to keep the door open!!" (pushing the doors to their limits and stomping away)

Shawn: "What is the deal with that?"

Me: "Oh, I totally relate. This is equivalent to my sisters and I only feeling safe enough to fall asleep if we could hear our parents watching TV downstairs. Didn't you do the same kinda thing?"


Shawn: (shrugging) "Naw, I just kept a baseball bat under my bed."

Naturally. The guy exudes testosterone (either that or it's the grease from all the BBQ...). Seriously, does he HAVE a weakness??

Sunday, December 11, 2005

"Spit-In-Your-Mouth" Funny

Have you ever had the feeling that you were the Big White Elephant in the room that no one was talking about? Or maybe you received an invite for a costume party, only to arrive in your very best French Maid get-up amidst a bunch of straight-laced Bible Beaters who OBVIOUSLY missed the memo (ala Bridget)? OOh! I know! How about those times when you walk into a gathering of strangers only to be slaughtered with menacing glares, "no she did not" eye rolls and condescending once-overs. Not so much? Damn, you really are missing out.

You, too, could have found yourself at the 1 yr old daughter's birthday party of your husband's old old friend's (whom neither of you have seen in years), only to walk into Night Of The Living Dead. You could have stumbled into the humiliating realization that no one really wanted you there, or even cared for that matter -- they really only wanted to see DH, and you were an unfortunate side effect. No one would introduce you around (or respond when you try to intro yourself), no one would offer you a drink (although they would make a nice big fuss over opening a new bottle of wine. For Christ's Sake, it's just Chardonnay). You could have heard them oohh and aahh over your kids, but not to you -- just to your DH, when he's there; he'll actually spend the majority of the night outside visiting with old friend. Ah, yes, you could have experienced the unanticipated elation at the notion of a 10 yr old wanting to have a conversation with you -- I shit you not; I was intoxicated with euphoria when she came over to ask me if I liked Barbie, and did I want to play? Yes, you too could have begged for death like you've never begged before. Alas; you, my dear, are not as lucky as I.

Look -- I understand that much of the above reads like my very own pity party *bite me*, but ask anyone who knows me -- that's not my style. I don't do "pity". I make fun. Of myself, of other people (see above). That's how I deal. Pratfalls and self-deprecating humor, thank you very much. It's my defense mechanism and it's worked pretty damn well for some 20-odd years; that is, until last night when in the midst of trying to start a conversation (to no avail) with Frigid Ice Bitch #2, I turned and began talking to the chair next to me. Bah duhm bum. This time-tested oldie-but-goodie is usually good for at least a smattering of laughs, but this time no one even noticed. That's how hard they were working at ignoring me, and really, their efforts should be applauded. I'm not easy to ignore, people. It just really felt like Sorority Rush all over again, when you get an invite to a house where no one really wants you, so they all just avoid you the whole night long -- anyone? Oh well, if you've been there, then you know.

Luckily, I had my anti-social DH with me to help me feel right at home. Heh. No bother. I just used my kids as sources of entertainment, conversation(with myself), and finally, blessedly, as an excuse to get the hell out of there (pissy Jax to the rescue!!). I mean really, what else are they good for??

I realize that I am often teased about being a "jittery" hostess (the phrase "basket case" comes to mind), but at least I make damn sure that every one of my guests feels at home, welcome, and certainly not alone/invisible/not wanted. If you are a latter type of hostess/host, you should be shot and made to lie in an open casket while everyone around you walks and talks and gets on with their day as if you are not even there, all the while staring barefaced at you and grimacing for good measure. *grrr*

BTW -- did I tell you about the ROCKIN' birthday party we went to this weekend...?

OKay. I'm done. Luckily, today was so good that it actually put Saturday's debacle six feet under (now that I've vented, that is -- thanks again). Menana, Ninny and I took Ryan to see The Nutcracker, and it was excellent. I am definitely no ballet/orchestra aficionado, but I do know my performing arts, and this show was well worth the money (then again, that could be the 3 mimosas talking...). Proof: Ryan made it through the whole first act without whining/crying, even regaling us (and those around us) with exclamations of, "Why's he nekked??" when the Arabians came out to do their dance (shirtless -- for the Mr., that is). The kid was enthralled.

Far and away, the best part was when the show ended and Ryan left the theatre with a beautiful (read:glittery) Nutcracker cradled in her arms (along with her paraplegic porcelain ballerina ornament, which entered the theatre in one piece, but apparently had a tough time of it while watching other prima donna's get the attention?? I'm not sure, but the chick has no arms now.)

Shawn and Jax had what I'm sure was a lively Boys' Day full of sleeping, pooping, and watching football while we were away, so everyone ended up happy.

MMMmmmmm. Gotta run -- Grey's Anatomy. Doesn't get any better. I spend my whole week waiting for this show. Shut up. Here's something neat for fellow GA fans to peruse.

Friday, December 9, 2005

Housework Hotline

The other day I dropped in on a friend whose house wasn't exactly in "visitor" shape. You know, laundry was left folded on the floor, toys were scattered about, breakfast crumbs on the kitchen table, etc... My friend was horrified, repeatedly apologizing as if it was her and not myself who had committed the friendship TABOO (you're really not supposed to just drop in, you know). I, on the other hand, was thrilled. Did I think she was a slob? No. Did I think she was lazy? Yeah, right. An unfit mother? No way! If anything, it only made me like her that much more. Every other time I'd ever been over, her house was always in tip-top Martha Stewart-worthy shape, and I always left there feeling completely bummed about my own obviously inferior housecleaning skills. But seeing her house that day helped to remind me that things aren't always what they seem, that somethimes even Martha Stewart gets messy.

This incident has spurred a desire to "air my dirty laundry" (or dirty house), so to speak. If I could get that type of relief from seeing someone else's house in "disarray", maybe my own messy home could illicit feelings of goodwill as well. (Sorry, Mom. This is just something I've got to do.)

Okay, so here we have the Master Bedroom -- you know, where all the magic happens. Obviously, we spend A LOT of time in here. I really have tried to create a pretty, peaceful little "love nest", but those damn kids just keep getting back in...

Same room, different picture. You can't really see it, but there is an antique heirloom baby spoon that is very precious to me lying in the middle of the floor. Ryan uses it to feed her Princesses their medicine. Again, so sorry Mom.

So now we've moved down the hall to Ryan's room, where things are actually fairly neat. I'm rather impressed, I must say. This really is a verrrry cute room. Really. It is.

Ahh, yes. Here we have the Formal Dining Room *laughing inside*, otherwise known as the "Playroom, "Big Room", "Sh*t Hole", etc... If you've ever been here before, you know this is what it looks like all the time. This is actually the only flavor this room comes in. There's no such thing as "Company Condition" in the Land of Play. And I'm really quite okay with that!

Now, I've been trying to post the last two pics of the Family Room and Kitchen for about the last 10 minutes or so, but apparently they are so disgraceful, even the computer has rejected them. Probably for the best. Am I proud of the messy condition of my home on this Friday afternoon? No, of course not, Am I tired of feeling guilt every single minute of every freakin' day 'cause my digs don't equal those in every parenting/family/home magazine ever published? uhhh, yeah! And chances are, so are a lot of you.

So do with these pics what you will: use them to help you feel not-so-alone, use them to show your friends how "the other half" lives, I don't care. Now if you'll excuse me, I have a date with a vacuum cleaner.

Thursday, December 8, 2005

Motherless Child

Jaxson and I are holed up in my room right now, awaiting the end of Hurricane Ryan. -- oops, there goes the bathroom stool down the stairs.

She had our neighbor over earlier, was rude to her, refusing entrance to her room to, I don't know, play, several times, so I sent the neighbor home (she actually went running). Ryan is retaliating, and I'm afraid. Very afraid. I'm not that scared of her or her insane rantings (I am the one who passed her the crazy gene, after all), it's more like I'm afraid of what I'll do to her if she doesn't stop. I know myself and I know my limits, and I don't want to be Spanking Mommy. I really don't. I know my parents used corporal punishment and my sisters and I were fine, but I have a tendency to want to hit when I get really mad, and I just can't do it. Oh, I have done it before -- spanking, not hitting in anger -- and each and every time left me with a sour taste in my mouth and sleepless nights.

So here we are, cowering in fear, and I am racking my brain for Supernanny tactics, all of which it turns out I've already used, all of which have left me high and dry this cold bleak winter afternoon. Ryan is literally out in the hall throwing things, including herself, against the walls, doors -- basically any inanimate stable object will suffice, apparently.

I don't know how to help my child channel her emotions -- whether they are angry or excited, she can't harness them, and it's becoming more and more evident. When she's excited she throws herself onto and into anything in sight, screaming and yelling in delight. When she's upset, she throws herself onto and into anything in sight, screaming and yelling in what can only be described a madness.

You may be wondering what the hell I'm doing typing this while my child writhes alone in anger, but I. don't.know.what. I understand her predicament; suffered it as a child, adolescent, teenager, even as a young adult. It's a real problem, with real anwers (Prozac works well), but I'm not that into medicating my 3 yr old, and I don't want her labeled. I taught middle school, people, I know what that does to a kid. So this is why I'm typing.

What do I do to help this fragile, beautiful little angel who looks to Mommy to help her, only to have to be left alone because Mommy is at a loss? I know she will calm down soon; we've played out this scene before, and when she does, we will sit and talk things out, talk about using our words, breathing deep, removing ourselves from the situation, etc... This just doesn't seem like enough. I do not want her to go through the struggle I went through. I know kids have to learn lessons on their own, and I advocate that, but not this one. This one is destructive to body mind and soul. This one took me 22 years to overcome, and I still fight with it at times.

She's sitting in her time-out spot right now, holding a picture of her Daddy, crying for him to come help her. I want to do the same.

Freak Of Nature

Mother Nature -- she's a bitch. She toys with me; seducing me into climate-controlled bliss, all the while lurking in the background, waiting for the perfect moment to caress with me the bitch-slap only she can provide.

She and I first clashed 3 yrs ago, when she struck a blow stranding Ryan (at a mere 11 mos old) and myself in our car on I35 for 4 1/2 hours. 4 1/2 hours with a hungry baby (no food), in freezing/snowy/icy weather, with no way out. (Yes, I know that all the victims of this summer's hurricane-induced gridlock had it much much worse, but allow me to lament, please.) There I was, all excited about the notion of not having to go to work the next day, hurrying home to snuggle with my baby & hubby in front of the fire, and then...the sh*t hit the fan (more precisely: the ice hit the road). She really screwed Shawn more than anyone, 'cause he still had to go to work the next day (and spun out on the road, thank you), while I got to stay home and watch Ryan take her very first steps. Yep, the lady is a tramp.

Now let's fast forward to today. As you may have previously read, we were havin' a good day: costumes were worn, adventures were commenced, pics they were a-taken. Then came time to leave for Jax's doctor's appointment. A little dangerous, risking Austin roads in unusually wintry weather with other drivers who suddenly become retarded at the first hint of ice, but I am Supermommy, after all.

So there I was, hustling the kids out the door, trying to get out of the house early to avoid any "bumps" in navigating my way to the doctor's new office, when lo and behold, I cannot find my keys. I really wish I had a "clapper" for those f*ckers. I tend to lose them (or forget -- whatever) on a regular basis, so I wasn't too worried -- I'd pepared for moments like this. I grabbed the spare car key out of the junk drawer, threw the kid's snacks in my bag, grabbed sippy cuts, and jumped in the car, spilling sippy cup juice (yeah, those sippy cups work really well) all over my coat and pants. Problem? Not for Supermommy! I simply ran back inside, ditched the coat, grabbed a towel and rubbed furiously at the cranberry-red juice stain on my crotch. No time to change, but who cares? Not that easily embarrassed, kiddos.

Back in the car, I realize that Shawn's got the garage door opener in his truck, so I jump out, punch the door closed, run to the car (very Dukes of Hazard) and we're off. It's only as I'm driving away that I remember that I can't get back into the house without a key if the garage door won't open. Whoopsie poopsie. No prob -- again, been there, done that. After the last time I got locked out and had to break a window, I hid a key by the front door, so I knew we'd be okay.

I eventually make it to the doctor's new office -- that is; I find the address. It seems there are a plethora of medical offices located at this one single address, none of which have any labeling whatsoever. Sweet. Nothing I look forward to more than running from one office building to the next in 32 degree weather, toting a 20 lb baby (in carrier) while ferrying a pre-schooler who can at best be described as a "lollygagger", all in just a chunky wool sweater and jeans. All I'm thinking is , "Where are the freakin' movie cameras?" When I finally do find the right building, I'm like a mouse sniffing out the cheese trying to find the actual office. They've conveniently chosen to build their second empire inside an outpatient surgical center, making it more of an "outpost" than an actual office. There was no waiting room (after all, what mother with young, sick children needs to sit?), and the patient rooms were more like curtained-off areas. *cue theme music from Deliverence*

Appointment goes well (a little wheezing, but nothing to NEB about, and NO ear infections!), and we leave having spent less than an hour in the hovel -- I mean, office. We work our way home, laughing all the way, until we get to the driveway and I remember...what was that?...Oh, right -- no house key, no garage door opener... It's dropped about 10 degrees since we originally left, and now I really don't feel like digging around in the dirt for my hide-a-key, but I guess we have to get inside since the gas tank is now reading EMPTY. I jump out of the car, sprint towards the front door (remember -- I'm practically naked ), and then I hear a scream and a very loud thump. I turn around*crossing fingers, squinting eyes* to find the car's nose bumped right into the garage door. Hmmm...I didn't realize I'd parked that close - no, wait -- my bad; the car is still in DRIVE. Splendid! Okay, fix the car issue, calm a freaking child ("Oh My God, Mom!!! The car just started moving by itself -- like a ghost; is there a ghost in the car Mom?!!!"), and head to the flower bed to find the hidden key. And I'm digging, I'm digging, I'm digging, (damn, I hid this bugger quite well) digging, digging... and nothing. Bloody hell -- Shawn used it a few weeks ago, and looks like he didn't put it back. Nifty. Not to worry, I see our neighbors are home, so we'll just crash at their place till someone can rescue us. Right? Wrong! Within 30 minutes of being there, Ryan attacks the neighbor's daughter with an umbrella so we excuse ourselves (really, terribly sorry -- hope it heals quickly!) and head to the grocery store to kill time till Shawn can get home.

Ahh yes, she truly is the Mother of all Mothers. I bow down to her in awe, "I'm not worthy! I'm not worthy!" (now can we call a truce???).

Wednesday, December 7, 2005

Bored Much?

Yippee! Snow Day! Well, as close to a snow day as you can get in Central Texas, but nevertheless, the weather man did say not to travel unless necessary, so...SNOW DAY!!!

This is how we spent our morning. Don't be jealous.

It was actually muy bueno, going on adventures with my little cowgirl princess -- we shut all the blinds, turned off all the lights, and crawled from room to room, under the beds, and into spoooooky closets with just the aid of our trusty maglite. (The same maglite that I keep hidden under my bed in case of intruders -- this thing is a monster). Jax tagged along as well, though judging from the pics, he didn't seem to enjoy himself quite as much as we did. Cest la vie!

Gotta go jump in the shower -- I guess needing to take your kid to the doctor for fear of possible ear infection/returned wheezing would constitute as "necessary", right?

Tuesday, December 6, 2005

Bite me, please

I'm fixin' (that's right, I'm from Texas) to piss some of y'all off. Keep in mind, if you don't like what you are reading, DON'T READ IT. Pretty simple.

I received an email today from someone I deeply love and respect. This person, let's call them "Pat", got a little fed up with the following email, which was sent to them via a friend, via a friend, via another friend, and so on. Please read below:

" RED FRIDAYS ----- Very soon, you will see a great many people wearing Red every Friday. The reason? Americans who support our troops used to be called the "silent majority". We are no longer silent, and are voicing our love for God, country and home in record breaking numbers. We are not organized, boisterous or over-bearing. We get no liberal media coverage on TV, to reflect our message or our opinions. Many Americans, like you, me and all our friends, simplywant to recognize that the vast majority of America supports ourtroops. Our idea of showing solidarity and support for our troops with dignity and respect starts this Friday -and continues each and everyFriday until the troops all come home, sending a deafening message that Every red-blooded American who supports our men and womenafar, will wear something red. By word of mouth, press, TV -- let's make the United States on every Friday a sea of red much like a homecoming football game in the bleachers. If every one of us who loves this country will share this with acquaintances, co-workers, friends, and family. It will not be long before the USA is covered in RED and it will let ourtroops know the once "silent" majority is on their side more thanever, certainly more than the media lets on. The first thing a soldier says when asked "What can we do to make things better for you?" is...We need your support and your prayers. Let's get the word out and lead with class and dignity, by example; and wear some thing red every Friday. "

Okay, so here's how "Pat" responded:

Call it what it is--this is a partisan ploy to rah-rah for Bushie & the Boys ( and I don't mean the soldier boys). And as competence goes, this is par-for-the course."Whatever do I mean?" Well lets try something new for you, lets check your "facts"! Are you following me? Do I need to slow down? 1. "Silent Majority"?\- have you checked out the polls lately? The majority of Americans today....(?) not so "gun-ho" over your blood and guts in Iraq. 2. No media coverage? "Liberal media"? Again, wake up!Mostly until a couple of months ago America's media was the best Bush and Co could pay for. Nothing liberal about that, but nothing democratic, either. Proud? You and "all your friends" have had 5 1/2 years in this tainted "spotlight". How's a healthy, exposed and newly liberated (liberated not liberal) 4th Estate working for you now?Ouch!! 3. "Every red-blooded American"--so if you don't wear red on Fridays,what, are you pink blooded? Didn't we do this stuff in grade school? 4. "Homecoming football game in bleachers"... again with the school yard Rah-Rah--Sounds too much like a Yale Yell-leader for my tastes. No, sorry can't do it. How about this--listen, read divergent perspectives, think for yourself; Ask yourself some hard questions; Ask your leaders these samr hard questions; Get answers to your questions, don't accept platitudes or "talking points" from ANYONE. Every now and then, leave your Rah-Rah red at home and wear some somber black to remember those soldiers who were sent to war on a pretense, who died for a pack of lies, who are maimed and will be suffering for the remainder of their lives because our government was led by a group of incompetent twits. I know you mean well, but your cheerleader antics are grotesque in light of the truth of the mind-numbing mess that all of us "red-blooded Americans" are caught in, thanks to, at best, a compromised government leadership. Pretty pissed are you? Well just so you know...1. Yes, I am a liberal and I am proud of it. Always have been on both counts. 2. You may not consider me Christian, but I have a very close relationship with God and I try to follow the principles I understand God to have laid out for His followers. Principles like true compassion, generosity, tolerance, acceptance of others, non-judgmental, loving.... Just so you know, I care not just for the unborn life, but for the lives of those around us who struggle, who hunger, who despair, who suffer and are unheard and invisible to the powers that be in this great and powerful country. Not all my friends think or feel just like I do, but I love them and wouldn't disparage them just because their conscience leads them to a different perspective than mine. They, too, have a close walk with God and I can not and would not judge that. So good luck to you and your plan. It might make you and all your friends feel better about America and our little war, but please don't fool yourself, it won't make America better. Dressing up in red won't make us better, we have to dig deep within each of us and hold each other accountable. I must defend your right to speak your mind but you have to do the same for me if we want America to be all the things you and I were taught about this wonderful country growing up and in school. It will take a leap of faith, but I am willing to take the leap, are you? If you want to find me, I'm the one wearing black on Friday. Rah-Rah."

Couldn't have said it better myself...

Monday, December 5, 2005


n. An expert with words.

See: Ryan Elizabeth York.

Ryan's grasp of the English language is both amusing and befuddling. Take, for instance, her versions of the words FLUFFY and GLITTERISH:

1. (fluffy): "Mom, at night my room gets all fluffy and it scares me." Translation: Shadows appear at night and they freak me out.

2. (glitterish): "Ouch!! There's something wrong with my foot -- it feels glitterish." Translation: My foot has fallen asleep, but no one has taught me this concept yet, so I have taken it upon myself to label it as best I see fit; hence, glitterish.

Mommy's fave part of all of this? The elation I feel at understanding exactly what she's trying to tell me -- like being in Mexico, slaughtering the language and using hand gestures until someone finally understands and directs me to the bathroom, thus creating an unbreakable bond of friendship and comraderie; that is, until I realize they've sent me to the Men's Restroom -- then all bets are off...but you get the idea.

Sunday, December 4, 2005

Spin Doctor

We have discovered the Holy Grail of parenthood: your standard swivel office chair. Turns out this is the one thing that will calm an uncontrollable, colicky baby. Just hold screaming baby, spin till you're dizzy, and the tears will cease. Not to mention, you get a nice little "pick me up" at the same time! Worked on our's - it can work on your's, too! Patent currently pending...

This Day In History...

Happy Birthday Daddy Shawn! Ryan has been regaling Shawn with "Happy Birthday's" all day long, so I'm thinkin' he's having a good one. Not to mention, he's feasted on German Apple Pancakes, burger & beer at Red Robin, and all the Xbox Golf he can handle. Plus, he's still got Smothered Enchiladas and Dump Cake waiting for him tonite. Ah, yes, it's good to be OLD!!! ;)

Friday, December 2, 2005

Buzz Kill

So Jax woke up with a little fever today, which was actually a little of a reflief for me: No Gym! No Errands! No Leaving the House! Pajama Party & Picnic on the floor!!

At one point I left Ryan downstairs watching Dora while I went upstairs to put Jax down for his nap. When I returned, she had abandoned her TV post and was playing Barbies in the playroom. As I started to straighten up the living room, I noticed that Ryan had been rifling through our Mommy & Daddy Movie Shelf (read:Non-Animated Movies), and had apparently found one of interest, having pulled it out and left it lying on the floor. When I bent down to pick it up, I saw that it was an ooollllldddd (read:college years -- and I stress -- COLLEGE YEARS) VHS copy of Cheech&Chong "Up In Smoke". Bummer, dude.

Horrified, I quickly dialed up Shawn to lament about what Horrible, Terrible, Not-Very-Good parents we are for even still owning a copy of this "film", to which he retorted: "She probably didn't even know what it was." No sh*t, Sherlock. It's not as though I was worried that she'd picked up that video with a pic of Cheech & Chong rolled up in a joint, and thought, "Silly Cheech and Chong and their marijuana-induced antics. Tsk Tsk." My fear was that she was going to be coming to us with questions about what she'd found -- and

Luckily, I was able to hide the video, and it apparently hasn't crossed her mind, for I have heard nary a word regarding her discovery. Now if only I could get that old PSA "I learned it by watching you!" out of my head, it will all be good.

Thursday, December 1, 2005

A(nother) Star Is Born

Sweet Mother of Jesus, I think I may have bred 2 of them. Ry needs to look out -- Jax is close on her heels as new attention-seeking wonder-baby. Took kids to storytime today, when after sucking down his bottle, Jax erupted with 2 make-your-daddy-proud belches, which of course set the ENTIRE room into fits of laughter (parents and storylady included). Not sure if it was the man-size burping or jolly dimpled- laugh of his that followed, but they were eating it up.

Only problem: So was Jax.

Aparrently he had "caught the bug", because the rest of storytime saw (or heard) him doing his Tarzan thing every 5 minutes. He was all sweet smiles and winks while they were watching and laughing, but when their attention waned, the screaming and yelling commenced.

Not a problem. Mommy works out, therefore VERY capable of sprinting back and forth between seat and door/hallway. I'm sure that wasn't distracting at all...

P.S. Successfully got out of library without any contact with Book-Nazi, nor scolding from any of the guardians of literature. However, did find large rip in first book we picked up -- will be sure to LEAVE A NOTE when returning. ;)

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Just A Cowgirl Ridin' An Ostrich

Before I begin this narration of what a day in Hell entails, I first want to thank all of you for your overwhelming response to my previous post. Really, it's good to know there are people out there who care. All two of you.

Now, back to today; Here's how it went down:

12:30 am -- Jax wakes up screaming; run into room and replace binky
3:44am -- Jax wakes up screaming; run into room, trip on toy, swear, replace binky, limp back to bed
5:12am -- Jax wakes up screaming; stumble blindly into room, shove binky back in mouth, stumble back.
5:15am -- Shawn's alarm goes off; Amy now officially awake.

7:00am -- Everyone up, breakfast made, dolls played with, kitchen messy, etc...
7:30am -- First blow-up of the day between Mommy & Ryan. Ryan whining and whining for Mommy to be Ariel to her Jasmine. Mommy reminds Ryan that 7-8 is "news" time, after 8, Mommy will play to Ryan's heart's content. Ry is unhappy with this answer, whines and cries some more. Mommy begins "counting", reaches 3, drags Ry kicking, thrashing, contorting to the stairs for Time-out, where Ryan decides to untie all of the Holiday bows Mommy has neatly tied on the banister. Add 3 more minutes to Time-Out.
7:33am -- Ryan is released fromJail, heads straight to the playroom and proceeds to ignore Mommy. Mommy finally achieves Peace.
7:35am -- Jax starts to get cranky and begins screaming; Mommy gives up on watching news, and begins cleaning kitchen while holding chunky baby boy.
8:00am -- Mommy's cleaning is done, takes Jax into playroom for morning of play.
8:01am -- Mommy goes back for 3rd cup of coffee; returns to playroom to continue being Ariel's sister, Jakamonana. What? It's a real name...

8:30am -- Jax goes down for morning nap; Ry is busy watching Dora, Mommy gets all excited over prospect of 90 minutes of "Mommy" time (heads to computer)
8:35 am -- Check email, see offer for "Free PLasma TV with Short Survey" Hmmm... Shawn wants new TV, let's just take a look...
9:15 am -- Am deep in the middle of"short" survey when Jax wakes up. Swell. Set him in his swing...voila! Okay, now Ryan wants me to change her Barbie Doll. Done. What? Yes, Ry, I will put her legs back on , but please don't pull them off again.
9:30 am -- What Ry? Her head? Fine. I'll pop it back on, but again, please stop the mutilation..What now Ry? Oh, that is funny! (Ry and I share a healthy belly laugh as we watch Jaxson leaning back and sideways in his swing, knocking his head against the stand, leaning his head back to see what just hit him, and getting knocked again. looking..knock! Looking..Knock! Looking...knock! God, I could watch this all day, but must put a stop to this for fear of brain damage.
...9:35 am -- Alrighty, back to survey. Can you believe they want you to sign up for stuff in order to receive free gift? Well, what's a few $5.95 sign-up fees if it means a new plasma, right?
9:45 am -- Hang on -- now they're asking me to sign up for 4 MORE THINGS!! AAGGHHH. Fine. Fine Fine. Let's credit card? Nah.. Disney Movie Club? Yeah, right. Amazing Fat Burning pill? Uhh, yeah! Okay. One down, 3 more to go. Hmm... AOL Music net 30 day trial? Okaayyy, done. Bottom-of-the-Barrel Inkjet prices? Yes, please!
10:00 am -- Am beginning to get stressed. Have just put $75 (collectively) on my credit card (very big no-no), and now they are telling me to sign up for more, and I have to be at the gym by 10:20, and am.having.melt.down. Face growing hot, fingers swelling. Must stop the insanity.
10:02 am-- Computer is off. Time wasted. *Note to self -- cancel all orders made in naive attempt to get something for nothing.*

12:00pm -- Home from gym where displayed UUber-coordination by wacking self in back of head with bands that were supposed to be held down by balance ball *grrrr* while lifiting over shoulder. Jax down for nooner, Ry playing outside, eggs boiling on stove. Mommy attempts to erase huge blunder that was this morning.
12:10pm -- Just successfully canceled "Free Trial" from AOL, with no thanks at all to Customer "Service" rep named Mark ("You mean you took the time to sign up for an account that you have now decided you just won't have the time to use?" "Yep, that's pretty much it" "But our records show that you haven't even signed on to check out the service..." "Look Mark, let me break this down for you: Do you hear that shrill screaming in the background? That's my son who I just put down for naptime, who I will have to continue to coax to sleep for the next 30 minutes, which will give me 30 minutes of silence from him until he wakes to be fed, during which that loud singing you hear in the other background will grow louder and louder, accompanied by dance moves, and undoubtedly ending with someone dying, this part being the one I will be forced to play. I went a little nuts with my freedom this morning, tried to get something for nothing, and now I want to cancel my order. DO YOU UNDERSTAND????" Inaudible murmuring followed by several clicks, then automated lady thanks me for canceling my AOL account)
12:30 pm -- Run downstairs at the faint smell of burning eggs, turn off burner, look outside in backyard and see Ryan lying seemingly unconscious on the ground in tights, a short-sleeved shirt, and flirty skirt. In 65 degree weather. Race to her side, frantically asking if she's okay, to which she growls, "Leave me alone, Mom, I'm dying!" My bad.

1:05 pm -- Jax still asleep, lunch finished, tuna fish and chips scattered over kitchen floor, Mommy & Ryan cuddling in bed reading books and getting ready for nap.
1:30 pm -- Ryan snoring, Mommy awake.
1:45 pm -- Mommy wide awake, contemplating proactive notion of showering and prepping Jax's lunch...
1:50 pm -- Too late. Jax awake.

2:30 pm -- Jax fed & playing with Ry in Mommy's room while Mommy waits on phone to cancel printer ink order from earlier when brains went missing for an hour and a half.
2:45 pm -- Still on hold...
2:55 pm -- Just carried Ryan to Time Out for sitting on her brother for the 6th time today.
3:00 pm -- Still on hold, biting back tears as Ryan yells, "I don't love you and I don't need you anymore."
3:05pm -- Breeze through cancellation of ridiculously over-priced ink order (85% off, my ass) as c.s. rep clearly wants to get off the phone with sobbing, hiccupping nut-job.
3:15pm -- Ry back inTime- Out for climbing on Jax and pushing him over. Naturally, he has taken huge sh*t while waiting for Mommy to get off phone with Ink people; tumble with Ry has caused poo to squirt out of diaper onto carpet.
3:17pm -- Attempt to bribe Ryan into grabbing clean diaper fails as she replies, "No! I'm so really mad at you right now Mom!" Tears return (Mine, not hers).
3:25 pm-- Breathing Deeply. Turning over new leaf, etc.. Take kids outside to play, Ry tries to get Emma to play, Emma doesn't want to, Emmas's mom comes out to deliver bad news. Ry retaliates against being rejected by jumping on Mommy's back/neck/head (repeatedly), followed by grabbing eyeglasses and running down street with them. Trying to stay calm and MOTY in front of neighbors, but crazy-psycho- mom must be peeking out, for Elisa laughs and tries to ease the pain by stating, "You know, she's gonna be such a star when she gets older. She's totally going to take hook her parents up." She better.

4:00 pm-- Calm Ryan down by playing Dora on the computer; spend rest of the hour jumping between ironing and helping Ry with computer mouse. Jax napping.

5pm -- Make dinner (for two -- Shawn will be late)/feed Jax/change Barbie's clothes (really...this is the last time Ry, I mean it...)/clean kitchen; bathe Jax; settle in to watch Rudolph, old-school style (read:Rankin/Bass).

7:05 pm-- Jax starts crying at movie(clay-mation can be a little scary...), while Ry dances in front of tv, shaking her butt and watching her shadow on the wall as she dances. Dream of peaceful movie-time flies out door.
7:30 pm-- Put Jax to bed; remind Ryan to try to keep quiet.
7:35 pm -- Shawn walks in the door amidst screams from Ryan. Jax wakes up.
7:45 pm -- After 5 minutes with Ryan, Shawn asks, "What did you give her today?" Ha. ha ha.
7:55 pm -- Shawn gets Ryan to "pull his finger". Lovely.
8:00pm -- Ryan in bed. Shawn working downstairs. Mommy gulps down ibuprofen with glass of wine. Jax wakes up.

Talk Me Down From This Ledge!!

Dear Reader:

Baby fever has once again reared its cute and sweet-smelling little bald head. You see, I've temporarily lost my mind and am now yearning for a new addition to the family. This has been brewing inside for a while now, and I'm at the point where it's "sh*it or get off the pot", so to speak. Not to mention the fact that Darling Hubby is about to face the prospect of lifetime sterility -- perhaps this is where the urge stems from? DH will pretty much go where I go, but my thing is this: if we're gonna have 3, we might as well have 4. I long for the craziness of a kid-filled house, but I also want to be able to, umm, sleep once in a while, and a vacation here and there would be nice. Clearly the two do not mesh, so the question is: which is more important?

Hubby brings up a good point as well: we've been pretty fortunate with the 2 we already have -- would we be pushing our luck with more? I, for one, certainly don't want to deliver any Goonies-esque monstrocities to the world ("Sloth love Chunk!"), nor would I ever forgive myself if the 3rd one was, how do you say, "serial-killer-ish". I mean, really, you never know how their brains will be wired...

And here's another thing: I really don't enjoy the whole "pregnancy" thing. It's just that getting fat, avoiding alcohol, and feeling ill is a lot to ask of someone for whom vanity, drinking, and not throwing up are key issues in life. Go ahead and judge -- I'll just judge you right back. (Glass houses anyone??) We've discussed the idea of adoption, which is something I've always toyed with, but I really hate to do anything that others may construe as "trend-following", which is a very real danger now that Angelina and Brad have taken over the adoption world. Although I suppose I should put the whole "every kid needs a loving home" mentality before my frivolous concerns over what others may/may not think of me. (There's that whole vanity thing again.)

Plus, DH really enjoys having his seed spread -- he's very into seeing what greatness comes from his genetic make-up (so far, he's done very well). And there is the whole sweet- little- face- that- calls- to- mind -family- members -near- and- far thing that i love, as well as the funny little idiosyncracies that leave you scratching your head (or reaching for the Prozac -- whatever), or watching the dynamics between the new addition and the previous add-ons (read:siblings).

For the love of Pete, please throw me a life preserver! Otherwise,I will continue to struggle with this issue internally for the rest of my life, or until DH gets snipped and the option is no longer there.

Freakishly Over-analyzing Mom of 2

Monday, November 28, 2005

Hemingway Would Be So Proud

Shawn caught this cute pic this morning. Ryan took it upon herself to begin what surely will be a great journalistic career by pretending to use the antique typewriter passed down from my grandparents. She's so brilliant -- she even knew where to put the paper. How, I'm not sure; I, for one, thought typewriters were extinct (save for unusable relics like this one), and have no idea where she saw one being used, but it makes me smile nonetheless. Speaking of brilliance, Ryan also demonstrated her grasp of math for the very first time today. She counted that we had 3 bananas in the bunch, then as she pulled one off to eat, she said, "look, now there's only two." Bestill my beating heart -- she must get this from her father. Ciao!

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Ryan's Santa List 2005; Vol1 Part 2

Okay, so in my never-ending pursuit to keep my daughter engaged while I try to juggle 3 other things at the same time, I handed her our newly-received Lillian Vernon catalog, and told her to flip through the pages and circle the things she liked. This is what I got:

I'm not sure how well you'l be able to see this, but it's the page in the catalog featuring Princess items, and every single thing is circled. Every one. And she totally has a rationalization/justification as to why she "really really needs these things, Mom":

You see, she has her very own personl rocking chair at the lakehouse, but not a pint-sized one at home featuring the princesses, so obviously, this rocker is much needed. Apparently the huge expensive antique heirloom rocker in her room just isn't good enough...

And the Princess baby-doll furniture? Well, the set that "Jaxson" brought her when he arrived home from the hospital is sooo last season, you know, plus, what's any good baby doll bed without a canopy?

She must have the wigs, because she really wants her hair to look like that, and it doesn't. So there.

Now, she actually already has the set of costumes (courtesy of her 3 yr old Princess Birthday Party), but she does not currently own the shoe holder/divider, and let's be honest, it's just good sense to keep your shoes stacked carefully and seperately -- it really extends the life of those plastic-vinyl-marabou combos.

She has requested the hat box because it has handles (natch).

The hop-scotch really gets me. She actually already has this toy at the lakehouse, but her reasoning is that the one at the lake doesn't have the same colorful pics on it (and to her credit, she's right -- it doesn't), and she really must have colorful pics to hop and scotch on.

This brings us to the watch, or "arm clocky-thing", as she so fondly refers to it. She's been trying very hard to tell time lately, mostly because she's been instructed not to wake Mommy before the clock reads 7:00. Unfortunately, her digital number reading skills are a bit lacking, since she is constantly telling us it is "29:54", which is why she insists we must get her this watch so she can practice. Clever girl -- this argument was in response to Mommy's explanation that she doesn't need a watch b/c she can't tell time. Way to turn the tables, babe.

P.S. Just to show you that she isn't a TOTAL diva, she also circled the "Store-N-Stuff" lap desk, as well as the "Playhut" school bus. Poor dear. It seems she dreams of being a school-teacher-diva, just like her Mommy. Man, is she in for a world of heartache.

Gobble Gobble (and some Goofs for good measure)

lah di dah... just trying to figure out exactly where to start...hmmm... Okay, I suppose I shall begin with the obvious: Thanksgiving.

The kids and I met Mom, Dad, and Ninny at Shawn's restaurant on Wednesday afternoon, whereupon we began the Holiday Heiffer Hoedown by gorging ourselves on yummy-to-the-tummy BBQ. We saw nary a bit of Shawn (turkeys selling, etc, etc..), but the kids had fun and we ate well, so what's a little loss in the "Shawn's Time" department? (Hint: this was NOT what Amy was saying at the time, but I digress...) So then it was over the river and through the woods...

Can I please just say how deeply I feel connected to this part of the world? Everyone has their own little "God's Country", and this, without a doubt, is mine. The Texas Hill Country is fantastic, amazing, splendid, awe-inspiring, and on and on and on. If you've never had the chance to drive 71 west or 1431 in the fall, my God, Man, you are missing out. Sorry, just having a little "Julie Andrews on the Mount" moment. I'll just be getting back to my story now...

So we arrive at the lakehouse, the kids are thrilled and Ryan immediately runs to "her room" to begin the ransacking and pillaging. Dad is going to meet some friends at the bar, and invites me to tag along, which I do, only to find myself in the midst of "Whoaa, Tom -- did you trade Cindy in for a new one??" Ha ha. That's my mother you're talking about replacing, and I'm his daughter you sick-o. Jeez, amy, grab a beer why dontcha?? ;)

Anyway, we get home, wait for Shawn to arrive, feast on fried fish (personally caught and fried by Big Daddy) and re-heated crispy-topped creamy spinach. After several drinks, Jenn and I treat the family to a rousing game of karaoke, to which Ryan responds by screaming "STOP THE MUSIC!!!!" Ah, yes, it's good to be home. That's pretty much where the evening ends (at least, as far as I can remember).

We awake on Thankgiving morning surrounded by Cinnabon Rolls and newspaper ads, coffee, mimosas, and the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. Is there really any other way to begin this holiday?? Ryan, to my surprise, hates the seemingly endless Broadway show "reviews" that have now become a little annoying on the parade route, and will only come in from drawing on the sidewalk to see Dora, SpongeBob, or THE PRINCESSES.

As the morning wanes, Mom and I begin our preparation of the Thanksgiving feast. Hee Hee. This is where the real fun begins. Mom is trying out the Oyster Dressing recipe this year, because Honey is not here, and let's be honest, she's not really up to the whole cooking/walking/holding anything longer than 5 sec's thing right now. So anyway, Mom was very nervous (although she'll probably deny it) since Honey leaves her some pretty big shoes to fill; The woman is a cajun-cooking legend. So while Mom is carefully slaving over the rue, I am trying to make the Sweet Potato Struedle, as well as the 2 desserts that have been requested: Pumpkin Crisp and 4-layer Pumkpin cake. So Mom and I are being busy little bees, humming along as we cook and lose ourselves in the Mimosas (I'm telling you -- we are just a few ounces of Moral Conscience away from being drunkards at holiday time), when Dad comes in to get started on the Turkey, which he will (as usual) be deep-frying Cajun-style. Mom excuses herself to primp for lunch, when Dad discovers the fatal error she has committed: In her effort to leave the Marble Falls HEB in one piece and under 3 hrs, she apparently grabbed a pre-stuffed Butterball. For those not "in the know", a stuffed turkey is not really conducive to deep-frying. Needless to say, Dad erupts with some flavorful words, not typically heard at Thanksgiving (unless you are a Cowboys fan, so...yeah, it wasn't all that unusual). Luckily, he realizes that he can un-stuff the turkey prior to frying, which he does, and all is well...for the time being.

Then Lea Ann calls (not able to be at home this year, she had opted for the next most obvious location: Vegas, Baby). This of course, leads to tears, tears, and more tears (did I mention Mom and I had been drinking all morning?), although after about 5 minutes, we were fine. ;) We spent the remainder of the mid-morning cooking, playing with Ryan, playing with Jax, and -- you guessed it -- drinking Mimosas. Really, it's become quite the tradition.

So 2 pm arrives, and we all gather 'round the table, when Big Daddy quickly breaks the prayer circle and leaps over to the oven, which is smoking. The Big Dope put rolls in to bake still in the paper packaging. Hee hee hoo hoo! Nothin' like the holidays with the Roberts! The best part of the meal, though, turned out to be quite a warm, touching moment for the fam. See, a few years ago, Lea Ann was attacked by a bee at Thanksgiving dinner, which we all thought was just hilarious, naturally. So this year, right as we are about to sit down, someone comments "Wonder who will get stung this year...(or something like that). " Anyway, a few minutes later, lo and behold, a nasty little bee joins the festivities. This, I'm sure, seems ridiculous to most of you, but I swear, it almost moved me to tears, until, well, we killed it, and then it was just back to eating.

All of you know what comes next, I'm sure: napping and football. Mom, Jen, Ry and I all retreat to the bedroom to cuddle in the Posturepedic, while Big Daddy, Shawn and Jax settle into their recliners to watch the game. Time passes, when suddenly the girls and I are awakened by the sound of -- wait, could it be?? Yes! That sounds like..Jaxson. In his walker. In the bedroom. With the door closed. Hmmm... Magic Baby? I think not. More like lazy father and grandfather smell a poopy diaper and don't want to do anything about it, so they wheel the sucker in to us. Yep. That's definitely what it was. The worst part about this little scheme? The joy and laughter that erupts from them when we all come out of the room looking shell-shocked and very suspicious -- truly, they laughed about it until Friday morning when Shawn left for work. It's a sad sad life they lead, folks.

Long short (ha.ha ha.), we ended the night watching CSI (for the love of God, please make Nick shave that horrible Village People/porn-star mustache), a great way to end a great holiday, one of our best thus far (except for the whole missing Lea Ann thing, but, you know...) :) Lots of pics from the weekend on flickr -- cheers!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Couldn't pass this one up...

It seems Ryan has come up with a new game. It's called, "Where's My Buttcrack" You see, she is in that precocious in-between stage where no pants fit her properly, and they all end up falling down and showing her butt-crack, to which we always admonish, "Just say no to crack, Ry." I guess all the recent references to said crack have worn off on her, because she has just included me in a rousing episode of previously mentioned new game. Here's how you play:

Ry asks: Can you see my butt crack?
Mommy: No
Ry, turning rear end toward me: Can you see it now?
Mommy: No
Ry, pulling pants down a bit : Can you see it now?
Mommy: No
Ry, pulling pants down further: Can you see my buttcrack now?
Mommy: (laughing) Gross, Ry! Stop.

This of course causes Ryan to continue shoving her tiny rear in my face, repeating the question, "Can you see my buttcrack now?", and then doubling over in laughter.

Please God, don't let her do this in public...

Fishies and Rainbows and Puppies, Oh My!

Ryan's Sunday School class had the kids tell 3 things they were thankful for, in honor of Thanksgiving. Here is what she said:
1. Goldfish (not sure if she meant the cracker kind, or the 3 goldfish we bought her this summer, all of which were named Ariel, all of which died within 3 hours of setting up house)
2. Rainbows (natch)
3. "My doggy named Buster" (Damn... I really thought she would have forgotten this dog by now! I mean, he went to "live with his daddy", like, a year ago... )

Notice there is no mention of myself, Shawn, Jax, or any other friends/family. Whatever.

Happy Turkey Day!!!!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Shades of Home... taken by Ryan Elizabeth.

Mommy at the computer (head cut off)

Curious about the gaping hole in ceiling? No, the sky is not falling -- just the unfinished product of a D-I-Y project wherein I was trying to clean our vent covers, soaked them too long, they rusted, and we haven't bought any new ones. That was a little over a year ago... Personally, I think it gives the room ambience, no?

Ohh...were you sleeping?

I can only guess she was honoring Jax with this one. It is his favorite view, after all. What can I say? The boy has a thing for ceiling fans.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Go Shout It From The Mountain

So today I was kinda looking forward to going to Mass alone, you know, having time on my own to reflect, yada, yada, yada. Usually I'm joined by either Jen, my parents, or Shawn, so this was going to be a nice little change. I dropped Ryan off at Sunday School, got a good seat, took a deep breath , and began to relax. That is, until three of the weirdest/loudest/funniest people I have ever seen in my life decided to sit right next to me.

Picture if you will, 3 generations of bag ladies shuffling into the pew wearing their very best pajama pants, sweatshirts, and house shoes. I think they were a mother/daughter/grandmother trio, and the daughter couldn't have been more than 15 yrs old. Now, although I do enjoy poking fun now and then (slight understatement), I generally try to temper my judgemental thoughts while in the house of the Lord. I certainly didn't think twice about their attire, realizing beauty is in the eye of the beholder and all, but when they started yelling across the pews in what can only be described as some sort of Yonkers, Janice-from Friends (aged 30 yrs), smokers' voices, well, I was wishing with all my Christian heart that Jen or Shawn or my parents or someone was there to share in the laughter that would obviously be emitting from my mouth shortly.

Apparently, the daughter wanted to sit in the front pew, and so had moved up a few rows to sit by herself. I'm not sure what the Mom and Grandma (still sitting beside me) were talking about, but all of a sudden the Mom felt the urge to YELL across the pews to her daughter something about some unfortunate rash she had apparenly just discovered. At that point, I was just a little startled by the behavior -- mass hadn't begun yet, but generally we try to keep from yelling anyway, what with the praying and all.

Then the singing began, and I quickly realized why the daughter opted to sit 3 rows away from her family. Holy Mary Mother of God, I have never heard anyone so proud of singing off key. Seriously, they sang with such verve and passion, I was at once cringing and smiling. Cringing, because it was a bit too similar to Roseanne Barr's rendition of the National Anthem; Smiling because they so obviously were faithful people.

Okay, I was in choir all my life, right up until I got to college, where I still sang in performances, and later ended up having to teach choir to middle schoolers, so I've heard my share of unfortunate voices. Never in the history of my life have I ever heard such a horrible sound. No volume control, and clearly couldn't find a key with a door. Not to mention, they were beating to another drummer in another land in another time zone. It was taking everything I had not to howl with glee, because surely this was a joke, right? All I could do was look around, thinking, where are my sarcastic, insult-making family members to help me share in the joy?? How can I be the only person here to witness this? That's when I see the 3 kids in the pew in front of us turn around with mixed looks of horror and humor on their angelic little faces, to which I blatantly gestured to my tone-deaf neighbors with my eyes, silently insisting "It's NOT me!!".

This "singing" continued for every song, of which I was soo grateful. It was really great, I'm tellin' ya. Like Mercedes Ruhle and Rain Man had babies and started their own "Von Trapp" family. All I could do was vacantly watch the service, just waiting for the next song and bit of entertainment. Luckily, I didn't have to wait until the next song, for right in the middle of the Priest's Homily, the Mother apparently noticed the Daughter twirling her hair or biting her nails, or something else equally pressing, becasue she YELLS, "Anna!!" I swear to you ( I would swear to God, but He knows -- He was there.), she YELLED!!! To which the Grandmother loudly retorts, "Don't yell in church!" Seriously, someone needs to write a movie about these people. Rolling-in-the-aisles-humor, and NO ONE to share it with!!

So then we get to the communion, and Deacon Dan blesses the wine, and then drinks from the cup. Normal, right? Apparently not in the land of the tone-deaf and tactless. The Mother audibly gasps, "Oh my God! He drank right from the Cup!!". I can only assume she was expecting him to brandish a straw. Again, the Grandmother admonishes, "Not so loud!" Loudly. Very Loudly.

Moving right along, we found ourselves in the midst of the next song, when about 3/4 of the way through, as the rest of us are trying to, I don't know, sing (really, I was tapping my foot in an effort to help them keep the beat), the Mother stops, turns to the Grandmother and announces, "Are you sweating? Am I?". I know I always say this, but you know me -- I really could not make this stuff up.

Ahh. It was the best time I've had at Mass in a long long time. And I know I'm teasing about these people, but really, the force with which they shouted those songs was such strong evidence for the amount of love they have for God, and that was the best part of all. That, and the loud snorts that emitted from the Grandmother in 2 minute intervals. Did I not mention those??

Miss Bliss

MMMmmmm. Hang on a sec -- I just want to savor this perfect evening for one minute more. *sigh of wine-soaked contentment*

When I was a little girl, there was only one thing I wanted to be when I grew up: a mom. Of course, this was before I knew anything about expanding waistlines, 3 am feedings, or temper tantrums. All I knew was that I wanted to do what my Mom was doing -- being home every day with her kids, reading to them, playing with them, gazing at them with dewey-eyed fondness. Okay, well, I'm assuming that last bit is true, but whatever. As I've gotten older and actually become a Mom, I've been awakened to many of the not-so-great realities listed above. They are all, however, totally and 100% worth it (natch), but never more blatantly than when we have a night like tonight.

The air is cool and crisp (finally), Shawn was home playing with Ryan and Jax while I made a huge pot of Baked Potato Soup with salad and French Bread. After feeding Jax and putting him down, Ryan, Shawn and I moved the coffee table, lit a fire, spread a blanket on the floor and ate our dinner picnic-style. We listened to The Big Chill soundtrack, talked, spilled, laughed, danced and ended with a cut-throat game of "Go Fish". Then we sent Ry to bed and enjoyed the rest of the evening adults-only. This. This is exactly what my dreams were (and are still) made of, only to be topped by the exact same night 3 yrs from now when Jax can join along.

I know this is a little "hearts and flowers", especially for me, but I just don't want to take these things for granted, and I never want to forget tonight. (Although, judging by the enormous blister swelling up on my hand as a result of my battle with the boiling-hot sputtering potato soup, I don't think there is any chance of that happening anytime soon.)

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Grab Some Wood, Bub, This Is a Long One...

The librarian bitch is out of hand. (That's right, Mom, I said bitch.) I have once again been assaulted by her evil ways, and now we are clearly at war. I try and I try and I try * raises hand to head in exasperation* to do the very best for my kids -- I search and scrounge for the best (free) educational entertainment available , and what do I get for it? Librarian Abuse. Ye Ole Librarian Wench has struck again, folks, and Amy ain't takin' it lyin' down.

I returned a book (Harry Potter, if you must know) today at precisely 11:15 am. When returning home at 1:00pm, the following message was awaiting me on my answer machine (I have taken the liberty of paraphrasing where I see fit. It's called poetic license. Look it up.)

(Thick hick drawl with mix of old-person nasal disapproving tone): "MMhmmm, Ms. Yohhhuurk. This is _____, Head Liberrian with Nothin' Better To Do at ____ Liberry. I am harrassing you with this phone call to let you know that you returned a book today that has appaaaarrrrently had some sort of clear liquid spilled on it at some point in time, which we discovered during one of our "random" book checks. Since you are only the 14th person to check it out, we are obviously assuming it is your fault, and so are charging your library account $42.00 to cover all costs, okaaaayyyyy? Thank you! Whaaahhaaaheeeehhheeee. I'll get you my pretty, and your little dog, too!"

FORTY-TWO DOLLARS???? FOR HARRY FREAKIN' POTTER???? I can get it for $19.99 at WalMart, you hag. And that stain was there when I got the damn thing. I just figured it was the by-product of some 13 yr old freak's over-excitement at the plot twists (this one really is quite tense and riddled with teen angst), if you know what I mean *wink wink*. It obviously didn't hinder my reading, so what the hell do they need to replace it for anyway??? You best believe I was quickly on the phone to Ms (for surely she is a spinster) Evil Librarian, who was , of course, at lunch. I didn't know evil trolls were allowed out to eat, but whatever. After sweetly berating the woman who answered the phone, then hung up on me, then answered again (clearly an evil spawn of head evil idiot), I feel confident no such fine will be issued. At least, I hope not. Ryan really likes the library. Either way, I've clearly been black-balled and am suffering the harsh realities of discrimination.

Okay. I think I'll be alright now, I just really needed to vent. Anyway, we actually did have a good time at the library -- they did a puppet show of "Red Riding Hood" -- and then we went with our new playdate friends to lunch at Mc Donalds. Unfortunately, so did the entire Imannuel Lutheran Day Care Center. Christ on a Cracker, the joint was buzzin'. Ry actually came up to me at one point complaining that it was too loud and her ears were hurting. Ryan. Ryan Elizabeth. Glass-shattering, screamer of all screamers, loudest kid on earth complaining about the decibel levels. Thank God those brats finally left, so the girls had some time to actually play, rather than just spend their time there dodging snotty little kids. ;) Ryan also learned a valuable lesson about not leaving her toys lying around in a public place -- she apparently left 3 of her miniature princess dolls laying on the ground in the playplace, and when we went to leave, they were gone. You woulda thought someone killed her dog right in front of her, the tears they were a- flowin'. Luckily Target had HelloKItty stuff in their DollarSpot section, so all was quickly forgotten -- but not before Ryan demanded my cell phone so she could call her father and demand he "beat up those kids".

I also got some old-school dvd's of Popeye cartoons and Betty Boop, as well as one with all the old classic fairytales done in very primitive clay-mation. It's really cool how she totally embraces it -- she doesn't realize how dated they are, she just knows they are entertaining. Very heart-warming in a James Stewart/Gregory Peck sort of way. See, this just supports my side of the argument with Shawn that she would like "To Kill A Mockingbird" -- she'd totally want to emulate Boo Radley, and who doesn't like it when the little annoying boy says, "Good Lord, Aunt Stephanie! You near gave me a heartattack!" A side-splitting line if there ever was one!! *wiping tears of laughter from my eyes* If she can sit through old Superman cartoons, she can sit through this.

And speaking of arguments, please don't tell my husband that I fed Jax his first french fries today. He would probably go ballistic, and that's a little more drama than I need right now. Plus, he's got enough on his mind as it is. He had his consultation with Dr. Chopp today, and it was a bit harrowing for him. First, when he approached the door of the office, his eyes were immediately drawn to the "penal code" they had stencil's on the door. ha ha. hee hee. Then, when he received his folder of information and noticed the pics of the docs with one of their heads covered by a big blue dot/sticker, he inquired about the mystery doctor. "That doctor left the practice, and we didn't want to print new folders, so..." was the answer he got. Alrighty then. Anyway, the BIG DAY has been set for January 6th, so mark your calendars!! Big Daddy had fun with Shawn tonite (natch -- that's for you Shah!), when after congratulating Shawn on his new board member position on our HOA (he's very VIP now -- lean-to's and pink flamingos for everyone!!), he asked him if he was ready to go under the knife and "lose 6 inches", to which Shawn quickly retorted:" Sure, then it would be only 12 inches long, and I guess I can live with that." Bahduhmbum.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Big Pimpin'

I don't know what Jax is gonna do the first time a girl turns him down. It'll be like the first time Ryan shows off without getting applause. All he ever has are girls all over him, petting him and loving him, and exclaiming, "Ohhh, he's so cute!" Seriously, I walked into the nursery at the gym today and he was sitting on the playmat, surrounded by little girls fawning all over him. Then he's got our neighbors who like to pretend he's a real live baby doll, so they hold him and kiss him and rock him. And of course, there's Ryan pretending he's either Prince Eric, Aladdin, or Prince Phillip. She even asked me today if she could marry him when he grows up. Oy vey. Anyone know a good child therapist??

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Fall Is Here, pt 3

YeeHaw! Fall is Finally here...again, again! This time they promise it's for real. We'll see, but I can tell ya -- it was quite a blustery day! Mary Poppins weather -- very "flying in on an umbrella". And it's a good thing, too, cause I really can't keep squeezing Jax into his 6month short-sleeve shirts any longer. Yes, I should know better than to buy all 9-12 months in long-sleeves, but I suppose it was wishful thinking...

*pause* Sorry, had to stop for belly-laughs. Remember the whole 80's party where we dressed as NKOTB fans? Well I couldn't very well just throw a perfectly good shirt away, even if it does bear pics of Joey and the Gang, so I carefully snuck it into Shawn's undershirt drawer, hoping he wouldn't notice at 3:30 in the morning when he's fumbling in the dark for clothes. Apparently I was wrong, for the next day I found it in Ryan's nightgown drawer. Not to be outdone, I hid it a little deeper in his shirt drawer. He has just walked into his closet and I am waiting in agonizingly silent glee for him to discover my little secret. You don't have to say it -- we're a fun bunch -- don't be jealous.

Okay, back to today. Shawn came in from watching Ry and the neighbors playing outside, in awe of her Social Director status:
"She totally bosses them around, and they do what she says.... She's 3!!" He's smitten.

I am as well, but for a different reason: At the store the other day we were being attended to by a young lady with a veeeerrrry unfortunate case of acne (with scarring). Ryan, of course, turns to me and in a very polite shouting-whisper, asks, "Mommy, why does she have polka dots all over her face??" Mortified as I was, I don't think the girl heard, so I went ahead and had a chuckle. I'm telling you, this child is a girl after my own heart.

Side Note: Don't try to pass off this Creamy Cauliflower recipe as Mashed Potatoes, especially if you have a suspicious 3 yr old and a husband who as a child used to sniff his food before every meal. It won't work.

Monday, November 14, 2005

You be Briscoe, I'll be Logan

God help me, I have just done the unthinkable -- I pulled the ole' "I'm Gonna Tell Your Father" card. As a former teacher, I am more than aware that anytime you have to revert to sending a child to a higher authority (in this case, Shawn -- but only according to Ryan, and in a minute, you'll see why), you have thus shown said child your breaking point, your weakness, your Achilles Heel, as it were. I have just succumbed to the pressure, and let my child know that I cannot handle her anymore, and so must depend on Daddy. But you know what? It worked. Ryan has gone scrambling back to her bed and I am left in peace.

The clock says 7:43pm, but I could swear that it's really 6:00 am tomorrow morning. That's how drained I am feeling at the moment, so you'll have to excuse the lapses in judgment as I plod through this post. Why even bother? Well, I realize that some of you enjoy this blog as much as I enjoy seeing grown men get hit in the Johnson, and I just can't bring myself to let you down. Therefore, I shall type till I can't type no more (lucky you!!).

This morning was great -- birds chirping, sun shining, breeze breezing... Had things movin' and shakin' at just the right speed, got some housework done and the kids fed, dressed, and even napped (Jax), all while managing to let Shawn catch a couple extra hours of sleep. Then we all piled into the car and headed for a short visit to the park, and then on to the gym where the kids got to play and be spoiled and Shawn and I got to sweat and exert ourselves just enough to justify all the yummy foods we have eaten lately (Olive Garden yesterday, Cheese and Bacon Souffle this morning, and Pumpkin Crisp this evening). We piled into the car once again and headed for the field trip of all field trips -- the new HEB PLUS here in Round Rock. That's right, folks, we dun went and got ourselves one uh them thar big stores, and man is it a doozie!! I was so excited, I just had to phone Mom. Furniture, home decor, produce, groceries, clothes, books, electronics, SCRAPBOOKING, a cafe' (with accent mark, thank you), and much much more. Great Find: Geraldine's Gourmet Snappy Spice Gingerbread Bites. Like buttah, they're so good.

Annnnyyyywaayyy, we finally get home and have lunch (I even lassoed Shawn into making me a BLT!), and I tell Ryan that since she had finished her lunch, she can play outside while I am vaccuuming, and then it's in for naptime. Shawn has Jax on the couch, and I am so excited about actually getting housework done without having to sacrifice some other coveted daily routine (namely, nap). Little do I know that while I am vacuuming my little heart out, Shawn is just layin' on the couch holding Jax, while Ryan feels compelled to pour volumes of water all over the kitchen table and floor. No known reason as of yet, it just came to a calling. So I finish my chore, enter the kitchen to gather Jax for his nap, and am met by a tsunami. Boy was I pissed! Shawn felt the rage -- "What were you doing this whole time?" "Did you not see what she was doing?" His Excuse: What? I was watching the boy. **"watching the boy" consisted of him snoozing on the couch (2 feet away from kitchen table where flooding occurred) with Jax on his stomach** Me: "Why is it whenever you're home I end having twice as much work to do?" Him: "I don't know, but you'd think you'd be used to it by now." Seriously. Flames on the side of my face.

As I'm on hands and knees mopping up the mess, I begin to direct my anger towards Ryan, who obviously knows she has done something wrong by the way she is standing in the corner covering her butt. We go through the whole "why?"/" I don't know" cycle, and I calmly whisper for her to come dry her feet off and go upstairs for naptime (I've learned that when I calmly whisper, she REALLY knows Mommy means what she says). As I'm drying her feet off, I notice that she has sand on them. This is not good. I loathe and despise sandboxes. I've been begging my husband for 2 yrs to please build a deck over the existing menace, and he has yet to undertake this not-that-big-in-my-eyes job. Why haven't I just done it? Well, I was pregnant this past year, you twit, commuting to San Marcos the year before that, and now I'm home alone all day with an infant and a 3 yr old. You do the math. *Deep Breath* I digress.

Ryan knows beyond any shadow of a doubt that the sandbox is completely forbidden. It was here when we moved in, it is a breeding ground for cat-feces-dwelling bacteria, and it is 100% destructive to our wood floors. So there is no reason why she should have been in the sandbox. (unless of course, you count the fact that she is a 3 yr old, which I have chosen not to). When asked whether or not she was in the sand box, she meekly averts her eyes and shakes her head "no". Haha, my dear. I didn't fall off the watermelon truck yesterday. She has yet to learn that her mother is the Queen of the Little White Lie (chalk it up to my acting experience -- not my morals,please!), and can call a fib from a mile away. Her father, however...not so much. As soon as I begin reaching for my spotlight to get all set up in my Law and Order mode, Shawn cuts in and says, "Amy, she says she didn't do it, and I saw her playing in the rocks earlier, so that's probably where it came from." Ohhhh, he wants to the be the Good Cop, does he?? Of course he does. Okay. I let him have that one. I stop my argument, take Ry upstairs, and leave Shawn to feel glorious in his fair parenting tactics.

Cut to this evening when, as I'm making dinner, Ryan comes streaking through the kitchen and up the stairs to her room without a word. Shawn enters shortly after her, and when I ask what's wrong with Ryan, he tells me he has just sent her to her room.

"Why?", I ask.

"For lying," he mumbles. "You were right earlier. I just caught her in the sandbox, and when I asked her about it, she lied and tried to use the 'playing in the rocks' excuse, so I sent her to her room."

mmmhmmmm.. That's what I thought happened.... It's not his fault, really. He's too innocent to understand the wicked workings of our 3 yr old's mind. But me on the otherhand? I'm just naughty enough. Hey -- who's complaining? He ended up having to be the "Bad Cop" by sending to her room and taking her new Mulan doll away (oh yes he did!), and I get to use him as a threat to get Ryan back in bed. Works for me!