Sunday, April 29, 2007

Weekend Update

And now the fake news...

Remember that from Saturday Night Live? Anyway...

So this was a weekend I'd been waiting for - a weekend away! We had foolish people willing to watch our children (we like to call them grandparents), we had a work schedule we could deal with, we didn't really have the money - but we didn't let that stop us!

So Friday afternoon we were off. First stop - Wickenburg, Arizona! (Insert Cheering here). The aforementioned grandparents met us there for the children exchange - we unloaded a suitcase, several toys, boardgames, child-seats, blankets, pillows, stuffed animals, and two excited children. We met at a Burger King parking lot, so although it was around 4:00 - of course the kids were hungry. It made for a nice transition, though, there were no tears or scared faces, and the kids were fine, too.

We then headed out to our destination for the weekend - Las Vegas. It took us about 4 hours to get there - we were staying at the Excalibur, I know, but I just can't justify spending $300 a night - for a place to sleep!

We got settled in, then were ready to eat, play and consume adult beverages. We stayed up late, drank irresponsibly, and basically forgot that we were parents - something we needed.

We spent the lion's share of the next day geocaching. Our first find, is one of my favorites so far. I've never pulled up to a drive through, and been asked, "Do you guys want to get married - oh - you're geocaching - here". I had to take a picture... not sure if you can read it, but it's all set-up like a menu - I love the included dessert. I peeked through the drive-through window and saw a full - (walk-in) wedding in progress - bride in white and everything...

We focused on checking out areas that were NOT on the Strip, and even though at one point, the car's thermostat read 104, we enjoyed ourselves.

We headed back to our hotel, because this was our big night out. I paid for all other meals, snacks, and the hotel room, and I asked T to plan a special evening out. It took some prodding, but, in the end, he did great. We took the monorail and shuttle over to the Wynn hotel (a place I'd wanted to see!) and had dinner at Okada. After that, we went to see La Reve - a show I'd never heard of, but was amazing - think Cirque Du Soleil style - but, in and out of water... (Probably similar to "O", but I haven't seen it).

Dinner was lovely, the show was wonderful, so you just know something lousy had to happen, right? We walked about half an hour to get to the monorail station, and saw that a train was already there - we sprinted, hopped on to the train and sat down. And sat. The doors remained open, and we laughed about how we had "rushed" to catch the train. Finally, after about 10 minutes, the doors closed. We continued to sit. Then came security. We sat there, locked in the car with a few other people, and watched as security walked back and forth - then came a panic-faced technician, to force the switch to get the doors open and we were told by security to please exit the train. We got out, stood around, and was told, that they were going to switch directions of the next train - and that one would take us the right way. Do I need to tell you that they were mistaken? We ended up having to ride the monorail for the entire circuit, to get where we needed to go. What should have been approximately a 10 minute ride - took about an hour. All I can say is - I'm glad the monorail is air conditioned!

We got back to the hotel and decided to play for a while, we knew that we were going to drive home the next day, so we didn't stay out too late, drink too much, or lose too much money. All good things.

Today, we got up before 8, probably the earliest I've ever gotten up while in Las Vegas. We were showered, packed, and ready to go before 9. I wanted to get the kids a present - so we picked out a couple of castl-ey t-shirts, and went to brunch. As we went back to the hotel room to grab our things and hit the road, T's cell phone beeped. It was grandma. S was sick.


Apparently, S threw up this morning, but didn't want to say anything, so the grandparents didn't really know what was wrong - although they knew it was something - until they found the evidence. Blech! His stomach issues apparently also moved in a southern direction. He didn't want anything to eat, and went back to bed and slept for another hour and a half. When we next talked to Grandma, she told me he was flushed, still hadn't eaten, but had taken some water and hadn't thrown up anymore. He slept the entire drive from Phoenix to Wickenburg, where we met them to pick up the kids. He didn't look good - or happy to see us. He perked up a little on the first part of the drive home, because we listened to the Phoenix Suns game on the radio.

When we were about 45 minutes away from home - we saw it - but too late. Coming towards us - that tell-tale grille, the white boxy sedan sized car... Like I said, we saw it, but too late. The white car with the pretty red and blue lights was behind us and ready. We pulled over, and S started crying - he was already feeling crummy and he didn't want daddy to get a ticket. According to the sheriff that pulled us over, T was doing 74 in a 50 - oops. However, that sad sight, of a crying little boy snuggled in a blanket who obviously looks miserable was enough to let T off with a warning (which - at the speed he was going was darn nice!).

At last, we made it home - and I went for the thermometer - S was running a fever, but it wasn't too high. Still, some Pepto to help with the stomach aches and some Tylenol did help, and he was granted the special treat of being able to watch most of the Nascar race that daddy taped.

Since S was being given a lot of attention, A started saying she wasn't feeling well either. However, as S barely ate, and A was eating like a horse, she gave herself away. Not wanting her to feel that she had to be sick to get attention, we spent the evening in some mommy and A time, while S watched the race. We played the most insipid game ever created (which of course, A LOVES but the boys in our house won't play it with her), the Princess Spinning Wishes Game, and she got a very special treat - displayed here...

Now they're in bed, T's at work, and mom is gonna sit a read an e-mailed letter I've been anxiously waiting for. I hope you all had lovely weekends!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Words - Glorious Words

I love words.

I love the feel of them as they roll out of my mouth. I love the nuances and subtleties that words can convey. I choose my words very carefully. I don't say "cheap" if I mean "inexpensive". I don't say "skinny" if I mean "thin". I don't say "love" if I mean "sex".

That being said, I'd now like to take umbrage (another good word) with copy writers for commercials.

A few of my pet peeves...

"A few pennies..." Couldn't everything be broken down to pennies? Sure, it might cost 7,643,214 of them - but heck, it's just pennies, right?

Same concept:

"Just minutes away..." Sure, 3,464,100 of them...

How about those geniuses that create word and phrases?

How can flammable and inflammable mean the same thing?

What does "almost late" mean?

Who gets to decide to make nouns into verbs? When did "party" become a verb? Or my favorite - add - 'ing' and voila - instant action word! For example: "hot-tubbing"!

I also like how vernacular works its way into our language. This is never more clear to me than around Valentine's Day - when the conversation hearts come out. They used to just include sweet things like - "you're cute" and "hugs" - now they say things like "fax me!" When we were kids - that would have had a different meaning altogether!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

So Many Things I didn't Know

I didn't know how hard it would be to miss any "firsts" - not just the big ones like first words, first steps, but the little ones too. Today, my son, S, is going over to a friend's house after school - for the first time. On this small journey he will ride a new school bus for the first time, in another parent's car without a car seat, for the first time, play at a house I've not been to, for the first time, and his father will get to pick him up and hear all the details first.

(For the record, he hasn't needed to use a car seat in this state for quite a long time, but because he's on the smaller side, and so his sister doesn't feel left out, we still use them).

He's learning so much at kindergarten, there are so many things I didn't know I'd need to know yet. What did our parents do without the Internet for quick answers? I didn't know I'd need to do any kind of research for "Show and Tell" - but the children needed to tell about Abraham Lincoln a while back and my son was asking questions I couldn't answer without help.

Most of all, I didn't know about that feeling. That warm, calming feeling that starts in your belly and spreads out to your toes and fingers. That feeling that stays with you for hours, and if it fades you can recreate it with a visual memory. That feeling that I get just before I go to bed at night. The one that comes with the final checking of the sleeping children. Moving a book from under a cheek, moving the right leg back onto the bed and recovering the child with a NASCAR blanket, brushing one more small kiss across the forehead - THAT feeling. I didn't know - but now I do.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Mental Wrestling

Just taking a quick break from trying to work out a problem to ask - what is your preferred method of mental wrestling?

I'm a numbers gal - I'll figure out the Return on an Investment (ROI) in a heartbeat. I can conjure up reports quicker than Samantha could save Darren's neck (and I don't even have to wiggle my nose to do it). However, when it comes to factoring the PEOPLE side of it - I get stuck. I know what I need to do from a financial, business, and self-preservation focus, but when it starts to involve someone else's livelihood - I get stymied.

So - what do you do?

Monday, April 23, 2007

"But It Is To Her"

I suffer from selective empathy.

It's near impossible for me to feel frustrated or down on behalf of T. When he complains that he's tired, I'm annoyed because he's the one who chose the schedule he keeps. When he complains that he doesn't have any money, I'm beyond annoyed because I pay all the bills, and have just started asking him to contribute last week (two weeks after going full-time again). When T starts getting snippy at the kids and telling them things like "big kids don't do that" I don't automatically assume that he's worn out or frustrated because they are sometimes tough to handle, I get angry because of all the child-raising books I've read and what a bad thing it is to tell a child that they are acting like a baby. However... (and there's always a however...)

When it comes to my friends and my children, I am Miss Empathy (Capital letters required). On Saturday, when my daughter started crying because she didn't have her pink jacket with a hood, and it was starting to rain, T says, "That's nothing to cry about" and my immediate response is "But it is to her". That phrase has rattled around in my brain all weekend. How can I be so ready to understand and comfort my children, but not my husband?

Unfortunately, this time I know the answer. I just don't like it.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Es Aye Tee You Are Dee Aye Why Night

Come on, it took you a minute but you figured it out, right?

I've created a monster. Granted, it's not a large monster, and is relatively containable. However, it is a monster nonetheless. A six year old sports fanatic. For all that I like to blame on their father, this one is about me. Now, T is a full-sized (hee hee) sports fanatic - but he's happy enough watching them on TV. Not me, I like sports, but only if I can watch them live. I'll have a game of some-kind on in the background, but I can't sit and watch it - not with my undivided attention - unless you get me to the arena, ballpark, rink, what-have-you. Then I'm glued to the action!

So, about my monster. My son is the same way - although he also likes watching the sports on TV, get him at a live game and he's enthralled.

In Prescott, Arizona we don't have a lot of exciting things to go to. So, when the local team makes the playoffs - that's pretty darn exciting. So, we planned ahead - we got tickets in a front row of a section (so that even 4 and 6 year old fans can see it). We had "quiet time" so we were prepared for a late night. We wore white shirts to support the team making the playoffs. And away we went!

The evening started out well. We got to meet Bernie (Burnie?) the Sundog up close and personal! The kids exchanged high-fives, and on a very rare occurrence - I actually had my camera with me!

We made it up to our seats, and watched as the Sundogs played. There were of course the necessary trips to the bathroom and the requisite snack providing. For my daughter, A, the snacks were the high point. However, I am amazed that T will buy cheddar flavored popcorn and not think to get napkins. So while we wore white shirts TO the game, we pretty much wore orange shirts home. I of course asked T to go get napkins, but whatever they use to make that stuff orange - doesn't come off with mortal options. My daughter still has orange fingers! (However, this was what they looked last night, it's not so bad anymore...)

My son was enthralled in the game - he knew what was going on every step of the way - he cheered along, he "Charge!" (d)" at all the appropriate moments, he gave high-fives whenever they scored. My daughter, liked the excitement of the game, but covered her ears with orange stained hands (oh, yeah, blonde hair - not so much) whenever it got too loud.

That was two very tired, orange colored children we brought home last night. My son actually slept until 8:00AM - an amazing feat!

Today we're taking things a little more quietly, (remember there is a 4 and a 6 year old here - quiet is relative), it's nearly 11, and 1 child is reenacting the game from last night, and the other is working on a puzzle. We've already gone to the store to get a newspaper and coffee, even delivered one to daddy who had to be at work around 5:45 this morning, run one load of laundry, made dinner, and now I think we'll move to some very exciting things such as more laundry, grocery shopping, etc.

My sports monster has interrupted my typing this no less than three times to ask me who won last night's NASCAR race and if the Arizona Diamondbacks played last night. Is there a cure for this?

Friday, April 20, 2007

Ode To Thursdays

I love Thursdays.

First of all, Thursday night T works. This usually means the evening starts out a bit hectic, as I get home from work about 2 minutes before he needs to leave for work, so there's just a brief window of opportunity to exchange information - the kids have eaten, haven't brushed teeth, have taken a bath, haven't done homework, etc.

I am the homework oversee-er. So while I blow my daughters hair dry, my son does his homework, then we all sit on the couch for some reading. After that we play games, and we talk, and we just be. I love this part of Thursday because there's nobody else to interrupt my time with the kids. T means well, but he'll interrupt conversations with the kids, or he'll tell them to do something when I'm already in the middle of it. At best it annoys me. Most of the time it drives me crazy, because I think it undermines what I'm saying to the children. I especially can't stand it when I'm telling them what to do, or I'm showing them something and T tells the same thing, only louder - to me that sends the message that - what mommy says doesn't matter - until daddy backs it up.

However, I digress - this is about my love affair with Thursdays.

Now I know, Friday is the more popular choice for favorite days. You never hear anyone say TGIT! Not for me.

Thursday is the foreplay of the weekend. Friday is more like some under-the-shirt action, but Thursday is the first kiss. Thursday is the look, Friday is the purchasing of condoms. Thursday is a blush that you feel starting at your toes, Friday is the clothes dropping to the floor.

Don't get me wrong - all those things (and Friday too) are wonderful and exciting. Thursdays are subtler, more tempting, to be savored.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Bitch, bitch, bitch

I am a bitch. I get it. Those that know me get it. It's a necessity at times. So why is being called a bitch considered an insult?

I am a manager - at work and sadly, at home. My being known as a bitch is enough to get things done. I don't even have to say anything, my very presence with the bitch-factor built in, is enough to get people to stop talking, and start working.

What makes me laugh is that the people that know me best can't understand what about me other people find so scary.

Perhaps I'm in need of a definition. Let's see - what is a bitch?

bitch –noun
1. a female dog.
2.a female of canines generally.
a. a malicious, unpleasant, selfish person, esp. a woman.
b. a lewd woman.
4. Slang.
a. a complaint.
b. anything difficult or unpleasant: The test was a bitch.
c. anything memorable, esp. something exceptionally good: That last big party he threw was a real bitch.

–verb (used without object)
5. Slang. to complain; gripe: They bitched about the service, then about the bill.

–verb (used with object)
6. Slang. to spoil; bungle (sometimes fol. by up): He bitched the job completely. You really bitched up this math problem.

Ok, well, that was educational. I have never heard the word bitch used as the example in section 6. I also wonder about how words can mean the exact opposite thing - such as 4b and 4c.

Well, in my case, I'm not of the canine persuasion, so I think we can rule out the first two definitions. Am I a malicious, unpleasant, selfish or lewd woman - sure, at times - however, my bitchiness factor rating probably doesn't apply to any of those, as it's usually work related, and I'm not pushing people for selfish reasons, and I keep my usual sense of humor to a low hum. Can I be unpleasant - absolutely, is that it??? Hmm.. let's keep going... Ah... I think we have a winner - anything difficult or unpleasant. Am I difficult - absolutely! I have high expectations for people, most especially for myself.

So, that brings me back around to the original question - why is being called a bitch an insult? Aren't we taught that we have to face challenges to overcome them? Are we taught that difficult situations build character? Aren't we taught that anything worth having is worth working hard for?

Well, I need to get back to work - so all I can say is - Bitches of the World - UNITE!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Safety First

I had planned to talk about a different subject today, but I'm going to save that for another day. Instead, I have to ask - what do we do?

In a world where we can take every possible precaution to keep our children safe, they're not. We can teach them not to talk to strangers, we can talk to them about the dangers of smoking, drugs, drinking. We ingrain habits of wearing seat belts and looking both ways before crossing the street, but how do we really keep them safe?

There was a family I knew when I was younger. Two parents, two daughters. One my sister's age, and one was a year older than me, so we did spend time together. Their mom, I always thought, was a little over-the-top. The girls were so overprotected, they couldn't ride in anyone else's car, they couldn't do sleepovers, they ate only home-made food, no school lunches for them. There were also rumors that they weren't allowed to have their haircut by anyone other than their mom, and they weren't allowed any friends that hadn't been pre-screened. They were however allowed to go to college, they even stayed in the dorms. (Although, on a side note, the oldest daughter's dorm was nick-named "the virgin vault".)

We can take all these steps and someone can still just erase all those efforts to keep our children safe. I grieve for those parents, brothers and sisters of the students in Virginia and know that they are all wondering why this happened. So am I.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Is It Live or Is It Memorex

Or rather, in my case, is it guilt or is it boredom?

That's the question of the day - here are the supporting facts. Why do I put so much into weekends that by Sunday night I'm just pooped? I have two theories:

1. Although I know I don't really have a choice, and even if I did I would probably still choose to work, I do feel guilty that I'm not there all day, every day with my children, and I'm hoping that I can make up for that by making weekends (usually) about them. or

2. I'm bored. I live in a constant state of restlessness, always looking for the next project, the next place to go, a new thing to try...

So which is it? Do I cram as much stuff in on the weekends as possible in the hopes of making sure I'm giving my children incredible lasting memories or is this a more selfish act of trying to do enough on the weekends that I can be sure to differentiate them from the week?

Here's what we did this weekend... Saturday morning the kids were up bright and early as usual, and were lumped in a pile on my bed by 6:45. I kept them quiet for a while, then they decided it was time for breakfast and they went off in search of their sugar fortified morning meal. They had gymnastics at 9am and after that, daddy took them to a wildfire expo in town. They spent an hour or so there, climbing in fire-trucks, playing on a large, inflatable slide, and hanging out with fire-fighters. After that, we all met up again for an early lunch (or in my case a late breakfast). Then we went back home to give the kids an opportunity for "quiet time" - in our house this means a set amount of time spent in their rooms - we can't force them to nap, but we can hope! While they were down for quiet time, I ran more errands... (in fact, by the end of this time I'd already been to the Post Office, the bank, filled my car with gas, went to Wal-Mart, and the dollar store, oh yeah, and the library!) There was a reason we wanted them to have some rest time today...

After the time was up, we packed everything we'd need for one night from home and drove down to Phoenix to take the kids to their first major league baseball game! The Arizona Diamondbacks against the Colorado Rockies - it was a good game, and it came down to the wire with a final score of 5-4, Diamondbacks. However it wasn't a very well played game, so it wasn't over until nearly 10:00. By the time we got them back to their grandparent's house and settled into their beds, it was probably close to 11:00. The grown-ups were all pooped too by this point, so I'd say we were all out cold quickly!

Of course, most kids would then sleep in the next morning, and I guess mine did by their usual standards, it was around 7:00 when they got up. They, of course, were prepared for some spoiling by their grandparents, so let the cartoon watching begin! In between all the brain-food offerred by animation, they managed to eat two different breakfasts - and I got to drink some coffee!

After that we packed up and headed out - of course, by then it was around 10:00 and by the time we got home it was around 4:oo PM. We spent the day geocaching (or treasure hunting as my children call it) and of course had to eat.

Finally we were home, and the kids were so tired they were just crazy! We managed to get the car unloaded, the animals fed, the mail checked, the children fed, S's homework done, and now, finally, at 7:10 pm, it's quiet and let me just tell you - that the liquor cabinet is looking really good.

We're going to stick closer to home next weekend, but I'm sure by Sunday night, we'll be just as exhausted as we are now. Wait, come to think of it, if the Arizona Sundogs need a 5th game to take this series, that would be Saturday night...
So.... why?

Is it guilt or boredom?

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Yesterday... All My Troubles

Yesterday was a definite challenge in the home-world.

It actually started the night before with a puddle forming on the living room carpet. Turns out there was a really bad leak in the kitchen which had pooled up and was finding his way into the living room. I went home around lunch time to greet the plumber who resolved the problem in mere minutes. I was then to spend the rest of my day pointing my hair dryer at the carpet.

After the plumber left I heard the plaintive cries of the cat. She had been locked into one of the kids' rooms by mistake. I'll pause a moment while you figure out that a cat has certain biological needs. Yes, the cat was forced to find an alternative to her litter box. Her spot of choice? My son's beanbag chair. So, before sitting down on the floor with the hair dryer I had the joy of throwing out a soiled bean bag. I opened the windows in the room, the hallway, and the living room and kitchen to air out the trapped cat cologne as well as provide more carpet drying opportunities.

My eventful day was brought to a joyful close by what else? Those angelic children of mine. On the one hand we had the two kids sitting behind the couch sneaking - of all things - vitamins. They each ate about 4 of them. (Luckily there was no iron in them). Then they chose to lie about it to their mommy. Needless to say, they had a VERY early evening and were sent to bed immediately after dinner. (Now, just for the record, yes, the vitamins are kept where they can reach them because they know the rules and have never eaten more than one at a time - and yes, they obviously couldn't follow the rules and the vitamins have been relocated to an out-of-reach location.)

On the other hand - my husband just brings home the best stories from the children's schools. Last time it was S who didn't want to be in the same class with the loud boys. Today it was A who was discovered playing away from most of the other kids, with just one little boy. They were both discovered sans pants. If you read my friend Dina's Blog, you might remember the cries of "It's Party Time" associated with my daughter. Just what I need a half-naked party girl. Well, there's still hope - last night she said she wanted to be a penguin when she grows up. (Penguins mate for life, don't they?)

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


Why does it mean so much when someone tells us we did something well? Wait... let me correct that, why does it mean so much when the right someone tells us we do something well?

I give compliments pretty easily - much better than I take them in fact. However, the right compliment, on the right thing, from the right person can make my day. I got the ultimate compliment last night.

My daughter, A, is the cutest little girl you'll ever see (and no, I'm not at all biased).

Look at that little angel! In her amazing life span (of nearly 5 years) she has had many lofty goals of what she wanted to be when she grew up: a whale, a dolphin, a zebra and most recently an otter. She has never followed the mainstream, that girl. However, last night, for the first time, she told me she wanted to be something a person can actually be when she grows up. A momma!

Yep, I've gotta be doing something right!

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Girl Scout Friendship Song

I can't remember how to tie knots. I can't remember who my troop leaders were. I can't remember why they call it "flying up" when you go from being a brownie to a Girl Scout. However. I do remember three things:

1. A Girl Scout Sundae - you take a peppermint stick and plunge it into an orange like a straw and drink the orange juice through the peppermint stick. Blech!

2. An old joke - Q - When does a Cub Scout become a Boy Scout? A - When he eats his first Brownie! (I didn't get it at the time)

3. The Girl Scout Friendship Song:
Make New Friends, But Keep The Old
One is Silver, the Other Gold.

What I want is a definition of the word "friend". I choose my words very carefully, and for me to use the word friend it means something. However, in this day of a shrinking world do to technology, can you still claim someone as a friend if you've never met them? If you get to know them through blogs or chat groups are they really a friend?

What about the people that you are together with because of things that go beyond your control. Are friends of your friends automatically your friends too? What about friends of your parents - are they your friends? What about people that have to like you - at least in some way - are they also your friend? (By that I mean people that work with you, love your mother, husband, etc.) There's a reason that the terms "family and friends" usually go together and are not mutually exclusive.

What's a better word for those people in the scenarios above? Acquaintance sounds so formal; friend of a friend sounds exclusionary, my mother-in-law's best friend sounds so wordy; people I know reads to me like "people I know but don't really like".

On a similar note - how do adults make friends these days? My two closest friends make more friends with the parents of their children's friends. I usually make friends through work or related assignments. However, I have a theory of friends made through work - I can't count how many people I considered friends while we worked together only to never hear from them again when we went our separate ways.

There are a couple of people from high school that I'm either still in contact with or in contact with again. Can those I haven't seen in XXX years be counted amongst my friends now?

Why is it so much easier to put yourself out there and make friends when you're a child? What horrible things have we learned since the days of grammar school - when sitting next to someone was all it took?

Monday, April 9, 2007

Time and Balance

Don't tell on me - I just didn't have time to do an update last night, and this morning I hit the ground running, so while I have an unassigned moment - I'll take advantage of it.

So, here is my question for the day. Does time move differently for men than for women? Sunday T was at work - left bright and early so he could start his day at 6:00AM. As you know from the previous post - my day may not have started as early, but let's just say it was probably messier.

In order to understand the question, you might need some background data. T has been working part-time, just went back to full-time last week. When he does work, he usually works 1 weekend day/night, 1 week night, and while the kids are in school on other days. Starting next month he'll work Sunday, Monday and Tuesday for 12 hours each day, then 4 more hours on Wednesday. If you remember your basic math skills - that shows that there is most of Wednesday, Thursday and Friday left. Assuming there is a need for sleep - let's go with the standard 8 hours (in my life - that's a little generous - but we'll go with it). So tell me - where the hell does the rest of the time go?

This is the reason for the question. In addition to what will heretofore be known as the Poop Explosion of 2007, this is what I did yesterday. (Remember, I had the kids with me all day!). I ran 5 loads of laundry, planned the meals for the week, did the grocery shopping for the week, made dinner (roasted turkey, potatoes, peas, and fresh-baked rolls), fed the children breakfast, lunch and two snacks, went house hunting for my parents, put away 5 loads of laundry (oops, 4 - one's still in the dryer), supervised and assisted the kids in picking up their rooms, cleaned the living room, vacuumed the floors, played games (my son loves Yahtzee), dressed and groomed children, cleaned up remnants of Easter baskets (that I had put together the night before), cleaned up dinner prep, supervised and assisted in homework completion, read to one child, was read to by the other, packed up the backpack for child's school day, made four pairs of earrings and a bracelet (for swaps), researched and answered questions about all Arizona sports teams, cleared, cleaned and set the table, served dinner, did some of the dishes after dinner (left some for T to do), and put children to bed.

So, again, the question - does time move differently for men than for women? When T is home with (or without) the kids - I think the dogs get fed. I don't mean to lump myself in with all women and use T has a yardstick for measuring all men. I just don't have any other fathers to compare against (except mine, of course, and he never lifted a finger unless he had to until recently).

Maybe it's a matter of balance - now I have read that women do have a better sense of balance then men do - so maybe that's it. My children got attention, got playtime, got mommy-time, but I still was able to get a lot of other things done. I think when T is with the kids he's balancing what *he* wants to do with playtime with the kids - leaving all the other stuff for "later" only "later" never seems to come. At least, not until I can't handle it anymore and get to it - and have a day like yesterday.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Do Not Read If you are Faint of Stomach!

I've wanted a new pet for a while. A floppy-eared bunny. Now this is not a spur of the moment thing - I've wanted a bunny for years. Being Easter weekend and all, I even went to so far as to look into Petco to see if they had any. Not only didn't they have any with the right ears (I just love the floppy eared - they look like they need love) they won't sell bunnies around Easter as they tend to be spontaneous purchases and get abandoned. So I didn't get one. This morning I'm glad.

I have to ask myself - why do I make such efforts to complicate my life further? What am I looking for that makes me think *more* additional responsibilities will help?

It is 7:30 on Easter morning, and I've already dealt with more poop than I need to all day. Hell, all month! My son as usual was up bright and early this morning, and came into visit me. I don't know what happened exactly, all I know is as a result of peeing he managed to poop his pants. A LOT! So, as I mentioned it's now just 7:30, and I've already run a load of laundry, cleaned a toilet (let's here it for Clorox wipes!) and given a child a bath. So, for those keeping score, I've removed poop from cloth, porcelain and skin - three different types of surfaces - and I haven't even had a cup of coffee yet!

A rabbit? Don't they poop a lot? Just what was I thinking?

Saturday, April 7, 2007

The Red-Wolf Equivalent

The following must be read using your best 'documentarian-sneaking-up-on-a-sleeping-red-wolf' voice.

It has been spotted. The rarest of all things. We've heard rumors of their existence, but an actual sighting - this is too good to be true. It is..... a day off!

Yes, it's true! The house is quiet (aside from the occasional bark or meow). There are no children here. There are no husbands here. There is only me. **sigh**

Yes, folks, I have taken the day off! T has taken the children to his mother and step-father's house an hour away and will not return until after dinner-time. Originally the whole fam damily was supposed to head down there tomorrow for the big Easter Do. However, T now has to work tomorrow, so his mom asked him to come down today instead. Thinking quickly, I made other plans for Saturday - and therefore couldn't go.

Now, don't get me wrong, his mom is pleasant enough, and I really like his step-father, too. However, a few years back we separated and I haven't felt comfortable around his family since. Of course, T doesn't really help the situation - he doesn't make efforts to help me to feel more comfortable - I still have to be the bad guy, I still have to be the one to set the limits, to tell the kids when they're over the top, etc. It also just occurred to me as I write this that I think T just reverts into childhood when he's around his mother. He has no problem what-so-ever having his mom wait on him while we're there. Ah, but I digress...

It's now 10:22 A.M. I have had my freedom for 18 minutes. So far, I have taken a shower. Yep, that's it. But that's still pretty exciting. If you're a mom of small children (or have been) you know that an uninterrupted hot shower is pretty nice! Of course, I earned that shower. I was in mommy mode from 7:30 - until 10. I've entertained children, reminded them about going potty, brushing teeth, getting dressed, and brushing hair. I've made breakfast. I've cleaned up after breakfast. However, that's all done... and the day looms before me.

I have plans to meet a friend for lunch, sushi, YAY (something I don't get to do with the kids). Then I think we'll look for a couple of smaller geocaches (the kids only like finding the bigger ones with toys in them!). I need to get the fixin's for the kids' Easter baskets, but I find that even errands like Target or Wal*Mart are peaceful when I can just wander the aisles and not have to remind anyone to keep their hands to themselves. I think I might even splurge and get a caramel apple today - LOVE those, but don't do it often! I may get my fingernails and toenails painted. I may not.

That's the best part of this whole thing - isn't it? I MAY do.... I MAY NOT... there's nobody else's agenda but my own.

Well, enough writing about it - I'm going to start MY day!

(Oh, The red-wolf is one of the rarest mammals - there are estimated to be less than 150 of them left)

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Two Stories... Two Children

I have to get right to work this morning, but wanted to take a minute to share a couple of stories about the urchins.

1. My son told his kindergarten teacher that he didn't want to be part of her class anymore. Now, I'm sure this is probably a pretty common occurrence - that the kids want a different teacher because they do or say something "mean". Nope, not my kid. He got upset yesterday. Very upset. It was time to go to lunch, and all the girls were standing quietly as they are supposed to. The boys line was a loud, unruly mass of wiggling puppy-like flesh. Except one. Yep, my kid. He got upset because he didn't want to be labelled as "bad" because the rest of the boys were misbehaving. So, he wants to go to another class where the boys behave better. This story came to me via T - the teacher told him the details. Now, I love the fact that she thinks Sawyer is the best behaved boy child in her class (she even told T for us to keep doing whatever we're doing!) but I worry about his sensitivity. I would understand it a little more if there were ever severe repercussions for being "bad" - but it's just his nature. He likes rules. Go figure!

2. Since my son and T were at the doctor yesterday afternoon, I picked up my daughter from pre-school at the YMCA. As she talked a mile a minute, we wandered through the classrooms until we got to hers so she could collect her "ears" and her lunchbox. (It was their Easter party yesterday and they had made ears, and she had a furry tail stuck to the back of her shirt). Anyway, I look around and see on one of the display walls the heading "What I Want To Be When I Grow Up". I was a little disturbed to see how many of the 4-5 year olds had said they wanted to be cheerleaders, but there were also things like "mom", "fireman", "pilot", etc. I asked my daughter where hers was. For some reason, hers wasn't in bold print like the others. Then I figured out why. What does A want to be when she grows up? An Otter.


Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Work Persona v. Home Persona

Here is something else I don't understand about myself.

At work, I get frustrated when I need to delegate a new task. I know it's necessary, both for me to manage my workload and to continue to teach my team, but depending on the task and the person, I almost always reach the "it would just be easier to do it myself" stage. I keep going, because in the long run, I know it's not easier to do it myself, but I have to fight the urge.

However, at home, I become a nag. We have our home responsibilities fairly evenly split out. In the evenings when we are all home I cook. (I actually plan all the meals for the week on Sundays well as do the marketing.) So, anyway, I cook - T cleans up. I check backpacks for homework, T bathes the kids. I assign (and supervise) the kids chores, T takes out the trash. All in all, a fairly even workload, although T does do more around the house than I do. Of course, that's mostly because he's been working part-time, while I've been working full-time, and paying all the bills. But, I digress...

So this morning, when I am putting my lunch together for work, I notice one of the ingredients I used in last night's dinner is still on the counter. OK, fine - except for the part where it says "refrigerate after opening". I go to throw the bottle away and find that the trash can is full. (Tuesday is trash night). These are not one-time occurrences. This is a regular thing. T's argument is that he has CRS. (Can't Remember S**T) - I say that's just a convenient excuse (especially since he never forgets when his next golf game is, or what time the next (insert any sport you'd like here) game is on.

But here's the question - why don't I just do this stuff myself? Which is worse being a nag or being a control freak? Is there a happy medium? I don't like nagging, and he can't like being treated like a third child - but what comes first? Am I the chicken doing the reminding without which the egg doesn't do diddly-squat? Or am I the egg that has learned her lesson - that if I don't nag - the stuff doesn't get done?

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

How wrong Is This?

I hate my body. I always have. It doesn't matter if I weigh 150 pounds or 117 pounds (and yes, I've been both within the last year), I hate it. I know that I have a distorted self-image. Do we all? Is there any person out there who can look at themselves naked in the mirror and say, "Damn! I look great!"? Ok, let's be more specific - are women capable of this? Or is this just something else that fad diet programs and surgical centers are trying to persuade us is a real possibility.

In my case, it's more about what I think than anyone else. In other instances - other people's opinions matter to me. I look for approval in my career, I look for compliments in my cooking, I look for people to tell me how great my children are, but when it comes to my body - nobody else knows what they're talking about. People tell me that it doesn't look like I've put any of the weight I lost back on - I dismiss this as them being nice and I know the truth. People (even in doctor's offices) tell me they wish they weighed what I do - I think I chose the wrong doctor's office if they think this is good.

I do not walk around my house naked. Again, not because anyone else might see me and think "Ewwww" - but because *I* might see me (damn mirrors) and think "Ewwwwwwwwww!" (Had to throw in a few extra, there).

Now, I know there are health risks of being overweight - but I'm not really OVER weight - just got a little extra. I have the energy to keep up with my family, I don't get sick a lot, I have low blood pressure, low cholesterol, I don't eat red meat, I walk and hike fairly regularly.

So, here's my question for the day. I'm on yet another healthy eating kick (it's what helped me lose the weight in the first place) - but why? If I'm going to feel the same way whether I've a BMI of 18 or of 24 - if I'm going to feel the same way in a size 4 or a 12 - why bother? Why give up all the foods that I love and that everyone else seems to get to enjoy if my internal picture of me is never going to develop into anything else?

Monday, April 2, 2007


Do you think Monday's would be less challenging if we didn't have two "days off" before them?

It's early yet, and the challenges I'm going to need to face today are already overwhelming the opportunities to work on longer-term goals and projects.

In the deep, dark recesses of my mental attic, behind the smell of my grandmother, behind the memories of being a low grade childhood thief, I have a secret fantasy. To not have a job that requires me to have any responsibility. With responsibility comes all kinds of heavy weights. Many years ago I had a job in an answering service. The phone rang, I answered it. I took a message. Done. The phone would ring again, I'd repeat the process. It was easy, it was light, at the end of my shift the job was done. The work didn't continue to trail behind me like a Designer Impostor perfume. Now, I finish one thing, and there are ripples of aftermath to wade through. I go home, and there are still remnants of work clinging to my clothes.

This fantasy, however, is short-lived and then I get back to work and realize that I love challenges. I want to make things better. I want to be the work equivalent to a superhero - find a problem swoop in (superheroes always get to swoop) and save the day. There wasn't a whole lot of swooping opportunities at the answering service.

Well, time to wonder about a simpler life is done - I've got work to do.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Strange Phrases

I "collect" strange things I thought I would never say, and those that I don't expect to hear. I have had two new entries into this collection in the last 24 hours.

Example 1: "That hurts my penis!"

We were in the car yesterday driving around a nearby town that I have always quickly dismissed as a place I wouldn't want to live. When choosing an area to go Geocaching, I decided to check out a place I'll just call CV (the locals will know). Although we found our "treasures" I confirmed that there was nothing in that town that would lure me to live there, but I digress. We were driving down one of the major streets that divide the town and it was a lot of small hills (I always think the white line in the middle of roads like that remind me of ribbons or of icing) and the two pint-sized passengers in the back are loving the hills and dips. Trying to "out WOOHOO" each other, one of them says, yep, you guessed it "That hurts my penis!". I probably don't need to mention it, but that came from my nearly 5 year old. My daughter. The same child who has been known to use the phrase, "O My Nuts!". She's confused. I'm only moderately concerned.

Example 2: "He Slept Around"

My older child (6 in March) has learned to read. This is good. This is also bad. Mommy loves to read, especially prose from witty, sarcastic women. I am currently reading Anyone But You by Jennifer Crusie. My son chose to read over my shoulder and read the following sentence perfectly: "Alex closed his eyes. 'Let me guess, he slept around.' Luckily, he was so proud of how well he read, that he didn't ask me to elaborate. Hey, it could have been worse - I had recently read a sentence that said, "The Chapter's Called Gone With Her Virginity"

Well, it looks like my moments of revelling in the youthful phrasing of my off spring is done. My daughter is now at my elbow and wants to know why I am typing. 'Till another time, friends...