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 see...new 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...

...as 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 her...like 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!

Sunday, November 13, 2005

"Oh, Snap!"

The weekend was great, lots of fun had by all, and even a lesson learned. A sitcom series in the works, I'm tellin' ya. The four of us went to the park on Sat. morning before Shawn had to leave for work, and we had a wonderful time! It's always good when both parents get to see their child's "firsts" -- and luckily, Shawn got to see Jax's first slide ride , so that was cool.

After our outing the kids and I packed up and headed to the lakehouse to spend the night with Menana while Big Daddy was on a bike trip. Ryan got to go see Chicken Little -- wait, strike that -- we took the kids to see C.L., Ryan spent much of the movie going back and forth between her seat and the bathroom. All the while exclaiming, "Isn't this a great movie???" Ummm, I think so, from the small bits and pieces I've seen... Jax was great for the whole thing -- he watched intently for a while, then fell asleep. Don't know why he can't do that in church, but no one is perfect. We then continued the fun at the lakehouse where we played, were treated to a surprise early return by Big Daddy, and watched the Wizard of Oz. Cute pics were taken, click here, including one I will not be posting, for it involved Jaxson and a bottle of beer...

Sunday morning saw us all driving to church, where Ryan went happily to Sunday school and we tried to let Jax join us for Mass, but finally decided to send him to the nursery after he kept shrieking at the giant Jesus hanging on the crucifix. Probably just wanting to shout His praises, but being the good superstitious Catholics that we are, we opted to play it safe. (No need reliving the Deacon Dan experience). Surrounding parishoners thought his screams were cute, but surely only because I let it go on for about one minute before I grabbed him and ran out the back.

Shawn met all of us afterward for lunch (before heading to work), where Jax again regaled us with his lungs-of-steel, and Ryan displayed her mother's inability to teach table manners.

It was all fun, but best of all, I learned a valuable lesson, courtesy of Chicken Little: It becomes very easy for me to be my children's handicap: trying to keep them from doing anything and everything wrong, that I don't let them do anything at all. I certainly don't want to be that mom, so from now on, if you see my kids being their normal rowdy selves and wonder why I'm not interfering, it's because I'm trying to let them be themselves -- good, bad, ugly, shouting, crazy, dirty, etc... There's a fine line we walk between helping them be respectful and obedient, and just plain holding them back altogether. So let's all breathe deep and harness our patience -- 'cause with my kids it doesn't just take a village, it's gonna take a whole f*ckin' nation.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Sorry To Burst Your Bubble

Great day today, which doesn't generally make for hysterical reading (so sorry). Speaking of reading, I'm excited about the new book I've checked out from the library (where I was once again reprimanded by librarian -- except this time for some other book-rental crime). "Daughter of Fortune" by Isabel Allende and "In the Moon of Red Ponies" by James Lee Burke. I've read one of Burke's novels before -- he's good for you guy readers, and I enjoy the narcissistic indulgence of reading stories centered around my family's home states (Texas & Louisiana). Just thought I'd pass on some rec's.

We had a great morning at the park, and then signed Ryan up for her first session of Spanish classes (thanks again Mom!), and basketball. I realize that we are coming dangerously close to becoming the suburban cliche of an overscheduled family, but when it's cheap or free, I just can't resist (that's what he said..badumbuhm....my last desperate attempt at humor, I swear).

Had a nice family night out at Chili's, though we did miss seeing Lea -- Ryan kept insisting she was there somewhere. Now the kids are getting ready for bed, and Shawn and I are going to watch "Bewitched" (the best we could do on new releases at 7:30 on a Friday night).

This entry was a snooze fest, I know, but try to be happy for us. :)

P.S. BIG idea in the works, very hush-hush, stay tuned....


Thursday, November 10, 2005

If I Type Fast...

This'll be short n' sweet -- Ryan's soaking in a bubble bath, dishes are waiting, Rockets play tonite.

I'm trying very very very hard to keep a positive outlook tonite, so any negative comments will come in sarcastic form -- if it's funny, that can't be considered negative, right? (Operative Word: IF)

Ryan has started claiming our bed in the middle of the night again. But on the bright side, I did have 2 nights of an adults-only sleeping arrangement, so I guess that's something. This morning she explained that she needed to come sleep with us because she was wanting to tell us all about the good dream she had. Well, at least she's not having nightmares...

She and I have come to an agreement regarding her temper tantrums/disobeying. She promises to listen and obey as long as I promise to let her have her way and not make her do anything she doesn't want to do. Seems fair to me... It did make for quite a pleasant shopping trip at HEB today -- Ry got to leave with Princess fruit chews and Pop-Tarts, and I got to NOT yell and scream in public, which was a nice change from this morning at the library when we were BOTH yelling & screaming in public.

Shawn had the day off today. It was so great -- he got to spend the whole day...at the RESTAURANT. Yep. Went in early to hire someone, and ended up working a normal shift. That's all I'm gonna say about this subject. My Mom has told me not to cuss online anymore, remember??

Jax's shouting fits have now grown to regular occurences. He has learned that we will do whatever he wants when he behaves this way, so he does it when he's hungry (even in between EVERY SINGLE BITE), when's he's poopy, when he's tired, or when he wants attention. So basically, he pretty much spends the day shouting. It's great fun. At one point we were competing to see who could yell the loudest. I won. (I mean I think I won -- if he starts to cry, that's considered a forefit, right?? Judge??) Shawn wanted to know what the "books" say. That was nice for a laugh. I wouldn't know if the "books" touch on anything about what to do when your kid has been possessed by Hitler, Chris Matthews, and Chris Farley all at once. In any event, I'd like to know the parent of this type of kid who can gather her nerve and wits and concentrate long enough amidst the yelling to read anything. Not this Mommy, unless you count the "Don't Throw Baby Out the Window" signs I have posted everywhere.

"Warm Fuzzy" of the Day: I got to secretly listen in on Ryan and Emma reading outside today in the neighbor's yard , and at one point Ryan stopped Emma to tell her, "Let's move closer to my house so my mom can see me and I won't get hurt." (aaawww) Then she proceeded to chase the 11 yr old boys who came riding down the sidewalk on their bikes back the other way because, "this is our street and you can't play with us!" Poor little things. They had no idea what they were getting into...

Wednesday, November 9, 2005

Stupid Ass

aha ahaa ahaahaahaaa. For those of you who visited today and saw this (see below), I apologize:

oprah: turrets, mermaid
xmas list
trash reaccumulating

This was a "laundry list" of some stuff I had thought about jotting down here, and instead of saving as a draft, I went and posted it like the dumb ass I am, and just now realized.

Quite a list of topics, I must say, and I do have a bit to say about each (natch). Okay, so the Oprah thing...I love Oprah, but sometimes you just shouldn't watch, you know? All of her shows fascinate me, but there are some that stick with me in the wrong way and never leave. Like the "Poop" show, where they talk about how your poo should look when you are eating properly/healthy -- I totally have Ryan checking her bm's for an "S" shape (good poo), or little balls (bad poo). Yesterday was by far the worst -- I know, worse than poo?? Believe it. Yesterday's topic was about kids who suffer from certain diseases, like obesity, turret's, etc... Very sad, obviously, but what was worse is that it really got the teeny tiny wheels in my brain all revved up. Shawn's already got me thinking that Jax has Autism (he thinks this is why he yells so much), and now I'm finding myself researching the symptoms of Turret's in infants. Cool. Not only that, but these kind of shows always send a huge wave of guilt up and down my spine (and back again, for good measure) because here I am lamenting about my silly little girl who is beautiful and healthy, but just won't listen, and there are actually parents out there with problems. Like the mermaid girl -- the baby born with a mermaid fin instead of feet (yes, Ryan's dream come true, but now my ultimate nightmare) -- I mean, can you even imagine the labor that mom went through? Talk about Finding Nemo. Anyyyywaaaayyy, that was the Oprah subject I was wanting to touch on. Let's just pray that neither of our goof balls ever have to deal with any of the things those poor kids have to -- that Turrets thing scares the sh*t out of me.

On to the "Xmas List". This was my reminder to myself that it's about that time to let family and friends know what: a.)the kids want for xmas, and b.)what we want the kids to have for xmas. Tacky? Sure, but don't act like most of you weren't gonna call or email to ask me anyway... So, in order to make this as painless as possible, I've picked out great clothes at Gymboree online, which you can access with the link on the right, should you wish. I've also got several toys (mostly educational) listed on my "wishlist", which is in the MY PROFILE section. Ryan obviously wants any and everything that has to do with Disney Princesses, but since that is a given I've opted to leave those off the wishlist. Buy what you want (or not), but if you do choose to get something from the list, please let me know so I can mark it off. Right. Okay then, now I feel all awkward and stuff, so I'm just gonna finish with a little housecleaning humor...

Crap loves my house and won't go away. I throw away everything -- truly, I sneak into Ry's room when she's playing elsewhere just so I can rifle through her toys and pick out the ones that don't get used and throw them away, which would probably work except she somehow senses that they are in the trash and digs them out, casting glaringly accusing looks at me while doing so. Then there is Shawn, who will wear undershirts with holes in the pits for months and months, unless I stop him. He's got some clothes that haven't been worn in years, that are taking up too much space (and causing horrible feng shui, by the way), so I'll discreetly give them to charity, and sure enough, one week later he'll start looking for them. And of course we have Jax, who just craps all the time, regardless of how often he's fed, bathed, changed, etc.. He just craps, and it seems to always be there. Always. I'm telling you, this house is a crap magnet. Come on over, won't you?? :)

Tuesday, November 8, 2005

Urination Nation

"I've been URINATED 2005" What do y'all think of my new logo? Just thought I'd try something new, seeing as how this one phrase pretty much sums up my life this past week. Toilet flooding twice, Ryan wet the bed and then climbed in next to me last night(sweet), Jax peed in my face this morning, and then Ryan decided to release her bladder on my hip as I was carrying her while strolling through Hobby Lobby thinking, "Wow, how nice to have both kids behaving so well this afternoon and be able to do a little browsing." Lovely. So here I am, typing as I wait for the shower to heat up, since I will now need to re-sanitize myself, and a quick wipe with a Wet One just ain't gonna cut it this time... Luckily the "Urinatorz" as I will be henceforth referring to them, are both napping so at least my clean up and recovery will be pleasant...(just waiting for the lightning bolt)...

Urinator #1 had gymnastics this morning, and as I watched her once again running from the instructors, giggling as though it were a game, I was fully preparing myself for the obvious: I would have to have a "talk" with her teacher afterwards. My kid is only 3, and this is her first "class", so this will be my first parent/teacher as a parent. Sh*t, sh*t, sh*t. (I've been told by my mom not to say S-H-I-T so much in my blog anymore -- MOTY slides down another notch, if there are any left down there) I try to think back to my short-lived career as a teacher in order to get some sort of clue as to how I should handle the situation, only there's just one problem -- I don't think I ever had to have a parent-teacher conference. I taught theatre, people -- the kids loved me (for the most part), and I was pretty easygoing as far as middle school teachers go, so I never really had to deal with that. Now, of course, I'm kicking myself, wishing I had been more of a hard-ass so that I could have had more experience observing the mothers of my "lovable trouble makers" -- you know, like Urinator #1. So anyway, teacher comes out and is very nice and sweet and just lets me know in the nicest voice (and in front of a mom with whom we are scheduled to have our very first playdate right after class) that, "Ryan had a hard time listening today -- she had an attack of the sillies." Oh, so that's what we're calling it now. As my face turns red, I try to breathe deeply and exude the air of a mother who can easily and gently reprimand her child while showing she still loves her all in front of a hallway of parents. I remind Urinator #1 that we've talked about the 'not listening', although said reminder comes only after 3 attempts to get her to come away from the nursery window and listen to me, which in the end I only achieved because her teacher physically picked her up and carried her over to me (in my defense, I was holding Urinator #2 and getting Urinator #1's clothes together, or else I would have dragged her there myself). I asked her to apologize to her teacher (who gives her a hug -- she really is sweet), and then calmly resume dressing her.

When we get in the car, I try the old "forgive & forget" method: I let her know that we need to work harder on obeying, she apologizes, I forgive, then I tell her we are not going to talk about it any more today. Just as we reach our playdate (read:McDonald's), I am feeling very "MOTY" with the way I handled the sitch, until Urinator #1 refuses to cross the parking lot with me, opting to run out towards the incoming traffic instead, completely ignoring my loving, yet strict demands that she "please don't do that" and my eventual growl/begging that she "get over here now!". Just as I think I am going to have to unleash the real me in front of my new Mom-friend and run screaming toward my child, my new Mom-friend holds onto her daughter's hand, calmly crosses over to My #1 Urinator, and the 3 of them skip into the restaurant like they're on the F*cking Yellow Brick Road.

I'm already thinking "Kill me now", and I don't even know about the public URINATION I'm about to face. Which reminds me; that shower I was waiting on to heat up has probably gone cold by now (of course it has), so I gotta run. Pray for me. Pray. Pray hard.

Monday, November 7, 2005

Dining With Hitler (and Oliver Twist)

Yeah, we have a serious dining dilemma on our hands. You know how peds tell you that once your baby reaches the 6 month mark, they know how to manipulate you, and will not hesitate to do so? Jax is a textbook case x10000. He is such a sweet angelic little boy...until he gets hungry, then all bets are off. Honestly, it's Hitler reincarnated. You hear that yell, and you better come running, cause if you don't, well, I'm not sure what will happen -- I just do what he says. Even Big Bad Shawn buckles under the demands of our Little German General. I got so brazen this evening as to say, "No, Jaxson!" (he was hollering because we apparently weren't quick enough on the pears-to-rice-to- bottle exchange), and the kid stared me down; I literally cowered. Shawn saw my moment of weakness, and tried to cover for me, but Jaxson just growled at him and spit. He's also mastered the "let's bang the table 'cause I'm sittin' in the highchair and there's no food" technique. I used to be a little frustrated at how long it's taking for his teeth to come in, but now I'm just praying they'll stay away as long as possible -- I value my fingers. Once I figure out how to record audio on this blog, I'm totally downloading dinner time; then you'll all see that it's not just me -- the kid is a food Nazi.

Then we have Ryan who has suddenly become some starving orphaned refugee whose guardians evidently NEVER feed her, because she has now started scrounging for food. I caught her twice today nibbling from packaged food in the pantry. Once at lunch, after she had eaten 1/2 the bag of baby carrots, along with two ham, cheese and biscuit sandwhiches. I came into the kitchen and she was taking a bite out the giant raisin ball (you know, how they stick together when they sit in the pantry unopened for months...) that she had scooped out of the container. She then of course put the clump (when I say clump, I mean the entire contents of the raisin container) back in it's jar, like so much edible playdoh, closed the lid and returned it to the recesses of the pantry from whence it came. Then, not 30 minutes after her EVENING snack (she has 4: late morning, early afternoon, after-nap, evening -- all sandwhiched in between 3 square meals, I swear!!), and a mere 5 minutes before dinner, she goes into the pantry and opens the package of hamburger buns, takes one out, nibbles, then replaces it, etc... The kicker is that 5 minutes later -- not hungry! Great dinner of Parmesan Chicken with a Baby Spinach salad, and the kid claims she is full. I'll make her full all right... Anyway, after about an hour at the dinner table, she finally ate enough to be excused, at which point she began begging me for dessert. When will the madness end????

I of course had to let her eat the delicious Chocolate Raspberry Torte (since she helped make it and all), but luckily it was richer than Trump, so she didn't eat much. BTW, the torte looks messy because it was. You try icing a 1 " high cake with a 3 yr old and no cake platter thingy. For God's sake, someone send me a cake- serving- platter- dish- thingy!!!

P.S. Here is the recipe for the 4 layer pumpkin cake that some of you have been asking for--God Bless Kraft Foods.com!!

P.S.S. Right about now some of you are wondering, "what the hell is her deal with taking pics of all the shit she makes??" The answer is 2-fold:
1. I am being proactive, in an effort to save myself from the fate of my mother (okay Mom, yes, we really do believe you used to have fresh-cut fruit and homemade cookies waiting for us after school...*wink wink*)
2. My Dad doesn't even think I can boil an egg, cause, well, I actually burned one once, and then there was that time that I forgot to boil the water before putting the spaghetti in, and I once made a BLT with hamburger meat and the "B.L.T.", cause that's what I thought it was (hello, I only knew about the McBLT -- my mom never made BLT's; see #1) so yeah, you get the idea...

P.S.S.S. Sorry about the food stuff Mom***. You know I really do just adore your Chicken Spectacular, I just umm, am always watching my weight and all... (Does this mean you're not gonna pay for Ry's Spanish classes now?)

***DISCLAIMER*** I absolutely love, adore, and worship my mother. All food or parenting related comments that effect her negatively in any way are merely there for humor and humor's sake alone. She was, is and always will be the first person I go to in any crisis of any kind, except for that one time my dad was having a heart attack and made me promise not to tell her, but that's just cause we love her sooooo much and didn't want to worry her or anything, until they asked us what his social security # was for insurance stuff and he didn't know it, so we had to call her, you see, but otherwise we would never have bothered her, we love her way too much... Oh hell, I'm a shitty daughter, but I would die for my mother, and I'm absolutely certain that her wish for me to "have a daughter just like you" has come true in spades, so let's just call it even.

"Come See Paw Paw & the Tomball Bunch!!!"

Happy Happy Joy Joy. Super-duper-ificus weekend, peeps. Just perfect. Like a perfect meal, great back rub, gentle arm tickle, bubbly-ed - up- inside- from-a- tad- bit- too- much- champagne- feeling all rolled into one. Aside from the fact that it's freakin' 90 degrees in November, coupled with the reality that I lost 2 hrs of my life wasting away in what can only be described as a smoker's/kicker's/under-age drinker's paradise, we had a kick-ass weekend.

Obviously, things started out with a good floor-mopping. :) Say what you will about my housecleaning handicap, I refuse to even allow the idea that, should I by chance be maimed, murdered, or otherwise unwillingly excused from my time here on Earth, anyone enter my house in a state of disarray. Oh no, not without me there to make self-depricating jokes in my own defense. Uhuh, no way. That would be beyond mortifying. It's the old "wear clean underwear when traveling" mind set. So yes, floors were mopped bright and early, vacuuming commenced shortly thereafter, dishwasher did its dishwashing magic, etc, etc, etc. Extremely supreme way to start out a traveling weekend, I must say.

Trip into Houston was blessedly uneventful, and we were as always lovingly met by Nana and Ginger with open arms (and pets) when we arrived. Ryan adores their new dog about as much as he adored Jax -- those Australian Sheep dogs make great babysitters!!

The reunion was great, though a tad unnerving...10 years already? All my girls were hot hot hot, Shawn was impressive in a stud-muffin sort of way, and I was just nauseating enough with my pics & stories (b/f we left, Ryan lamented: "Mommy, I wish I could go to your party and show your friends how cute I am." True story) of the kids. Shawn was, as always, amused at the location: middle-of-nowhere-in-a-field. According to him, all that was missing was a bonfire and a bottle of Boone's. Those city boys get so jealous of us country folk, don't they?? We really did have fun, until the party winded down and we ended up at the aforementioned jailbait haunting grounds, otherwise known as Red River, or "What the hell are we doing here?". Shawn was lucky enough to skip out on that last part -- he got to go back to Nana's, while I continued my two-step down memoryville at Chaika's for our rockin' SP. Farting dogs, belching buxom petite beauties, a pumping mommy, one tivoed episode of Oprah w/Charles Barkley and Michael Jordan, a Di Giorno's pizza, and Pillsbury cookies all in the comfort of the most cozy home of one who can only be called an interior designer on crack. Seriously, Chaika needs to go into a new line of work -- it looked like Pottery Barn, Pier One, and Southern Living threw a party and never left. You couldn't have offered me a better reason to come to town!! We had such a good time, and I was soo sad to leave (as always).

The trip home was a tad more eventful than the one there -- Ryan threw a fit in a gas station, resulting in Mommy carrying her out kicking and scratching (natch), Jax had a shouting fit (again, natch), and Mommy spent the majority of the ride wedged in the backseat feeding Jax and reading to Ry. You can't get this type of fun in a dvd- playing suv, my friends!!

The final course of the perfect weekend was Girl's Nite at Lalo's for Amy, involving wine, stewed chicken, pumpkin cheesecake, West Wing, DH, & Grey's Anatomy w/ Jen & Lalo. Uncle Jeff and Shawn had the pleasure of "watching" the kids at our place while actually watching the game -- let me put it this way -- when I got home, "Adult Swim" on the cartoon network was playing in my room, viewed by a rapt audience of Ry's stuffed animals, Shawn and Jeff were downstairs glued to the tv, and Ryan had put herself in her bed, lights blazing, passed out.

Couldn't have asked for more.

P.S. We voted for Santos, duh!!

Friday, November 4, 2005

Bowl Floweth Over

Taking a break from ironing right now. Whew!! That is tough work, lemme tell you!! What I won't do for the man I love. Which reminds me...

I've been bugging Shawn about needing to replace our leaky toilet downstairs (in a world of "fell off the dump-truck yesterday" homes, we own a 19 yr old DINOSAUR) for a while now, to which he angrily insists that I am wrong, it can be fixed, yada, yada, yada. I think I must have hit a nerve last night, though, 'cause lo and behold, at 9:30 pm he is downstairs "tinkling" with the damn thing. I discovered this when I came running in response to the sound of "F*ck, F*ck, F*ck..I need help!!", only to find my downstairs restroom FLOODED. Luckily, it was his fault, so I could easily laugh at the sitch. Had it been mine, there would have been much screaming and much more swearing, followed by a solid helping of GUILT. Not so for Shawn. I think when he saw I wasn't pissed ( the laughing must have tipped him off) he was more embarrassed than angry, because he quickly started explaining, "I think I know what happened..." Anyway, it was fixable & funny, and who can't use that kind of drama once in a while, or once a week, whatever...

Thursday, November 3, 2005

Love Lives

I was startled in line at Target today when the woman behind me started giggling -- loudly, then uncontrollably. I looked back at her and she said, "He likes to flirt, doesn't he? " Apparently Jax had been "wagging" ( read: hey baby, what's up??) his eyebrows at her non-stop the moment she got in line behind us.

Then this afternoon while playing outside with the neighbors, Ryan announced to us that she was going to play with the little boy down the street. "He's the ONE", she declared.

Jesus Mary and Joseph...

Wednesday, November 2, 2005

Happy to Help

Okay, I just discovered that several people have been accidentally coming across our happy little blog by means of searching "chunky women", "chunky girls", or "chunky women/girls photo". Sick Sick Sick!!! :) Funny thing is, if they click on my Flickr Badge, the first photo they get is this one. That should cure them of their fetish. heehee. I have to go shower now, thank you.

Tuesday, November 1, 2005

What Would You Say?

Ask Ryan what her favorite part of Halloween was, and she's gonna tell you the candy. (I know..weird, huh??) She's discovered Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, and "oh.my.god, mom. I love these things". Don't know what we would do without Lalo and Jeff ALWAYS giving her annoying toys that either make horrific grotesque sounds (loudly), or contain 700 tiny little pieces just perfect for accidentally piercing your feet with. Truly, am at a loss. Ryan also was in awe watching WIZ of OZ for first time...LOVES IT!!!!!! Cowardly Lion causes giggles of glee (I know for a fact -- we watched it 3 times IN A ROW).

Ask Shawn what his favorite part of Halloween was, and he'd say "getting to take off the damn costume", when he really means, "being able to pull off wearing that damn costume." (and wear it, he did -- rrrawwwrr)

Ask Jax what his favorite part of Halloween was and he'd say, "huh?"

Ask me what my favorite part of Halloween was, and I'd say: 1. hearing (and seeing) the PURE JOY that came over Ryan when she bit into her first Reese's, thus beginning what is to be a life-long love affair, I'm sure; 2. watching Ryan get excited over those annoying toys that Lalo and Jeff gave her; 3. Getting to watch WIZ of OZ and NOT be embarrassed by how well I know the movie and how much I love it(or by the fact that I was actually the one who suggested watching it the 2nd and 3rd times); 4.Being able to actually pull together 3 1/2 (Ariel's wig) Little Mermaid Costumes with under $20 and in less than an hour, and then having everyone agree to wear them (Shawn), or not be old enough to be able to voice an opinion(Jax)...

...But then 1am hit and Shawn was attacked by the evil Stomach Virus (haha -- you only thought you'd escaped!!), Ryan threw a titanic fit when I tried to get her back into her bed at 4:30am, and Jax woke up and decided that "5am was the new 7am", at which time the last of my "warm fuzzy" Halloween feelings officially left the building.