Sunday, December 31, 2006

Party Hardy

Have just spent the end of 2006 hangin' with my peeps. Took the kids to the bookstore, then to church, and finally ended up at Chili's. After an hour or so of them "charming" every other diner, every server, and even a few bus boys, we headed home for bathtime and an unfortunately unforgettable 20 minutes of perusing The Naked Brothers Band website with Ryan.

Ninny's living it up at at Sandra Bullock's bash, but I'm pretty sure I got the better party.

Or something.

Happy New Year!!

P.S. Want something more entertaining to read? Check us out one year ago. I love this family.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Just counting the days...

...until THIS. Just 4 more to go!!!

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

From Us to You

Okay, so I know I'm the last one out here to discover this holiday treat, but go on over to mamarella and enjoy anyway!

Monday, December 25, 2006

Very Merry

For all the huffing and puffing, Christmas actually did turn out wonderfully. With a house full of family and friends, lots and lots of fattening yummies, and probably a few too many gifts, we had an extremely blessed holiday.

Shawn worked Christmas Eve, so he "missed" going to church with my family and the kiddos, although really, we only stayed through the gospel, then slipped out the back. Elderly people needed our seats and all, you understand.

Then it was back to the house to attempt to carry on Honey's tradition of gumbo on Christmas Eve. It only took us 2 tries. The first ended with a very burnt, very smokey bowl of roux (not at all our fault, I'll have you know), but the second batch was successful, so kiss my ass, you never tasted gumbo so good, Dad.

Then it was on to the gifts. Baby Jesus In A Manger, we had a lot of gifts, or the kids did anyway: cars, trucks, ipods,laptops,
barbies, barbies, barbies
and lots 0f "ugghh..more clothes..." Ry also scored a dance mat w/dvd, which would be awesome if we still had a dvd player. Oh, I didn't tell you that story? Silly me. I'll have to post about it later...

Santa left a Power Wheels Jeep for Jax (which he got for a steal at the Mommy and Me Sale), and Lion King tickets and a Genevieve doll for Ry (thanks to Ninny for leaving the actual tix at her apt, sending Mommy on a mad dash to print out passable ones at midnight).

This morning was spent laboring over Peppermint Mocha Coffee, Eggnog French Toast and Sky-High Brunch Bake, but not before I regaled Ry with stories of my bleeding foot from the night before -- One hand-me-down table from sis : $0; One dustbuster to clean up broken tabletop: $30; One new tabletop: $100, gashing your foot on an errant piece of broken glass, leaving pools of blood on the garage floor: priceless.

Slowly the rest of the family trickled in, bringing bits and piece of what would be a masterful Christmas dinner.

But now, everyone is gone, leaving Mommy, Daddy, Ry, Jax and Nana sipping warm apple cider, eating gingerbread, and watching Pirates of the Carribean.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!!!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Swanhilda

Ryan had her first dance "recital" this week. More of an informal showing than an actual recital, but it was fun. Ry provided the real entertainment, goofing off at every chance, falling to the ground whenever possible. I have no idea where she gets it from *cough*. One of the moms cried during the performance. I almost reached over to tell her that it wasn't that bad, and would be over shortly, but from the look of pride on her face, I decided against it. Some people.



I could have cried, too. Not out of pride, but because we have a house full of sick peeps. I've been dealing with the horribly-named Herpangina, Ry's had pink eye, and Jax has fevers on and off and wheezing. Took him to the doctor yesterday, where we were told it was a viral thing, just wait it out. You all know how much I love paying money to hear that.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Holiday Spirit

Let me be the first quasi-Austinite to say that the Zilker Trail of Lights BLOWS. That's right, I said it, and I stand by every word. For all the hoopla and trouble you have to go through to get there, the end result isn't all that.

Maybe it's just me, or maybe it was the feeling of being herded like cattle amongst hundreds of others, maybe it was all the cigarette smoke (go figure -- the park is the only place you can smoke in Austin anymore), maybe it was the little girl whose mom let her run amuck, tripping Shawn and almost sending him and Jax (up on Shawn's shoulders) tumbling to the ground. Whatever it was, it sucked.


The highlight of the whole thing was the train ride, which we had to wait until 10 pm to ride, and the fact that during that wait, I made Shawn watch Jax, since it was his brilliant idea to go in the first place.


But I must say, in all my life experiences, I've learned that sometimes the best family memories are the ones where you had to endure some sort of horror together -- like the trip to Flagstaff where we got into a fight with an Indian owner of a gas station, or DisneyWorld, when my mom "had words" with a Yankee. So all in all, I guess it did turn out okay as far as family time goes -- the kids got to stay up late, I got to bitch out a mom, and Shawn just got to spend time with us. How's that for a silver lining?

Friday, December 15, 2006

Let's Just Call It Punishment






Thank you. Thank you very much.




Thursday, December 14, 2006

Our Inaugural Return

Grab some popcorn, a drink and sit back and relax: I've got a doozy for ya.

The previous post? That was 9 am this morning. A mere 31/2 hours since his father so lovingly left him in my care, he proceeded to yank the heavy glass table top off of our kitchen table, sending it crashing to the ground as we were quite literally walking out the door. Relax, he's fine.
But our wood floor is not. If we were ever in denial about needing to replace it, we no longer are.

Lucky for Jaxson, I was scheduled to take a Yoga class after dropping Ry off at school, so at least I was able to relieve something -- although I almost got it back, when after telling the class why I was in such a horrible mood, one lady offered up this piece of advice:

"Maybe he's just trying to get some attention."

Yeah, and maybe you'd like my fist in your face. Namaste.

Took me half the morning to clean up the glass, so for those of you still waiting on Christmas cards...keep waiting.

The afternoon actually did get better, Ryan's teacher was so proud of her because when the class realized that one little bot was without a Christmas bell (they read the Polar Express), she offered up hers. Then when we got home, she informed me, "You know, Mom, some people think I'm cool."

"Oh yeah? Who?"

"Me."

Which is always good to hear from your 4 yr old daughter.

Later, Ryan, Emma, Jaxson and I were hanging out in the backyard, and I actually found myself in a serious debate over why the people in the house behind us never ever jump on their 2-month-old trampoline.

Ryan: "They were on it the other day, throwing things at my head."

This led us to another of our favorite conversations: Real vs. Pretend.

After discovering that no one had thrown anything at Ryan, we continued our debate:

Emma: "Maybe they're afraid they'll be tempted by the Devil and start throwing things.

ry: "Why don't we just go over there and just ask them?

Mom: "Naw, they're older and they're boys. You don't wanna mess with them."

Emma: "I had to mess with an older boy today. He was being mean to my friend, so I twisted his arm like this (demonstrates).

"Mom: "So you nun-chucked a 4th grader?" (I have no idea what nun-chucking is, but I'm pretty sure it sounded cool to a 4 and 7 year old.)

Emma: "Uh huh." (Sits. Sighs.) "Good times. Good times."

So that was TODAY. I've yet to touch on What-the-Hell-Wednesday. May I? I'll be brief.

1. Left Ryan's lunch and backpack at home. Had to supplement with convenience-store food.
2. Had a playdate in the sand, which eventually led to an escapade into the wooded picnic area, where Ryan saw an ant and had a nervouse breakdown, nearly throwing her head into a large boulder.
3. Spent 15 minutes trying to chase a bee out of our car, difficult seeing as how all the windows were open and Jaxson's car seat was soaked with fruit juice.
4. Took the kids to the mall to return some items, and Jaxson bit a baby.

Hmmm... yeah, I think that's all. Just your average Wednesday.

Shattered Glass





by Jaxson York.

I don't get mad, I get LAZY

When Shawn comes home tonight and bitches about having to make his own dinner and iron his own clothes, please help me remind him about this morning when he got Jax up at 5:30 am, and then LEFT THE HOUSE.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

A little tip as to why I feel mentally ill ALL THE TIME

Scene: Mommy and kids, roaming the aisles at Target. Ryan walks behind Mommy while Mommy pushes Jax. Ryan is pouting about not getting a slushy.

Mommy: Ryan, you need to check yourself or I'm not gonna let you see if Emma can play when we get home.

Ryan: What?

M: I said, you need to chill out or yo're not going to get to play today.

R: What?

M: (sigh) Nevermind.

R: Huh?

M: Just forget it Ry.

R: What did you say?

M: Nothing. Forget I said anything.

R: You're pretending you forgot what you were saying?

M: Christ.

R: What?

...and, scene.

Saturday, December 9, 2006

Yee-haw!!

Man, that was rough. I missed you guys!! In fact, I'm crafting some "chunkyrhino withdrawal" items at cafepress -- I'll let you know when they're ready.

I took the kids to meet Menana and Big Daddy at Backstage Steak House last night. Nothing like an evening of screaming, food-throwing, and fork-playing by candlelight. But damn, the food was worth it!!

Now, on to more serious matters:

Ryan wants to act. Like, literally. I've been catching her more and more lately, performing commercials in front of the mirror, acting out little plays in her head, etc... We started talking about it, and she said she wanted to be one of the kids in the commercials on tv, That, and she wants to be in a Harry Potter movie. I broke the Harry Potter news to her, but her spirit didn't waiver -- she still wants to perform.

Now, I'm not at all surprised (nor should anyone be), nut I've been fighting the urge for quite some time now. Having dabbled in the performance arena, I was very wary. Plus, I'll be damned if I live vicariously through a 4 yr old.

But now she's asking to do it, she's always doing it, so does that mean it's time to let her explore that avenue? That avenue being auditions, acting classes, having to deal with inflated egos and demanding divas (and that's just the mothers).

This scares the shit out of me.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Talking Points

Ryan: "Mom, today in Music, G. told me to smell her butt." (giggle)

Me: "Why would she do that?"

Ry: (shrug)"Idunno, I guess she just wanted me to."

Me: "Did you?"

Ry: "Yep. And then she smelled mine."

Me: "That's disgusting."

Ry: "It was fun! Don't forget to tell Daddy when you talk to him on the phone that I smelled G.'s butt, okay??"



Jaxson, in his typical toddler way, is havinf a little trouble with saying his words correctly. For instance:

DRINK = Tink

TRUCK = Guck

And my personal fave:

FATHER = Fucker

He is such a good little boy.

You Better Not Cry

We took the kids to see Santa this weekend. Let's see how that went...


AndHere are the rest of the pics from the Walk of Lights.

Hohoho.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

On Not Losing Hope


So. Shortly after that last post (actually, it was 90 seconds), I chopped all my hair off.

I was going to shave it, but I thought that might be more on the side of crazy than I wanted, and I knew Shawn would never speak to me again.

I needed to let go of something. Plus, my split ends were horrendous.

The great effect of this drastic move was not a new haircut, but rather the company of my friend Elisa, whom I called upon to "even out the back". You should have seen the look on her face when she showed up .

Anyway, I got to vent and release a lot of that Mommy crap that builds up (or, as Lea Ann says, "bitterness" -- no one likes her very much) and decided to quit bitching and play. So, the kids and I went to the park, leaving behind a filthy house, long to-do list, and extra diapers.

Here are the pics.

Afterwards, we tried the movies, where it was $1 Wednesday, but as soon as we ran out of candy, Jax was out, soggy diaper drooping, and we were gone.

I then proceeded to attempt a nap, a feat Jaxson was hell bent on prohibiting. So, I locked them out of the house while I cleaned the kitchen (not that it makes it much easier to sweep the floor when your 19 month old is banging on the glass door, snot and tears streaming down his face as he screams "Mommy!")

We got things situated, I realized (too late) that it was the cursed day of the week, resigned myself to the fact that the rest of the day wasn't gonna get much better, and grabbed myself a beer.

I'm feeling much better now.

I Hate the Holidays

I used to love them. I used to get excited and worked up over all the little details, all the special moments, all the lights and warmth and togetherness.

Then I had kids.

With one, it was still fun -- the excitement of fall, the anticipation of family and friends, presents and more.

Now that there are two of them and I'm outnumbered, I can totally understand why the suicide rate increases so drastically this time of year.

Ryan's in school, which means lots of new activities and parties and desserts to be made and treats to be packaged and guilt over not being able to volunteer because of Jaxson, who refuses to accept the term "Sit Still". I love to bake, I love spending time in the kitchen and making yummy homemade goodies. I love giving our creations to our friends and family, neighbors and acquaintances. I do not love how much it costs to purchase all the items needed. I do not love the grocer's exuberance over providing hundreds of foil roasting pans for turkey and such, but no extra foil pie pans. I was THIS CLOSE to having a Steve Martin "Father of the Bride" moment in the store yesterday. THIS CLOSE.

I love spending time with family, I do not love it that everyone in my family is childless, and can therefore afford to do the things we cannot, yet still insist on having us do them anyway. I do not like my inability and unwillingness to say NO.

I love the convenience of credit. I do not love the credit companies.

I love having a clean, inviting home during the holidays. I do not love mopping the floor,then finding it sticky with juice, scratched by rocks, and cluttered with crumbs 10 minutes later. I do not love doing the massive amount of dishes from baking and such, only to turn around and find that the 2- gallon tupperware bowl my husband thought would fit the turkey is now sitting, covered in turkey juice, in the sink. I do not love that.

I love spreading holiday cheer (can't you tell?) by sending treats with Shawn to his employees. I do not love that after a long day of cleaning, re-cleaning, shopping, baking, cooking, and laundry, all my husband can think to ask me is "Did you iron my clothes yet?", and "why are you even making this stuff?"

I love being able to provide a calm, relaxing atmosphere for Shawn to come home to after a bad day at work. I love the clean bedroom, covers turned down in case he wants to rest a bit, the low lighting, etc. I do not love the way he decided to shit all over it by throwing his crap everywhere for me to pick up.

I do not love all the requests for donations I cannot turn down, yet really can't afford. Teacher gifts, aide gifts, "special"(music, pe, worship) teacher gifts. I do not like it when the Fraternal Order of Police calls me to chastise me for never sending in the contribution I pledged. I do not like that.

I hate the people all around you, with their slimy, stinky, rude kids pushing and shoving and running over toes. I hate the commercialism of Christmas, and the fact that everyone completely skips over Thanksgiving. I hate how greedy we all are, how we are made to feel less-than if we don't own EVERYTHING.

I hate "holiday schedules", which throw my entire world into a whirlwind of chaos, leaving Ryan waiting half an hour for me at school because it turns out that yes, they did cancel Spanish class, regardless of what 3 different parents and the assistant principal said.

I hate my dry skin.

But, I hope everyone has a VERY Happy Thanksgiving. Gobble.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Look What We Got!!!


A new camera!! Finally, no more waiting for family and friends to email me pics!!

So, in honor of Amy and Shawn's early Christmas present, here are some photos, which prove that no matter how nice the camera is, if you suck at taking pictures, the pictures will suck.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Running Commentary

Lately, Ryan seems to be more verbal than normal. I never thought it was possible, but when it gets to be around 5pm and you realize that every discussion you have had with her that day has yet to possess a full sentence uttered without her interrupting, you start to catch on.

She is just so involved with explaining things to you, asking you to explain them to her, and reaffirming your explanation with an explanation of her own that does not quite fit, but works well enough that you let it slide just so she will STOP TALKING.

Mom: Ryan, you need to wear a sweater over your leotard to dance.
Ryan: Why?
Mom: Because it's cold and windy outside.
Ryan: It's okay that it's cold, Mom. The cold is good because it helps planes fly faster.
Mom: Oh yeah?
Ryan: Yeah, the cold is good because it's really windy and blows really hard and fast and that makes the plane go faster.


Mom: Ryan, you need to hurry up and finish eating.
Ryan: Mom, it's okay if I go slow eating my pizza. Know why?
Mom: Why?
Ryan: Because if I go too fast I could make myself not breathe and then I would not be breathing and then I would be dead.


Ryan: Mom, you really shouldn't talk on the phone when you drive. Know why?
Mom: Why?
Ryan: Because you could be talking and not see that you are flying and then we would be dead.

I've forgotten the rest. There're so many, and they are sooooo random, they all begin to meld together.

Oh. Except for this one:

Mom: (reading "Harry Potter" aloud a bedtime) ...blah, blah, Harry Potter, blah, magic, blah, blah, wizard, blah.
Ryan: Excuse me, Mom.
Mom: (extremely exasperated sigh) What, Ryan?
Ryan: I need to get up and throw these boogers away. Know why? Cause they're yucky and gross and they're boogers and I don't want them crawling all over me while I sleep! You know, Harry once had boogers crawling all over him...
Mom: Good night, Ry.

Couldn't have said it better, Jax...


My PMDD has reared its ugly, impatient, pissy head this month, leaving me depressed, sad, and bleegggghhhh. That said, I haven't felt like writing much lately, so I'll just offer up some pics from Wurstfest. Love to you all, and I'm sure I'll have something funny for you later -- it is Wednesday, after all.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Thanks, Mom

So I got a call from my Mom this morning. The kids are at the lake and Ryan wanted to talk to me. As soon as she got on the phone and we had gotten as far as "Hi Mommy!", she started screaming and hollering, to the point that the call had to be ended.

When Mom called me back a little later, she said Ryan had been so excited about talking to me, that she was bouncing around and fell and slammed her face against the hard-wood arm of a chair. They eventually calmed her down, telling her to breathe and asking her to smile, which she refused to do. Finallly, she excused herself from the others, declaring that she needed some "private time" to watch Sponge Bob. Then my mom walked into her bedroom closet and found Jaxson hiding, eating breath mints.

Mom: "Amy? This is what happens when you procreate."

Tuesday, November 7, 2006

Mirror Image

We all know that Ryan is an actress. So I don't think twice when I see her watching herself in the mirror as she's talking, brushing her teeth, breathing... (But it does bring back some painful, painful memories of the make-believe tv show "Cooking With Kiki" I used to performin my bathroom mirror. Painful, painful memories.)

But I was gobsmacked when I caught Jax, my little BIG MAN, mugging in the mirror as he brushed his teeth, wiggling his eyebrow, slanting his eyes, grinning as if to say , "Alright alright alright. Lookin' good Mr. Kott-air. Yeaaah, baby *wink*)

Impressed at how I morphed him into Wooderson, Boom-Boom and Austin Powers, all in one long run-on sentence?

Sunday, November 5, 2006

And no, I don't care.

Does anyone know where I can shop for a nice gently used digital cam for not a lot of money? I have failed to protect my current one from my children, and have recently missed out on many kodak moments like Ryan running around with her shirt over her head yelling, "I'm a crazy scarecrow!"

And while we're at it, how the hell do I save my dvd movies to the computer so I can upload them for you good people to see?

Yes, I am that nerd who's not even cool enough to know the cool nerd stuff.

Saturday, November 4, 2006

Alrighty Then

Nothing to sober you up after a night of drinking with the neighbors like having them tell you, as they are leaving, "Oh, by the way -- you can totally see into your bathroom window from our yard. 'Night!"

Thursday, November 2, 2006

I Am The Pig

I couldn't have said it better, George. (In regards to Jaxson, that is.) The kid's been leaking personality lately, and more than anything he is turning out to be a pig. Another strike against the pedi -- I distinctly remember them stating that once he hit this age his appetite would decrease. That was 6 months ago and we're still waiting.

He will eat anything that doesn't move, and when he can't find anything to eat, he eats his fingers. His fingers. He's becoming the bulemic little girl I always feared I'd have. Was that too crass, even for me? Seriously, we're having to swat him to get him to stop gagging himself, because along with being a pig, he's double-entendred me and also developed into a ham. We are just now traning him to stop sticking his finger in his nose every time he hears the word. (I'd show you the initial nose-picking dinner video if I could figure out how to save the damn thing on the computer.)

I digress.

Really, he has me freaking out. I cannot stop feeding the child. He begs and whines and grunts and squeals until you give him something, and if you try to be strong and resist, because, for the love of God, you just fed him 2 bowls of oatmeal, a banana, granola bar and yogurt, and it's only 8:30 am, he goes for the jugular. My breaking point is about the time he starts slamming his head into the floor. Shawn can go until Jax starts hyperventilating. I wanna be like him when I grow up.

Wednesday, November 1, 2006

Halloween is SO last month


This is not like me. I typically mourn the passing of Halloween for at least a week, albeit due to a serious candy overdose. But this year?

This year, Ryan is in preschool, dance and gymnastics. This year we had 5 Halloween parties to attend, 3 where we had to show up in costume.

On top of that, this year I decided to test my limits and hold an inaugural Halloween Cook-Out at our house, instead of our normal "avoid middle-school trick-or-treaters by going out to eat ritual". This is a very run of the mill occurence for us -- we are always having people over to eat, usually once a week, if not more often. But, this was Halloween, Amy's Crack Holiday, and I wanted to "decorate". Me. The former DRAMA teacher.

I had a vision, thanks to memories of Haunted Houses visited as a child and a few back issues of Martha Stewart Living: Halloween. Unfortunately, my vision was most likely completed in days and weeks (not hours), and most definitely required a team of trolls to help set up, shop, construct costumes, and clean (not just me, myself and I). When I was teaching theatre, I had classfuls of trolls ready and willing (read: legally required by law) to help me out.

I won't bore you with specifics, but my vision did not come to fruition. The decor was half-ass at best, Jax's costume (should he have chosen to wear it) was ridiculous, and cleaning entailed stuffing closets with crap that I now get to spend my day sorting through.

This year, we were supposed to be The Wizard of Oz. Out of necessity, Ryan was a brilliant Dorothy (pics to come), Jax was to be Toto (complete wih basket), I was to be Glenda, and Shawn would be The Scarecrow, Tin Man, The "Big Head", or the Wicked Witch of the West -- we were still deciding on MOnday night. I was to make all the costumes. By "make", I mean throw stuff together that I've found lying around the house to pass off as abstract versions of the characters we were intending to represent. I'm resourceful like that.

Ry's costume was awesome, mostly because Ninny bought the dress, and I gave in and bought a wig. Jax's costume started out with great intentions -- weeks ago, I purchased a black sweat suit and fuzzy gray and black yarn to create the Toto look, along with a large wicker basket that we would cut out so he could stand inside it. Over the course of many weeks, I was only able to sew the front panel of the hoodie, and saved the rest for yesterday. By 6 pm, when our guests were due to arrive, i was burning myself with the hot glue gun trying to get the outfit to resemble something furry, scrapping the idea of ears altogether. My hope was that when he was in the basket walking beside Ryan, it would just be obvious. I am nothing if not over-confident.

He hated the basket, freaking out until we removed it, then insisted on wearing the hoodie unzipped, looking like a graying Hairy Man in reverse.

Then Trick or Treaters showed up and Ryan gave them all of our candy. At 6 pm. ALL. OF. IT.

Luckily, Ninny brought more, so we escaped near death there, but then Ryan ripped her wig off, Jaxson tore down the street (half naked), Hunter went on a do-or-die mission for candy, and Jayden was the best behaved one in the bunch. This, my friends, was a night.

Lalo and Jeff brought ANOTHER TROLL -- we'll talk later -- Shawn rocked the burgers, and I spent a lot of time admiring my bloody "REDRUM" finger painting in the hall mirror.

So the food was good, friends were good, fun was had, and now it's over and I have 364 more days to screw around and procrastinate before the next one.

Monday, October 30, 2006

I'm thinking ...19??

Let's talk scales, people.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how bad do you think it is for a mother to spend the majority of her day hiding from her kids, particularly her 18 month old son? And any time not spent hiding out is instead spent yelling, crying, rubbing her temples, and fantasizing about hiding out?

On a scale of 1 to 10, how annoyed would you be if everytime you turned around your 18 month old was throwing something, turning something over, spilling something, dunking something or breaking something? At time of print, he has emptied the entire contents of my tupperware cupboard, pulled down 3/4 of our Haolloween decorations, turned over his bowl of oatmeal, thrown a roll of toilet paper into the toilet, dumped over 2 drinks (neither belonging to him), and broken one candle votive. Perhaps we should make that scale 1 to 20.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how irritating would it be to have to choose between letting your kids scream and yell and fight with each other OVER hearing them scream and yell about not being able to play with each other?

On a scale of 1 to 10, how depressing is it that Ryan has taken to walking outside around the corner of the house in order to talk to me through the open window, because apparently I am just that scary?

On a scale of 1 to 10, how pissed would you be to learn that just 3 days after reaching your savings goal, you found out you were going to have to pay a pest company more than half of that amount to take care of the rat problem that you paid $350 to fix 2 years ago?

On a scale of 1 to 10, how lame are my creative abilities that my 4 yr old daughter begged me to purchase her an actual Dorothy wig, rather than have to wear the one I made, stating, "the one you made is kind of funky. I don't want the kids to laugh at me" ?

On a scale of 1 to 10, how elated am I that tonight is leftover night, and how much guilt will I sooo not feel when Shawn starts pissing and moaning about having to eat re-heated food?

Ona scale of 1 to 10, how happy are you NOT to be me today??

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Lord of the Dance

The most shocking of all the adventures we encountered tonight at our local Haunted Hayride was not the creepy werewolf prowling the premises, not Hunter and Jaxson running off towards the woods every 5 second, not even the staged "snatching" of a child from the hayride by a resident witch -- no, the most shocking of all had to be Ryan dancing an Irish Jig while a celtic group played on. It was as if she was possessed, legs flailing, feet kicking, and the look of concentration on her face -- I was floored, as were all the other kids who quickly cleared the way to watch and clap in awe.

When asked where she learned how to dance like that, she calmly threw the following reply over her shoulder as she walked away: "Harry Potter".

Of course he did. (I guess this means they're back "on"?)

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Slice 'O Life (aka, What the Hell? Wednesday)

People all over the world are at this very moment pondering the meaning of life. Some will search for answers until they die, others will find their greater purpose and do their best to serve. Me? Well, I don't even have to try.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again and again: I was put here to make God laugh. Doesn't necessarily mean I'm a funny gal, though some think so (thanks, Mom). Doesn't mean I can tell a good joke (thanks, Dad). Nope, The Big Guy simply put me here to jerk around like the Mother of all Pinocchios, laughing His Almighty Head off at the way I handle the crazy-ass situations He provides for me. I am His sit-com. My ratings are off the charts.

Let's just take today, for instance. I knew it was going to be a doozie, because, A)It's Wednesday; B)It's holiday season; 3) It's ME.

Like all minions of Hell, I'd started out with the best of intentions. At the beginning of Ryan's school year, I put my name down to serve on a plethora of committees, one of which was the Fall Festival. In my inane way of reasoning, I'd assured myself that it would not effect negatively on my life or the lives of my family, for the festival is a one-time thing, I'd only signed up to help the day-of, and it was after the Sale, and before Halloween. I neglected to remind myself of my penchant for hand-crafting our costumes and my tendency towards procrastination.

I really thought I'd had everything under control. Ryan's costume, which is the only one that REALLY matters, was 97% done, and I was an ant's ass close to finishing it. Although the head of the festival committee had assured me that it would be fine to bring Jax along, I'd made other arrangements for him, so that I could give my undivided attention to my festival duties (maning the Fishing For Pumpkins Booth).

Then Tuesday hit. I was rippin' and roarin', getting housework done, working on costumes, prepping, prepping, prepping, and then I crashed. 2:30 rolled around I felt like someone had stuffed my head with used kleenex, and it was not a good thing, Martha. I barely -- barely-- drudged through the rest of the day, depending solely on Shawn to pick up my slack, which he did without even one complaint. I was so ready to head off to bed at 6:30 pm, until Ryan's dance teacher called, announcing that since we had missed last Wednesday, she was not able to tell us that this Wedneday would be costumeday at dance, and could Ryan please dress up? Friggenenfrearamen.

So I stayed up and finished Ryan's costume, which realy just consisted of sewing brown yarn onto a head band in an effort to creat some sort of Dorothy-like 'do. (Shawn's idea: "Just spray-paint her head brown and be done with it.")With all the mayhem involved in finishing the costume a day early, I completely forgot to confirm my plans for the next morning for Jax, so that option sadly fell by the wayside.

I woke up this morning after a night of fitful sleep, anticipating the Day of Death, no doubt, crawled out of bed and into the shower. Got the kids off to a good start, made up my mind to bring Jax along to the festival, and deciding to bow out early to get him home in time for a nap before the 7th inning strecth, which is known as "Wednesday afternoon".

Drove the kids to school in a monsoon, but left early so as not to have to rush, which was great since it took us 10 minutes to make it from the parking lot into the school seeing as how we 3 had to shuffle ever.so.slowly so as to all be able to remain under the $3.99 umbrella i got on clearance at Target. We got Ryan off to class, then made our way to the auditorium. Once I got situated at my booth and realized we had 20 minutes until the kids actually showed up, I realized things would not be going smoothly for me. The reason? Jax.

Jax, God bless him, is not like other children. I say this out of pure love, and state it as a fact, seeing as how I watched him continually behave unlike any of the other kids his age this morning, and it was quite the sobering experience, I assure you.

My booth was Fishing for Pumpkins, which also happened to be the one booth from which I could not tear Jaxson away. You'd think I should be happy about being able to keep him so close in a room full of toddler-sized games, but when the game you are supervising invloves water, fish bowl nets, and Jaxson, things cannot be good.

Sure enough, he was happy for awhile, playing frivolously in the fishing trough, until it was time for the school kids to take over and play. Silly kids.

Some of the other moms saw me struggling and tried to distract Jaxson with Velcro Ghost Darts, coloring pages, and mini golf. Silly Moms.

Jax allowed himself to be enticed by the Velcro Ghosts Darts (balls), only so as to be able to pummel the supervising mom with 2 of the velcro balls, and take off with the other one, which he promptly threw into the fishing trough. Strike One.

He gaily traipsed over to the coloring tables, where he grabbed handfuls of crayons, tore off towards the fishing trough and threw them in. Strike Two.

We finally got him focused on golf, until he figured out he could run with the plastic golf club, which he did, and then threw it in the fishing trough. Strike Three.

At this point, the moms sauntered quietly away, leaving Jax to play by my side, since that's what he was going to do anyway. That actually went okay until he started fencing a couple of 2 yr olds with his fishing net, at which point we all decided it would okay if I left early. As long as I took him with me.

At least I was able to get him home early for that nap, got Ry's dress finished, and then we were off again to do the pre-school shuffle. Back to the parking lot, sloshing through the rain, then off to our playdate where I finally finished Ryan's wig with the help of my friend Melanie. The thing is, we didn't exactly use Ryan's head (or any head, for that matter) as a model, so she ended up looking like a cross between Billy Ray Cyrus and Daniel Boone with braids. She LOVED it.

We had just enough time to hustle over to dance, where she was the only girl not dressed as Tinkerbell (I am so serious it hurts), and everyone thought she was darling, or at least that's what they said to my face.

We left the YMCA, it rained some more, they yelled, we all took a bath together, I yelled, Daddy was late, I ordered pizza, they yelled, we ate dinner, Jax yelled, I put him to bed where he yelled some more, Ry yelled that she doesn't like it when I yell because it makes her feel "grown-upish", which apparently means "having to talk and make mean faces", so I stopped yelling, Shawn came home, he yelled about having to have pizza for dinner, made fun of Ryan's wig, and I went to bed.

THE END.

So you see, I need never search for my meaning on Earth. It's all very very painstakingly clear.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Genetic Shit

That's the newest search entry leading to our humble home. And my favorite thus far. Fitting, no? I'm thinking of changing the title of the blog to that very phrase.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Love Lives

Looks like a certain 4 1/2 year old diva and a much older spectacled wizard-boy have split!

Details are blurry, it's a bit confusing (very "When Harry Met Sally", or Ryan, as it were), but apparently the break-up had something to do with the fact that Harry went to Disney World without her.

Stay tuned...

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Amy & Shawn, sittin' in a tree...

We just had the best anniversary weekend. Ever. I say that every year, which I personally think is a testament to our marriage, but none-the-less, this one really really rocked.

This was our seca-fifth-aversary (second fifth), and since we didn't do anything for our Aug. date, we knew we needed to kick it up. (You can read my post from our 1st 5th here.)

The actual date was Friday, and we started our morning out perfectly: snuggled with the kiddos in bed, chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast, and on to the Y for a workout.

Ginger came over and relieved us from our parenting duties, we took off and had such a nice lunch at Hula Hut, zipped over to pay a visit to our buddy Jeremiah (he was a groomsman), then took off to Buda to wait for Jenny, Lalo and Jeff.

Buda? Buda? Yes, my friends. Buda. Host to the Texas Fire Fest, their annual firefighters fundraiser, headlined by the one and only Cross Canadian Ragweed. We were so there.

All was lovely until we got to the motel and found out our reservations were actually for the site in Austin. Much arguing ensued, fueling a Mom-moment between myself and the front desk clerk, a moment which Shawn quickly deflected, paying for a new room, and ultimately feeding me a few drinks to calm me back down.

The rest of our posse arrived, and we quickly huddled into the car, heading to dinner and then on to the show.

Jenny had connections and got us backstage, where I quickly pounced on Cody Canada, embracing him in a bear hug and exclaiming, "It's my 5th Anniversary!!", to which he laughed, smiled, nodded, and walked away. He totally had the hots for me, until I crushed him with the anniversary bit, poor guy.

The show was amazing as always, Shawn and I got sufficiently hammered; Jenny, Lalo and Jeff made sufficient fun of us, and we all crashed at the motel.

We got some face time with the kids the nect day, until Ninny whisked them away to the lake so that we could have a quiet dinner out, thanks to the gift certs she provided. Great food, good wine, and then Shawn sends me this with the following caption:

"thought you'd like to see the pumpkin I carved your visage into."

I think it might be love.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Four going on Forty

Shawn and Jennifer were goofing off at the dinner table tonight and he made some sort of mean/mad face. Ryan asked what was wrong with him, and Ninny replied:

"Ryan, we've been asking ourselves that about him for years. There's nothing we can do about his face."

Ryan: "Ninny, sometimes you just have to learn to let it go."

And then we spewed our food all over the table.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

What-the-Hell Wednesday

I was having such a bad today. PMS, and all that stuff. I kept plowing through, though, which is a side effect of having kiddos -- I can no longer just succumb to the depression, anxiety and weight-obsession and crawl back into bed (still undecided as to whether or not this is a positive side effect or negative).

I just kept going, and it just kept getting worse. Nothing to wear? Fine. I'll apply all the makeup I own in an attempt to look good in sweats.

What's that? The 90 degree weather melted half of it before I got Ry to preschool? Whatever. I'll just go to the outlet to get that discount moisturizer I've been needing, some new shades, and a pair of shoes for Jax. That should do the trick.

Hang on -- did I just miss the exit? Have to drive 3 miles before a turn around? Hmmph. Well, I guess I better call Angie and tell her we'll be late meeting her and the boys at the library.

Shit. I left the phone at home. ugghh. Fine, I'll just rush and skip getting shoes for Jax, 'cause he doesn't really care, and then maybe I'll be a little late for the library, but no big deal.

Crap. Half an hour late for the library, Jax is hungry and crying (again), we just passed McDonalds and my stomach actually spoke to me (even as it was pouring itself over the top of my pants), and traffic is a bitch. No prob -- I'm sure storytime just ended -- maybe we can just go to Mickey D's for lunch and play there.

Except that I've really gained a lot of weight lately. And I did stop my tanning membership, so now I'm flabby and pasty. So maybe Mc Donald's isn't the best idea...I'll just search the library for them and we can talk about it -- looks like they must have left already. Hohum. I suppose I could always just go thru the drive-thru (Jax is hungry, after all).

Oookkkkaaayyy, maybe not. Just passed a woman pulling out of the donut shop drive-thru, greasy hair all tangled around her face, studiously examining her purchase. I cannot become this woman. She's in here somewhere, and she must not get out. I'll just fix tuna for lunch, put Jax down for a nap, then take the food with us to our playdate and feed him there before we go to dance.

God love it, I forgot to wrap the presents I'm bringing to the playdate (overdue new-baby gifts). Fuck it, I'll just throw the wrapping stuff in the car and do it on the way to get Ry.

Motherfucker, cut my damn thumb with the scissors.

Finally get to Ryan, teacher tells me she pinched a little girl today. IN CHAPEL. I'm not sure what my face looked like, but it must have been bad, because immediately the teacher insisted that Ryan really is a sweet, loving child and it was an impulse thing, and she apologized and it's all okay. ("Don't hurt the puppy! Please don't hurt the puppy!") Regardless, I sit down with Ryan in the teen-einy little hallway and discussed the situation. Then Jax throws himself against the wall, trips a mom coming out of a classroom, tears off running into an open storage room full of toys, and goes to town. Breathe, Amy. Breathe. Just get thru the playdate, get Ry to dance, and go work out -- things will feel better after you sweat off some frustration. (And the beer from last night. And the Chunky Monkey.)

For the love of God -- I left her dance gear at home. Alrighty, then. There will be no stress relief, I will die one big ball of tension, but not before we go to this playdate that has been rescheduled a zillion times, so no matter how badly I really want to just go home and sleep, I can't -- plus, I'd hate to think I'd slashed my thumb in vain.

Oh My. Sweet. Baby. Cade. 6 week old new baby hair! 6-week-old new baby ears! And fingers!! And toes! And smell!!!!!! This. This is my stress relief. This was exactly what I was needing. This is wonderful! I think I feel my uterus knocking -- and then...

Then?

Well, folks, then Jaxson mounts their dog and begins dry-humping him.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Matchmaker, Matchmaker

It's not bad enough that Ry has already kissed a boy, starting a snowball of dating, sexual aggression, and marriage.

Now she's moved on to her brother. Witness our conversation over breakfast this morning:

"Hey Mommy? Do you think that when Emma and Addie grow up they will fall in love with Jaxson and marry him?"

"Oh God, Ry. Let's not think about stuff like that now."

"I bet I could make them."

Monday, October 16, 2006

Disease of the Week, pt. II

So Jax had his 18 month check up today. Average height, average weight (huh??), average, average, average.

Except for that whole pesky Neurofibromitosis bit. Yep. Turns out, those cute little "shadow" birthmarks he has all over his body (which pretty much match the ones all over Shawn's body) have us making appointments with a geneticist. Sweet.

I thought we'd run the gammut with crazy genetic shit when we found out Ry carries the Sickle cell trait. Just goes to show if you are related to me, you can never really be saved from some sort of genetic mutation.

One highlight? When she asked Jax to show her his nose, he stuck his average chubby little finger straight up his average runny noe, and produced the most un-average green snot rocket.

Stick that in your pipe and smoke it, doc.

Don't ever let anyone tell you that I am not the greatest mom ever

Ryan ran a fever off and on most of the weekend. Took her to the pumpkin patch anyway.

Jax is still -STILL- without shoes for his freakishly wide feet. Let him run barefoot all over that damn farm. 'CAUSE HE'S A BOY!!! When a couple of moms admonished me due to the fact that there were several antbeds lying around, all I could say was 1) I'm walking right behind him, lady -- he'll be okay and 2) (more mumbled than spoken out loud)..how's he supposed to know not to step in antbeds if he never gets bitten? Sheesh.

All in all, the day was pretty good until Ryan's fever spiked and Jax threw one of his doozies because we would not let him crawl into the pen with the goats.

You give an inch, they take a foot...

Friday, October 13, 2006

Superstition-Pooperstition

We have this ladder. This 8ft-tall rickety old wooden ladder.

This is the ladder I was standing on today when Ryan decided to walk straight underneath it.

"Ryan! Stop! What are you doing???"

"What?!? I just walked underneath the ladder."

"That's bad luck, Ry!"

"Whatever, mom. Nothing bad happened to me."

"Yes, but I'm the one teetering 8ft. in the air on this wobbly wooden death-trap."

"Well I wouldn't walk under any ladders if I was you."

Thursday, October 12, 2006

When the voices in my head start screaming out loud

I am THIS CLOSE to throwing Jaxson out the window, onto the bed of a passing truck, and flashing the deuce that I should not even be sitting here writing this to you; I should be delivering him to a neighbor or family member for safe keeping. (For those CPS spies out there -- yes, I am joking. Kind of.)

Bless his whiny little heart, I know his teeth are hurting, I know he's dealing with communications issues, but how does screaming, slapping, kicking, and bursting into flames solve anything? Where oh where could he have developed these non-sensical methods of blowing off steam?

*crickets*

Big surprise. I'm sure I'm to blame, I'm sure I'm getting my due justice and all that jazz, but when is it Shawn's turn to be at fault? When does he get to reap the benefits of the seeds he's sewn? That's all I'm askin', just a little equal division of punishment, kids; a little something to take the edge off of this mind-numbing, red-hot poker they have collectively shoved into my brain.

Another thing -- if Jax hates being around me, which clearly he must (how many gestures of love include hair-pulling, boobie-squeezing and body biting? Wait -- don't answer that, I don't want to know), why does he insist on following me everywhere I go? HOW CAN I ESCAPE????

I keep hoping that one day soon his grunts and screams will turn into words and we can both sit down and have a level-headed conversation about appropriate behavior, boundaries, etc. I feel certain that once he sees things from my point of view, he'll understand my requests and happily oblige.

And then we will hug and dance with the fairies at dusk.

What happened to the figurative "magic hour" in a male's life -- when he begins as a boy, craving his mother's arms, expressing his love with kisses and hugs. How have we gone straight from the birth canal to an angry, raging man in 18 mo old clothes? I'd be pissed, too! What is up with the roughness? And the impatience? And the resistance to any type of PDA? Where is my little boy? Who is this man-child, and shouldn't Shawn be in charge of this one? I handled the girl, that's my area. I've never wielded the Y chromosome, I don't ride waves of testoterone -- why give this crazy puzzle to the one with the least clues? WHY???

God, I need a beer.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

You know you're ready for a nap when...

you beg your 18 mo. old to play with your bottle of prozac so as to keep him from falling asleep too soon while in the car to pick up your 4 yr old. A girl's gotta do...

Monday, October 9, 2006

My Mistake

I have been informed that I will never again receive any help from my sister with the kiddos, merely because of the comment I made regarding the messy house I am facing today. According to Ninny, she did the dishes and made dinner, bathed the kids, while Shawn swept the kitchen floor and wiped down the counters. I hereby retract my statement to the contrary in my previous post, and declare October National Ninny Month. If there is anything else I can do to recover from my fatal mistake, please let me know.

(We have a Cross Canadian Ragweed concert coming up soon, and will be needing sufficient babysitting).

Over and out

Mommy and Me is over, and now I can get back to living the rest of my life for a couple of months until we start again for Spring!! This one was huge (which we knew it would be), we drew about 20,000 items and hundreds of shoppers.

That was great and all, except that when you cast a wide net, you tend to scoop up some bottom-feeders as well. You can always spot them, coming AND going. The majority of the consignors are moms like most of us, just looking to sell off their expensive stuff and save money on more expensive stuff (Santa picked up a very cute power wheels Jeep for Jax for $50). Then there are the garage sale moms who will buy anything for a dollar, but when it comes time to selling, they can't get rid of half of it, so they attempt to shrug it off on us. When we reject it, these ladies like to throw hissy fits, unable to understand exactly why we won't take on their mildewed high chair, even as it is leaking rust all over them as they carry it away.

We get them shopping, too, which is good -- we want to be able to give moms a great deal, but there are times when you want to draw the line, like on the group of 5 women, all missing 12 teeth each, all sending a strange stench wafting, and none of them speaking with any type of grammar structure whatsoever. You know what I mean, you can usually hear them arguing over who brought the plastic velcroed money wallet, joking about selling the newborn baby they are toting for 25 cents. Ahh, yes. These are the gems I look forward to every time. I'm sure that makes me a snob, but we all have our cross to bear.

Shawn did a great job ( largely with Ninny's help) with the kids, and apparently he even rocked the Sunday School class like nobody's business (if you consider standing around and glaring at the kids "rocking") Big props to Elisa, Angie, and Ginger for pulling weight as well -- you guys are our VILLAGE!! If not for all of you, I never would have been able to unwind with the rest of the mommies, getting wasted at Chuy's Saturday night, only to come home to a screaming (MOLARS) Jax, who had me up and going at 5 am.

Menana, BigDaddy and Lea spent the weekend at the home of one of the Charger's coaches, treated to the kind of VIP treatment that had mom calling us, exuberant over being able to park "right at the front of the parking lot!" But the highlight was not Dad on the sidelines, or even the Front Row Joe parking space, no no my friends. The highlight was the fact that sitting right behind them was Carlos from Desperate Housewives, who was apparently very nice, very talkative, and very eager to pass his email address on to my cancer-ridden mother -- oh yes, the cancer card was sooo played.

So anyway, the real world beckons, playdates are waiting, and a weekend's worth of no one cleaning is requesting my presence. See ya on the other side.

Friday, October 6, 2006

Walk and talk, walk and talk

Can't talk now. Working Mommy and Me. Lots of stuff, get your butts to the Dell Diamond if at all possible.

**Note to kids in my Sunday School class: Please don't be afraid of the grumpy man who bill be taking my place this weekend. His name is Mr. Shawn. He is not as scary as he looks. Well, maybe he is, but you just let me know if he gives you any problems, and I'll take care of it.

For the rest of you: Ryan kissed a boy in her class this week. To be fair, she did warn us she was going to do it. And then she did. Her teachers says that her only real problem in class is not minding other people's spaces, i.e: she touchs, feels, and rubs up on everyone whether they like it or not.

Kinda like this blog.

Tuesday, October 3, 2006

Little Black Penny Loafers

Little black penny-loafers, why do I love you so?
Little black penny-loafers, I simply cannot let you go.

Little black penny-laofers, you were his when just a babe.
Little black penny-loafers, imagine the money we could have made.

Little black penny-loafers, only worn but one brief time.
Little black penny loafers, I'm having a hard time trying to rhyme.

Little black penny-loafers, upon the shelf you will go.
Little black penny-loafers, reminding me of the baby boy I used to know.

Little black penny-loafers, when did I become such a sap?
Little black penny-loafers, I think I need to take a nap.

Little black penny-loafers, I don't know what else to say.
Little black penny-loafers, I'll never make back the investment on the money I paid.

I hope you're happy.

Monday, October 2, 2006

Update on "You Heard it here..."

I've been meaning to post the update to my post about Eva and Tony. We found out the week after I posted it that it was Michael Finley (of the Spurs) who got married, not the golden couple. (Thanks, Ang for rubbing my nose in it!!;))

Now kids, I hope this has taught you all a valuable lesson about gossip: NEVER post gossip on your blog unless you are absolutely positively sure it's true!!!

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Ryan Elizabeth had a farm...

Just now, out of the blue, Ryan started singing:

"Mommy is a cow!Mommy is a cow! Mommy is a cow cow cow!!!"

Earlier? Earlier she told me, "You look like a pig in that pink shirt mom."

Oink oink, moo moo.

It doesn't bother me that much that she's making those comments -- I know she doesn't understand the negative connotation we adults assosicate with them. What bothers me is the hysterical laughing emitting from my husband's mouth.

He won't be getting any bacon anytime soon.

So NOT wanted I wanted to pass on

You guys should have seen brother man at Toys R Us today. He was kickin' it in the playscape, when he must suddenly have caught a whiff of THE SMOKIN' HOT 6 yr old next to him, because he totally mauled her, clinging to her back, then as she turned around, her stomach, then as she shook a litte, her butt, then as she began to do the doggy-leg-shake, he was barely grasping on to the bottom of her skirt with his grubby little paws. Even as she was trying to clamor away, he was glued to her, and likely would still be had I not come to her rescue.

This is not at all what I expected. His father is the cool, collected, non-committal one. I am the clingy, please-don't-ever-leave-me-or-I-will-die freak of the family. I really had him going in Shawn's direction, but now I'm just hoping that his cuteness will be enough of a magnet that he never has to unleash the co-dependent streak I so lovingly passed down.

As for Ryan? Puh-lease. Boys are, like, so gross, man. Except for Harry Potter, who we totally love but also scares us a little, but not enough to make us run and hide; actually, he's just scary enough to keep us coming back for more (you know the type). So anyway, she can take 'em or leave 'em, and let's all pray she stays that way FOREVER, 'k?

Friday, September 29, 2006

The OTHER Lost Boy

I had to put Jax into a wrestling hold this morning to get his shitty diaper changed (note to self: no more red grapes for Jax). All I'm thinking is, "Really, God? 7:30 am and already you've got me pinning down my son in order to wipe poo out of his crack? REALLY??"

I'm telling you -- if that kid wakes up all bad-mood-dude, you better grab some Holy Water, a wooden stake and a string of garlic, because that's about what it will take to get the evil spirit possessing him to get the fuck out. You have no idea how many times I thought about running to get the video camera so I could document his tantrums for medical purposes.

I'm seriously serious, people. I will do it. And then I will post it. And then, then you nay-sayers who think I'm over-reacting will have to eat your words and come babysit. Mwahahahaha!!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

I knew I should have gone to McDonalds

On the way to pick up Ryan from preschool this afternoon, I passed a beggar on the street holding up a sign reading "NEED FOOD". I am nothing if not a liberal-hearted sucker, and seeing as how he was huddled over and crouched on the ground, I succumbed to my deepest yearnings and pulled into the nearest Wendy's to buy him a meal.

I went on to pick up Ryan first, and as I buckled her into the car, I explained that we were going to make a stop on the way home to give a hungry guy some food. I don' think she quite grasped the situation until we actually stopped and handed the guy his food, to which he glumly muttered his thanks and shuffled away.

As we were pulling away, she meekly whispered, "That was nice, Mommy." My heart soared as I perhaps caught the first glimpse of the spark iginiting in my little social worker's heart, and I seized the opportunity to (say it with me now ) "teach a lesson".

"You know, Ry, Jesus tells us that we should treat everyone as if they were Jesus himself, especially the poor and hungry who have nothing. He wants us to help them the way we would help Him."

"You mean that guy was JESUS?!?"

"No, baby. I just mean we should do for everyone what we would do for Jesus."

"Oh, okay."

I was giving her some time to let it sink in as I made a U-Turn on the highway heading for home.

We looked over at our new friend as we passed by, leaving Ryan wondering aloud, "Why is that poor Jesus-man throwing our food into the woods??"

For once, I was without words.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

You're never gonna get it if you don't ASK

While perusing one of the many many gift stores at the reosrt, we asked Ryan what she might like to take home with her from Disneyland.

"Well, I really just want to have something like you guys. You know, like an iPod or something."

This? This she gets from her aunt. I won't say which one, but she lives in Arizona and her name begins with an L.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

What I learned at Disneyland

At Disneyland, I learned that even I, cynical Mommy, will weep when the right music is played while watching fabulous fireworks. I learned that late September, mid-week is the best time to go, because once Saturday hits, you're really just walking and waiting, walking and waiting.



I learned that just because your 4 yr old can't get enough of Space Mountain, does not mean she will enjoy the Tower of Terror. (I know she looks scared at S.M., but if you could only see the original shot if T.T., you would see how completely alarmed she is to be falling 200 feet. Unfortunately, I did not want to spend $30 on the photo, so you'l just have to take my word for it.)




I learned that you can never ever ever bring enough money to Disneyland. Ever. Ever.









I learned that putting on a dress and having someone fix your hair











will automatically turn anyone into a super model.












At Disneyland I also learned that unless there is a Disney celebrity in the frame, your kid will not want to take a picture.













I learned my favorite thing about the Disney Princesses is how much attention they give to each child -- every.single.one.












I learned that if you ask even one non-character-playing Disney employee for their autograph and picture, the look on their face will be totally worth all the characters you didn't get to meet. (Thanks, Mario!!)


I learned that you should definitely spend the money for the Goofy Breakfast -- awesome buffet, tons of characters, totally worth it! Just watch out -- Goofy tends to smother.


















And finally, I learned that a true Princess will act like a Princess anywhere she goes -- even in Minnie Mouse's house.







Click here to see the rest of the pics...

Sunday, September 24, 2006

"Hard Mass In Butt Cheek"

This was the search phrase that led some poor soul to our happy little blog.

Well, then.

Hope they found what they were looking for.

P.S. We're back from Cali, Disney rocked, pics soon to come!!!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

What's red and swollen and stinks to high Heaven??

Jax woke up today with his right eye swollen completely shut. Funniest damn thing you ever did see. I think he just had a bug bite there that got swollen -- there's no puss or red on his eyeball, so I dosed him with Benadryl and laid him down for what is turning out to be quite a long siesta.

Also? He told me and signed to me that he did "poop", and he had!! I know I sound completely lameoid getting excited about all of this, but he's only 17 mos, and I figure I might as well relish in his academic successes before sports takes over and his brain looks like his face did this morning.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Miss Marks-a-lot

How do we get our 4 yr old to STOP DRAWING ON HERSELF???? I remember my Dad whipping us with his belt and sending us to our rooms for just that crime, but since I don't have the stomach for THE BELT, and since her bedroom is a veritable playground, both of those options are out.

We haven't really stressed out over this issue until recently, when we discovered she's been drawing on the kids at school, prompting them to color her hair pink. They thought it was all shits and giggles, but judging by their parents' faces as they walked their graffitied kiddos out of the classroom, I'm thinking the epidemic is becoming more shit, less giggle.

Moment of Zen

My morning began by chasing Jaxson away from a pile of dog poop, only after he'd smeared it all over his hands, legs and sippy cup.

So, basically, the day had nowhere to go but up.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

You Heard It Here First (unless I'm wrong, then just forget I said anything)

I'm pretty sure Eva Longoria and Tony Parker just got married tonight. I'm at the lake with Lea, Jen, Mom and the kids, and:

A) We heard that the wedding was taking place here this weekend through various sources,

B) We just witnessed an embarrassing display of otherwise un-called-for fireworks,

C) Following said fireworks, Ryan, Lea, Jen and I jumped in the car and went stalkerazzie on the scene, casing the local hotel, where we saw wedding decor, various limos, and quite a few fancy-pants jets at the airport -- we are nothing if not thorough.

And yes, we are now officially declaring ourselves LOSERS.

Congrats, you crazy kids!!!

**update** It's Sunday night and we've just come in from dinner at the Yacht Club (lovey) where we were informed that the firewirks were for a wedding, and as a matter of fact, they were illegal Mexican fireworks, wreaking havoc on nearby outdoor dining patrons, some of whom were struck by "shrapnel" -- their word, not mine -- and even igniting a small fire on top of the tiki hut/bar.

Damn celebrities.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Little Things

While most people would climb out onto a ledge if they walked into their kitchen, filthy from the previous evening, afternoon, morning, etc... (at least, most moms cuurently subscribing to the "happy pill" way of life), I held fast to my senses, anchored to the ground (and away from the window) by Ryan's comment on said mess this morning:

"Would you look at this mess?? Pizza boxes and coke still out! Holy Moly! I've never seen it look THIS bad!!"

See? Even she's aware that this messy kitchen is a bad thing -- which means it's not always this messy, which means somewhere, somehow, I am doing something right.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to shoo the ants away from my lunch.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Are You Ready For Some Football??

Pulling, pushing, ball-hog antics...these are the reports I've received in the past week about Jax's behavior.

Squealing, smiling, hi-fives...our reaction to the news, leaving the nursery workers befuddled and scratching their heads.

"Why should they be so pleased", they wonder.

NFL, baby. NFL.

Monday, September 11, 2006

The Attack of THE AUNT

Lea Ann is in town, and if there's anyone snarkier than me, it'd be her. Need proof?

Ryan just came back from a 2 1/2 day journey with my mom, ninny and lea, and so far, I've been told horror stories of how Ry almost ate a booger (I shudder) and when chastised and warned about being known as the "booger eater", she replied, "Whatever, Mommy-Boooger- Eater!!" From which both my sisters concluded that I must have taught her this nasty little habit. I did not., though I do suspect her negative alliteration of moi must have been influenced by the Middle Child.

Then at lunch today, I was with Ry on a potty break when she stepped on my hurt toe, causing me to cry in pain, "Aarghh! Ryan! You stepped on my hurt toe!!" Her Lea Ann-esque reply?

"Waah, waah! You stepped on my huwt wittle toe! waah!" WTF?????

Last, but not least, while eating, my mom told me a little ditty about how the night before Ryan asked Lea Ann if she could sleep with her, prompting a short and succinct "NO" from Lea Ann. Having obviously spent too much time with Lea Ann already, Ryan retorted, "I'll give you fifty sih-ihntssss".

Which, knowing Lea Ann, bought her a one-way ticket into bed, but only after she paid up first.

Friday, September 8, 2006

Wallace Y Grommitt: El Maldicion de la Were-Conejo

Oh Joy! The ever elusive (quickly becoming so, at least) Family Night in the York house: handmade pizza, ice cream sundaes, and a movie to boot!

Just when you think things couldn't get any more 21st Century Rockwell, you start the movie you recorded on DVR and realize you saved the Spanish-language version.

P.S. Check out The Mommy Blog -- Mindy just published her book!!!

Thursday, September 7, 2006

I Stand Corrected

Why do I do this to myself? Why, oh why do I insist on tempting that bitch in a prom dress known as FATE?

In Amy Speak, this means my day was shitty. And most likely it was because I was so prideful as to declare myself capable of juggling naked in a snowstorm. Sorry, I'm all about the metaphors today.

The morning was easy breezy; dropped Ry off at school, grinned from ear to ear when I threw her the deuce and she flashed her hook 'em horns at me. Bomb. Diggedy.

Jax and I got home, and I went to town making some banana bread for Ry's after-school snack while waiting for kiddie models to show up. Shawn called to check in, Jax "answered", and when I went to grab it from him, he rebelled by grabbing the cord of the electric mixer, dumping the butter-eggs-sugar mixture all over himself and the floor. As I rushed to grab him the first of many many models showed up at the door. Of course they did.

So I let them in, pointing to the pile of clothes as I ran Jax up to the bath, trying to have a discussion as I stripped his egg-whites soaked clothing off of him, ripping his diaper off without even thinking, flinging the giant load of crap he'd been smuggling straight into the bathtub. The same bathtub, might I add, that i had intended on using to wash the salmonella or ecoli or vernicious knid or whatever off of his writhing little body. So that was fun.

Finally (finally!) we finish, get the models fitted, when along comes another batch, and before I know it, it's time to pick up Ry.

That goes well, actually, that went really well. Her teacher said she was such a loving child, quite the social butterfly, and the first (and only) one in her class to comfort the kid-that-won't-stop-crying-after-Mommy-leaves. Read: your kid won't stop hugging me, she talks non-stop, and takes some sort of sick interest in kids who cry. No, really. I was proud. I was. Cloud 9, baby.

As we made our way to her first dance class, she was nervous about meeting the other girls in class, to which I over-zealously defied her to be wary, reminding her about all the friends she had made in just 2 days at a new school, yada yada yada. Unfortunately, the girls in the class were not as glowing as my angel, they teased her, she glared, and that was that. I've since been assuring her that all 5 girls were having a bad day all on the same day and they would probably be very nice next week. This is not false-hope I am instilling: they teased her about wearing a black leotard, no tights, no ballet shoes. The girl will be Swan Lake in a Box when I get done with her this weekend. I'm an awful unprepared mother and I should be flogged. But not until I finidh telling you about the rest of my day.

After dance we hightailed it over to the Y so Mommy could unwind with Yoga. Yep. Nothing like unwinding by being forced to bend over and stare at my dead toenail for an hour, as all I had on hand was a Barbie band-aid not big enough to cover my left nipple, let alone my big ole yellowing dead nail bed.

Did I mention I forgot my prozac and am now on my second glass of wine?

Wednesday, September 6, 2006

Hair today, Gone Tomorrow

For many years now, I've successfullyblocked out bits and pieces of my past, mainly because I was just the world's biggest dork, but also because, well, some of it still smarts a bit.

Like the memory that came rushing to me today of when I was younger and used to go around pulling out wads of my own hair just because I could, and you know, I loved grossing people out. It never hurt, which was the basis by which I actually got people to sit and watch me do it, and let's face it, I'm a fame whore, and if that's where the fame was, that's where I was gonna be.

What brought this wretched, wretched memory rushing back? Oh you know, just the massive chunk, wad, clump of hair Jax pulled from Ry's head earlier. I tried to take a pic (is that gross?) but my camera quit and I've 765 other things going on right now, so you'll just have to visualize, people.

By the way, she says it did hurt, to which I quietly rolled my eyes and muttered, "sissy".

Also? Ry started pre-school yesterday, ahd her first Spanish class, her first dance class starts today, the fashion show for MOmmy and Me thatI'm in charge of is tomorrow and so far NO MODELS have come by for fittings.

Such is my life, but you watch -- I will pull it all off, and without the slightest hint of insanity. Well, there may be a tad bit 'o the crazy, but I seriously doubt heavy meds will be required.

Monday, September 4, 2006

September Sweeps

In case it has gone unoticed, in less than a week our little blog baby will be one year old. 9/9, to be exact. And to commemorate this blessed little event, I'd like to try to reach 9000 hits by 9/9. So, recruit your friends, family, the guy at the bus stop, whoever, just get them here so we can hit our milestone in style!

And, if you are the 9000th hit, you'll receive a free tee from chunkyrhino!! Just leave a comment letting me know who you are and where I can send the goods.

What are you waiting for? Go, go, go!!

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Catholic School Orientation: The most fun you can legally have with a Priest

Not because of the excitement of meeting the new teacher, checking out the new digs, or signing up for the numerous booster-clubs and after-school activites -- not even because of the fact that I am THIS MUCH CLOSER to not having to juggle both the kids every day all day, but because I got to see Shawn try to carry on a conversation with our sweet old parish Priest.

Rarely does my husband ever become intimidated or flumoxed, but when he does, I like to pull up a chair, sit back, and quietly laugh my ass off (What? He'd do the same for me!). Unfortunatley, I had to settle for standing with the stroller, holding Jax and laughing my ass off, but it was sooo worth it just to be able to see Shawn stammer and sweat. (I really do adore him, I swear)

That, and I got to hear someone else's kid say this:

Teacher: " How are you today, Nancy?"

Kid: "Good! I just swallowed some throw-up!"

Nice.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

I love you, now leave me ALONE

This is how I feel about my kids around 7:15 pm every Wednesday and Thursday night. Those are Shawn's long days at the restaurant, when he leaves the house around 6am and doesn't return for at least 12-14 hours. That means 12-14 hours with the kids alone. 3 hours with my kids is daunting, but 14? Am I on ritalin?

Having done this for a while now, I usually am preparted for these XXL days: I try to get some sleep the night before, am up before they are, get breakfast going, kitchen cleaned, some playtime, then it's off to the gym for an hour. This is usually the best time of the day for us. Just look at this pic I took of them minutes before we headed off to the Y:


See? They're practically screaming "Happy sibling actors ready to star in their first 'My Buddy' commercial."

We get home an hour or so later, have snacks, watch a cartoon, then it's naptime for Jax, and story time for me and Ry. Today she even went down for a 45 minute siesta with me! Incredible!

Then we're up around 2 and it's pb&j sandwhiches all around, followed by a little light cleaning in the playroom, then outside for chalk drawings, bike riding, and overall outdoor mayhem -- I even let Ryan "paint" the house with a piant brush and water.

Then Emma came over, Jax had some alone playtime, and I watched Oprah while folding laundry.

Suburban Housewife Bliss, I tell ya! But then Emma has to leave, it's 5:45, Jax is clingy, Ryan is attention-hungry (????) and I'm trying to end a business conversation on the phone, begging for 10 minutes alone time, eventually locking myself in my bedroom, which turns out, does nothing but encourage them to scream, yell and bang louder.

I call Shawn, desperate to find out when he will be home so I can fix dinner, only to learn that he doesn't plan to leave until at least 6:30, which means the earliest he will be home is...7:15. (It's now 7:30, and still no Shawn).

Now Ry is begging for food, I've kept Jax in his highchair waiting for something (anything) for 10 minutes, so I give in and start dinner. Ryan hides out in the pantry, making me open the door every 5 minutes so she can ask when dinner will be ready, Jax throws the bits of cheese and orange I've given to him, and I try not to burn myself, the kitchen, or dinner.

At last(at last!) we get to sit and eat, and I'm bombarded with comments like, "What is this nasty wiggly yellow stuff?" and "Why do I have to eat salad? It is so disgusting!" I get her to stop talking, only to be pelted in the forehead by Jaxson's portion of the "nasty wiggly yellow stuff".

It's 6:58, I've had enough, so we all head upstairs for bath time, where I figure I can get at least 15 minutes of downtime to sip some shiraz and flip through Vogue.

My naivete is cute, no?

2minutes into the bath and bubbles are flying, kids are screaming and Vogue is soaked.

"That's it!" I yell. "No stories tonight!!" To which Ryan sing-songingly replies, "No stories, no stories, no story story stories!!!"

Grrrr. I whisk them both to bed, with nary a good-night kiss, and tell Ry I will send Daddy up when he gets home, which turns out to be closer to 8 pm. He immediately knows things have gone awry upon entering: a quiet home, messy kitchen, wife in the recliner laughing hysterically at TV's Most Outrageous Moments.

We have our time together while he reheats the dinner that has now gone cold, and take turns telling Ryan to get back in bed. Finally we give up, allowing her to join us for the last 30 minutes of Caddyshack -- for once, the Golf Channel is good for something -- and then I make her do the dishes.

Shawn balks at this, but Ry thinks it is amazing that she gets to do a grown-up chore and stay up late, and follows with, "Maybe tomorrow I can drive!"

Hmmmmm.......

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

If IMAGE is everything, I'm screwed

Once upon a time in a land far far away there lived a little girl who loved to shop. Shop shop shop all day long, that was her motto. Thousands of dollars on credit, two kids and one mortgage later, she no longer gets to shop shop shop, unless you count the once-a-week cruising of the clearance aisles at Target.

Then one day, Shopping Beauty's buddy said "Screw It!", and they jumped in their econo-size sedans, piled their collective kids and headed to the swankiest joint in town. Used to be, Shopping Beauty owned this particular mall, but ever since Nordstrom's moved in things had gone far too uphill for this mom from the 'burbs.

Nervous does not come close to explaining the feeling in my gut as we walked up to the main entrance. The trip was actually a last-minute one for me, but luckily we had been running errands earlier, so I was already decked out in all my hip-mommy wonder: $10 white clearance pants from NY&Co, my $3.75 tee from Target (holla!), my $3 clearance head wrap from - gasp- Nordstroms, and my cute little $9 Charlotte Russe pointy-toe flats. Thank you, thank you very much.

So, although I felt moderately comfortable entering this real-world fashion show, I was anxious as to how the kiddos would behave. Taking them to our suburb mall which caters to the mommy crowd is one thing, but dragging them through Nordstrom's, Sephora, Coach, et. al.? Whole different subject. I think I've pretty much gotten past the whole "my children mortify me in public" bit, but I had yet to venture out with them amongst people who think so highly of themselves they deign smile lest you accidentally mistake it as a gesture of acceptance. Plus, the shit in these stores costs a fortune -- the kind of shit my kids tend to destroy.

Not to mention that when my friend and I get together, our kids go nuts. It's part of the reason we do it so much. WE think it's funny, plus they entertain each other while we shop. We have never before actually been able to shop with them in tow, so we are happy to deal with the minor skirmishes that arise when our foursome joins at the hip (you don't even want to know what they're like at Whole Foods). The thing is, what we see as skirmishes often tend to be annoying anti-chldren debacles to the rest of the world. But whatever.

So we hit Nordstrom's, doing the potty thing, cruisin' the foot wear aisle, holding up shoes for Ryan to look at as if we actually could afford to purchase them should she want me to do so. Then comes the cosmetics section, and Jax starts screaming, Ryan and Jayden begin chasing each other around, and every single counter girl glares with fear and hatred in their eyes. We manage to get out all in one piece, when I notice that Ryan is still holding the Cookie Monster doll she had picked up in the shoe section. Mortified, (but a little impressed that she so easily shoplifted from such an upscale establishment) I walked her back to the scene of the crime to return the stolen merchandise.

Having sucessfully manuevered through that obstacle, we continued on, and I felt bolder and more confident with each step. I was intent on giving forth the look and feel of a grown up who really did belong here with all the pretty people. Even as we made our way through more shops, settling for a bit at that make-up mecca, Sephora, I was thinking, "Hah! I can pull this off -- I can be Perfect Mommy who goes Shopping!" Stupid. Stupid stupid stupid stupid.

Before I know it, Ryan and Hunter are running around sticking their fingers in pots and pans of blush, powder, lipstick, etc... When I finally tore myself away from my search for the perfect pressed powder, I was faced with Hunter the Clown and Ryan, the little girl whose face he turned black and blue. Oh my God, they looked hideous. Luckily, Angie had completed her purchase, taking Jayden and Ry with her to another store, while I managed Hunter and Jax.

Poor Hunter. I fear he will forever be the little one blamed for everything. I think one of the sales ladies must have seen the mess the kids had made earlier (try as we did to cover up the finger-prints, smudges and wads of tissue), and went to town telling me how Hunter had "wreaked havoc" on their tester products.

"Mmmmkay," I mumbled, so far into my Mommy Make-over that I was not about to let some Bitter Betty ruin my good time. "They're testers, right? They're meant to be played with." I retorted, moving along. I must have pissed her off, because she left huffing as I made my way to the checkout counter, applauded for my fashion sense by not one but 2 clerks, who were clearly NOT trying to butter me up to make a sale, seeing as how I was already in the midst of buying, so shut it.

We glide out of the store, find our counter-parts, and head back to the parking lot, when Hunter decides to try and juggle the recorder-flute- thingy he was playing with, sending it smack onto Jayden's head and breaking it into 3 pieces. Jayden's screaming, Hunter's crying, Ryan is whining about wanting to go to Build-a-Bear, and Jax is just yelling.

Finally we make it out all in one piece, and as I head home with the kids, mentally figuring up my purchases and what level of guilt I should/should not be feeling, I decide that overall, the trip was a success, and one we should consider doing again in a few months/years/decades.

Until I get home, change my clothes, and find the giant purple stain on the butt of my white pants.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Snakes on a Mommy

Well, technically it was just snake, but it might as well have been a herd.

I was feeling very Mother-Earthy this morning (actually, I feel like someone rubbed the entire inside of my mouth with cotton balls and then stuffed them up my nose -- the "Mother Earth" thing was just a side effect of being sick but not being able to lay in bed), so I adventured into the backyard for some weed-pulling.

I tackled one main bed, then another, feeling increasingly better with each pull. Looking around, I noticed the desolate little rear corner where a lovely climbing rose should be and decided to move some pots around to make room for our quaint patio table and chairs. In my yoga pants and flip-flops.

As I was lifting our giant clay urn, I turned to stop a plant from brushing up against my ample backside, when it was suddenly brough to my attention that there was no plant. This fact was made clear to me by the skinny little wriggling snake squirming up my leg. Inside my pants.

Now, not to get too dirty so early in the morning, my husband is one hot toddy, but I have never before stripped for him with such speed and agility as I did this morning.

Making that ridiculous sound that always seems to emit itself from my mouth when about to fall -- "whoa, whoa, whooooaaaaa"-- I ripped my pants off, along with my shoes, and ran half-naked screaming into the house, leaving Jaxson behind to fend for himself.

As I heard Ryan screaming "Daddy! Mommy's running NAKED!!", I remembered I had another kid, who fortunately had followed right behind me.

Well, then. It's good to know he can take care of himself should we be faced with sudden danger, because apparently I do not come equipped with the "Not Without My Child" chip.

Just add that to my Big Bag of MOTY Tricks.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

You can call off the suicide watch, I'm all better now

I think the thing about that last post was not so much that Ryan's actions were monstrous, but that the result was scarier than unsual. So, other than feeling a little sheepish at my blatant over-reaction, I'm all good.

This week was a bitch, though. Shawn and my Mom say it's because of the heat, I say it's because Ryan needs to get her butt into pre-school pronto. I'm running out of things to do inside the house or some other air-conditioned fortress to keep them entertained -- you know it's bad when my idea of a fun field trip is a visit to Whole Foods. Luckily, it's far enough away, and close enough to the city that I can still pull it off.

So the G'peeps and I took the kids to the Austin Farmers Market this morning and then on to Whole Foods, and all in all it was pretty good. My favorite part was when I began admonishing Ryan for grabbing a yogurt-covered pretzel from the bulk bin, only to turn around 2 seconds later and catch Big Daddy doing the same thing, grabbing 2 -- one for him and one for her. This explains a lot.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Broken Glass

Ryan just put Jaxson's head through our window tonight. He didn't even flinch. We're still not sure why she did it, but we think it may have something to do with her brain wanting to watch Daddy water the lawn.

I'm dying here. Seriously. I have no idea what I'm doing wrong. I am obviously aware that I am not the cream of the mothering crop, but in all honesty I thinkI'm pretty okay. Then something like this happens, Ryan goes into fantasy mode, Shawn blames me and I breakdown. I love my smart kid. I love that she's smart. I love that she's creative and imaginative and full of vibrance. What I don't love is the dangerously close line she walks between being a super-smart savvy sassy spunky kid and a 4 yr old version of Sybil.

I'm truly at a loss. I don't know if I should continue with the blog even -- maybe some of her "other world" obsession is caused by my need to make light out of nearly every situation. (Or maybe I'm a self-centered witch who doesn't deserve to have kids.) I know Shawn doesn't think I'm on enough with the discipline, but if you could really see us, I think I'm pretty consistent. But I could be wrong. I could be blowing the whole fucking thing out of proportion, and probably am, but when you've got kids, that's what you do, right? I mean, they are your world, your reason for being, your duty to God and all that, right? Then how could anything not be a big deal? All our lives are are mere small incidents added onto one another, creating great big moments and phases and eras. So how can we not analyze the little things? When they were babies that was all we did: "Day 1, she did ____. Day 2, she did_______. " Christ, they have us keeping journals of their excrements, right? When is it okay to stop obssessing? When does the care and worry and concern get in the way of the love and nurturing? I never thought I was that much of an anxious mother (shut it), at least, I tried not to show it in front of the kiddos. But we all second-guess ourselves, right? If the AMA can take 30 years to change their minds about breastfeeding and which way to put a baby down to sleep, and spankings, what's so weird about mom's second guessing every freakin' decision they make with their kids: How to handle a discipline problem? How to handle an overly-imaginative kid? Half the experts want you to baby talk every little thing, and the other half think you should bring it on, no holds barred. So now, here I am, little girl lost, trying to figure out which way is up, worried about what I'm doing to my kids, which is probably nothing, except that all the worrying I'm doing is turning me into an emotional wrecking ball, which is what will likely end up being the cause for their imminent downfall, no?

How do you squeeze the normal out of the crazy?

P.S. Lea Ann and Jennifer -- this is not the post to comment on with some smart-ass remark.