Monday, February 25, 2008

Without Further Ado...

I give you...PICTURES FROM HALLOWEEN!!! Woohoo! Lalo found my camera this weekend -- apparently she'd thought it was her's, took it home, and it's been sitting on her counter ever since. Yay! All is not lost!!
And since it's been mentioned that "no one wants to read about your personal enlightenment yadayadayada, Amy -- we come here for the kids," I will get right to the point and post those pics.....NOW.
Jax, as "Ghetto Rocket" from Little Einstein's.
Ryan, as Elphaba (Wicked Witch of the West) -- the School Girl Years.
And with her Daddy...
I'd show you my costume, but with all the time it took me to create THEIR costumes, mine fell a little short. In other words, you could see the pic, but then I'd have to kill you. Don't ask me why.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

You may say that I'm a dreamer...but I'm not the ONLY ONE!!!

I am dangerously close to with the buttons to my left, but I just had to add the link for

I just found out about it and am so excited! It's a project of Action Without Borders, and I think it's all that and a bag of chips! (cheetos, if you must know). This is what I have been wanting to find for so long, and never even knew it existed! Isn't it fantastic when that happens?

I stumbled upon it while researching jobs and volunteer opportunities in Costa Rica, pleasantly imagining my family selling our worldly possessions and heading down there to experience more of the world and help others in need, and BAM! I'm hit with THIS.

This internet thing is really starting to pay off.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Potty Train-athalon 2008

Am training for the Danskin in June. Using the term "training" severely loosely, of course.

In honor of that, and mostly because I woke up to a house, garage, and car all without diapers this morning. Yes, I checked.

Brilliant idea came to me as I was rifling for magical self-appearing diaper in Jax's top drawer when I came across a pair of Thomas underpants so graciously given to me by my (sniff,sniff) long-distance partner in crime (hey ang.). My brain went, "Why not?" and Jax took one look at Thomas and knocked over the couch, coffee table and Lola in his mad dash to retrieve them from me.

So we're potty-training.

As organic as that. No calenders, no schedules, just, hey, mommy didn't get enough diapers at the store -- wanna try something new? Normally I would have quaked at the idea of the mess, but I'm dealing with Dog Doo left and right, so what's a little human fecal matter thrown in?

4 pee incidents and one ball-o-poo later and it's 4:30 pm, have just left Walgreens with pull-ups in hand, breathing fragrant sigh of relief.

Before the yelling commences, no I am not giving up or sloughing my duties as #1 Follow-thruer. You didn't get the memo? It's my new thing. Following through. Should be very reassuring for those I currently do volunteer work/projects for. Anyway, as it says above, this is a Train-athalon.

Pacing is essential.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Me & My Girl

Ryn just handed me a card. It's pretty good. Here, I'll show you:

"If you give a mommy a hug..."
"She's going to want a kiss."
This, delivered shortly after having been fanagled into letting them watch another episode of Scooby Doo and commenting, "You guys really have me wrapped round your finger, huh?"
"Yep," said Ryan, holding up her pinky and pointing to a miniscule spot between the folds of skin on her knuckle. "See? That's you, right there."

Monday, February 18, 2008

The View from Up Here

We've reached the mountain top with Jaxson, and it feels FABULOUS!!!

It's like all this time we've been clawing and dragging each other where we wanted to be, unable to see where we were going. Then we let go -- of our expectations, of our demands, and we listened for what we couldn't see. We stopped everything and just payed attention.

And just like that, the clouds cleared and we saw the peak and slowly we've been working together to reach the top. Jax is sleeping through the night again, and although he still has terrible tantrums that include much sratching and more hair-pulling, it's easier to see what triggers them and how to avoid doing so.

I'm certain that there is another valley waiting for us, but I know now that the trials create the triumphs, if we can learn to let them.

We're still wading through the mud with Ryan -- lots of "I hate's", pouting, "No fair's!" and all that goodness, but she's been more conditioned to this behavior by us than Jax has, so our journey with her will take little longer, but I know it will be worth the wait.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

The New CSI: Diaper Duty

I am dying over here trying to figure out the cause of my child's emerald green poo.

It's not often that I don't know what exactly that shit is that's coming out of his butt (what with all the time I spend down there). Corn? Check. Hot dogs? God help me, yes. Gum? Yep. Grapes? Duh.

But today I was finally stumped by the Stool Fairy when I undid the diaper and found myself staring at The Golly Green Giant Poo. Quickly I shuffled through my meal catalog from the past 24 hours and nowhere do I have filed, "Four Leaf Clovers". There's lots of hot dogs, cheese, carrots, pizza,.... huh....I should really think about stepping it up a little more on the food standards around here...

I digress.

My only possible guess could be that it's a weird color reaction to the Blue Corn Tortilla chips...that mixed with the inherent lemon-lime greeness of his Sprite.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Love, Marriage and a Baby Carriage

Had a dream last night that I was preggers...and you know what?? I liked it!


Happy Valentine's Day from my heart to your's!!

(NOT for little ears. Or really old ears. Or "Bossy" ears. You know what? Just skip it altogether...)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

No one like Ninny!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY NINNY!! Technically, her birthday was yesterday, and no I didn't forget; as a matter of fact, I cooked up her Fave Dinner, by request, the kids picked out an Oreo birthday cake, we all talked about how much we love her, took turns making atrocious faces at each other, and then Jax started shking his booty, yelling, "Spank it Daddy! Spank it!"

That's just how we roll.

I am late on this post, though, but had to follow through none-the-less because of 3 reasons.

#1: That's me (aka "Skeletor") on the left and she (aka "Dimples") on the right.
#2: Here's Ninny just seconds later in a straddle-hold quite similar to the one I use to give Jax his inhaler treatment.
#3: And just because I'd hate for Lea Ann to feel left out...
In case you're wondering which one is me, I'd be the Albino in the middle missing facial features altogether.
Hppy Birthday Ninn!!!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Full Circle

I've finally realized why, as an adolescent, I took such strange pleasure in showing off my "trick" (for lack of better word... hang on -- oddity, maybe??) which involved me pulling wads of my own hair out of my head without even a flinch.

The only real appeal was the shock on other's faces, and as I got older, I didn't so much need to perform the trick to get the desired response (I'd found bigger, better ways to shock by then), so I finally gave up my circus side-show act.

And as with most of the things I did when I was younger, I've found myself wondering, "why??" over the years: "Why was I able to accomplish such a feat in the first place?" ; "Why did I have such an affinity for displaying this "talent"? ; "Why did no one ever have me committed??"

Finally, after all these years, I have my answers. Had I never been able to yank handfuls of hair from my head without crying, bleeding, or going blind, had I never showed off my abilities to the point of boredom, had I actually been committed for my strange, strange ways, then I never would have been able to survive Jax's recent meltdowns in public, which involve me losing tufts of hair coiled around his fingers in front of masses of people. If this were not already a tired old trick, I would not have been able to continue my shopping expedition this morning with Jax hanging from his tether to my head, or been able to remain calm and level-headed (badumbum, ching!) as all those people watched in horror.

And had I been committed all those years go? Well, my friends, I never would have been able to share this story with you. And that, I'm sure, would have really been a shame.

(Now if only I'd been blessed with indestructable facial tissue able to withstand wrinkles, lines, and angry toddler scratches...)

Thursday, February 7, 2008

This is much better

Right. So I was all ready to sit down and detail the wretched sick day I spent with Jax yesterday -- the fevers, the wheezing, the doctor drama (Binky is BACK!! Doc uses lame excuse to show off her iPhone, while instructing me on the correct vise grip to use on Jax when administering treatment with his new inhaler), the naps at 2 and at 4 and at 6. The fasting. Oh, the fasting.

But just as I sat down to type, Jax zeroed in on my location, began begging for a "peabutter spoon", crawled onto the back of my chair, slid head-first down my back and declared: "I see you butt! I see you butt!.... You butt stink!!"

He's feeling much better today, thanks.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008


Having problems fasting? Come on over to OUR house!! I've developed a three-pronged plan to ease the pain of fasting on this beautiful Ash Wednesday...follow me!

1. First, I'd like to introduce you to my projectile-vomitting son, who has opted to up-chuck during the middle of the night over the past two days, and although the actual regurgitation took place hours ago, there is still plenty of DNA remains soaked into the carpet to help suppress your appetite. And if that doesn't work, ask me to tell you about how as soon as the puke hit the floor, Lola was right there to start licking it up. (See, I told you this would be easy!)

2. It's pretty hard to eat when there's no food in the house, unless you think a snack of peanut butter and ground flaxseed mixed with syrup would be a tasty treat. Actually...

3. And even if there were an abundance of food, there are no clean dishes or cookware to eat or cook with! It just goes to show, if you wait long enough, what initially appears to be a fault can eventually turn into blessing!!

Now go in peace to love and serve the Lord. Amen.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Super Fat Tuesday

To you and you and YOU!! Have a blast voting (if my state was holding their primary, I'd be out supporting CHANGE), and gobble up all the decadent food and drink available -- we've got a long 40 days ahead of us!!

I haven't decided what I'm giving up for Lent yet, but I'm thinking it will be something along the lines of the concept of "I". I'd like to be able to let go of my association with my ego, that wild & crazy guy that's wreaked havoc on my soul for so many years.

Giving up "I" isn't as easy as you might think -- all things associated with "I" must go as well -- like "Mine, Me, My, Myself..." And just like my favorite 2 yr old knows, the hardest of those to release will be MINE.

But what wonderful results will surely be waiting around that bend -- when greed is gone, I won't be afraid, I won't be jealous, I won't hold tightly to those things that mean nothing to my being. And should I fail? Ahh, therein lies the greatness and ultimate purpose of this season of cleansing -- the value is in the effort; the knowledge that something fundamental needs to change, and that ultimately "I" am not the change -- He is. Just that reminder alone is a step in a better direction.

Too heavy? Let me put it this way: For the next 40 days, I'm going to try really really hard not to get mad at the kids when they barf on MY favorite pillow (like Jax last night), to not feel simmering irritation when Shawn leaves his clothes for ME to pick up, to not curse the driver at the intersection who takes his turn before me when clearly it's MINE, to not want to shoot daggers at those who think that everything I have just said is wrong, stupid, or naive.

Even when that person is Me, Myself and I.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Knockin' On Heaven's Door

We lost Jax yesterday. About 5 whole minutes unaccounted for, which to us felt like 5 hours.

He snuck out of the house and high-tailed it down the street to his friend's place, where Shawn found him sitting and waiting. I don't think it was until I realized he really wasn't hiding in his room, in the backyard, or in his favorite spot -- amongst my purses in my closet -- that I really started worrying. I take for granted the fact that just because I can't see or hear him doesn't mean he's not there, that just because he's not within my arm's grasp doesn't mean I can't reach him.

And then I thought of the comments I made earlier in the week about how maybe God had made a mistake -- had handed him over to the wrong Mommy, because surely I don't have the patience or energy for an explosion of his magnitude. And as those comments played across my mind, I immediately began the bargaining process we all go through when we're desperate -- "please, God, I'll never doubt you again if you'll help me find him safe...please, God, I'll raise myself up to meet his needs, rather than try to bring him down to match my carefully carved comfort zone....please, God, I'll stop watching the Girls Next Door AND Real Housewives of OC AND The Hills if you'll just make this STOP!!!" Or something like that.

And, as with all Heavenly Haggles, it was pointless, because the Creator is not a peddler of plea bargains. But still, something moved within me, and even if only until the next time he smears his fecal matter all over the walls, breaks a valuable memento, or just won't. stop.hitting, I will try to remember, as Shawn says, that family is not an obligation -- it's an opportunity.

And I will hold both my babies a little closer, a little longer; I will look at my job as a mother as the heaven-sent calling it is; I will use my struggles, however slight or significant, to help me cross the unseen ravines that are waiting for me somewhere ahead, and I will always keep with me one of the best quotes I've heard in a long time, from "Friday Night Lights" of all places:

When discussing the issue of finding childcare for their infant daughter, Coach Taylor tells his wife, "Let me tell you something -- that's not our burden; it's our gift."

Now let's go kick some cute high school football butt!! Oh, wait -- wrong kind of pep talk, but you get the idea....

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Life's What You Make It, or Sweet Nibletts, What Have We Done???

Once again, I am astounded by our stupidity as parents.

Who thought buying Hannah Montana 3D movie tickets for a 5 year old would be a good idea?

Who thought sitting in line amongst not-even-tweens for an hour would be fun?

Who thought I should be the one to chapperone??

Whomever the culprit, they should be hung by their toenails and made to listen to hundreds of screaming grade-schoolers for 2 hours. While wearing 3D glasses over their eyeglasses, like the dork I was last night.

Oh yeah, baby. We went. We saw. We sang. We peed. A lot. 6 trips to the potty, to be exact.

The movie itself was fun, Ry and her friends were great and enjoyed themselves thoroughly, until about 3/4 of the way through when I looked over and one was slumped sideways, head held up by a limp arm, one had her head tilted back, mouth gaping, and the other was using my arm as a pillow. Reminded me of the time I went to see GnR and Metallica in high school and ended up sleeping through Metallica. I'm so proud of myself and my dorky past. And present.

And dorky though I may be, at least I wasn't one of the ridiculously obnoxious moms who were either:
A) dressed exactly like their daughters;
B) yelling and screaming, "Hannah!Hannah!" and literally woo-hooing when the Jonas Brothers appeared;
C) throwing popcorn at moviegoers in front of them and filming the entire movie on their cell phones.

Ladies, ladies, ladies. This is not 1982. We are no longer young and nubile. Scrunchies are NOT in, and neither are leggings for anyone who weighs over 200 pounds. (You know who you are). Popcorn throwing was never cool, and you should know what a pain in the ass it is to clean up other people's messes, if you are even close to doing your job properly, which by the looks of the way your daughter was yelling at you and spitting her popcorn, you most likely are not. I'm not judging, I'm just sayin'... Also? I understand you only want the best for your child, but no amount of complaining to management is going to make the movie "more 3D". Yes, there were spots when we had to suffer through Miley in 2D form, but it's Miley Cyrus -- how horrible can she be in any dimension, really?

I will say, however, that regardless of how entertaining the movie was, my favorite part was watching the chubby 9 yr old boy dancing his heart out in the aisle next to me, complete with microphone, spin-and-jump moves, ample booty shaking, finger-snapping and LOTS of head-tossing. I have high hopes for his future as a Selena impersonator or the next member of Menudo.

But, alas, the evening was not actually about me, and seeing as how every time I turned to watch my daughter, she was singing, smiling, or staring in awe (save that one moment she slipped into unconsciousness), I suppose the night was a resounding success, even if I did have to suffer through it with not even a ounce of alcohol or mind-altering drugs. I can just smell that MOTY award coming my way...

Friday, February 1, 2008

I lecture because I love...

YOU. All of you. So listen up!!

Turns out, using hot tap water to cook with or drink is another easy way to consume...LEAD!!!

Egads! I, for one, need nothing more added to my life to encourage mental health problems, nor do my babies who surely have inherited enough of their own.

Check out all the nasty details here.

I, for one, will be using cold cold water to make this for my sick kiddo who is staying home from school today with a 103 degree fever.

Sick on what she has dubbed "the greatest day of my life" (read: Hannah Montana 3d Movie Day).

Oh Murphy, you skanky whore -- you and your Law have struck AGAIN!!!!