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. ;)