Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Sometimes, every once in a while, I may be wrong. Just maybe.

You know that grill I love? Well, it came time to do some serious cleaning on it, and I threw the grates in the dishwasher. (No, I didn't ruin it - everything's okay with the grill. Calm down.) But I did make a mess of things.

The grates (or whatever they're called) didn't exactly get clean. My husband, who is all wise (kinda) knew that the dishwasher wouldn't get them clean. But he lovingly stood by and let me put them in the dishwasher anyway. Because even though he doesn't know everything, he is smart enough to know that he should just stand back and let me do my thing. Especially when I think I'm right, and especially when it comes to the dishwasher.

What he doesn't think I know is that when it came time to use the grill, he had to wash the grates by hand after they went through the dishwasher. And the sweet man didn't say a word about it to me. Not one I told you so. He did mention that the dishwasher was a mess. There were little bits of black flake all over the bottom. And what did I say to that? Nah. It's not a big deal. It won't leave a mess.

So guess what? It did leave a mess. I had to run the last load of dishes through the dishwasher twice. And rinse all of the glasses separately. Everything was covered in the little black flakes.

Here it is folks, one of the only times you'll hear me say this: Honey, you were right. The dishwasher wasn't the right thing to do. I should have washed them by hand. And the black flakes did make a mess out of everything. But all is fixed, and all is clean. And I won't do it again.

(Now hurry and memorize this, because I don't like to admit I was wrong. I may just delete this entry so there is no proof of my errors. And I may delete it soon. Hurry!)

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

It's not what you think.

Okay, um, I just realized something.

And I'm embarassed.

My title, the one up there in white, in all lowercase letters, that one? Well...

It can be taken to mean something not so wholesome. And for a mommmy-blog (because basically, that's all this is) it may not be the best title.

You know what? I thought I was being cute when I came up with the title. It was my way of being cheeky. You know - instead of Grin and Bear It, I used Bare It. As in, Ha, Ha, baring all of my thoughts for you to read. But then, I realized, some people could come here to see someone baring it all. And boy are they disappointed when they get here, and no one is baring anything. Except me, and my mindless thoughts and activities. And really, that's not what they want to see.

So, you people? You people who are here to see someone baring themselves to the world? THIS IS NOT THE PLACE FOR YOU!

And the rest of you? The ones who are here to find out what we're up to down here in the hot-as-hell south? This is indeed the place for you. And shame on you for not telling me I had such a risque title! It's like letting someone go around with spinach in their teeth and not saying a word!! And then that person feels even more embarassed later on when they realize that their friends never told them they had something stuck in their teeth and they went around all day looking like that!!! Well, I'll forgive you this once, but you're going to have to let me know about these kinds of things!!!! I consider it your job to let me know when I'm going to make an ass of myself!!!!! Now start taking that job seriously!!!!!!

Ahem... okay, um, thanks. Just wanted to say that.

My mind, it is lost. And it's hot.

Let me just say how awesome I think starting the week on a Tuesday is. Can we do this every week?

The highlight of my day so far: My daughter asked me what prunes were. I told her they were like big raisins. Dried fruit, I said. I told her that the fruit was round and purple, and then they dry it and it looks like big raisins. And then, later, I remembered that the fruit was called a plum, and it's only called a prune when it's dried. So I tried to go back and explain to her about the whole plum/prune thing, and she truly looked at me as if I had lost my mind. And I feel pretty stupid for not remembering what a plum is. (And also for obsessing about it to the point that I'm writing about it now.)

Also, we took an early walk today. Because it is HOT and HUMID and I hate the hot, humid weather. I'm already sweaty and sticky feeling, and it's not even 10:00. How do those women do it? You know, those ones that never sweat and always look neat and pressed? I am red faced, sweaty, and I probably smell. Ten minutes outside, and my face is an oil slick and my hair is sticking to my head. It really seems unfair.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Enjoy your Memorial Day!

It's Memorial Day, and although we are not at the beach like my husband so wanted to be, we are enjoying the great outdoors.

We are grilling. And have I told you how much I love our grill? It's a gas one from Sears. Nothing fancy, and certainly not an expensive one, but it is fantastic. I. Love. It.

We have been to the pool. (Our neighborhood, it is wonderful.) We do not have our own pool, but we do have several pools in the neighborhood. Yeah, several. And a water slide. And something called a "sprayground" which is a playground in 1 1/2' to 2' deep water and perfect for the kids to splash around in. Hubby and I are already a little burnt, but we're going back for more later.

My husband, who never buys anything he wants, bought himself a set of golf clubs. No, not an expensive set - did you know you can pay like $500 for just one club?!? He bought a set on sale, but a full set so he's got all he needs. And he's actually giddy! (But don't tell him I called him that.) I'm happy that he has finally spoiled himself a little.

And, AND, we are watering the grass. We actually put fertilizer down, and are now watering it to hopefully get a greener lawn. That's yardwork people, and it's a big step for us. We've never before done this much yardwork. Suburbia must be finally getting to us.

Friday, May 26, 2006

If only George Lucas was available for class visits.

Today's the day my husband goes to my son's class to make a little presentation. He's got to tell the class a little about what he does for a living, and something about our son.

This has caused a lot of anxiety around our house for a while now. You see, other parents have had exciting jobs - hockey referee!, prison builder! - and one parent even brought a horse to the school, and all the kids got to brush the horse. And also, our son said so-and-so's uncle brought in a Cadillac. So our dilemma is, how on earth do we top that? My husband, while having a good and very necessary job, does nothing exciting. Not for kids, anyway. (If you are really into dry cleaning and laundry equipment, then he's your man.) Also, he doesn't have anything he can bring in to show the class. All the equipment he works with is Huge (with a capital H).

So what is he bringing, you ask? He's bringing brochures with pictures of laundry equipment. And goody bags full of candy. And also, R2D2.

Yeah, you read that right. R2D2. A real robot R2D2 of Star Wars fame. It has absolutely nothing to do with his job, but it is a very cool thing that our son owns. And when in doubt, you can dazzle Kindergarteners with cool things. They won't even notice that it isn't relevant to his job!

Now I'm wondering what kind of job these kids will go home and tell their parents my husband has. Maybe a robot builder. Or Star Wars star. Or maybe they'll even think he's George Lucas himself. Or maybe they'll just think he's kinda cool (which is really all we're hoping for.)

UPDATE: My son, he threw up again. This time in the cafeteria at school. So my dear hubby didn't even get a chance to do his presentation. But don't worry, he'll be going back next week. Which means another week of anxiety over what to tell the kids. And also, another addition to my son's places-where-I've-thrown-up-at list. (That list is getting to be a long one.)

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Who's going to hold me if I get cranky?

Last night we went out to eat at a restaurant that my son had previously thrown up in (he has thrown up there twice, to be exact.) Now before you get yourself all worked up into a tizzy because we are such mean parents and subject our son to such places, let me say that he was the one who picked the place to eat. He actually loves going to eat there, even though the sight of some of the food makes him hurl. Anyway, the reason I'm telling you that we went there is to say: my son, he did not throw up! And we all got to eat a full meal without having to race him to the bathroom because he looked a little green! Amazing.

But before you celebrate our good fortune, let me tell you something else. The evil virus named Cold is making an appearance at our house. It has taken over my daughter's head, and leaving trails of snot in it's wake. And my son head is not far behind. Oh, and the baby, he seems to be getting it too. Hence the reason that this post is going to be short: he is currently sitting in my lap and yanking chunks of hair out of my scalp. And I cannot put him down, for he is cranky. Cranky baby = constant holding. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Worship at the altar of my son.

This week my son is the "star student" in his class. Each student gets a week where they get to be, well, the star. I knew that this was his week. What I didn't know was that it would require hours of manpower (or maybe mom-and-dad-power) to pull off.

Imagine my surprise when yesterday I got a little note from his teacher that said, "Please send in a poster of pictures of Ethan." And it wasn't even the subject of the note, it was a little footnote. As in, oh, by the way, please make a big poster of your son with pictures you don't have and send it in for his week, which is already half over, and didn't you know you were supposed to do that, you clueless mom?

And, um, me being me, I couldn't just print some pictures off the computer (because all my pictures are digital) and tape them down. No, not me, I was determined to make him a nice poster.

So I decided to find out more about this 'digital to print' thing I have heard about. You know, where you can upload your digital pictures to a place like WalMart or Target and they magically turn them into actual pictures that you can hold in your hand. And I found out that, hot damn, they can do that. And in an hour. And - here's the part I love - it's easy.

After much deliberation I decided on some pictures. There were no baby pictures, because those are actual prints, and in no way was I going to tape those down and send them to school for a group of Kindergarteners to put their grubby little hands on. No, the pictures I used were from about age 3 onward.

So then off to WalMart the whole family went, where we got ourselves some posterboard. And, well, we got a lot of other things too. Things we didn't really need, with maybe a few we actually needed thrown in for good measure.

Fast forward to me, after putting the kids to bed, hunched over a bunch of posterboard, cardstock, photos, rolls of tape and scissors. Oh, and also, a paper cutter (which I love because it actually cuts in a straight line, versus the wavy thing I call a line when I do it freehanded.)

An hour or so later, after a lot of frustration, and a lot of tape, I finished the poster. And when I held it up, I realized that it was one hell of a poster. As in, hmmm, is it supposed to be this big? Because it was BIG. It was a downright big poster (an homage, if you will) dedicated solely to my son. Then I was scared it was too big. I didn't want it to seem like I wanted them all to worship at the altar of my son.

And me being me, again, I got my husband sufficiently worked up about whether or not we were sending in an appropriate sized poster. He kept asking, "Are you sure it should be a poster?" And I kept saying, "I don't know. She just sent home a little note! Not an explanation! Who would ask this of a parent at the last minute?! Don't they know I need time and preparation?!? Don't they know I need exact measurements and instructions?!?! Don't they know I need time?!?!?!"

Here's where it gets embarrassing: My husband went to work late this morning because he wanted to take the poster in to my son's teacher and make sure that it was what we were supposed to send in. Yeah, we were that worked up over it. While most parents would have just thrown something together and never give it a second thought, we will obsess and fret. And grill our son over his breakfast about what the other kids brought in. Also, for your information, a Kindergartener is absolutely no help when it comes to explaining the exact dimensions of other children's posters.

Oh, and the poster size? It was fine.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

A hint: I'm mesmerized by shiny, sparkling things.

Happy birthday to me,
Happy birthday to me,
Happy birthday dear mee-ee,
Happy birthday to me.

I'll wait here while you go get me a present. Or I'll even take cash, if you prefer. Don't worry about me, I'll just sit here and surf the web while I wait.

What's that?? I'll be waiting a while?? Hmmm.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Sharing the wealth (of knowledge, that is. Don't get excited.)

I discovered a few things this weekend, and because I like you, I will share my discoveries. And you will thank me, I'm sure.

First, there is a cake out there that is amazing, aa-mm-aa-zz-ing. And my lovely sister-in-law, who I will deeply love forever for bringing me such a cake, bought it at Cold Stone Creamery. It's name: Midnight Delight. And it is a delight. Truly. It is, and I quote, "Layers of moist devil's food cake & chocolate ice cream with chocolate shavings & a layer of fudge wrapped in rich, fudge ganache." See all the times they mention chocolate and fudge in the description? That is what makes it so wonderful. And the ganache. I have no idea what ganache is, but it's yummy. Get yourself one. You can thank me later.

Second, when you offer a growing child a snack, expect to feed them lots and lots of that snack. Like, for instance, if a neighbor boy wants to have some Spongebob cereal and you say, "Sure" you can kiss that brand-new box of cereal goodbye. And a good portion of your milk too. Lesson learned.

Third, when you attend a child's 7th birthday party, and they have an inflatable bouncy/slide thing, it will erupt into chaos. And if they have a pirate theme and provide fake hook hands for dozens of kids, somebody is going to be "hooked" and get hurt. If that person is my daughter, she will scream bloody-murder and finger her brother as the master-mind behind it all. Oh, and also, you should not wear a cute little three quarter length sleeve shirt and capris to a party that takes place outside in the summer in the south. You should just wear shorts and a tank top, because it will get HOT and you will sweat. And then smell bad. Remember that one, it'll save you some embarrassment.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

I think I speak a different language.

Um, yeah... so when I said, "a little bit of long layers," she heard, "chop the heck out of my hair."

It's not the worst cut I've ever had. It's not the best. It's not too bad, but I'm thinking I may have to break out my scissors and fix it a little.

If anyone out there knows how to speak hair speak, let me know. Obviously, I cannot correctly convey what it is I want. And, no, I'm not going back to have her fix it. I am not going through that again. Are you crazy?!?

For me? A big deal.

Here it is, Saturday morning. And I'm 3 hours away from my hair appointment. What's the big deal, you ask? Well....

Let's just say, hypothetically, that it has been a year since you've gotten your hair cut. A year. And let's just say, still hypothetically, that you cut your own hair when it looks like it needs a little touch up. And also, you have been so scarred from previous visits to hairstylists (who gave you the Rachel and also bad highlights the one and only time you tried highlights) that you are downright fearful of what another unknown stylist will do to your hair. All hypothetically, of course. Then, hypothetically, wouldn't you be anxiety-ridden? Wouldn't you?!?

Ah, well, maybe it's just me.

I'll update you on what happens. Or I'll be huddled in a corner crying and then shopping frantically for hats. We'll see.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Just what I need, more guilt.

First of all, let me tell you that I made an appointment at a salon. For Saturday. That's tomorrow. And I'm scared whitless (substitute an S for that W and you've got what I'm really feeling.) I keep repeating to myself: "I will not cancel. I will go." But holy heck I think I'm going to hyperventilate if I think about it too much. I may have just a little bit of an anxiety problem. Just maybe.

Now onto what I wanted to tell everyone earlier, but never got the chance to because Blogger hates me. Ahem, where was I? Oh yeah, babies.

Today I did my daily reading of blogs that I find very entertaining, and I found two that were talking about babies. (They are here and here.) Specifically, they were talking about deciding when/if to have another child. And I have to say that reading those posts filled me with guilt.

My guilt stems from this: I didn't want any children, and then was blessed with two. My kids were both surprises. Not accidents, mind you, but surprises. (Accident sounds too much like something bad happened.) Also, I never struggled with my decision to only have two. For me, it was a no-brainer.

If you would have asked me if I wanted children in my previous before-children life, I would have probably said no. Or maybe. But probably no. Because I didn't think I was a kid kind of person. I didn't know what to do with babies, or even little children for that matter. I never had the urge to hold a baby, or smell their downy soft heads. I didn't even babysit much as a teen. Kids just weren't my thing.

But then I had my son. And I realized that being maternal was just something that kicked in for me. I didn't have to work at it. I didn't even resent him taking over my life. I decided to stay home with him, and never once thought about what I was missing. It was what I wanted to do. Then when he was 8 months old, I found out I was pregnant with my daughter. (They are only 17 months apart.) I was surprised, but not disappointed.

I'm not going to lie to you, I did have moments of, how are we going to pay for all this? Can I handle two kids under 2? But I found I could handle it. Without having a nervous breakdown!

After my daughter was born I suffered through a bout of postpartum depression. It was hard, and I'm just going to leave it at that. Once I came through the other side, however, I found that the two children were, indeed, just right for me. I had my tubes tied immediately after giving birth to my daughter, and I haven't regretted it since.

So when I read about people who are struggling to have a baby or who are trying to decide if they want another, and when would be the best time to have one, I feel guilty. I feel like the luckiest woman in the world for being given my two children and knowing that only two were what I wanted. I didn't ask for them, but I am so amazingly grateful that they are here. Because I really am a kid kind of person after all.

Screaming obscenities at my computer.

I did a long, emotional post just a few minutes ago. And Blogger lost it. And I don't know if I'll have the time or energy to rewrite it. Just thought I'd let you know.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Things I once knew, but forgot #263716

Not even your Tide pen can save your white t-shirt when a baby with a mouth full of mashed peas blows a raspberry.

Random not-very-coherent thoughts.

Lately I've been tired. Like really tired. Like I'm having trouble putting together coherent thoughts kind of tired. And I'm not really sure why I'm so tired... Maybe a growth spurt? Because of the tired, I didn't post yesterday, but I figured, why deny you a post again today? So here it is: Random not-very-coherent thoughts for you (aren't you happy?)

The baby's parents have asked me to start feeding him solid food. Within the first few seconds of starting to feed him cereal, I realized that it had been a very long time since I had done that. And I also realized that I needed more paper towels. And a wet washcloth. And a dropcloth underneath his chair. Because holy heck it is messy feeding a baby. Also? Baby cereal dries to cement. Just thought you should know.

I went to the gym again last night. I wouldn't have gone if I had been given the chance to back out, but I'm really glad I did. I liked it a lot. But it's not really helping with the whole tired thing. Although, I did sleep fairly peacefully last night (only one dead-of-the-night waking by my son whose six and should not be waking me up in the middle of the night.) When the alarm went off this morning, I was in the middle of a dream. (Six o'clock already I was just in the middle of a dream...a little Bangles for you. You're welcome.) I was dreaming about going to sleep, and needless to say, I was very confused when it was, instead, time to wake up.

I am way past due for a haircut. My hair looks like a mess with all the split ends. But I'm scared. Scared because I haven't been anywhere around here before, and I'm not sure about just trying a random salon. Because what if they make me look awful? What if they decide a little bit of layers means chop the heck out of her hair and make it look like it has steps in it? I mean, what if? I'm afraid I'll look like Joan Jet - remember the I Love Rock N' Roll video? - when I say I want some layers and bangs. I'm almost tempted to cut my own hair. Because it's the evil I know versus the evil I don't know. Can you tell this has given me a great deal of anxiety? I wish I had one of those faces that could pull off a shaved head. But, alas, God has blessed me with a huge forehead and chubby cheeks. Yeah right, blessed.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Turns out, not all people are scary.

Today I think I did a good thing.

I took the little ones to the local Cafe for a muffin this morning. And I met some mothers who also are "stay-at-home-moms" and who also, amazingly, have kids in Kindergarten at the same school as my son's. In fact, one of the kids is in my son's class. We all gathered at a table and introduced ourselves. Then we took it outside once the kids got a little restless. The details are not very important. What is important is that I found a few moms who were nice people with small children and I had a lot in common with them.

We talked for about two hours, then agreed that we would meet again on Tuesdays, every other week. I think I stumbled onto our own little mom's group, and I am pleased.

I have thought about joining a mom's group before, even inquired about one in our old town. But I've never gotten up the gumption to actually go. You see, I have a little thing called social anxiety disorder (not officially diagnosed, but I'm scared to death of social situations, so I'm pretty sure that's it) and this anxiety keeps me from becoming a part of any group of any kind. It even keeps me from volunteering. It's pretty bad.

So to have stumbled onto three other moms who were actually meeting together for the first time, well, I got lucky. I met a lady at the mailboxes yesterday who told me casually she would be meeting up with another lady today, and said to stop by if I wanted. I thought, you know, I should. And I did. And I'm happy I didn't let myself get worked up to the point of not going.

Like I said, I did a very good thing.

Monday, May 15, 2006


Disclaimer: Around here, we kid each other that we are "crazy". It's meant very lightly, and in no way do we really think the other is crazy.

So, on that note, let me tell you how crazy my husband is.

The man is a wonderful man who works hard and loves his family. He is very responsible and trustworthy. You can totally tell him all your secrets. Why? Because he won't remember a damn word you said, that's why.

Sometimes you can jog his memory until he vaguely remembers something about what you said. But other times? Nothing. His mind is blank, and he swears to you that he has never heard anything about what you're talking about before in his life. It can get a little frustrating. And by little, I mean, a whole heck of a lot.

I called him an alzheimer's SOB last week, I got so frustrated. Here's why: The latch on our front door sometimes sticks in, so that when you go to shut the door, it doesn't latch. Not really a big deal, but it's happened to us several times. Several times. And more than once he's been the one to twist the knob to un-stick it. So when I mentioned that I was told it would just need a little grease to fix it, he replied with, "What are you talking about?" Then he proceeded to inspect the back door, when in fact, it is the front door that has the problem.

He claimed the door had never done that to him. He said that I must be crazy. He claimed no knowledge of such a problem, even though I was there to witness him un-sticking the door just the week before! SHEESH!

Then yesterday, he was coming in the door, and it did it again. He said, "Is this the problem you were talking about?" And he mentioned that maybe, just maybe, mind you, he did remember something about it doing it before.

I think I'm married to two different men. They both look exactly the same, and have the same mannerisms. The only difference is that one is there for the conversation, and the other is not. So when you bring it up later, one knows what the hell you're talking about, while the other has, and I quote, "Never heard anything about that in my life."

And because this is my blog, you will not hear about anything crazy that I do. Because there is nothing crazy about me, I am perfectly sane and well-adjusted. (Shush! I am!)

Friday, May 12, 2006

Survey says...

My friend sent me this survey thing-y, and since I have nothing new to talk about, I just thought I would post the answers here. I know it's lazy of me, but heck, that's nothing new!

1. What time did you get up this morning?**** 6:00

2. Diamonds or pearls**** Diamonds

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema?**** Madagascar (and our truck was stolen while we watched the movie - the kids were scarred - and so we haven't been back to see one since.)

4. What is your favorite TV show?**** Family Guy

5. What did you have for breakfast?***** Kashi Go Lean cereal and coffee, coffee, coffee

6. What is your middle name?***** Dawn (don't laugh)

7. What is your favorite cuisine?**** Italian and Mexican, but I guess Italian is my favorite.

8. What food do you dislike?***** hmmm, not much I don't like. Oh, I know, brussel sprouts. *cringe*

9. Your favorite Potato chips?**** Salt and vinegar

10. What is your favorite CD at the moment?**** hmmm, another hard one, I just got the new Tool one, haven't listened to it yet, but hoping it'll be a favorite.

11. What kind of car do you drive?**** 2006 Chevrolet Uplander (again, don't laugh)

12. Favorite sandwich?**** Italian sub with all the -ami's and loads of oil and vinegar.

13. What characteristics do you despise?**** dishonesty, arrogance

14. Favorite item of clothing?**** my yellow Old Navy sweatshirt that is literally falling apart, and no longer really yellow

15. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go?**** Just one
place?? Um, New Zealand. Or maybe Ireland. Or back to Scotland.

16. What color is your bathroom?**** beige, beige, and beige. I haven't painted any of them yet.

17. Favorite brand of clothing?**** oh god, I don't have one. That depresses me.

18. Where would you want to retire to?**** Wherever my kids are. Or someplace with lots of good things for old people to do. And someplace where the weather stays around 70 degrees, and the sun shines, and it only rains occasionally and mostly at night.

19. Favorite time of day?**** early morning (I know, I'm crazy, but it's so peaceful)

20. Where were you born?**** Iowa

21. Favorite sport to watch?**** Ha! Sport? Ha!

23. What laundry detergent do you use?**** Tide with bleach alternative

24. Coke or Pepsi?**** Coke, Diet and lots of it, please

25. Are you a morning person or night owl?**** morning person all the way.

26. What size shoe do you wear?**** 6.5

27. Do you have pets?**** not anymore. The dog went to live with Grampa. And I miss her terribly.

29. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share with everyone?**** I got a gas grill. And I'm in love with it. (What? Doesn't that count as exciting news?!?)

30. What did you want to be when you were little?**** teacher, nurse

31. Favorite Candy Bar?**** 5th Avenue, or Heath, or Mounds, or Kit Kat or anything covered in creamy milk chocolate, really. You got any chocolate? Because I'm totally craving chocolate now.

32. What is your best childhood memory?**** I can't think of one. Lots of good childhood memories, but not one I'd say is my favorite.

33. What are the different jobs you have had in your life?**** oh boy. Let's see... In no particular order: Secretary, Office Manager, Video rental clerk, checkout girl at Target, Business Services Lead at Staples, salesgirl at PacSun (back when it was still called Pacific Sunwear), various customer service jobs, Preschool teacher, mobile alloy wheel repair-person, babysitter (it was the first job I ever had, and now I'm doing it again!)

34. What color underwear are you wearing?**** pink and white and blue striped (Gosh I just told the internet what color underwear I'm wearing.)

35. Nicknames:**** Mommy, mom, momma - and sometimes Honey

36. Piercing?**** one in each ear, and that's it - never wear earrings unless it's a special occasion.

37. Eye color?**** brown

38. Ever been to Africa?**** nope

39. Ever been toilet papering?**** nope

40. Love someone so much it made you cry?**** Oh yeah. I have children. Enough said.

41. Been in a car accident?**** Yes, but nothing too bad

42. Croutons or bacon bits?**** neither

43. Favorite day of the week?**** I have two of them, Saturday and Sunday. I also like Friday evenings.

44. Favorite restaurant?**** Macaroni Grill and Red Lobster (Ha! I'm so suburban.)

45. Favorite flower?**** Tulips

46. Favorite ice cream?**** Mint chocolate chip. With extra big chocolate chunks.

47. Disney or Warner Brothers?**** neither really, but, hmmm, Warner Brothers (?) they seem to make cooler movies

48. Favorite fast food restaurant?**** McDonald's - for the chicken nuggets that are the lifeblood of this house.

49. What color is your bedroom carpet?**** Beige

50. How many times did you fail your driver's test?**** Once. And it was the one I took when I moved to the States after already having my British license. Go figure.

51. Before this one, from whom did you get your last email?**** My darling husband.

52. Which store would you choose to max out your credit card?**** Target, baby, Target all the way.

53. What do you do most often when you are bored?**** Read. Oh, and blog.

54. Bedtime?**** 10:00, well that's usually when I fall asleep, but I go up to bed around 9.

55. Last person you went to dinner with?**** My husband, the kids and Grampa.

58. What are you listening to right now?**** Disney favorite songs (thanks to my daughter.) Green Day in the car.

59. What is your favorite color?**** Green

60. Lake, Ocean or river?**** To look at or to be on? Because I don't like to be on the water in boats, or god forbid, swimming. Did you know things live in the water?!? But I love all three if it means I'm just enjoying the scenery.

61. How many tattoos do you have?**** None.

62. Which came first, the chicken or the egg?**** Does it matter?

63. How many people are you sending this Email to?**** Ha! None, I'm cheating and putting it here instead.

64. Who sent this to you and what is something you didn't know about them?***** Sara, and holy heck, she's going to try out for Amazing Race! You totally ROCK Sara! Good luck!

65. Time you finished this email?**** 7:16pm (almost bedtime for the kids, and me too)

I believe I can fly.

My son didn't wake me up in the middle of the night...
The sun is shining...
And I've had three cups of coffee already this morning...
Now excuse me while I go leap over tall buildings and fight neighborhood crime because I. Am. SUPERWOMAN.

(Well, for the morning anyway. Check back with me around 4:00 to see if I'm still feeling super.)

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Now I need to go get myself some SPANDEX.

Guess what? I'm exercising! I'm an exerciser. Yeah. For. Real. (Well, I'm an exerciser if you call going to the gym twice now being an exerciser. But I think that counts, and I dare you to tell me otherwise.)

When we moved to this house, we were automatically members of the fitness center. It's included in out Homeowners Association dues. My husband, who, in case you didn't know, used to be a power lifter (and still lifts mighty powerfully), was ecstatic that the gym was right here in the neighborhood. That meant he could go workout, finally, while being close to home. And so he started going. I, on the other hand, wanted to start, but never really went. I was full of excuses about how the kids didn't have anywhere to go, or I was too tired, or there was too much to do.

Well on Monday night my father was here to watch the kids, and my husband said, "let's go." So I did. And I had fun. Really! I had never exercised on an elliptical trainer, and I found it very enjoyable. (Ha! It's funny that I find a piece of exercise equipment enjoyable.) And I love a treadmill. Last night we actually took the kids to the childcare center there, and I exercised again. Which makes me officially an exerciser. Yippee!

The stuff that I had to do that previously kept me from going to the gym? Well, it's still not done. And I'm thinking that this gym thing will never become a 5 night a week kind of thing for me. But maybe a couple of nights a week, with a weekend morning thrown in here and there will be enough to keep my heart pumping and my veins fairly unclogged. Wish me luck. And go get yourself onto one of those elliptical thingies. That is some serious fun. But be careful if you pedal backwards for the first time and try to gesture wildly with your arms while explaining something. It could be embarrassing. I'm just saying.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Thinking of telling me I'm a bad mom? Save yourself the trouble. Read this.

I have a confession to make...

I totally deleted a comment I didn't like. Yep, that's the confession. Nothing earth-shattering, but a confession all he same. And just so you know, I reserve the right to delete anything that is mean, idiotic, or self-righteous. The comment I deleted was all three. So there - anonymous meanie.

What did the comment say? Well, it said something about me letting the TV babysit the children, and something about getting off of my butt and away from the computer. (It also had a lot of misspelled words. But that's kind of petty for me to say. But I said it anyway. Hee hee!)

So, for the record...

I blog when the kids are playing. Or napping. They are either playing in the same room with me, or sleeping peacefully when I am blogging. Sometimes, I have to save my entry as a draft so I can finish it later because the kids require my attention. (But the magic of doing that means that you as a reader never know it took me hours to write a few paragraphs - because the post states whatever time I started to write, not the time it actually posted.) When I talk about the TV keeping the kids entertained, it is an exaggeration. (Ever hear of that?) They do watch some, but no, I don't just leave them to watch TV. (I lock them in the closet instead.) I do have a DVD player in my van (it came standard, just for your information) and I do use it. Maybe that makes me the worst parent ever, but I think I'd have a lot of company if that were the case. My computer time is done in little spurts here and there. Usually it is done when I have finished playing whatever game the kids are playing (Barbie, trains, tag-you're-it-let's-run-all-over-the-house, etc...) and they are ready to play without me for a little while. (Yes, they get tired of me playing with them. Who would have ever thought so.) The whining and complaining I do? Well, ever hear of sarcasm? Yeah, I use sarcasm occasionally. (That was sarcasm in action, right there.)

Okay, done defending myself. I know that if you put yourself out there, you are making yourself available for others' comments. But the good thing about being the boss of this blog is that I can pick and choose which comments I allow to be shown. Ah, it's good to be queen.

And the weapons stockpile my son has in his room? It's real. The stockpile, that is. The weapons themselves? They're not real. At least I hope not.

Fixed for now...

I changed my blog template, and that seems to have fixed the whole big type problem for me. For now. I also took off the ads, because, really, they only made me $.14 anyway. So I'm done trying to experiment with the way my blog looks. I'm just going to post from now on, and try to leave the template alone.

But not entirely alone, ( ha! you knew I couldn't leave well enough alone) because I'm going to put some links over there on the sidebar, and maybe a video or two(?) Oh, and I'm going to work on getting my picture over there too. Because I'm sure you want to see my grinning face, right? (ahem, RIGHT?)

Oh well, at least people can no longer read my blog from space. Because those aliens really didn't want to read about my kids anyway. (But YOU, you do, right?)

Coup D'Etat

My kids are planning a coup.

I'm sure of it.

Here are the signs:
  • The massive stockpile of weapons in my son's room.
  • The sudden eagerness to do things themselves, whereas before they were more than happy to have me do everything. (Because when they are rid of me, someone will have to open the drink box straws, or *gasp* they will have to go without.)
  • My son is keeping me tired and confused by repeatedly waking me in the middle of the night.
  • My daughter is practicing keeping my attention diverted by being a total snot on most occasions. (This must mean my son will be the one to do the actual attacking.)
  • The repeated playing and singing of Since You've Been Gone by Kelly Clarkson at an ear splitting volume. (It is a mental torture device, trust me.)
  • The desire to learn to drive. (Because how else can they get to Blockbuster and Dunkin' Donuts?)
  • The statement my daughter made yesterday: "If I didn't have a mom and dad I could live my life!" Accompanied by a snotty little *hmmph*.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


Somehow...Somewhere...I have changed my type to really f*cking big. Does it look really big to you? Because to me, it looks so big I'm thinking that you can read it from outer space. Or at least from across the room. Does anyone know how to change it back? Drop me a line, please. Or I will continue to write in really big type and may drive myself completely insane.

And while their heads were bowed in prayer...

So, back to my story about my trip to South Carolina for my brother's wedding.

My son, the ring bearer, has a history of throwing up. And it's been pretty bad as of late. As in, we've gotten so used to the throwing up, we don't even consider it a big deal. But others? They may still consider it a big deal to have a little boy throwing up all over the place. Especially if the boy happens to be standing at the front of a church filled with 350 people while a wedding is taking place. But to us, eh, just another thing.

Well, as you can guess, he started to throw up.

The wedding started at 7 PM, but we had to be there dressed and ready for pictures at 5. That's prime dinner time, and 7 is getting close to prime bedtime for my kids. Really dangerous timing. So there we were at 5, the boys dressed in hot, stuffy tuxes. My son, he was excited and wired. He posed happily for the pictures, and ran around the church "checking on" everyone. He was a boy on the go. Until about 6 PM that is, when he was done with all his getting ready "duties" and was forced to sit in a little room and wait for wedding time. It was then that he started to look a little tired. And nervous. And pale.

His eyes get red. That's the first clue that he's feeling a little puke-y. And I saw the red eyes when I went into the waiting room. So I asked him if he wanted to go to the bathroom. I thought maybe a good pee (going potty is always the answer to ailments around here. Looking a little green around the gills? I'll ask, "Do you need to go potty?" Seeming a little off? I'll ask, "Do you need to go potty?" I'm telling you, going potty can make you feel a whole lot better.) a little change of scenery, and maybe a drink of water would get him feeling a little better. But none of the above worked.

Then it was time for me to be seated. When my husband came in to escort me to my seat, I told my brother to grab the little pot that I had already scoped out as the best thing for my son to throw up in should the need arise. Because nothing makes a groom feel better during one of the most nerve-wracking moments of his life that to have to watch for a puking child. Heeee! Anyway, I went to my seat and hoped it would be okay, and my son would calm down a little.

The wedding started (in such a cool way too!) and I saw my son walking down the aisle holding his little pillow. He looked so cute! So dashing in his tux! And he took his place next to the best man (Grandpa, to him) and managed to stand fairly still while the reverend spoke. Well, actually, he looked like a kid waiting in the lunch line. He kept looking around Grandpa at the Bride and Groom like he expected the line to move forward and couldn't figure out what the hold-up was. Then he started to cough. And when he coughed, he made a little gagging sound. I sat through that twice, when on the third cough he actually gagged.

I knew what that gagging meant. It meant that a stream of stomach contents was about to spew forth. And not just a little bit either. So I sprang from my front row seat (which I made the wedding director give me in case of just such an instance) and yanked on his hand to remove him from the front of the church. Only my dad had a hold of his hand, and was not letting go. So I had to give a couple of good yanks to let my dad know that, yes, he did need to be removed, and, no, the gagging wasn't going to stop like it did the previous couple of times, even if my son said he was okay.

So I quickly led my son up the side aisle, towards the exit. I knew he needed to get out of there, and quickly to boot. I also had a tissue in my hand (for all the crying I was doing) and put it over his mouth. People were probably wondering why the crazy lady grabbed the little boy and was putting a gag over his mouth. But it was a good thing I did, because he started to throw up before we made it out. And the tissue actually managed to stop the flow. That, along with my cupped hand. (Ewww.) The photographer at the back of the church handed me a handkerchief as we exited, thank goodness. (I owe him a handkerchief, since I don't think he wants that particular one back.)

I got my son safely to a bathroom, where he calmed himself down, and his stomach settled. I managed to get the puke off of his tux, and make him feel a little better. The sweet boy was worried that he had messed things up. He kept saying sorry. In fact, he still feels bad about it, no matter how many times everyone told him it was okay. Such a sweetie.

Oh, did I forget to mention the whole puking thing happened during the prayer for the Bride and Groom after they had just finished saying their vows? Yeah. Good timing, huh. (Actually, it may have been good timing. Most people had their heads bowed and really didn't notice.) But still...
If you're wondering about my daughter, she was such a beautiful little flower girl. She was so well behaved, and sat, by herself, in a room full of Bridesmaids she didn't know for over an hour while everyone was being seated and everything. Then she stood at the front of the church like an angel during the whole ceremony. It wasn't until the pictures were being taken afterwards that she broke down. And she refused to be in any more pictures. But who could blame the girl? It was late and she had been without her mommy for hours by then.
And both kids were fine by the reception. My son took his sprite in a wine glass and stood around in his tuxedo sipping his drink like he was Bond, James Bond. (Quite debonair.) And my daughter shed the flower girl dress and put on a more comfortable denim skirt and t-shirt. Then she danced the night away on the dance floor. That girl can boogey.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Goin' to the chapel, and they're gonna get maaaaarried. (You're supposed to sing it.)

That's me and my husband. (He doesn't normally wear lavender.)

Oh boy, where do I start? I've had writer's block and an extreme case of fatigue. (The saw-family, traveled, went-to-a-wedding-with-two-tired-children kind of fatigue. ) So let's see...

We've had my father visiting from Iowa for the past week. He traveled down to South Carolina with us. Which basically meant he was held captive in minivan. Poor man. He's barely holding on to his sanity, but still knows his name and where he lives, so we didn't break him totally!

Like I said, we traveled to South Carolina. And it wasn't a bad drive, really. Thank goodness we have a DVD player in the van. That really has come in handy. There's nothing like strapping your children into seats and playing an endless loop of SpongeBob and My Little Ponies. It really keeps them occupied. In fact, I don't think they looked out the windows once. Which, really, they didn't miss much. The drive is just a bunch of billboards ("24 Hour Topless Cafes") and trees, trees, trees.

My mom and her husband left from Colorado and picked up my brother's 2 girls and brought them out from New Mexico. So my traveling, well, wasn't anything compared to their driving/flying. And it was so good to see my nieces. It had been way too long. In fact, the last time I saw them they were little girls, and all of a sudden they have become young ladies. Makeup-wearing young ladies. Sheesh, makes me feel old. And the oldest was taller than me! Now I feel old and short. Double sheesh.

We fit in the maximum amount of visiting we could fit between rehearsals, fittings, and wedding stuff. (And with just two days, that really isn't much visiting.) My kids, they were just in awe of the girls, whom they had never met, and were giddy with delight. I wish I could have brought them home with me and really had a chance to just hang out.

The wedding, well, was quite an event. It was an old southern kind of wedding. Very grand. The bride wore a beautiful gown with a full train. The music was amazing. It was like a full orchestra playing, and they were very good. And what I found the neatest was that the wedding started at 7 pm, and before the processional began, they chimed 7 PM. Like a grandfather clock chime - you know, with the music and then 7 chimes. (I have no idea if that has a proper name.) It was so cool. (Funny the things that impress me. The church was also neat, and the flowers were beautiful. But the chimes, they were what I liked.)

My daughter was one of the flower girls, and my son was one of the ring bearers. Needless to say, they were cute! My son wears a tux like he was born in one, and my daughter looked like a princess in her dress. My dad was best man, and my husband was a groomsmen. So everyone was dressed to the nines. (Ha, except me. But I was very thankful to be fairly comfortable.)

The ceremony was beautiful. My new sister (hi Susie!), she looked so beautiful in her dress. She looked so grand. Regal. (She's tall and I'm so short. I am in awe at how tall people look so amazing in gowns. I look like a little girl playing dress up.) And of course, I cried. How can you not?

The reception was, well, wow. It was at the bride's parent's house. And they had tents, and flowers, and candles, and a whole band playing, and chandeliers! There was so much food and drink. (It was all very good too.) It looked like something out of a movie! I'm not talking about just some little tent and a buffet table, it was amazing. I was very impressed. I can't imagine the amount of work that went into such an event, but someone sure did outdo themselves.

(Note to self: call these people next time there is a grand event to plan.)

My next post will tell about what my son did during the ceremony. Because, well, that needs it's own space. I just wanted to tell you that I'm back, safe and sound, but still recuperating from the trip.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Gone Fishing

Well, not fishing, really. I'm going to South Carolina for my brother's wedding. More posting, and wedding trip information, to come soon.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Trying for "tactful".

I grew up in and around military bases. It's a wonderful environment to grow up in (if you can ignore the constant moving we had to do.) You'd be hard-pressed to find a more culturally diverse group of people all living under approximately the same socio-economic circumstances. If you also happen to go to a school on a military base, you are surrounded by people that live the same kind of lives (to put it in very basic terms) and therefore you all have a lot in common regardless of your race.

My children... Well, they are growing up in the south. We are firmly rooted in the middle class, (although I did see a chart on that put us in the upper middle class. Ha!) and live in suburbia. They are considered white. I say considered because I am half Japanese and half white-boy-from-Iowa, so they are actually part Japanese. But they are white, especially if you take their suburban white-bred environment (and Dad) into consideration.

We live in a neighborhood that is made up of upper middle class professional people, and it is mostly white. The drop-off line at the school consists of a lot of SUV's, and the majority of those are the expensive kind. In fact, we live in one of the lower cost sections of our neighborhood. We don't have a garage (gasp) and only have 3 bedrooms (double gasp.)

I tell you all of this because I am having trouble teaching my children about other races and other economic situations. A little while ago we were standing in line and there was an African-American boy in front of us. My son started to say hello, like he knew him. The boy was a little older, and didn't want to ruin the whole "cool" thing he had going, so he turned away from my son to keep on talking with his friends. I then asked my son if he knew him, to which my little angel replied, "I know Trey." I said, "Is that Trey?" "No," he said, "but he's brown like Trey. I know brown people." Yeah. He actually said that.

Then I had to take him aside and tell him that just because someone has the same color hair or skin as someone else, that doesn't make them the same. We all have our own names, likes, dislikes, etc... You get the gist. I then had to tell him to say African-American, or around here they say Black. But I'm not even sure what the correct term is, to be honest with you. I've never been good with things like that. I always referred to myself as half Oriental, until I was told that Oriental refers to a thing, and Asian is the correct term for people. Who knew? Not me.

My children also do not understand the concept of not being able to afford things. And, really, I don't want to be thinking of money, money, money all the time. But I do want them to be aware that not everyone can afford to get some things or do some things. And at times, that someone can include us. Especially in a neighborhood full of people who think nothing of dropping a few hundred dollars for lessons, toys, etc... They also ask questions about why people don't have things that they have. I want them to be tactful when they ask, but, you know, they're kids. They are hardly ever tactful.

It makes me long for the days I had growing up when we were all in the same boat. Because I can see the teenage years now, and it doesn't look pretty. I don't want my kids to feel like they need to keep up with the Joneses. And I don't want them to look down on anybody that can't keep up with them. Also, living in the South, we're going to encounter racism. And I really don't want my children to be the racist ones.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Coming out.

When I started this blog, it was kind of a lark. And I didn't want people to know my real name. But then I sent out an email to some people I know to let them know that I had this blog. So then I figured, why keep my name a secret. I'm still not going to post my full name - thanks to horror stories of stalkers and such - but I figured, why not at least put my first name out there. Most of people who read my blog know my name anyway. And I've never really been an Ellie, I'm much more of an E (8/24/2006 edited to remove my name. I'm incognito again.) Which is kinda why I chose Ellie to post with in the first place. I was in disguise! You never would have guessed it was me! (Ha!)

So I'm coming out so that people can find my blog if they search for me. Because I'm sure tons of people are searching for me. Well, maybe someone is!

And now, a brief history. I was born in Iowa, but thanks to the US Navy, my family moved around a lot. I've lived in Scotland, Guam, Japan (briefly), Maryland, England, Iowa (briefly), North Carolina, South Carolina (briefly, again), Alabama and Tennessee. I've visited many more places, but to be honest with you, I don't know if I could list them all. Most of my traveling was done when I was young. I went to high school at Lakenheath High School in England, and did a brief stint at college at University of Maryland. I've lived all around the Southeast since I've been married to my husband. And hopefully we're going to stay put for a little while. (Oh no, I shouldn't have said that, now I've jinxed it. We'll be moving tomorrow!)

I may, just maybe, start to refer to my family members by name, but I'm still not sure about that. But me, well, now you know my name.

And I'm totally going to try and get some pictures up on here. And make it a little prettier. Because, who likes all that burgundy and gray - it's boring. I may be boring, but at least my site doesn't have to be!

So thanks for visiting, nice to meet you. (Like you totally didn't already know my name, right? Everyone already did!)

Weekend wrap-up.

I have realized that my last few blog posts have been of the complaining genre. I don't want everyone to think that I only complain, so today, no complaining! I promise!

Instead, I'm going to dazzle you with our weekend doings. Yeah, dazzle. (It's a good word, isn't it. It makes me think of sparkling things, and jazz hands. Heee!)

On Friday evening, I made my husband go out long after his threshold for going out had expired. And no, I don't mean go out as in go out to a club or bar or anything fun. I mean, I made him take me to a major discount store. You see, Friday afternoon I had finally unwrapped all the pictures we had packed up from our move (we moved in November. I'm quick to decorate, as you can see.) It has been bugging me for a while now that our walls were completely bare, so I figured I should just get everything out. Once everything was laid out, I thought I would figure out what would go where, and then hang it all up. Of course, I was going to have it all done by the time my husband got home from work. Because I'm ambitious like that. (And he cusses a lot when I make him do things like that.)

But it didn't work out like I had planned. Mainly because I didn't have the perfect picture to go over the couch on that mass expanse of wall. I just didn't have anything big enough. And also it didn't go as planned because my planning didn't include the four children I had to take care of. (When did they get here? Can they hang photos? Um, no!) As for the over-the-couch spot, I did remember seeing a painting that I thought would go perfectly over the couch. It had all the right colors, and was a good, big size. And of course, I needed it right then and there. But I had to settle for when the little kids went home, and the rest of us had eaten dinner. That's as close to right away as I ever get.

Off we went to, um, well, I wasn't going to tell anyone, but, um, ok, we went to WalMart. And I bought a picture to hang above my couch in WalMart. (I swore my husband to secrecy. So you can't tell anyone either. I was going to say something like, "We got this picture at a very exclusive and expensive store and then saw a cheaper version of it in WalMart, can you believe it?!) I did make my husband carry it through the store while we also picked up some lawn fertilizer. Don't you just love that you can get everything in the same place? Even get your car worked on. Amazing! But I digress... I was very embarrassed to be buying mass-market art at a discount store.

We got to the checkout aisle, and had to pry various little impulse buys out of the kids' hands. And it was while my husband was telling the kids to "be strong, resist the impulse buys" that he spotted the Pez dispensers. Not just any Pez dispensers, mind you, but Star Wars Pez dispensers. And oh how he loves anything Star Wars. So he greedily pawed thought the display to make sure we got one of every kind they had. And I didn't encourage him in any way. Nope, I wasn't telling him to check way in the back for more, not me.

After we had paid for our painting, lawn fertilizer and Pez dispensers, we had to load it all into the car. (Not a problem, we have a minivan! We can carry the world!) What was a problem, for me at least, was that I didn't want a soul to see that we were carrying a picture to decorate our house with out of WalMart. The Pez dispensers, now they didn't bother me. Funny.

The picture actually looks very good hung above my couch. The colors do match perfectly. I also got another picture hung in the downstairs bathroom. That makes two pictures total hanging in my house. The others? Well, they got wrapped back up and maybe sometime in the next six months I'll get them up too. And we now have an old Easter basket full of Star Wars heads that dispense yummy candy. Unlike some, who would collect the Pez dispensers and never open them, we use them. I know, someone is cringing right now thinking about us opening the packages and decreasing their value. (Ha! That's funny to me.)

I only know of one other person who may possibly have Star Wars Pez Dispensers in their house. And if you are reading this, tell me, did your Boba Fett one only have one package of candy in it? Because the others had three, but Boba, he just had one.

The rest of our weekend? We went to our neighborhood's annual charity festival and the kids rode rides, my husband and son did a charity walk (they were two of four who actually walked the 2K) and it was very fun. We also ate out at a great Italian restaurant (yummy) and did a little shopping. It was fun, but evidently, not as fun as the painting from WalMart, because that's all I talked about here. Huh.

(I have gone back and re-read this post. I apologize for the poor grammar and kind of all-over-the-place way of telling the story. But it's Monday. Not that I get any better as the week goes on, but you get the gist, right?)