Thursday, August 31, 2006

Thursday 13 – 13 things to which I am brutally addicted

1. Coffee – I truly love my coffee – in pretty much any form. Lattes. Espresso. Mochas. Regular with cream. It doesn’t really matter. The only thing that matters is that I need it by 10 am or the headache starts. It doesn’t matter how much coffee I drink after 10 am – if I haven’t had any before then, I will have a headache the rest of the day. I have been a coffee drinker since I was 8 years old (thanks a lot, mother), and since then the only two times I have been “off the juice” were during my two pregnancies. It was hell. Both times I enjoyed coffee in the hospital after each baby was born.

2. Days of Our Lives – I have watched DOOL since I was 11 years old. Sometimes I have left it (like back in the 90’s when Marlena was possessed by the devil), but I always return. Conveniently, SoapNet reruns it at night, so if I miss it during the day (which is often the case since it comes on the same time as Blue’s Clues), I can catch it at 10 pm after the children are in bed. The bad part about this is that being a stay-at-home supermom, I have no one to talk to about DOOL. This caused me to start a DOOL blog. Mostly because if every post on my mommy blog started revolving around DOOL, you might not read it.

3. Afrin nasal spray – Talk about crack! This stuff ranks up there with Dunkin Donuts (see number 8). With seasonal allergies, sometimes this is the only way I can breathe. I try to limit myself because I know the stuff is addictive. Last night, for instance, Georgia (aka Cranky Teething Baby) was up and screaming from 1 – 2 am. When I finally got her calmed down and back to bed, I went back to my room and reached for the nose spray. It was not there. Then I remembered that Georgia had gotten a hold of it earlier and ran off. When I got it away from her, I set it on the kitchen counter. Crap! Going to the kitchen would mean walking past Georgia’s room and waking her up. I decided to suffer. Every addiction has its limits.

4. Hitchcock movies – I love Hithcock movies, and I love Cary Grant. Hitchcock is the master, and anyone who argues that Spielberg is a better director is wrong! The other night I fell asleep while watching North By Northwest. It is my all-time favorite movie and I have seen it at least a hundred times. It’s got great quotes, such as “How did a girl like you get to be a girl like you?” Anyway, I woke up a couple of hours later, and Suspicion was on – another Hitchcock classic. I put my glasses on and started watching Suspicion at 3:30 in the morning. Eric woke up and looked at me wide awake watching TV, and said “What the hell are you doing? It’s no wonder you’re so tired every day!” Hmph! This is the same man who stopped me from naming both of our children after Hitchcock characters. What does he know!

5. Blogs (other peoples’) – This is a growing obsession. I probably have at least 12 blogs I visit every day, and the number seems to be growing. I’ll hear about or read about a new blog or there will be a link on one of my favorite blogs to another blog. It’s an endless cycle. And considering the only fee time I really have to “surf” is when Georgia is napping and Eli is watching Noggin, I desperately need to keep this addiction under control.

6. Blogs (mine) – It seems like every situation in my life ends up in my blog. Every time I interact with anyone, I think, “This would make a great blog.” I started my blog because I desperately missed writing and I thought this was a great way to make a little extra revenue. I don’t have the time to keep up 20 blogs like the Problogger guy. But if I could, I could save up for that breast reduction in no time. This guy had a picture of himself on one of his blogs with a check from Google Adsense for $133,000!!!! I bow to him. And I have since started two other blogs. The previously mentioned Days of our Lives blog, and Money Making Planet. (see number 11)

7. Sticky Toffee Pudding ice cream – I think I’ve done well not making this blog completely about food, because I could list a hell of a lot more than 13 food items to which I’m addicted. Sticky Toffee Pudding was the winning flavor in this year’s Haagen Dazs ice cream contest. After searching every grocery store in the greater Kansas City area, I finally found it at a Hen House. It is everything I hoped for and more. Sadly, they’re only producing this flavor until January, so I need to start weaning myself now.

8. Dunkin Donuts – As Homer Simpson would say, “Mmmmm, doughnuts!” complete with drool coming out the side of the mouth. I love Dunkin Donuts. More specifically, I love the Munchkins – they’re word for doughnut holes. I love Munchkins because doughnuts that small don’t register on my calorie-counting scale, and they come in packs of 25 or 50. When I was at DD over the weekend, They asked if I wanted the 25 pack. Eli joined me in looking at the man like he was crazy. I kindly said, “That wouldn’t last us until we got home.” In addition to the crack-laced doughnut holes, Dunkin Donuts seriously has the best coffee in the known universe, complete with tons of flavors. My personal favorite is blueberry coffee. It is the greatest thing since the minimizer bra!

9. Crab Rangoon – Currently, I have this addiction under control, but since it played such an important part in my last pregnancy, I felt I had to mention it. Crab Rangoon is the only thing I craved when I was pregnant with Georgia. In my last trimester, I went to Dillon’s Chinese kitchen every single day for Crab Rangoon. When I started ordering my 12 Crab Rangoon each day, I made up something about getting enough for my husband who loved them. By the end of my pregnancy, they knew what time the pregnant lady would be there and they better have fresh Crab Rangoon so I didn’t open a big ole can of whoop-ass on them. Many of them would give me all of the Crab Rangoon they had left and only charge me for 6. I think I scared them.

10. Mystery novels with recipes – Diane Mott Davidson, anyone? I love the Goldy mysteries, which is an ongoing series about a caterer who solves murders. I’ve also recently discovered Joanne Fluke, who writes mystery novels about a lady who owns a cookie shop . . . and solves murders. I’ve always loved a good mystery, and these books come complete with yummy recipes – it’s like killing two birds with one stone. I still read the literary stuff, too, but I love the fun novels where you can just get away from the world! I just need to stop analyzing why a bunch of people seem to keep getting murdered in the presence of a caterer.

11. Trying to make money at home - Since I have become a stay-at-home mom, I have tried numerous things to make some extra money, and have considered even more. Some examples are freelance writing, Web editing, substitute teaching, selling Tastefully Simple, and selling Passion products, and blogging. My newest blog, Money Making Planet, will be a blog where I can share some of the wild and wacky things I’ve done to make money. Short of hooking down on Prospect Avenue, there is a full-spectrum of revenue potential.

12. Making my children laugh - There is nothing like Georgia’s giggling when we’re playing feet peekaboo (it’s a long story), and Eli’s squeals when I come at him with tickle fingers (again, you really need a visual on that one). I really just love to hear them laugh no matter what they’re doing as long as it’s not because they’ve just colored the cat with orange Crayola marker.

13. Writing long blogs - I can’t believe this blog is so freaking long. If you’re still reading, you deserve a Munchkin. I think a particular topic is going to be short, but it never works out that way. Next week, mark my word, the Thursday 13 will be short. I promise!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

"Mommy, I need the potty!"

Even though today’s blog doesn’t contain any mention of Dunkin Donuts, that will come into play tomorrow as this week’s Thursday 13 is “13 things to which I am addicted!” I came up with nine off the top of my head, which is scary in itself. In the meantime, enjoy the adventure of our drive home.

After a tiring weekend in the bowels of . . . oops. . . I promised my husband I would quit saying the bowels of Western Kansas as he thinks I’m going to offend someone. If any of the 20 people who live in Western Kansas are reading this, I humbly apologize.

Anyway, the kids were exhausted. They played hard and slept little, so I was hopeful they would sleep on the drive home. Georgia did for a little bit, before she decided she was tired of being strapped down, and screamed from Topeka to Kansas City. No amount of singing would help and she threw every toy I gave her. She was pissed.

Eli seemed content early in the drive watching his DVD player – he currently has a frightening obsession with the Teletubbies which I pray daily is just a passing phase.

As we tooled down I-70 in the pouring rain, we came upon Junction City. You all my know it as the place Timothy McVeigh stayed the night before he drove to Oklahoma to blow up a building. We think of it as the last place to stop for a bathroom break before Topeka which is 50 something more miles.

We asked Eli, “Do you need to go potty?” He said “No.” “Are you SURE? This is the last stop before Topeka. If you don’t go now, you’ll have to wait almost an hour.” Again, “Nope.” We drove on past. About five minutes later – “Mommy, I need to go potty.” Oh crap!

“Sweetie, we just asked if you needed to potty and you said you didn’t.” “But I need to go nooooow.” “Well, you’re going to have to wait about 45 minutes until we get to Topeka.” “But mooooomeeeeee! I need to go potty noooooooow!”

I was left with two options. I carry a porta-potty in my trunk for just such an occasion. Option #1 we could pull over along I-70 and whip out the porta-potty. However, I think I mentioned it was pouring rain. Complete with scary lightning. So that option was a big NO. The second option was to hand Eli a cup to try to pee into. Luckily, my car always seems to be littered with numerous empty coffee cups.

I’m betting there are a number of guys out there who use option number two as opposed to stopping the car. . . never mind – I don’t want to know. Anyway, after evaluating Eli’s aim in the bathroom at home, I decided I didn’t want urine dripping from the back of the driver’s seat, so that option was out, too.

We were left with every car game we could think of, listening to Eli’s favorite Wiggles CD, and promising him candy if he could hold it.

I have never seen Eric drive faster, and when we got to the first exit, he took it and pulled into a McDonalds. Eli, who had been moaning in complete bladder agony for the last half hour looked across the street and said, “I don’t WANT to go to McDonald’s to go potty. I want to go to the Dairy Queen over there.” Considering I would have peed in an outhouse when I was on the verge of bladder explosion, I was beginning to think maybe he was exaggerating. Hmmm . . . I wonder who he gets that from.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Hillbilly Kansas

naked statue
Originally uploaded by neila222.
Before I became panic-stricken due to my computer performing the death freeze, I was planning to write about our weekend out of town. Eric’s cousin Tim got married over the weekend, and while I could write several blogs focusing on the car ride alone (the 6 ½ hour car ride with two cranky children), I’ll try not to dwell on it.

The drive down actually wasn’t that bad. We took the kids to Gymboree Friday morning so they would be appropriately worn out by the time we stuck them in the car. When Eli woke up, we shoved the portable DVD player at him, so all in all, the drive didn’t suck.

We were staying in Phillipsburg, Kansas at the Mark V. This alone was an experience. The population of Phillipsburg is about 2500, and the town has two motels. We chose the Mark V because it was $10 cheaper than the other motel in town. And I admire their gumption. There is a statue of a naked woman in front of the motel (see photo) that apparently created mass controversy when they put it up. And I do love controversy.

I had called ahead to see if they had any rooms with refrigerators because I was bringing milk for the baby. They amusingly said “No.” It was a simple no, but I could tell they were on the verge of sarcasm and really wanted to say, “Yes, we cater to all the hunters and woodsmen in Western Kansas by providing mini bars and jacuzzis in every room.” It’s probably what I would have said.

hotel sign
Originally uploaded by neila222.
My favorite part about the room had to be the sign over the sink. Luckily, I left my birds at home.

The first night we didn’t sleep at all because Georgia’s teething has caused an excess amount of slobber, which translated into a cough. On Saturday, before the reception, we went in search of infant cough medicine (Tylenol cough and cold) so we could give it to her before bed. There were only two options – Alco (think small-town Wal-mart) and the grocery store. I don’t remember the name, but I’m pretty sure the word Wilderness was in the title. At Alco, they had nothing! Off we went to the grocery store. Again, no infant medicine. Either they don’t believe in drugging their babies out there or they are practicing natural selection.

Our trek for cough medicine made us late for the reception. When we drove up, we discovered that all 2500 residents in Phillipsburg plus a few out-of-towners were in attendance. The reception was being held at the Armory, and the garage doors were open, so people could roam in and out. People, flies and mosquitoes, that is. At one point, Eric was accosted by a mob of mosquitoes on his face, so I went up and slapped him. Before he could register the shock, I slapped him again to get rid of the remaining mosquito.

After wishing I had searched Wilderness Market for bug spray, I noticed the “keg.” It wasn’t actually a keg. It was a beer wagon. I have never seen one of these, and it was impressive. It was literally the size of a police paddy wagon, and had two spigots on the side to pour your beer. Someone told me it held six kegs of beer and they were planning to drink it all week. Those people from Western Kansas know how to party.

I began enjoying the free beer, as did my brother-in-law, who couldn’t seem to stop singing the theme from Mickey Mouse Playhouse. And we began watching the kids spin around. We led the kids on the Wedding March, which is truly something everyone should dance to at least once. Then came the Chicken Dance, the Hokey Pokey, and the Electric Slide. As I stated in a previous blog, I have learned to accept the fact that I suck at the Electric Slide. Unfortunately, I learned this weekend that I am good at the Macarena. (!!!)

Georgia enjoyed the dancing so much and loved it when I kept twirling her around. Our girl timing was perfectly in sync because as soon as I handed her off to daddy, he spun her around once, and she threw up milk and wedding cake all over him. I guess she had reached her twirling limit. But when you dance so much you throw up, doesn’t that make it a successful party?

We took the kids back to the hotel around 10:00 and tried desperately to get them calmed down from the sugar rush of cake and punch so they would fall asleep. Eli doesn’t do well with the lights off, so I slept with him. I discovered that he tries to shove me out of bed just as vehemently as his father, and his elbows are sharper. Needless to say, I didn’t sleep well.

I was very glad to get home to my own bed on Sunday night. I will chronicle the drive home in a later blog. It involves a downpour, lightning, ice cream and my family’s severe addiction to Dunkin Donuts, which I’ve decided must be laced with crack.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Crack . . . sizzle . . . beeeep . . . beeeep . . . beeeep

That would be the sound of my computer last night.

After being out of town all weekend, I was anxious to get back on the computer. I am a computer addict, I admit it. But I thought it would be good for me to be away from the computer all weekend. By Sunday night, my fingers were itching.

When we got home, I opened the mail, and discovered my credit limit was raised to an astronomical amount (just what I need), and then I went directly to my office to boot up.

I checked email, did a little Web editing at FAQ Farm, and then disaster struck. The computer froze. It just froze. The mouse wouldn't move, it wouldn't restart - nothing. So, I turned off the power cord and turned it back on. I punched the blur Power button, and heard the dreaded noises. The computer wouldn't even turn on, and it did nothing but beep at me. (A noise which quickly grates on a fragile psyche.)

I yelled for my husband, who offered a very unhelpful "Huh." I was hysterical, I admit it. The only thing I could think of was of all the pictures I have taken on my digital camera that I hadn't backed up yet. The thought of losing all of Georgia's baby pictures sent me into a complete panic. I immediately called Tech Guys. They had helped me before in a computer disaster, so I had hopes they could fix my computer.

After my frenzied explanation for calling them at 8:00 on a Sunday evening, they tried to reassure me that they would be able to recover the hard drive - "Don't worry, ma'am." Don't worry? Was I not compelling in relating the beeeep . . . beeeep noise? I was beginning to think they weren't excited about dealing with a panic-stricken crazy woman.

They did tell me that if they came out, they would have to charge me the "emergency rate" which is apparently double their normally outrageous amount. As upset as I was about the thought of losing everything, I maintained a single strand of sanity and decided that I could wait until Monday.

They showed up at 12:08 today. Not that I was waiting by the door or anything. After all of my build-up, complete with breathing into a paper bag, it took the Tech Guy 10 minutes to fix my computer! Apparently, there was a big storm over the weekend when we were out of town. A power surge fried my memory. He popped in a new memory stick and I was good to go. I was almost ready to kiss him until he handed me the bill. After looking at the total (apparently new memory sticks are expensive), I was able to restrain myself.

Thank God my credit limit was just raised!

Friday, August 25, 2006

Little Orange Men

Originally uploaded by neila222.
I hate road construction! I cannot possibly express to you in words how much I despise everything about it – the orange cones, the blinking arrows, the workmen in orange vests doing nothing but sitting on the curb eating sandwiches, except for the lone driver who has driven a backhoe in the middle of the street so he can block traffic just to see how long it takes before someone gives him the finger. All of it makes my eye twitch.

Yesterday, we needed to run to the store for milk and baby wipes. That’s it! I needed two items. I was planning to go to Aldi, which is right down the street. We should have been there and back in about 20 minutes.

When I finally found Eli’s shoes, changed another of Georgia’s poopy diapers and made sure I had my keys, we were out the door about 11:30. I have discovered over the summer that it is damn near impossible to drive down any street in the greater Kansas City area without encountering the evil construction spawn. And I do mean spawn – it multiplies in triplicate every night!

Today was no exception. Just when I thought I had an alternate route available with minimal road construction, I discovered that my house was literally boxed in. I have two streets I can take to get from my house to Aldi. I passed one street, which was blocked by a flashing arrow, orange cones, and a line of cars with very confused-looking drivers. I kept going. Street #2 was blocked off with orange cones and a big tractor-roller-crane looking thing that was attempting to flatten black tar.

When I saw that there was actually no way for me to get to the store, I screamed. I literally screamed in my car. Eli laughed. Then I called his father because I actually needed to scream at a person. He barely got out “This is Eric,” before I launched into my tirade of how every construction worker in the city had some misplaced vendetta against me, and how I felt the city needed to pay for my gas, since I was forced to drive south aimlessly until I could find a street on which to turn. When I took a breath, Eric said, “Who is this?”

Okay, that is NOT funny!!

It seriously took me 25 minutes to finally loop around and get to the damn store when it should have only taken me 5 minutes! To top it all off, they were OUT of baby wipes! I restrained myself from screaming or bursting into tears right there in the store. However, I was desperately wishing they sold alcohol at that point. Since I couldn’t get baby wipes (or wine), I bought myself a one-pound bag of peanut M&M’s to make up for it. *sigh*

Luckily, when I did finally loop around and get back home (at 12:45, no less! 1 hour 15 minutes later in case you’re counting), I was able to get my sweet baby with the very sore gums to take a long nap. At 3 p.m., I finally caved to Eli’s request and let him hole up in front of the TV and watch Dora videos. And I tried my hardest to avoid doing anything productive.

I surfed the Internet when I seriously needed to be packing for the weekend. We are traveling to the bowels of western Kansas for Eric’s cousin’s wedding, where there will be no Internet access or cell phone coverage (argh!). I have to admit I am looking forward to the wedding. And not just because there will be free beer. (Yippee!) It will be nice to go to a wedding and not have to do anything. I can just sit there. No fear of tripping down the aisle. No speeches. Nothing. I can sit there and drink my free beer, and teach the kids how to do the chicken dance. It should be a fabulous weekend!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Thursday 13 – The world according to the blogosphere

Today’s Thursday 13 is a slight break from my life. And I felt link happy! I could write a long detailed blog about attempting to organize my children’s toys. It’s very difficult when I want to chuck half of them, and Eli is begging me not to throw away things like an action figure he got in a Happy Meal sometime last year that has one arm missing. I may delve into that more in tomorrow’s blog.

Today, however, is Thursday, so I thought I would share what some of my favorite people are up to in the blogosphere. These are all blogs I visit regularly and they’re all great. Give them a visit when you have time!

1. Surrender Dorothy – She owns her own business, raises her own children, and entertains us with a good dose of sarcasm. This week alone, she dealt with her client, Large Corporate Tax Prep; her daughter, who refuses to sleep as does mine (Maybe it’s a girl thing); and is finding it very difficult to multi-task in the Emerald City.

2. Petite Anglaise – Petite is an English woman living in France. She recently lost her job (or was “dooced”) for referring to her job in her blog. I think she was screwed. She’s a single mom raising a little girl, and I hope she gives those bastards who she used to work for the shaft. She’s currently suing them, and every mom in the known universe is in her corner.

3. Daring Young Mom – She recently left behind the Blogger interface for her own blog design – how daring! In addition to blogging each week for the Parenting Post, Kathryn is dealing with her daughter’s obsession with every red car on the road. They’re Lite-Meen the Queen Cars!

4. Dooce – The one and only. Heather Armstrong is a former Mormon living in Utah with her family. That alone is plenty of fodder for a great blog. Added to that, she was fired a couple of years ago because of her blog, and coined the term “dooce.” Anyone who can make up a word and have it added to the dictionary is cooler than cool! I also find it quite impressive that she had 40 pounds of hair as a teenager.

5. EDog’s Everything Page – A Dad blog! Ian is from Denver and provides great observations while working on his 100-day novel! He also shares a song each day along with his “mood.” He is quickly climbing the popularity ladder over at Technorati. I hope to be fast on his heels!

6. More Cowbell – Justin is currently saving the world one blog at a time! He’s a med student at Ohio State University, and writes great blogs about anything and everything. Just this week he analyzed the ins and outs of several brands of Vodka – the way water was meant to be!

7. Fussy – Anyone who can end a blog with the phrase, “F*ck you, clown” is on my short list of fun people!

8. Days To Come – Jeana’s blog (Home of the Jeana Likes Me Awards) is where I originally got the idea for the Thursday 13! She’s raising children, cats and a husband, like myself. This week, Jeana and her family are enjoying their new game table!

9. My Dog Harriet – Meghan is famous! For anyone who watches HGTV, you may have recently seen her on an episode of House Hunters! I also enjoyed her scathing review this week of The Hills Have Eyes. Like me, she has metamorphisized from fun young woman to a 30-something mom driving a family vehicle. Sounds like she too was visited by the soccer mom fairy!

10. DaMomma – Elizabeth also blogs each week for the Parenting Post. She is formerly a “latte-slinging, cell phone-talking Washington political junkie.” But this week, she is dealing with her daughter’s natural ability of throwing darts, and enjoying her new toy – a digital photo frame. And I mean really enjoying it!

11. Finslippy – Alice’s last blog consisted of the “correspondence” between herself and her daughter’s pink eye. She is very witty and creative, as well as a proud supporter of the word “whore.”

12. Tiny Cat Pants – Her last blog detailed how her pants literally fell off of her in her front yard because they were too big. With her arms full of groceries, she just stepped right out of them and kept going. Now that is how you roll with the punches!

13. And then there’s me. You all know what I’ve been up to. I continue to try desperately each night to get a decent amount of sleep, which is difficult between a lovely baby with a loud scream, a cat who likes to use me as a launching pad at 2 a.m., and a husband who wants to get romantic when I just want to sleep. It has definitely been a full week. This weekend, we will be attending another wedding, at which I will try desperately not to use the word “whore.” At least not where anyone can hear me.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Bite Me!

Today I think I finally discovered the reason (I hope) for Georgia’s sour mood. After taking a very brief nap this afternoon, she woke up to continue her rampage. First, she attempted to pinch off that little mole on the back of my leg while I was in the kitchen fixing her a snack. And she pinches with a vengeance! Yeow! One of these days, she’s actually going to succeed in getting that damn thing off!

When I picked her up, she whipped out a turquoise marker that she had apparently been hiding up her sleeve or in her diaper. She wielded that marker as if she were Norman Bates, and she really got me before I managed to pry it out of her little fingers. The turquoise didn’t go very well with my light purple blouse, so I’m certainly hoping those are washable markers.

But I digress. She began screaming her protests at me for confiscating her marker, and on one particularly loud screech, I saw it! Tooth number five! The drooling and runny nose have been big signs that this was coming, but I thought that thing was never going to pop through. I am quite confident that it wasn’t there this morning, so I have a feeling she woke up screaming from her one-hour nap when that tooth reared it’s ugly head and poked its way out.

I should have been happy with the fact that I can check off one more tooth on the torturous teething path. However, something possessed me to stick my finger in her mouth. I had to feel it, as well as see it. I’m not sure why – it’s just something we moms do. Georgia immediately responded by clamping down on my finger, and I quickly discovered that five teeth hurt much more than four. Yeooow!

When her father got home from work, I shared Georgia’s latest accomplishment with him before drafting him to take the kids and go with me to the grocery store for milk, fruit and yogurt. Yes, I could have gone by myself, but occasionally I feel the need to share my experiences with my darling husband. Today I felt he needed to experience the public screaming of his daughter when she is confined to a shopping cart.

When we got to the store, I quickly picked up our items, and decided to add beer to the list since we were running dangerously low on Boulevard Wheat. Eric took Eli to the bathroom while Georgia and I went to check out. As the cashier rang up my items, she looked at me as she scanned the beer. “What’s your date of birth?” she asked pointedly. Jeez! What is this? A quiz? I told her my birthdate and she scanned the beer through. At least this wasn’t as bad as the time I attempted to buy Dayquil!

I said, “Why is it that I feel guilty about buying beer even though I’m 34 years old?” She just looked at me like I was nuts (you may be noticing through my blogs that people often look at me like I’m crazy). She just said, “I don’t know. That’s kind of weird.” What? Did she just call me weird? Then she said, “Did you buy alcohol illegally when you were younger?” Well, of course I did! I just said, “Ummmm, probably.” She said, “Well, that’s probably it. Those guilty feelings are still lingering.”

Okay, I get enough of a guilt trip from plenty of family members. I certainly don’t need the Wal-Mart cashier laying one on me for illegally buying alcohol 15 years ago! I’ve got to learn to keep my thoughts to myself.

As I walked out of the store, the woman said, “Have a nice day.” I said, “You too.” But the response in my head was, “Bite me, wench!”

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

Originally uploaded by neila222.
I would bet that is actually the name of a salon somewhere. It’s a close runner up to Curl Up and Dye. I love that for a salon name. Has anyone seen The Blues Brothers? Anyway, I tried my hand today at cutting my children’s hair. I’ve tried it before, but after a couple of months, I seem to forget what a horrible experience it was, and pull out the scissors in the hopeful delusion that this time will be different.

I started with Georgia because she just needed her bangs trimmed – a fairly easy task. Easy enough that I’m not going to pay the exorbitant amount they charge at Sheer Madness for children’s haircuts. Last time I got a hold of Georgia’s hair with a pair of scissors, she looked like Moe from the Three Stooges. That is if Moe had been a one-year old blonde girl. But you get the point. She squirmed so much that I just kept snipping to try to get her bangs even. She ended up with bangs about a half inch from her hairline. It wasn’t pretty.

Three months later, they had grown out, and were getting in her eyes again. I can tell the child is going to have my hair. I can see the tumbly waves and wild stray curls already starting. This time, I sat her on the vanity and gave her all of my berets to throw in the sink. I thought that should keep her busy for a couple of minutes until I clipped those bangs. Unfortunately, she’s like me – we both get distracted by shiny objects. The second those scissors were in front of her face, it was chaos.

At 14 months, she doesn’t understand, “Sit still!” Or “Don’t move or I could poke your eye out!” I get nothing but frustrated screams from both of us. Finally, I got her bangs trimmed. They are jagged and uneven, but at least I learned my lesson from last time. They look better crooked and down on her forehead, rather than straight across and half an inch long. You can see my handiwork in the photo.

Then, it was on to Eli. With him, I don’t even attempt to use scissors. I get out the clippers and cut his hair as short as I possibly can. If I go about a half inch long, I’m good for another three months before I have to do it again. Luckily, he looks cute with short hair (I think). At least I don’t have to worry about it for another few years until he’s old enough to want a stylish cut – or worse, he’ll refuse to cut his hair at all.

I tried to make it a fun experience by making “mommy’s fun cape” out of a towel. That fell flat. I finally managed to get him situated in a chair. But as soon as he heard the buzz of the clippers, he rolled himself into a little ball. I had to cut his hair while he was rolled up as if it were a tornado drill – the whole time screaming, “It’s too sharp!” I tried to explain that the plastic guard of the clippers was the only thing touching him and it was not sharp. He didn’t buy that at all and squealed like I was trying to scalp him. From the look of his picture, you might think I did. Just remember, he has such light blonde hair, it’s hard to see it anyway.

But I finally got done, gave him candy, turned on Diego, and he forgot all about the traumatizing experience. So, I’m good for another three months!

Just as a side note that is completely off topic, I had my own traumatizing experience tonight as I watched the season premiere of Prison Break – it’s one of about five shows that I watch. Did anyone have a problem with the fact that they killed off Veronica?!!! My husband thinks I have a serious issue with reality versus fantasy because I talk about the characters as if they are real people. Yeah, whatever! Did I mention that they killed Veronica?!!!!

Monday, August 21, 2006

My New Look

This is what happens when I have some free time. I start screwing with my blog template. I was updating my Links and My Profile, and then I just went crazy. I felt like I needed something just a smidge more feminine. It’s faaaar from perfect, but I’m just not quite ready to shell out $75 to pay someone to make me a template, so I will see how this one works for a little while. Comments are welcome!

I’m posting on Sunday night because I had to get that Exorcist picture off the blog. It was creeping me out every time I went to my page. Yeesh!

We had lots of fun this weekend with the kids. I took Eli to his friend Jack’s birthday party this weekend at Bump City – a gymnasium with all kinds of equipment for climbing, jumping, falling, and injuries. Anything requiring me to sign a release form makes me extremely nervous.

Eli had a good time, and I only had a minor stroke when he kept scaling the rock wall, which was at least a good 20 feet, over and over again. On one hand, I was extremely impressed. On the other hand, I wished he weren’t so daring. The least the Bump City people could have done was provide mothers with a paper bag to breathe into while their children are leaping tall buildings with a single bound.

My only issue with Bump City was their choice of background music. I am quite familiar with a number of children’s musicians. Bump City didn’t play any music at the gym until about the last 10 minutes. Then instead of turning on fun children’s music, they played Crash by The Dave Matthews Band. I think I’m fairly open-minded, but is that really appropriate music to play at a party for 4 and 5-year-olds?! In case you are not familiar with the lyrics, you can find them here. There’s a line that says, “Hike up your skirt a little more and show your world to me.” You get the idea!

I turned to the woman next to me and voiced my thoughts on their music choice. She just looked at me like I was growing another head out of my left shoulder. Then she shrugged and turned away. I realize I tend to overreact, but am I being crazy?

After the party was over, Eli and I made a trip to the library, which we do a couple of times a week. It was nice to be able to go with just him since Georgia’s need to express herself with public screaming is on the rise.

Eli is getting great with his letters, and he loves to spell everything. He went to drop off his Caillou DVD, and saw the two slots – one labeled “BOOKS” and one labeled “AUDIOVISUALS.” He patiently spelled B-O-O-K-S, and shouted, “Books!” Then he slowly spelled out A-U-D-I-O-V-I-S-U-A-L-S, and screamed, “I just spelled DVDs!” I love my son! He was so proud of himself, and I told him that he was right. Audiovisuals is a very long word for DVDs.

The spelling marathon continued as he chose his DVDs. He picked up Thomas the Train, and The Wiggles Live. He spelled out Wiggles, and then started backward, and spelled E-V-I-L. “What does that spell, mommy?”

I started laughing so hard that people turned to look at me. I found the thought of The Wiggles Evil very amusing! I told him he just spelled evil, but if he spells it the other way, it spells live. He seemed confused, but satisfied with that answer, so we checked out and went home with our DVDs. Eric and I have been talking about those evil Wiggles for the last two days!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Temper Tantrums

The Exorcist
Originally uploaded by neila222.
I remember vividly Eli’s worst temper tantrum (so far). He was about 2 ½, and I was pregnant with Georgia. We had been shopping in Price Chopper on a Friday night, and Eli had been a pill the entire time. When we checked out, he wanted gum. I said no because 1. he knew he wasn’t allowed to have gum yet, and 2. he knows he doesn’t get a treat when he’s naughty.

He threw himself on the floor in front of about 20 check-out lanes full of people. I had never seen such a spectacle. It was complete with crying, kicking and screaming. There were at least 100 people total in the check-out lanes, and every single one of them was looking at us. Without a backward glance, I scooped Eli up and walked out of the store. It took me another 15 minutes to get him buckled into his car seat, but at least then we were only a spectacle for the security camera aimed at our car.

I thought I had another year until I experienced such excitement with Georgia. Plus, the second time around, I thought I was prepared. I’ve been teaching her sign language so she can communicate better, which supposedly causes fewer tantrums. And I think I have more patience this time around, since I knew nothing of what to expect four years ago when Eli was born.

Georgia is quickly becoming very independent. After we left Gymboree yesterday, she wanted to walk through the courtyard by herself. She refused to hold my hand. If I let her go, however, she took off in the opposite direction, so I had to pick her up. This made her mad and she let out a blood-curdling scream. Heads turned.

This should have been the only clue I needed that things were only going to go down hill. I should have put the kids in the car and left. Unfortunately, I had promised Eli a drink after Gymboree, and he really wanted to go to Einstein Bros (which I still refer to as Bagel & Bagel. It was better when it was Bagel & Bagel). We had parked right in front of EB, and I thought we would be quick.

When we went into the store, I realized it was 12:30, so they were packed. Georgia immediately wanted down. I had the insane idea that I could put her down, and she would stand quietly by my side. Yes, I know. Please control your laughter at my stupidity. When I put her down, she made a beeline for the door. I went and grabbed her before someone plowed into her with the door. But when I picked her up, she screamed and started bucking. People began to turn and look at me.

The woman at the counter took my order, even though there were about five people ahead of us. They desperately wanted us out of there before a scene ensued. I put Georgia down again, because I just wanted her to be quiet for about two minutes. This time, she ran over and started to climb into the refrigerated case holding the cream cheese. I knew I was screwed. I was going to have to hold her. Eli was completely oblivious, standing in front of the pastry case trying to decide what he wanted. (He finally opted for a cinnamon twist.)

When I picked up Georgia, she let loose. She tried to squirm away, and when she realized I was not letting her down, she began screaming. I’ve decided she has my mother’s scream – complete with the “shrill.” She also threw in a “Ya Na Na Ma” while hitting and swatting at me. I was attempting to pay for our food – because dammit, after all this, I was getting my toasted sesame bagel – when Georgia started the head butting me.

She was still screaming, and started throwing her head violently against me in her attempted escape. Kudos to me, by the way, for managing to keep a hold on her during all of this. I fully expected her head to spin around at any moment and pea soup to start shooting out of her mouth.

By this point, everyone in the bagel shop, which was at full capacity, was staring at us. Those with children were nodding sympathetically, and those without were shaking their head in disgust. I cursed them all with the hope they’ll have twins.

After we finally got our food and Eli’s drink, I drug the kids out to the car. I passed another Gymboree mom on the way out who was eating with her two children. I just gave her a bewildered look, and she said, “Oh, I know.” She understood.

While buckling a screaming Georgia into her car seat, I had a fear that I would see an Amber alert on TV that night. “We are looking for a woman who shoved two children into a black SUV. One of them was screaming. Please contact NBC Action News if you have any information.” Wouldn’t that be my luck?

Friday, August 18, 2006

Hitting the bottle

Georgia's close-up
Originally uploaded by neila222.
Or maybe a better title would be “When babies get really pissed.” I don’t have a picture of her screaming at me, but try to imagine that sweet little face contorted in complete and utter rage. I am quickly finding out that my daughter was born with my temper. Not cool. She followed me around the better part of yesterday screaming. Not crying – screaming. She wanted her bottle, and I am the evil wench who won’t give it to her.

Georgia is almost 14 months old, and I’m hearing from doctors, friends and Parents magazine how I need to get her off the bottle and pacifier or it will just get harder. Weaning Eli off the bottle was not this difficult. He never wanted to eat, and still doesn’t. I pretty much have to force feed him at every meal, and he’s still so skinny, you can see his little ribs. When he was a baby, taking the bottle away was easy, and I think he said “good riddance” in his little baby voice when I did.

Taking away his pacifier was another story. I finally took it away when he turned three. I know I should have done it sooner, and I tried – I really did. But my son is stubborn and would stay up all night screaming for his paci. It finally got to the point where I didn’t have a choice because his teeth were getting a freakish shape to them. Avoiding large orthodontic bills was finally the incentive we needed. So, the “paci fairy” came one night and took the pacis away, leaving Eli a game. How did that go over? Well, it’s more than a year later and sometimes Eli still asks for his paci when he’s upset. I’m hoping that request will diminish as he gets closer to high school.

All this boils down to the fact that I need to get Georgia’s bottle and paci away from her sooner rather than later. But I’m worried that it may already be too late. Yesterday, during one of her many screaming fits, she would keep squeezing her little hand together, which is the sign for milk. When I would hand her a sippy cup, she would swat it away like I had utterly offended her and just start screaming louder.

Then she attacked my leg. She let out a karate yell “Yaaaaaaaa” and chomped down on my leg with her four teeth. Hmmmm, I thought, that’s new. If I’m going to have to trade the bottle in for biting, I’m not sure if I’m quite ready. Luckily, her four little teeth don’t hurt that badly, but in a few months, I could be in big trouble. Undeterred by my lack of reaction, she went over to Eli, “Yaaaaaaa” chomp. Eli squealed, “Mommy, she’s attacking me.” I personally thought it was cosmic payback from all the times Eli has taken Georgia’s toys away from her, but I removed her death grip on her brother, nonetheless.

Today is a new day, so we will see how it goes. I currently have her down to two bottles a day. Yesterday, I broke and gave her three. Today, I’m going to stick to my guns . . . I hope. Besides, I need to trim her nails today, so she’ll have something completely different to scream at me about. I decided she needed a manicure after I did dishes yesterday, and she came up behind me and started trying to pinch off a small mole on the back of my leg. Yow! That’s when I realized her little nails were way too long!

Between manicures and sippy cups, it should be a full day of enraged screaming. No matter how tough it gets I’m going to try not to hit the bottle . . . er . . . I mean Georgia won’t hit the bottle!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Thursday 13 - Things overheard at the wedding

Today’s blog concludes my series of wedding blogs. Thank you all for listening to all of my wedding planning blogs over the summer. With pre-school and a new session of Gymboree starting soon, my blogs should definitely be more child-centric after today! For now, enjoy this week’s Thursday 13 – things overheard at the wedding.

1. Do you skydive, too? (Surprisingly asked to me by no less than three people)
Hell no! was my answer to that question. Do I look like someone who skydives? Just because the bride and groom met skydiving - and they are also into base jumping, mountain climbing, and wrestling alligators for all I know - I find enough adventure raising two children. Just this morning, I risked life and limb walking across a Lego-strewn floor in the dark! After that, I contorted my body into amazing positions to avoid being thrown up on by my daughter. All before I had coffee. Now, that’s daring!

2. Don’t you think the best man is hot? (Uttered by a girl sitting at my table)
My response – “Yes he is. And I’m sure his 8-month pregnant wife thinks so, too.” That’s code for, “Back off, sister!”

3. Are they really swingers? (uttered by my husband Eric and Amy’s husband Steve about a couple at the wedding)
Unfortunately Amy and I have big mouths. When we found out that there was a couple of swingers at the wedding (and I won’t say how we found out), word spread like wildfire. The men were especially entertained. I think Steve and Eric blushed and giggled every time they walked by our table.

4. Are you sure Heather is not pregnant? (uttered by several wedding guests, including Heather’s mother)
Heather dubbed her wedding, “No Shotgun Wedding” – also the moniker for her Website, – to dispel any pregnancy rumors. That did little to hinder people from asking the question. Honestly, that was my first question, too. I have attended two weddings in the past that were planned within two months, and both of those brides were with child.

At one of those weddings, my husband (thinking he was being complimentary) approached the bride and loudly said, “You don’t look pregnant!” Holy mother of God! Just when I think I’m the one that sticks my foot in my mouth. I think I taped his mouth shut at the next few weddings we went to.

But, I digress. Heather vehemently maintains that she is NOT pregnant. If she pops out a baby in seven months, everyone can wink and smile.

5. Doesn’t Heather like cake? (uttered by Cassandra, a guest who didn’t seem to appreciate wedding pie)
Heather did her best to make this wedding non-traditional. Instead of cake, she had wedding pie. Heather loves dessert. She loves cake almost as much as she loves pie. Almost! Hell, if it were up to me, I would have scrapped that whole idea and had wedding Big Macs and Twinkies.

6. You made me tear up, and I never cry! (uttered by several wedding guests)
This was the comment made in response to my toast that was supposed to be funny! I can’t really blame them since I burst into tears halfway through my speech, but dammit, it was supposed to be funny!

7. What’s a doobie? (uttered by an older wedding guest)
In the first part of my speech, I discussed Heather’s ex-boyfriends – one of whom she broke up with for rolling doobies on her fiesta ware. Unfortunately, some people don’t know what a doobie is, which could be why my jokes fell flat. The true reason I cried in the second half of the speech is because no one laughed at the first half.

8. That woman’s wearing white. Is Heather going to kick her ass now or later? (uttered by Amy in the limo)
When we drove up to the church, guests were still milling around outside. I think Amy and I spotted the guest in white about a split second before Heather did. I said “Uh-oh” right before Heather screamed, “Who the f*ck had the nerve to wear white to my wedding?!” For a moment, I thought Heather was going to jump out in her white dress and pummel the woman with a high-heeled shoe. If she could have done it without messing up her hair, I’ll bet she would have.

9. Isn’t that Jim’s ex-girlfriend sitting in the second row? (uttered by me)
I noticed this as soon as I got to the altar. I know Heather did NOT want this chick up front, so it was hard not to spot the fact that Boom! There she was. It probably wasn’t a good idea for me to announce this observation during the ceremony, but I covered my face with the bouquet, so I don’t think anyone heard me except for Amy, who nodded and gave the woman a death stare.

10. How long do you think it will be before they have a baby? (uttered by several wedding guests, including Heather’s mother)
Heather maintains that she and Jim are not having a baby. Considering they’re climbing Mt. Rainier on their honeymoon with Jim’s brother, they probably won’t have a lot of time for consummation of the marriage. I still give it less than five years before she’s popping out a baby. She tells me I’m crazy, and that she and Jim know nothing about children. Well, neither did I, and now I have two. If they want adventure, climbing a mountain is nothing compared with raising two kids!

11. Is everyone sure the groom’s not gay? (uttered by a few wedding guests)
Apparently, Jim’s best friend even thought he was gay until Jim announced he was getting married. I think it’s the hair. Heather has told me enough details of their sex life that I’m damn sure he’s not gay. I think she is, too. But other people still seem to have doubts.

12. She listens to you guys waaay to much! (uttered by Jim)
This was Jim’s response when Heather informed him that this whole mountain climbing thing didn’t count as a honeymoon. Did I mention they’re going with his brother?! No, no, no. A honeymoon includes a beach, room service and lots of sex, not necessarily in that order. Any huffing and puffing done on a honeymoon should not be done while climbing a mountain.

13. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve said c*cksucker. (uttered by Heather)
I think everyone from the DJ to the preacher to Heather’s mother was called a c*cksucker by the lovely bride in the week leading up to the wedding. At the reception, her stress finally started to diminish. At least about wedding issues. Today, I called her and got to hear her trials and tribulations of moving to “the Dot” (Wyandotte County), and being attacked by wild dogs while training for the honeymoon climb. She is quickly discovering that marriage never holds a dull moment.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Eli's Interrogation

At 4 years old, Eli is at that wonderful age of curiosity. He has questions about absolutely everything, whether it’s about TV (Why does Dora’s backpack talk and mine doesn’t?), the human body (Why is daddy’s penis bigger than mine?) or religion (Where does Baby Jesus live?), he really keeps my brain cells working.

My friend Andrea, who has a 5-year-old, has told me the questioning gets more intense, so apparently we are just gearing up. The hard part is that I try desperately to avoid saying “I don’t know.” Andrea has done that a few times, and she now hears the refrain, “Mommies don’t know anything. Daddies know everything.” Her response to me was, “Yeah, that’s just because he makes sh*t up!”

So, I have been trying my hardest to come up with plausible answers to whatever the question may be, and they really range the gamut. I told Andrea she should be lucky she has two boys because when Eli’s baby sister arrived last year, she provided him with nothing but endless questions when I changed her diaper. “Why is her butt in front?” I told him that wasn’t her butt, that was her vagina. Blink. Blink. “Where’s her penis?” Little girls don’t have penises. They have vaginas. This is followed by the popular retort to any answer I give. “Why?” Luckily, I have a fallback answer to this question, too. Because God made them that way.

For some reason, the body questions I can handle. “Are my boobs gonna get big like yours someday?” or “Why does my penis get hard when I play with it?” but I stumble more on religion. I’m not sure why that is. Eli did want to know where Baby Jesus lives. I said he lives in Heaven. “Where’s Heaven?” “Um . . . Hmmm . . . That’s a good question.” He will not be deterred. “Yes, it is. Where’s Heaven?” Well, it’s very far away. “Can we go there?” We can someday. “But I want to go now. I want to visit Baby Jesus.” Well, honey. Heaven’s not open for visits. “Why?” Because God and Jesus are very busy, so we can’t go visit them. “Why not?” When all else fails, I ask, “Who wants ice cream?!”

Luckily, I have answers for most of the questions, many of which usually take place in the car. “What’s that big crane doing?” “Why are they changing all the stores into Macy’s?” “Why is there a round-about here instead of a red light?” “Who’s working today at Scooter’s?” “What is that car doing?” “Why do they have orange pine cones set up?” “Is gas cheaper today?” (Yes, he really asks that one.)

And I can usually answer the philosophical, “Why does a square have four sides?” “Why do people sit in chairs?” “Why are fire hydrants red?” “Where does rain come from?”

I’m getting good with questions about TV, “Why do the elephants on Sesame Street talk but the ones at the zoo don’t?” “Where can we rescue animals like Diego?” “Can I get a thinking chair like Blue?”

It’s when I watch TV that there’s more of a problem, and I don’t even watch that much TV. I finally had to stop watching Lost in front of him because it scared him and because I couldn’t hear the show through all the questions. “Why are they in a jungle?” Because their plane crashed there. “Where’s the plane?” On the beach. “Where’s the beach?” Next to the jungle. “Does that guy have a gun?” Yes. “Is he going to shoot it?” I don’t know. “Are there snakes there?” Probably. “Do we get to see any snakes?” That’s about the time I start shouting for Eric to come and get his son.

I recently discovered a whole new realm of questions that I’m not quite sure how to answer to the satisfaction of a 4-year-old. Since it’s the fifth anniversary of 9/11, there are an increasing number of TV specials about it. How do you answer questions about that? How do you explain to your innocent baby that there are such evil people in the world. After questions like, “Wow, what happened to that building?” The collapse. “How are they going to clean up that mess?” The rubble. “Why are those people so dirty?” “Why are those firemen crying?” I just turned off the TV. I know he will need to know about it someday. I know I will need to answer those questions as much as I answer questions about Dora the Explorer.

But not yet. Let me keep my baby innocent for just a little bit longer.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Part 2 – Get me to the church on time!

Originally uploaded by neila222.
Thank God, we didn’t have the same limo as the guys. We later found out from the guys that their limo broke down on the way to the chapel. Luckily, the best man’s wife was following the limo, so they were able to jump in her car so she could take them to the chapel. It sucks that a limo broke down at all, but if it had to happen, at least it didn’t happen to the bride. I truly think Heather’s sanity may have completely snapped!

Things were going fairly well in our limo, except for the fact that it was extremely hot and humid. Heather was holding her arms up and had her armpits next to the air conditioning vents, while her father was busy snapping photos. She just kept screaming, “Quit taking pictures of this!” My only error was that I forgot to remove the tag from my bolero jacket. Luckily Heather’s mom noticed that in the limo, and Heather’s dad got a picture of that, too, before I removed it.

Then, we arrived at the church.

Heather’s parents got out, and went into the church, and it was just Amy, Heather and I left in the limo. Amy started saying something sweet, and tears started welling up everywhere, so I screamed, “Vagina!” It worked. Everyone stopped crying before they ruined their make-up.


We waited for Heather’s sister-in-law to wave us inside. When we stepped inside the vestibule, Steve (Amy’s husband – see photo of Steve, Amy and me) and Eric (see photo) were waiting to open the doors. They said, “You’re not going to believe this.” Apparently, everyone had been coming and going through the side doors in the chapel and no one had tested the front doors they were opening. When they went to open the doors for the parents, they were locked! Again, if something had to go wrong (and we knew it would), at least it didn’t involve Heather. Score!

The guys immediately opened the doors for us, and Amy started off down the aisle. The one thing I did remember from rehearsal is that we were supposed to wait for the groomsmen to be at the altar before we walked down. When I looked up, they weren’t there! I grabbed Amy, and to the amusement of everyone in the church, said, “No! Not yet! Close the doors! Close them! Close them now!” Then Steve and Eric were trying to convince us to go ahead and walk down since the song was almost over. They obviously don’t understand the importance of order. I stayed put.

Since Heather had non-traditional music, I really thought I was safe from crying. I had convinced myself it was the music that made me cry, and I would be okay with Trumpet Voluntary. I was wrong. Luckily, I had a bouquet to hold over my face so no one would see the ugly crying face. The bouquet also came in handy to hold in front of my face when I wanted to whisper something to Amy like, “Did you notice Jim’s ex-girlfriend is sitting in the second row?”

The wedding was beautiful, and Heather didn’t cry! Jim cried, but Heather wasn’t about to ruin her make-up. After the ceremony, we took pictures before heading off to the reception. Heather had us on a strict timeline, and we were running behind!

At the reception, I learned a few important things. First of all, I can’t do the electric slide. I seem to remember doing it fairly easily in high school, so I’m not quite sure what happened. I also remember just following the person in front of me and doing just fine. When I’m on a dance floor with several other people who all seemed to have learned the electric slide someplace different, I was in big trouble. The lady next to me was facing one way, the guy on the other side of me was spinning around, people were laughing. It was not pretty. I finally just sat down. In my seat, not on the dance floor. Luckily, I can dance to Dancing Queen, and I think they got a great video of all the girls dancing to that!

Tony, best man had made a video to show at the wedding. I may have told you how he interviewed everyone at the engagement party a couple of months ago. The one where everyone was drunk? He asked a story about Heather, and Amy and I related how we took her to Priscilla’s to buy her first vibrator. At the reception when they started that video, we both slid down in our seats. Surely, he won’t show that part will he?

The video was outstanding, and when it came to the party where Tony said, “Tell us a story about Heather.” Amy and I said, “Well, there was the time we went to . . .” and then there was a very loud “bleeeeeeeeeeep” and you just saw our lips moving. Thank God! Apparently, there is an R-rated version floating around somewhere. I can’t wait to see that!

After Tony’s video, he gave a wonderful speech, and then it was my turn. You all know from past blogs how nervous I was about this whole toast thing! I didn’t have a place to clip on a mic, so Tony clipped it to my boobs and followed me around with the battery pack. I wish I had gotten a picture of that!

My whole goal was for the toast to be funny. I started out talking about how Heather taught us to break kneecaps, and how we threatened all of her boyfriends that we would break his knees if he ever hurt her. I then launched into some silly stories about her past boyfriends. Everything was going great so far. Then I came to the middle of my speech where it turns sweets. As soon as I said, “Heather has been like a sister to me,” I burst into tears. Crap! I looked around, and everyone was crying. I did manage to get through the rest of my speech, although it turned much more warbly than I intended. Afterward, no less than 10 people came up to me and told me that I made them cry. I said, “That was not my intention! It was supposed to be funny! Really!” Oh well! I only had to look at my note cards once, and everyone enjoyed it. I’ll do funny next time.

To top off my perfect timing, remember how I mentioned I was supposed to start my period over the weekend? It started at the reception! That could have something to do with the fact that I was not able to control myself from sobbing through my toast, but I digress.


After the toasts, came the non-traditional cutting of the pies. Remember, I told you she wasn’t having wedding cake. She was having wedding pie. It was damn good, too!! There was apple and wildberry. The only problem was that the pie was located across the dance floor. As soon as they cut the pie, they started the special dances because we were running so far behind schedule. You can’t really interrupt the bride and groom’s dance to traipse your ass across the floor to get pie. Luckily, the bridal party was one of the special dances. Toward the end of the song, Eric and I and Amy and Steve danced over to the pie table, so when the song ended, Boom! We were right there by the pie! How smart are we!

After pie and only three drinks (yay me), there was a little more dancing before people started filtering out. Everyone requested the chicken dance, but apparently Heather threatened to stop payment on the DJ’s check if he played it, so we made due without the chicken dance.

Overall, the wedding was perfect. We got Heather married off, and I got to stand up there with two of my best friends and be part of something magnificent. What an awesome day!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Part 1 - Wedding preparation

I had planned to write about part one of the wedding event yesterday, but when we got home, sleep and enjoying my kids were foremost on my list. I had been away from the children since Friday, and I get antsy when I’m away from them for two hours, much less two days. So, yesterday, we played . . . and rested. Grandma and grandpa wore Eli and Georgia out so they were just as tired as I was.

But about that wedding . . .

The rehearsal was on Friday afternoon, and we checked into the hotel before heading to the chapel. I wanted to get Heather’s dress in the hotel room hanging up, rather than leave it in my car. I got the desk guy to tell me that Heather was on the same floor, but he wouldn’t tell me what room she was in. I called her, and she said she was in 1126. I was in 1104. Fabulous! I figured she was down the hall. I think we called each other about three times before leaving for the rehearsal. When I opened the door to leave, I looked up and discovered 1126 was the room across the hall. I asked Eric, “Did she say 1126?” I heard her voice scream, “Yes!” and the door flew open! How convenient!

I have been in several weddings, and the rehearsal never goes well. I actually thought this one was pretty good. The only problem is the chapel is extremely small, so instead of waiting in the vestibule to walk into the church, the bride and bridesmaids had to wait outside. First, it was 90 something. And second, that meant we couldn’t hear instructions. Not a good combination.

The groom was inside shouting directions at everyone. I was fully expecting him to metamorphosize into the bride at any moment the way he was working himself up into a tizzy. But everything appeared to go off fairly seamlessly, aside from me getting a nervous case of the giggles. After running through the entire thing three times, everyone had a general idea of what they were doing.


Eric’s job was to open the doors when we walked down the aisle. That wasn’t nearly as easy as he anticipated. He had to open and shut the doors for the groom’s mother, the bride’s mother, the bridesmaids, and then open it at “just the right moment” for Heather. He was stressed.

After the rehearsal, we went off to Buca di beppo and got buzzed on Chianti. We happened to be sitting across the table from three pregnant ladies, so Eric was afraid to speak. Other than that, we had a great time. Nothing like gorging on Italian food the night before trying to stuff yourself into a bridesmaid’s dress.

Eric and I decided to skip the proceeding bar crawl and headed back to the hotel to get some rest. Yes, when we’re away from the kids, we don’t party, we sleep. I’m sure every parent can truly understand that! At about 12:15, however, I was startled awake by tapping and hearing, “Neila! Hey! Neila! Are you awake?!” I thought to myself, if this is the voice of God, it sounds like Heather when she’s drunk.

She was outside my room, and wanted her dress. I handed off her dress and she wobbled back across the hall. Apparently, she wanted to show off her dress. Some of the girls came back to her room after stopping Jim and his best man Tony from base jumping off the top of the hotel. Landing in jail the night before the wedding might have put a damper on the festivities.

The next morning, Heather actually called and woke me up at 8:00 after she had been out partying. What is wrong with that picture?!

We got coffee and geared up for the day’s events. We had a little bit of free time since we already had our nails done due to the whole salon debacle. Amy showed up at the hotel, and the three of us went to lunch before Heather’s arrived, and before Cassandra showed up to do hair.
heather hair

Amy and I headed down to Hall’s to get our make-up done while Heather was getting perfectly coifed. I told the make-up lady that I wanted the smoky eye thing going, but I didn’t want to look like a whore. She told me if I did, at least I would look like an expensive whore. Perfect! So, I got all dolled up and spent $40 on make-up before heading back to the room. Heather came down to get her make-up done in full hair and veil. She already looked gorgeous!

Cassandra was waiting for me in the room, and had me lean my head over the back of a chair so she could blow it dry. Lying down, having someone play with my hair? She’s lucky I didn’t fall asleep! When she was done, I looked in the mirror. Wow! I looked pretty! In full make-up and hair, I felt like I was in disguise. Hmmm . . . that could work to my advantage because if I tripped going down the aisle, maybe no one would recognize me!

We all strapped ourselves into bustiers, strapless bras, petticoats and girdle panties. Amy and I put on our dresses, and then stuffed Heather and her slip into hers. It was supposed to go over her head, but she refused any chance to possibly mess up her hair and make-up.

Then, the limo showed up, and off we went to the church.

To be continued . . .

Friday, August 11, 2006

Wish me luck!

I will be out of the blogosphere realm until Sunday when, hopefully, I will have some great wedding stories for you. As it stands now, I am a little concerned. When Heather asked me to give the toast at her reception, she said she wanted it to be funny. She is now regretting that decision, and it's too late for me to write a new toast. So, she will either really find this funny or she won't be speaking to me after Saturday night. We'll see how it goes.

At least everything is ready on my end. I'm now at the mercy of bridezil . . .er . . . I mean Heather, who is always a ray of sunshine! Today she called me and gave me the tasks of finding a basket to put the programs in, and a garter. Two months ago, when I suggested a garter, she said she didn't want one. Two days before the wedding, she decided she did. So, I now have a blue garter, and three baskets from which she can choose. I have it all covered!

I am prepared with the wedding dress, my dress, Amy's shoes, three bottles of champagne, and a lot of chocolate! We can't go wrong now!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

The Thursday Thirteen

I’ve seen this done on some other blogs, and I really liked the idea so I thought I would steal . . . er, I mean try it. Basically the Thursday Thirteen can be a list of anything you want. This week, it was easy for me!

Here are the thirteen of the most interesting comments I’ve heard this week. Some of them may sound familiar from previous blog entries:

1. Mommy, are you bringing your keys today? (Uttered by Eli.)
After I locked us out of the house twice in one week, Eli now feels the need to ask me this every time we leave the house. I’ve decided to find it amusing.

2. Be tough. Shake it off! (Uttered by a crazy soccer mom.)
I’m sorry, but these children are three and four years old. This little girl ran over to her mother crying because she hurt her leg, and this was her mother’s response! I had to bite my lip! She’s four!!! She’s not supposed to be tough. Hell, I cry when I hurt my leg, and I’m 34! I felt a strong urge to give this mother a pop in the nose and then tell her to shake it off.

3. I thought it was a puppy! (Uttered by a crazy soccer mom.)
Georgia sidled up next to a woman during soccer practice yesterday, apparently startling the lady. When she looked down, this was her response. I’m sorry, but did you just compare my daughter to a dog?!!!

4. Is Ellie here? (Uttered by two soccer coaches – British and American.)
I pity society when an adult cannot pronounce a three-letter word! E-L-I. It’s not that freaking difficult!

5. Apparently, Georgia just wants to lick all the dirty balls. (Uttered by yours truly.)
We were at a birthday party on Sunday, and all the kids were playing in the sandbox. Georgia picked up every single ball, licked it, and put it back down. When I voiced my observation, all conversation stopped. Everyone looked at me, but no one said anything. I think they all wanted to pretend they didn’t have a dirty mind. Eric winked at me. I KNOW what he was thinking!

6. Authorization required. (Uttered by numerous machines at Wal-Mart.)
In my previous blog, I stated how I had to practically go through a cavity check to buy Dayquil. Well, today I went to Wal-Mart to pick up a couple of items, and went through self-check again. (I really need to stop doing that!) The damn machine started beeping incessantly (again!), and I didn’t even buy anything questionable! This time I tracked down an employee to fix it. I have to give credit to the Wal-Mart employees – they remain calm and nice no matter how much a crazy woman is yelling.

7. I need you to calm me down. (Uttered by Heather.)
Or I should say, uttered by Heather numerous times over the last week. Yesterday, I thought her head was going to explode when the salon doing our (Heather, Amy and myself) make-up and nails called to cancel because the salon was closing early. It was then a mad rush to get in someplace else, but we did it. Wedding crisis #437 averted!

8. Are you over 18? (Uttered by a Wal-Mart cashier when I tried to buy Dayquil.)
Christ Almighty, if I had tried to buy beer, I think they would have called 911!

9. Eli, come back! (Uttered by soccer coach Derek.)
Each soccer lesson lasts an hour. Unfortunately, my son’s attention span only lasts about 25 minutes on a good day. Today, the coach set up cones for the kids to practice kicking goals. Eli was not impressed. He picked up his ball, and carried it to the real goal at the end of the field. As the coach was hollering for him to come back, about three other kids decided to follow him.

10. Eli, don’t throw the ball! (Uttered by soccer coach Derek.)
Apparently, Eli got bored with kicking the ball, and decided to start throwing it in the air as high as he could. I wasn’t complaining. I was just happy he wasn’t chucking it at someone’s head. Again, once he started this behavior, three other kids decided to do it too. My son – the trend setter!

11. That’s my son lying down in the middle of the field. (Uttered by a crazy soccer mom.)
Thank God! There is a child in soccer whose attention span is shorter than Eli’s. I think this kid was only good for about five minutes before he decided to lie on the ground and roll himself into a ball.

12. Can I be Sportacus (from Lazy Town) for Halloween? (Uttered by my husband.)

Need I say more?

13. I have a headache and have used the word “c*cksucker” at least 13 times this week. (Uttered today by Heather.)
T minus two days and counting until her wedding.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Quest for cold medicine

T minus four days and counting until the wedding, and right on schedule, everyone in the house is starting to come down with a cold or something involving drippy noses and hacking coughs. With Eli, I’m convinced his allergies are acting up, and his Zyrtec prescription is not doing a darn thing except make him drowsy and cranky. Georgia is working on another tooth (this will be #5), and is chewing on anything she can get her mouth around. The other day she came after my big toe. And let me tell you, those four teeth hurt when they chomp down on your toe! Her teething is complete with runny nose and drool. I’ve affectionately started calling her “Drippy Face.”

My day is full enough with the kids and their allergies/teething issues. To add to the craziness, my husband came home from work yesterday and said, “I feel mucousy.” Oh crap! The last thing we need is Eric getting sick, so I decided it would be best to run to the store and get some cold medicine. We’re fans of Nyquil and Dayquil in our house, and we were out of Dayquil. The Wal-Mart grocery store is about five minutes from our house (10 with the ongoing road construction), so it should only have taken me a few minutes.

When I got to the store, I picked up a couple of lunchables for Eli, some veggies for Georgia, some chocolate chip cookies for me (because I’m PMSing) and then I went to the Health section to grab the Dayquil liquicaps.

I’m not sure what the laws are in each state, but in Kansas, anything with pseudophedrine in it is locked away in a safe and they need your fingerprints, your grandmother’s maiden name and a urine sample before they will give it to you. Apparently, you can make meth out of pseudophedrine, so they keep it locked away so it won’t get stolen. This gets very annoying, especially because people usually need medicine when they are sick, cranky, tired, or in a hurry. Or with my luck, it’s too late and the pharmacy will be closed (that’s what happened last time).

I’m not one to pay full price for the real Dayquil liquicaps, so I always buy the generic version, as I’m sure many of you on a budget also do. I plucked up the little card and went over to the pharmacy where I had to wait in line. When it was finally my turn, the pharmacist took my card and disappeared behind some shelves. I waited . . . and waited. Then she reappeared empty-handed and retrieved another pharmacist. There was whispering and they both disappeared behind the shelves. I waited some more and tried craning my neck to see what the heck was taking so long.

They finally reappeared – empty-handed. She kindly tells me, “I think we must be out. Let me go check on the shelf.” Off she went to where I just came from, and quickly returned with the stack full of cards like the one I just picked up. “I’m sorry ma’am.” (Have I mentioned how much I hate it when people call me ma’am?) “This product has been discontinued.” Are you kidding me?! I asked who in their right mind would discontinue Dayquil. She informed me that Dayquil wasn’t discontinued but the generic version of it was. This is just another instance of the Man keeping us down. In this case, the Man is obviously the head of a pharmaceutical company.

The pharmacist offered up the regular Dayquil, but I told her I wasn’t spending a gazillion dollars on it. She then offered me the generic liquid version. This basically tastes like drinking a cupful of urine spiked with alcohol. But it was only $2.50, so I decided to get it. They proceeded to take my driver’s license and type in every piece of information on it, and had me sign two different authorizations before they would hand it over!

Finally, I took the Dayquil and my groceries up to the register to pay. Because after all that, I still hadn’t actually purchased it! Since I only had about five items, I opted for the self-check lane. I love the self-check lane because the fewer people you have to deal with, the better. I got up there, scanned the Dayquil, and the stupid machine beeped at me incessantly, flashing “Authorization required!” Oh, come on!!!! It took almost 15 minutes just to get my hands on the damn stuff.

I looked around for the 16-year-old store manager, but there was no one. The regular lines were busy, and the “managers” were busy helping customers who took the time to wait in a real line. Double crap. I grabbed my Dayquil and got in a regular line behind a woman who didn’t have very much. Big mistake! After the woman purchased her items on two separate tickets (apparently her fruit can’t be on the same ticket as her hairspray), she pulled out a check book. Ugh! Who writes a check anymore?! Processing a check takes about as long as getting Dayquil at the pharmacy.

When it was finally my turn, the man scans my purchases, and scans the Dayquil last. His machine started beeping at him. He gave me a very stern expression, and asked, “Are you over 18?” Are you fu**ing kidding me?!!! I just about leapt across the register at him. I just stared at him and said, “Do I look younger than 18?” Apparently, he easily confuses a 34-year-old soccer mom (Oh God – I really AM a soccer mom!) with a 17-year-old meth addict.

He finally rang me through, and I took my purchases and sprinted out the door. When I got back home, Eric said, “What took so long?” Oh, don’t start with me, pretty boy. I just handed him the Dayquil and informed him that I am never buying cold medicine again.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Oh no! I’m the bitchy mom!

Eli playing soccer
Originally uploaded by neila222.
Today was Day One of “First Kicks.” That’s what they call the 3- and 4-year-old class at British Soccer Camp. That seems an appropriate follow-up to the First Waves swimming class Eli had last week.

Soccer camp started at 9:00 a.m. this morning, but I was worried we weren’t going to make it. Eli woke up about midnight last night (right as I dosed off) screaming that his ear hurt. After a dose of Motrin, he finally drifted off to sleep, but I was fully expecting to rush him to the walk-in clinic at 8:00 this morning. Luckily when he woke up, he felt fine, and we were good to go for soccer.

However, the first thing I heard when I woke up this morning was ominous thunder, so I wasn’t sure if soccer would be happening or not. I was unable to reach anyone at the number provided on the confirmation e-mail, so I packed up the kids, and we drove out to the soccer field.

I figured they were still going to proceed when I saw a mob of parents and kids standing in the rain surrounding two guys in soccer jerseys. There was really nothing resembling a line, so we joined the cluster of people only to find out that they didn’t have enough soccer balls pumped up, but they would have one to us by the end of the day. Okay, fine. This didn’t bother me until I saw that Eli and one other boy were the only ones without soccer balls. I was annoyed because when you pay $65, you expect your kid to get a soccer ball.

I was proud of Eli’s participation. He ran over to a large circle of kids and joined in a game of Simon says, so he seemed to be having a good time. After about 30 minutes of checking people in, the British guy debated among the parents whether they were going to “call the day” for bad weather. None of the parents looked happy at this idea at all. The 21-year-old soccer coach obviously does not have kids, and has no idea what is involved in getting them up and ready. All the parents who were there with their kids were in for the long haul. No one was going to melt, and unless I saw lightning strike the ground, my son better be kicking a soccer ball!

Then it was time to divide the kids into their respective groups. It was hard enough to get Eli to stay seated with the other kids, as he was busy picking dandelions and bringing them over to Sissy (aka Georgia). I was giving him the stage whisper to sit down and pay attention, while poking Georgia full of Cheerios and milk to keep her content.

When they started calling the children’s names, I knew we were in trouble. “Elly!” I heard them shout. Oh, you have got to be f*#@ing kidding me!! Eli, of course, was completely oblivious since that is not his name. Once again, how in the hell can someone mispronounce Eli. I get so sick of this happening all the time! I am seriously about ready to punch someone!!

I went over to Eli and pointed to the group he was supposed to be in and told him to scoot. He joined the other kids, sans soccer ball (Grrrr!) and they headed off across the field. When they reached the other side, I could still hear the teacher (a 19-year-old American, btw). There were not nearly enough British guys there to make this worthwhile for me. The teacher was calling role, and I heard him say, “Elly! Is Elly here?”

That about did it for me! All the other parents were off to the side, but I traipsed my ass across that field and told the kid, “Look, his name is Eli! ELI! Not Elly! You’re saying it wrong!” He just looked at me like I was a crazy person and said, “Oh. Sorry.”

*deep breath, deep breath* Off I went back to the other side of the field in search of the British guy. I was determined to get Eli his $65 soccer ball. I found the guy, and told him my son needed a ball. He just said, “Oh, we’ll get him one. No problem!” Uh-huh

I went back over to watch the kids and, apparently, they got Eli a substitute soccer ball and they started playing a game. They set up some little orange cones, and the kids had to kick them over with the soccer ball. Eli was quite good at this. If he missed with the ball, he just kicked the cone over with his foot. Way to go, sweetie! Or if he spotted a cone that wasn’t knocked over, he grabbed the soccer ball, carried it over and placed it right in front of the cone, and then kicked it down. Apparently, the shouts of “Don’t use your hands,” meant nothing to him.

I was taking pictures while standing next to a couple of dads who were busy shouting directions at their kids. I immediately felt sorry for these kids. They are four! And the two dads were shouting at them sternly about how to kick the ball and not to use their hands. I wanted to go kick these men in the knees!

After practice was over, I went up to Derek, the “teacher,” and (I think kindly) explained that we weren’t leaving the field until Eli got his soccer ball. He went over and consulted with the British guy and finally we got the soccer ball.

When we walked to the car, I noticed how dirty we all were. It was still raining lightly, and during the soccer lesson, a guy was mowing the grass. Eli was pretty much covered in grass, as was I from the ankle down. I tried to wipe him off with baby wipes the best I could, but it didn’t help much as my car and the foyer in the living room are now covered in grass.

Tomorrow, I’m bringing a towel. Hopefully the guys will be more organized on Day 2. And I certainly hope it’s not still raining!

Monday, August 07, 2006

A week of accomplishments

This week, I will be posting my blogs in the evening since Eli has soccer each morning at 9:00. Yes, that’s AM! Two months ago when I enrolled him in soccer, he seemed excited and I thought, “Oh, that sounds like fun. What a great idea.” Now that it starts tomorrow, our attitudes have changed somewhat.

I was reminded this morning how difficult it is to get Eli out of bed when he really doesn’t want to get up. So, I have the challenge of getting him up and dressed, and then add to that the challenge of getting Georgia up, dressed and fed, and getting us all out the door by 8:30 in the morning. For five days in a row! Good lord, what was I smoking when I signed us up for this?

I think it had something to do with the fact that this is the Challenger Sports British Soccer Camp. So the fact that I get to see hot, sweaty British guys is motivation to get myself and my kids out of bed each morning. As well as the joy my son will get from soccer, of course.

Last week was full of accomplishments. Eli passed swimming lessons. Woo hoo!! We were all thrilled that Eli completed almost every requirement. I hadn’t gone to the lessons the first part of the week because I didn’t want to get Georgia out in the heat, but we all went on Eli’s last day to watch him.

Eric told me that I would be so proud of him because he finally started dunking his head underwater and paying attention to the teacher. This did take some bribing on Eric’s part. Each day after the lesson, they walked in the door with either a candy bar, a pop or a doughnut. Bribery works like a charm!

Unfortunately, on the last day of swimming lessons, Eli was so excited to have the whole family there that I don’t think he looked at his teacher once during the lesson. He was more interested in giving us a few shout outs. “Sissy, look at me!!!”

You can see from the picture that Eli is the only one not looking at his teacher, and in the other photo, Georgia is quite relaxed watching her brother swim.

Eli did manage to dunk his head. Yippee! However, I knew we were in trouble when about half way through the lesson, he started yelling, “Daddy! Daddy! I need to go potty!” Oh crap. Eric just said, “Can you wait? Your lesson is almost over.” No response from Eli, but he didn’t mention it again.


After the lesson was over, Eli got out, grabbed his certificate and sauntered over to us. I almost shouted in joy when I read that Eli was ready for Level 2. While I was looking over the certificate, Eric hustled Eli into the bathroom, but Eli informed him that he “already went a little bit in the pool and didn’t need to go anymore.” Oh well. I’m sure they shock the pool regularly, right?

Georgia had her own accomplishments this week, too. I started teaching her sign language a few months ago because I read that it diminishes temper tantrums when your baby is able to sign what they want. Eli’s temper tantrums after he turned one were legendary, and I’m really not looking forward to repeating those with Georgia.

So far, we’re doing well. She knows “milk,” “more,” “mommy,” and “thank you,” which usually lapses into her blowing kisses, but she’s getting the idea. I know she understands my signs, too. Unfortunately she still laughs at me when I sign or say “no.” We’ve got to work on that!


Georgia’s other accomplishment this week was her discovery of the air conditioning vents. I think we can thank her brother for that one. The other day I caught her plunking crayons down the vent like it was a piggy bank. And today I woke up and found a half-eaten cookie sticking out of the vent in the family room. (see photo) I just sighed and shook my head. I’m not quite sure what to do about that.

And my accomplishments? Well, I bought shoes. I managed to only lock us out of the house once last week. And I successfully scaled a fence.