Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Know where I can get a good washboard??

In the yearly tradition of "Yay! We got $$ back from our taxes, let's see what breaks down now!!", our washing machine has gone kaput. Just up and started grinding its teeth, flailing its arms about, stomping its feet, declaring "I don't wanna! I don't wanna!"

Shawn says he thinks it's the belt or something, but all I know is I've got a washer full of wet, soapy towels, and I'll be damned if I have to haul them, myself, and Jax Attack to a washeteria with a fistful of quarters. I graduated from college already, thank you very much.

So I figure, why not a wash board and basin? Seriously? If my great-great-great granny could do it, how hard could it be? I'll wear some long itchy skirts and a bonnet and we'll call it a history lesson for the kiddos.

Now if I could just figure out where to put the liquid fabric softener...

Friday, January 26, 2007

Let My People Go

Tonight was Family Night at the York House. Breakfast for dinner, and a movie to boot. We searched HBO on Demand, and decided on "The Prince of Egypt". Yep, the leader of the Jews and Pigs in a Blanket -- the best of both worlds.

Anyway, we were actually pretty excited to watch it; Ryan had just recently learned the story of Moses at preschool, and it was one that has held her attention for longer than 30 minutes, so we were more than happy to supplement the lesson, Disney-style.

The only problem is, the kid likes to ask questions. Lot and lots of questions. Questions of specificity and details so minute that in times like these (aka:when talking about biblical stories) I generally defer to Shawn, oh Private School Punk that he is. It's not that I didn't have a very long, thorough bible-based education, it's just that when it's between me and the Bible Bowl champion of 89,90 and 91, I usually tend to lose.

Apparently, all the BBQ smoke must have clouded his brain, because there turned out to be a lot of questions he couldn't answer, like, when Moses left Egypt, who took care of his sheep? Ummm....

So I did what any good Catholic would do in a time like this, I referred her to her Godparents, Lalo and Jeff, who conveniently weren't at home. On to Plan B.

Once the movie had ended and some of the questions were still unanswered, Ryan and I headed up to her room to read from Exodus on the matter. We got about to the part where Moses is discovered by the Pharoah's daughter and his sister offers to fetch the mother to feed him when all hell broke loose (pardon the pun).

"Why did the mom have to feed him? Didn't the Pharaoh's daughter have food?"

"Yes, but when mommies have babies, they produce milk in their breasts (cringing now just as I did when I said it, btw) for the babies to drink." *wince*

*Can literally see the wheels just a-turnin'* "Well how does the baby get the milk from the mommy's boobs?"

Sweet Jesus. "You know, the baby sucks it out of the boob, Ry."

(Clutching at her non-existent bosom)"Oh My GAHH!! They suck it out of them? How does it get in there in the first place? Does someone put it in?"

"No, when the Mommy is pregnant, her body just sort of produces and stores the milk for the baby to drink."

"Oh, I see. The Mommy has to get the milk or the baby will die. But, did Jax suck on your boob?"

Oh God. "No, and neither did you. You didn't like it and I didn't have a lot of milk anyway, so you guys both just drank formula, and you survived, you little La Leche Nazi. Now close your eyes and go to sleep."

"Mom? What's a Nazi?"

Moses, Boobies, and the Third Reich. Who knew?

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Dude. Road Trip.

Who needs a family vacation in order to have fun in the car when your kid's pre-school is half an hour away??? Just an example of the rollercoaster ride we take every morning, today was no different than normal:

The coffee pot broke last night (AAAGGGHHHH), and since I was up with both kids throughout the night, I was in desperate need of a caffeine fix this morning. Shuffling the kids off to the car as fast as I could, I took off (sans bra or wedding ring) for the local drive-thru Starbucks, literally itching for a drink. The whole way there, Ryan was darting me with questions: Are we going to school today? Why are we going this way? How did you break the coffee pot? Why do you need cofee? How? Why? Why? How?

That 5 minute drive alone was enough to drive me mad, which was apparently quite obvious to Ryan, because the minute we pulled up to the order window, she rolled down her window and screamed, "MOMMY BROKE THE COFFE POT AND NEEDS COFFE NOW!!!!!". (Apparently, this must happen to a lot of moms, because the drive-thru chick didn't even bat an eye.)

Once I had my Venti Caramel Macchiato in hand, we were off towards school, a fact which Ryan required confirmation of at least a dozen times. Finally, at the point of breaking, I suggested she chew some gum, only she couldn't let Jax see it, or he would be begging for some as well, which would kind of defeat the purpose. Against every teacher fiber in body, I proceeded to teach Ryan my own special technique of sneaking gum.

"Just start coughing, Ry, and when you bring your hands up to cover your mouth, slip the gum in."

This took 15 minutes to accomplish, what with her repeated questioning of my technique, her need to understand why we were sneaking gum, and her numerous failed attempts,but she was finally successful, much to the chagrin of her future teachers, I'm sure. My bad.

10 more minutes left in our car trip, so I decided to enjoy the silence by turning up the radio. Yeah, I'm funny that way. I was listening to my friend Heather's morning show, when the opportunity to win dinner for two at a really great restaurant came up, available to the 5th caller.

I frantically began to dig one-handed through my garbage-bag-masqueraded-as-a-purse, searching for my cell, when all of a sudden from the backseat I hear, "Hi Menana!"

Much to my chagrin (as well as the chagrin of everyone on my speed dial), I have recently taught Ryan how to dial certain family members by simply pushing and holding their assigned number. Since I taught her this last week, I have discovered her making various phone calls throughout the day, hassling my mom and sisters at work, hanging up when they tell her they'll call her back, then picking up the phone to call them again when she hasn't heard from them 5 minutes later. It's hilarious some of the messages I hear her leave: "Ninny, I really need you to call me back, I have something really for real important to tell you." or "Lea, why haven't you called me back? You said you would call me back, but you didn't and I want to know why." We've got a future phone-stalker on our hands, my friends.

Anyway, as soon as I realize that she has called my Mom, I scream, "Ryan! Hang up the phone!! I need to make an important call! I want to win DINNER!!!!" Ryan looks at me as if I have just shot Bambi, at which point I replay what I just said in my head, sink down into my chair, muttering "nevermind", and keep driving.

Needless to say, I did not win the free dinner.

Anyone want to carpool???

Monday, January 22, 2007

Flattery, schmattery....

So. It's that time again -- Mommy and Me Children's Consignment Sale is gearing up for our Spring 2007 Sale, and this one is proving to be bigger and better than ever. Already, we've reached amazing heights with the response from moms all over the central Texas area -- we had over 2,000 shoppers for the Fall sale -- and now it seems other consignment sales are trying to ride on our coat tails.

I won't mention the other sale's name, but it is pretty new to the area, and has already pissed off Mama Bear by using our trademark slogan (Sell! Shop! Save!) on their website. Naughty, naughty... Why can't we all just get along??

Anyway, this sale is going to be even better than our previous ones -- we've created a Mom's Night Out event with Austin's family-friendly radio station, The River, where we will be featuring free massages, body fat testing, mini-mani's, and more!!! We've also set aside space during this time for all of our new and soon-to-be moms -- lots of cool stuff that I sooo wish I'd had when I was preggers.

The website is open for registration, but the registration deadline is March 20th, so get in now!! Plus, if you volunteer, you get a better shopping time, as well as a chance to make even more money. Consigning is super easy -- we do most of the work for you -- and you will definitely be glad you did when you get your check in the mail, usually within 7-10 days after the sale.

Periodically, I'll post pics of some of the stuff I'm selling, just to give you an idea of the awesome finds you'll see there. Plus, don't forget -- I got Jax a Big Wheels Jeep, in great working condition, for only $50!! As if he would know the difference!!

Check out the website and start listing your stuff now, and don't forget to start writing down the stuff you'll want to shop for when you're there -- it makes your time there so much more worthwhile!!!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Everyone's a comedian...

Here's how Shawn showed his support over the Hair Incident this week. See how quickly you can spot his addition to my to-do list:
Funny funny, ha ha.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

That's All I'm Sayin'

Happy now??

Here's what happened:

We've been stuck in the house, or had been, for at least 3 days, me and the kids, while the entire Austin-area was freaking out over an inch or two of ice. I'm hours away from my period, Shawn comes home Tuesday night with a stomach virus, quarantines himself in the master bedroom, which is the only non-child-inhabited warm room in the house.

Chalk it up to too much cold, too much kids, too much hormones, too much cabin fever -whatever the reason, I felt compelled yesterday morning to cut my bangs. Please don't ask me why. I cannot handle trying to explain to one more person why I would do something so stupid, I just did. Anyway, one thing led to another, and before anyone could say "Tinkerbell!", that's apparently who I turned into.

Tinkerbell, Kevin Bacon, Dudley Moore, my mother... I look like a million people other than myself, and while I am trying hard to remember that it is just a silly haircut and that it will grow back, I am having a difficult time.

For someone who thought she was ugly to begin with, this is a new low, one that will take me a little time to dig my way out of. Not to mention the fact that Shawn won't speak to me, much less look at me, and the rest of my family has me on speed dial, worried about me to the point that they're suggesting therapy.

I will be fine. It is JUST HAIR, but I don't want to talk about it again for a while, so please don't ask. The kids are great, the house is messy as usual, and I've still got some of my humor intact, as I will prove by inserting this dandy little quote, which is all that's been running through my head since yesterday morning: "I've used bobbypins to stop the curling on one side..."

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

It Happened To Me

In honor of all of the salacious "BEWARNED" articles that plague nearly every parenting magazine known to man, chunkyrhino brings you:

How CoffeeMate Saved My Life, by Jaxson York (21mos)

"'Sup kids? How's it hangin'? So, listen, you know how Mommies are always drinking that dark stuff in the morning, and like 10 minutes later they're A LOT nicer than when you woke them up screaming "EAT! EAT!"? Yeah, well, my mom is no different -- the broad guzzles gallons a day, which might improve her mood, but does nothing for her breath.

ANYWAY, I was just sitting here this morning, playing with some friends of mine, when I looked up and saw Moms putting milk in her black stuff and stirring it around. I heard her offer some the other mommy-type that was here, saying something about "coffee mate". Well. I had just finished my 2nd sippy full of water, and that milk stuff was looking preeetty good.

I know how she loves it when I beg frantically, repeating myself with urgency until she does that funny laugh/yell/dance ritual that freaks RyRy out, so I started in with "DRINK!DRINK!", then "MILK!MILK!". Nothin'. It was time to pull out the big guns.

I climbed onto her lap, reached up, and yanked that mug right out of her hands, sending that milky-dark stuff on top of my head, all over my face and clothes. Damn, that shit was hot!

I screamed. I cried. She screamed. She cried. Mom said I was lucky she had put so much of that milk stuff into her coffee, because without it it would have hurt a lot worse. I dunno, it hurt pretty bad as it was...until I licked myself, then all else was forgotten. It tasted so good, I found the wet clothes she stripped off of me, sucking the very last hint of yumminess out of every fiber.

Yeah, so anyway, that's how CoffeeMate saved my life. Tell your friends."

Saturday, January 13, 2007

You Asked For It

Okay, lovies. Prepare to sit back and enjoy the first annual installment of RUIDOSO RUMBLE (echo, echo, echo).

Now, I believe I teased you all with the trials we faced on our first day -- lots of poop, burned condo, hardly any snow. Actually, this was mild for us, as you all know. Hmmm, so you want stories...

Let's see, there was the uneventful first day, until 6/7 pm rolled around, and we performed our White Elephant exchange, wherein yours truly received Cranium, which Lea (the gift giver) commanded we break open and play immediately.
So we did:




Can't ya just smell the fun??. Then we took a break, Shawn tried to change Jax's poop ("It won't stop coming out!!"), Big Daddy broke down laughing so hard he cried, and then he called it a night.
This led us to charades, at which Miss Ryan happens to be a natural. She solves the clues and can perform to a tee at the drop of a hat. Our favorite was when she stood still, arms out parallel to the ground, eyes closed. Menana yelled out , "Ummm...Christ?!?"
Ryan, rolling her eyes, replied, "No, Menana. Jesus." I fell in love with her all over again.
But what's best is that wonderful 4 yr old spirit that thinks every victory, no matter how small (or how non-victorious), calls for celebration.
We eventually all padded to bed, eagerly anticipating the next day's snow events, which turned out to be less-than-exceptional.
Remember the snow tubing we were so excited about? Yeah, this one. It pretty much sucked. The wind was blowing so hard we were literally blown away every time we tried to drag our tubes uphill (okay, that was fun), and when we finally reached the top, the Hitler-esque owner was there to yell and scream at us, moving us along like so much cattle being herded to slaughter.
This did not bode well for Mr. Shawn. Used to being the one barking the orders, he quickly bristled, explaining he was waiting for his daughter who was right behind him, but the only reply he got was "MOVE IT!" Yikes.
Now, we are nothing if not loud, passionate people, so of course Shawn retorts, "F*&k you, you a$$. I'm f*&$ing waiting for my f#$*ing family, who happen to be the only other f$&*ing people on your damn ride, so shut the f%*k up!" (I may have paraphrased a bit.)
After a few more insults between Shawn and the owner, he finally moved along, only to be engaged in a 7th-grade worthy stare-down. I'm not usually timid of others while in Shawn's presence (I essentially married my bodyguard), but seeing as how Ryan was playing, we had spent $45, had only been there 30 minutes, and this guy could conceivably kick us out, I was eagerly trying to calm Shawn down.
Lucky for us, Ryan was having about as much fun as we were, so we quickly left anyway.
We made our way back to the house to meet up with Menana and Big Daddy who had taken Jax to Wal-Mart to look for snow boots. Apparently, they had had a similar experience, just different place, different people.
I should preface this little story with a short explanation: 1) Big Daddy is a big, big man, survivor of 4 or 5 heart attacks (I've lost count), who finds it very hard to do anything other than sit at such a high altitude; 2) Menana is old and bitchy (kidding, mom, kidding); and 3) Jaxson is heavy as shit and won't obey, meaning in a place like Wal-Mart he requires carrying and/or restraints.
According to Menana, they had just dragged/heaved Jax all the way through the parking lot eagerly searching for alternate means of transporting his fat little figure, only to be greeted by the ever-present Wal-Mart Senior Citizen, who declared, "Welcome to Wal-Mart, we don't have any baskets on this side, you'll have to go to the other entrance if you need one."
Stupid, stupid, stupid. Dad could barely breathe, Jax was squirming like a stuck pig, and mom's age was creeping into her bones, making way for the bitchy. They trodded ALL THE WAY ACROSS THE STORE, into shopping basket wonderland.
"You guys need to send some baskets to the other side. They're all out over there," she informed Old Lady Greeter #2.
OLG#2: Well, they haven't asked for any yet.
(Here comes the bitchy)
Mom: "Well, I'm telling you. They're all out over there, I just had to walk ALL THE WAY ACROSS THE STORE to get one. The big guy can't breathe, this one's fat as fuck, and I've got Cancer." (Well, maybe she didn't play the cancer card, but she should have.)
OLG#2: "Well, I've got to wait for them to tell me to send them over."
Mom: [Enter long, over-wrought Julia Sugarbaker-esque tirade here]
Anyway, long story longer, Dad said he was just trying to scoot Mom along, telling her to hush under his breath, with was barely making it out as it was, eventually getting them all out of harms way, when seconds later they hear this over the loud speaker: "More baskets to the North Entrance, please. Baskets needed."
Cut to Menana smiling smuggly.
That's just how we roll, folks. The Roberts/York Family: Making enemies across America since 1977.
So the afternoon progressed into another evening of food, drinks, games and insults (another thing we're really good at), until we all pooped out and turned in for the night.
The next morning was on to Ski Apache for me, Shawn, Lea and Ryan, where Ryan attended a kid's ski class and totally kicked ass. I'd have pics to show, but I'm still waiting for Big Daddy and Lea to send them to me, so blame them. Apparently, the skis that took us 2 hours to acquire (including measuring), were too big for Ryan, a fault we only learned of at the end of the 6 hour day.
Ryan: "Please can I stop now? My feet hurt so bad!"
Teacher: " Yeah, these skis are way too big for her -- I'm amazed that she did as well as she did!"
Lucky for her, Aunt Lea was also ready to go, a result of having a monstrous headache due to the 3 times she fell getting off the ski lift. She claims it was mine and Shawn's faults, but we know better, don't we?
By the way, for those of you who know all about Shawn's previous ski trials in Steamboat Springs 9 years ago, when he managed to get taken down the mountain 2 days in a row by the ski patrol, and had himself banned from the mountain until he took ski lessons, he excelled this time, thanks to instruction from the Incredible Falling Lea.
While we conquered the mountain, Ninny and the old folks were tubing with Jaxson, another adventure I'd provide pictures of, if only they'd taken them. Apparently there was some complication involving icy conditions, bum knees, and "only having two hands, AMY!" I swear, they are such lightweights.
This took us into evening, all of us a little sad about having to leave the next day, when lo and behold, God stepped in and said, "C'mon...stay another day. You know you want to!"
We had a snow storm early in the a.m., leaving us snowed-in and calling the rental place to extend our stay.
It was WONDERFUL!!! The kids finally got to really play in the snow, which was awesome considering the first day's playtime only yielded this.
Snow ball fights, sledding, you name it, we did it. Then, 30 minutes later, we were sooo over it, so we retreated inside and punished ourselves with a 4 hour game of Phase10.
Later, the girls headed to downtown Ruidoso for shopping, where Ryan begged Lea Ann to buy her this. That's right, she now owns her very own Bobble Head Jesus Doll.
And that's that. We ate a lot, drank a lot, played even more, and had one of the best vacations in family history.
Now, if we could just do something about that 10 hour car trip...

Friday, January 12, 2007

So sue me already...

I know I said I'd post about the trip, but it's been 2 days now and our Dell Dinosaur is still uploading the pics. You know I don't like to read, much less write, anything that doesn't have pics, so you'll just have to continue being patient.

Also? Just when we thought it was safe to come out and declare Jax to be a sweet, adorable, spunky little guy, he turns back into THE DEVIL. He's learned to climb out of his crib, and does so at every chance. Also, he's been waking up the past few nights screaming, won't sleep with us, won't let us put him down, so we end up laying blankets out on the floor so that at least when he's done slamming himself against his closed door, he'll have something soft to pass out on.

Except? Shawn just went to calm him down, and returned saying he's pretty sure he has an ear infection (he says his ear smells) and that he also thinks Jax has gas (he's pulling up his knees). I don't have the heart to tell him that it's probably just his own breath bouncing back up into his own face, and that Jax loves to, um, bend his knees..? uuuggghhhh.

Looks like I may not be posting pics tomorrow either, unless the doc has a laptop and wifi she'll let me use.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Try this one out, Supernanny

Before I begin, yes, I will be posting stories and pics from Ruidoso, as soon as I get over the mind-numbing effects of dieting. I'm on Day 2, which is 2 days longer than I've been able to stay on any diet in quite some time, and it's a wonder I found my way to the computer at all today. I'm also on my 3rd day with no alcohol, so cut a girl some slack, will ya?

Anyway... took the kiddos to the much-dreaded FLU-SHOT APPOINTMENT today.

Holy God.

I've resolved to be a better mom this year, to try to take each day as it comes, and set my priorities where they should be, instead of where my mind leads them -- novels, fashion mags, shopping, tv shows...

That said, I knew today was all about calming Ryan's fears and keeping her feeling as secure as possible. I am such an over-achiever. First of all, let me just say that we scheduled this damn appt. before Christmas, so it has definitely been a dark cloud looming over our heads for at least 2 weeks now. Even on our trip to Ruidoso, Ryan spent plenty of "alone time" with Menana in her room, discussing her worries, and that the fact that when she thinks of getting the shot, she gets "all crazy in her head", worried that "the crazy will come out."

)Seriously. She should just go ahead and get her own honorary phD, write herself some prescriptions, and start pulling her financial weight around here. The clarity with which she expresses her emotions and thoughts would impress me if it didn't also leave me huddled in a ball in the corner, asking, "Why, God, why???)

Back to the shot. We'd been talking about it for a while, reading some books about going to the doctor, and I had finally gotten her to stop threatening to kill all the doctors in the world. Very big stuff here, kids. I figured I'd do a reward in reverse, take her to get an icecream before the shot, just to show her how much faith I had in her and the excellent job she would do come vaccination time. Sucker bought it hook, line and sinker.

Did I mention I'm the sucker?

Everything was rolling smooth as glass until the nurse came in with the needles, and asked who would go first.

"Ryan will. She's excited to show her brother how easy it is."

Those words set off an alarm of gargantuan proportions: "NO NO NO NO!!! PLEASE! NOT ME!!! IDON"T WANT TO GO! TAKE JAXSON FIRST! LEAVE ME!!! TAKE THE BABY!!!!!"

Top-of-her-lungs-blood-curdling-screams, accompanied with waves of tears, wild thrashing of extremities, and the most labored breathing I'd heard since, well, labor.

"Ryan, we talked about this. It's just gonna prick a little. Want to chew some gum?"

(Don't ask where I pulled that one from.)

*sob, gulp, sob, sob sob* (screams): "Will(gasp) it (gasp) make it (gasp) not hurt?!?"

"Oh yes, yes! It's MAGIC GUM!!" (The nurse and I are now in cahoots.) So we use my body as a veritable straight jacket to hold her still, as she continues to holler to take Jaxson and leave her. Luckily, I've had experience in this arena.

The needle does its thing, she never even feels it, and is so overcome with joy and relief that she starts doing that sobbing/laughing thing that Steel Magnolias made so popular long ago.

Once that was done, Jaxson, who had just earlier been offered as a sacrificial lamb, climbs up, drops his pants, and doesn't even flinch. (I'm thinking he was still numb from the spanking I gave him minutes before in the bathroom for opening the urine cups with his teeth.)

You think I'm exaggerating, I know, but let me just tell you: when we walked out, every single member of the pediatrician's office was in tears, laughing so hard at what I'm sure was shit-gigglingly humorous when heard from behind a wall.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

National Lampoon's has nothin' on us

So we've been here in Ruidoso for about 6 hours, and so far Jax has had diarrhea everywhere, the condo we were renting caught fire, we spent $100 on tire chains for no apparent reason, and Ryan has built an 8-inch-tall snowman.

We were hoping for some serious powder on the slopes, but when we got here, the temp barely registered below the 48 degree temperature we left in Texas. This did not hinder Ryan's mood one bit. The minute we pulled up to the house they upgraded us to, she jumped out of the truck, flung herself onto the 6"x6" swatch of snow still sticking to the ground, exclaiming "I love snow! Snow is GREAT! This is so awesome!!!"

She is nothing if not enthusiastic.