Saturday, September 30, 2006


I should have known after my great day yesterday that karma would kick me in the ass. It was quite an eventful day for someone who didn't even leave the house! I think it was the no sleep. After two nights with no sleep (and I'm really not blaming Georgia because I wouldn't be happy if I were cutting molars either), it finally caught up with me, and I spent today in a zombie-like state.

I knew I was in trouble at 5 a.m. when I was playing with Georgia. If I'm that awake at 5 a.m., especially after being up at 3 a.m. the previous night, things won't end well. When I finally got Eric out of bed - or I should say awake enough to watch Georgia so I could take a shower, I accidentally mistook my conditioner for shampoo. I was so tired that I didn't even bother to lather with shampoo and then go back to conditioner. This was a mistake because I have walked around all day with gummy hair. It has not been pleasant.

After my shower, Georgia proceeded to attach herself to my right calf where she stayed all day, sometimes yelling, sometimes screaming, and sometimes vehemently telling me "Ya de de de ma ja da." My thoughts exactly.

This afternoon excited me because the UPS man showed up with two huge boxes of Discovery Toys - all the new fall stuff. Woo hoo! Eli ran and found scissors that he was apparently hiding somewhere (!!!) and attacked the boxes. I got 17 new toys. 17!!! Eli carefully took all of them out of the big boxes of popcorn peanuts and then jumped in. Yes, he will forego fun toys in favor of big boxes and popcorn peanuts. I could sooooo save money on toys! Anyway, by the end of the afternoon, my floor was covered in popcorn peanuts. What's even worse is that Eli was guarding all entrances to the family room because he didn't want us walking on the foam and squishing it. I was exiled to the living room.

During this time, I called my husband three times asking when he was coming home because mommy desperately needed a nap. I got answers like "I'll be home early," or "Soon" or "I'm leaving in just a few minutes." Uh-huh. He got home at 5:00. Grrrr. . .

I was quickly losing patience. I stopped to check my e-mail and saw one from my friend Heather #1 (you remember Heather, right? If not, see the August archive for some of the wedding blogs). A friend of hers was in labor and she wanted to know what to get for a baby gift. I immediately called and left her a message about my wonderful array of Discovery Toys - perfect for all ages.

Now, here is the bad part. It just occurred to me that Heather's birthday was two days ago. And I forgot. And I just called to hit her up to buy toys and didn't even mention the words "Happy Birthday." And it was her 30th birthday. I am a horrible, horrible friend. I truly suck. I couldn't even bring myself to call back and say, "I forgot to wish you a happy birthday," because I was so utterly and completely ashamed. She is one of my best friends, and I can't even remember her freaking birthday (which I blame on lack of sleep). I now need to take her out and buy her lots and lots of drinks.

As if that weren't bad enough, we sat down to dinner after Eric got home, and Eli picked up a very full glass of ice cold water and spilled it all over me. Christ. I literally had to close my eyes and count to 10. I knew it was an accident, and my poor baby looked like he was about to cry. I asked him to get a towel, and we cleaned up the water. Then I ate my spaghetti, which was drenched in ice cold water. yummy.

After all that, I had to put Georgia down for a nap because she was exhausted. It was 6:45. I knew I was going to be in big trouble. I took this opportunity to lie down, too. Yes, I was fully intending to go to bed at 7:00 tonight. Sue me. Unfortunately, over the next two hours the phone rang eight f*cking times! Someone out there hates me. I got up and gave up all ideas of sleep. It is now 11:00, I am exhausted, blogging, and I hear Georgia on the baby monitor. She is awake. Double crap.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Best Day Ever!

What a turn today took! When I woke up this morning (at 3:00 a.m.), I did not have great expectations. I was up most of the night with cranky teething baby my lovely daughter, and I knew I would be exhausted today. My sadist husband “accidentally” woke Georgia up this morning since his goal seemed to be to make as much noise while getting ready for work as he possibly could.

Anyway, the day suddenly took a turn for the better after I realized that blogging pays off!! I received a random e-mail last week from Folger’s coffee. Apparently, I blog sooo much about coffee (sue me, I love my coffee), that they came across my blog somehow. They sent me an email wanting to know if I would be willing to try their Gourmet Selections coffee for free if I would review it honestly on my blog. The only words I saw were free and coffee. Where do I sign up?!

I e-mailed them back and said Abso-freaking-lutely!!, and today a box arrived in the mail. I was expecting the little sample bags that make about one pot of coffee. But no. I got three one-pound bags of their coffee in different blends! Oh yeah, baby!!! That is almost $20 worth of coffee. For. Free! You should have seen my happy dance. It’s like Christmas in September!! Woo hoo!!! So, you can expect my upcoming review of the new Folger’s coffee once I have had the chance to try it!

That was only the beginning of my day along the yellow brick road of happiness. After Georgia and I picked Eli up at preschool, we took off for the credit union. I needed to add the name Discovery Toys to my account. I have a difficult name, and this way people can make out checks directly to Discovery Toys.

We walked into the credit union, and first up – a plate of freshly baked cookies for customers. If only I had brought my free coffee with me! Eli was thrilled! He ate three cookies.

I sat down with Credit Union Mary who informed me that I couldn’t change a personal account into a business account, so I would have to open a new one. Well, crap. But, since the children seemed content (a miracle in itself), I decided to take the time and go ahead and do it. After I got my account set up, CU Mary said, “Oh, I almost forgot. We have a special promotion going on right now.” Apparently, if you open a new account, you get a $25 gift certificate to the Country Club Plaza. Woo hoo! I need new pants. This works out perfect!

But wait! It gets better! CU Mary then asked if I wanted to set up my online banking for that account. If I did that, I got another $25 gift certificate. And the kids were still quiet at this point. I wanted to leap across the desk and kiss CU Mary! So we set up my online account, and she handed me my second gift card. Yippee freaking skippy!!!

She bade me farewell, and I immediately called Eric and informed him of my good fortune. When he gets home from work, we are going to celebrate by drinking our free coffee and planning how to spend our $50. Okay, so I already have that part planned. But still – It has been a GREAT freaking day!!!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

13 Things I Have Learned From My Children

1. Freedom - Kids love to run around naked. It doesn’t matter if they are one or four, they will strip off their clothes and revel in their nakedness. If I did that, I would get arrested. At what age is that line drawn?

2. Etiquette – I learned this week that yogurt is a finger food. Who knew?

3. Cuisine - Cat food makes a great between-meal snack.

4. Style - Georgia’s hair looks more like Carol Brady’s each day, no matter how I try to style it. I’ve decided to embrace it.

5. Color - Crayola bathtub tablets do not stain clothes, but if your daughter eats them, they do make her look like she has rabies.

6. Memory - Children can quickly and easily memorize everything they see and hear on television. Moral of the story – I can no longer watch Nip/Tuck.

7. Entertainment – If you take Georgia outside on a windy day, she squeals and raises her hands in the air as if she were riding a roller coaster. I truly wish I were entertained as easily.

8. Indigestion - Georgia can happily drink her weight in milk, and immediately throw it up with just as much glee.

9. Volume - The combination of teething and diaper rash can cause a child to screech so loud your ears will bleed.

10. Insolence - All sense of civility is lost when siblings are faced with the concept of sharing.

11. Speed - Georgia can unroll a roll of toilet paper in under 10 seconds. That is faster than my cat. Impressive.

12. Honesty – When I tell my son “I love you,” he says, “Thanks.” Why does that bring back vivid memories of my high school boyfriend?!

13. Perseverance – A child never gives up. They will scream and scream until they get what they want. Especially at 2 a.m. when what they want is to sleep with mommy and daddy.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Treat Day

Luckily, today was not my day to bring treats for pre-school. After my hangover from the chocolate nachos (yes, I get food hangovers), I don't think I could have handled making treats. But that is okay because for some ungodly reason, I signed up twice to bring treats in late October. What was I thinking? Oh well, I’m sure you’ll hear me bitch about that plenty next month.

You all know that I take treat duty very seriously! I put a lot of thought into those pumpkin muffins I made a couple of weeks ago. I asked Eli what he wanted, I searched for a recipe, and then spent twice as long as it should have taken to make them so Eli could help. Given, most of his help was tasting every ingredient and licking the bowl . . . okay, so I licked the bowl too - that's not the point!

Today, when I dropped Eli off at pre-school, I spotted the mom who was in charge of today’s treats. Are you ready for this? The woman had Goldfish crackers! I’m not kidding. Those were her treats. A box of Goldfish crackers!

I realize that some people either can’t cook or just don’t like to. That is fine. But if that is the case, stop at the Target bakery for crying out loud (awesome cupcakes). Or hell, scrape the Oreo design off a package of cookies and pretend you baked them. At least that would show you put some thought into it! I just don’t understand why someone would sign up for treats if they are going to bring Goldfish crackers. What is even more disturbing is that I cannot seem to let. this. go.

I am a crazy person. And I think I’m partially upset because I practically give myself an aneurism when I have to think up treats every month. Yes, I am obsessive-compulsive. I try to make something somewhat healthy, in the theme of the particular season or holiday. The whole time, I could have saved myself the stress, and bought a box of freaking crackers.

There it is. The true reason for my mental instability over treat day – I didn’t think of it first. I have to make everything more difficult than it actually is. Why do I do this? Is my insecurity so great that I feel the need for acceptance by bringing the best possible treats I can conjure? Again, me = crazy person.

Next month, I am bringing treats the week before Halloween. Twice. I thought it would be fun to make something Halloween-y, and there are a lot of possibilities, right? Four weeks from now, I will be kicking myself. And that is before I lose every shred of sanity over treat day.

I can see it now. After a frantic search for just the right recipe, I will snap and end up curled into a ball on the kitchen floor while Eric shows up at pre-school with a bag of Three Musketeers.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Willpower . . . schmillpower

I have no willpower. None whatsoever. I’m just going to say that up front. I think I got the lack of willpower from my mom’s side of the family. Thanks, mom. Mom’s mad at me right now anyway because I informed her today that she is having a Discovery Toys party. The thought of people messing up her house sent her into a tizzy, but it’s the least she could do to support her daughter, right?

Anyway, today was quite a Monday. My house always looks like it has a hangover come Monday morning. After a weekend of relaxing (i.e. not picking up), the house basically looks like it threw up Toys R Us. You are taking your life into your hands attempting to walk across the floor.

After looking at my family room this morning, I just wanted to climb back into bed. But I began picking up the remnants of Hurricane Eli, and then he woke up. He ran into the family room and said the words that every mother dreads first thing on a Monday. “Mommy, I had an accident.” Oh double crap.

I checked, and sure enough, his pants were dripping, as were his sheets. We had to take a break from toy clean-up duty to change from the urine-soaked Nemo sheets to the dry Sesame Street sheets. The whole time Eli was running around the house naked after stripping off his wet jammies. Georgia was chasing him. Squealing.

Needless to say after that, I was ready for a break. Luckily, I had a girls’ night scheduled with Stacey and Andrea. We have to figure out a girls’ night that does not involve food. I was fretting today over how tight my jeans were getting. I was so busy over the summer, I didn’t have time to focus on taking off that baby weight. Yes, I realize my daughter is 15 months old, but just play along.

After I agonized over my tight jeans, I went off to meet the girls. At Cheeseburger in Paradise. Has anyone tried this place? The have the best f***ing hamburgers in the known universe. And for dessert? Chocolate Nachos! Oh yeah, baby! Heaven on a good day wishes it could be as good as the Chocolate Nachos at Cheeseburger in Paradise.

Did I mention that I have no willpower at all!! I have to stop this. I am such a foodie. I wake up every day full of good intentions, but by noon, I am hungry. Those good intentions go out the window when faced with a growling stomach and a big bag of peanut M&M’s.

Maybe I should try Weight Watchers again. Except Weight Watchers scares me. Every time I have started Weight Watchers, I get pregnant and have to quit. I realize that I had my tubes tied, but if I start Weight Watchers, I will be one of those women you hear about on the news whose tubal ligation failed, and I magically conceived quintuplets.

No, I need a diet plan that won’t fail. Maybe I should join Julie over at Flip This Body. Is Flip This Blog That Mommy too long of a blog title? Hmmmm . . .

Monday, September 25, 2006

Discovery Toys

Well, it happened. One of those direct marketing opportunities finally roped me in persuaded me to join. Over the last few years, people have urged me to be a consultant for the following products: Mary Kay, Pampered Chef, Tupperware, Tastefully Simple, Premiere Jewelry, some other sort of jewelry, some sort of candles, Passion Parties, and now Discovery Toys. I finally caved.

I got the usual schpeel about how much money you can make, but the big clincher on this one is that I finally found products that I believe in enough to sell. I know you can make a lot of money selling this stuff. The lady on the instructional video says so! But I am not going to sell a box of beer bread mix for $8, when I can buy flour, sugar and beer and make 20 loaves for $5. I mean, come on! (If you sell Tastefully Simple products, please ignore this reference.)

If you live near me, I am now the semi-annoying woman Discovery Toys Educational Consultant who will hit you up to have a party. Unless you are my really close friends. My close friends know that I have already scheduled their parties for them.

Seriously, I love to have those damn parties. Some people really despise them, but I love them. Why? Because I love party food. I am a foodie! I love going to these things and finding snacky, munchy dips and crackers and little desserty food. It is heaven. That may be one of the secret reasons I joined. Just don’t tell my husband that.

If you don’t live near me, you can shop on my Web site 24/7. I’m sure that’s where all my dear readers will do their Christmas shopping, right? The fun Discovery Toys logo at the right is also a link to my site.

So, cross your fingers for me. I am hoping this little venture goes well. I’ve always been curious to see if I can make enough money at a direct marketing job to pay off a credit card. That is my goal! I’m a little concerned that the fact that I hate speaking in front of people might make this a little difficult. But I look at it as facing my fear! And hopefully, most party goers will have the sense enough to serve wine.

Most importantly, there is a huge benefit for my blog readers. Think of the kick-ass stories I am going to have meeting new people. I know there are tons of freaky, nutty whackadoos out there. Hopefully, they will want to have Discovery Toys parties. And I will blog about them. Woo hoo!

To see the salesy side of my Discovery Toys schpeel, you can visit my Money Making Planet blog. (BTW, is schpeel actually a word? If not, I have just proclaimed it as a word. Please try to use it at least five times today.)

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Tag, I’m It – Book Meme


Ian over at EDog’s Everything Page tagged me to do his book meme. On Tuesday. I’m just now getting to it. This is not because I don’t read, mind you. I just read a lot of children’s books, which may reflect in my answers. So don’t tease me. There is a lot to be said for “Click Clack Moo.”

1. One book that changed your life - the hardest question first.
Let me start off by saying that for some odd reason, I love to read plays – always have. So the first book that changed my life is a play – Our Town by Thornton Wilder. I read it when I was 12, and it was the first book I ever read that spurred me to think about life . . . and death. Profound!

2. One book that you've read more than once.
Goodnight Moon. I have it memorized.

Oh! You mean adult books! Pride and Prejudice. I freaking love Jane Austen! I’ve read many of her other books more than once, too. Namely Sense and Sensibility. But Pride and Prejudice is my all-time favorite book!

3. One book that you'd want on a desert island.
Um . . . How to Build A Raft? How to Catch and Eat a Wild Bore? 100 Useful Things To Do With Coconuts? There are so many possibilities. But, I would probably go with The Complete Works of William Shakespeare. You’ve got the sonnets and the plays – hours of entertainment and literary analysis.

4. One book that made you laugh.
Bridget Jones’s Diary, and Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason. Both much better than the movies (big shocker), and both made me laugh out loud!

5. One book that made you cry.
102 Minutes. A book about the fight for survival in the Twin Towers. It has several stories from survivors and stories about those who parished. You don’t know until the end of the book if the person you are reading about lived or died. It’s a great book, but very hard to read.

6. One book that you wish you had written.
Definitely the Harry Potter books! I mean, come on! J.K. Rowling is richer than the freaking queen! BTW, does anyone know when Book #7 comes out?

7. One book you wish had never been written.
Ian’s answer to this question was, “I can't fathom wishing a book had never been written. Even the bad ones...they're still books, which means they're magical in some way.” He has obviously never read Shock Radio by Leigh Clark. Worst. Book. Ever. Written.

8. One book that you are reading at the moment.
Click Clack Moo: Cows That Type and Giggle, Giggle, Quack. Those are GREAT children’s books! We read them often.

On my nightstand, I have Dark Tort by Diane Mott Davidson. I think I mentioned in a previous blog how I love mystery novels with recipes. I know. It sounds weird. But they really are good (the books and the recipes). And I need something after a long day that is not going to make me think!

9. One book that you've been meaning to read.
The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova. It is on the book shelf here in my office, and I look at it every day. It is on my list! I used to be able to rip through a book in one or two days. It takes me a little longer than that now. But I will get to it! I promise!

10. Five others that you'd like to do this.
Hmmm . . . since I waited several days to do this (that’ll teach me), it seems like everyone in the blogosphere has already been tagged. Baaaa! This tells me I need to expand my blog circle! So for the people who have no idea who I am, Hi! I’m Neila. You’ve just been tagged to do the book meme! I am tagging Justin, Andrea, Penny, Crazymumma, and Sparky.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Playing Possum

First, let me say that I am aware I have been tagged by Ian for the book meme. The problem is that most of the books I read have more pictures than words and contain the phrase "Good Night." (i.e. Good Night, Moon; Good Night, Gorilla; Good Night, Blue; etc.) But, I am working on it for my weekend blog. I promise. Bear with me.

On to the wildlife living at my house (and I don't mean my children).

Last year about this time, we had an issue. I’m always freaky at night about people breaking into my house, so imagine my panic when I started hearing bumps in the night coming from somewhere in the house. It didn’t happen until after dark, so I was sure those burglars were trying to hide in the anonymity of nightfall!

For almost two weeks, I would hear this every night, and I couldn’t figure out where the bumps were coming from. I had searched the entire house – nothing. Then one weekend, Eli spotted something in the backyard. “Look at that big cat, mommy!” It was not a cat. It was a possum. (I know the correct word is opossum, but humor me.)

I despise possums! Everyone says they just play dead and won’t hurt you. Bullsh*t! People who say this have never been near a possum and heard the evil hissing they make before they look like they’re about to attack. The damn things are scary, and there was one in our back yard.

That same weekend, Eric and his dad spotted another one. They were looking out the sliding glass door in the back, and I heard, “What is that?!” Of course, they went outside to chase it. They’re nuts. The possum saw them coming, and darted across the yard, underneath the deck.

Now, we had two possums! The men were trying to reassure me that it was the same possum, but I had seen both, and one was noticeably bigger. That night, I heard the damn bumping again. This time it made sense. It sounded like it was coming from in the house because they were under the deck! For all I know, the little f*ckers were trying to burrow into the house.

The next day I researched possums on the Internet, and discovered that mating season is about eight months out of the year, and we were smack in the middle of it. Sweet Googly Moogly! There were possums f*cking underneath my deck! That really explained the bumping noises.

I called Animal Control. They laughed at me. They used words like “harmless” and phrases like “will disperse on their own” and “nothing we can do.” Apparently, they don’t catch the animals, but they will remove them if you catch them. As if I’m going to attempt a live possum trap!

I really had no other choice but to let the damn things be and pray that they didn’t spawn a litter of hundreds of baby possums. In a few weeks, the bumping subsided. I thought we were home free.

Last week, my husband was leaving for work. He was accosted by our neighbor. Apparently, she was up at 4:00 am (!) and was watching our house. (!!!!) Somehow, I don’t find that comforting. Anyway, she told Eric that she saw a possum scampering (yes scampering) underneath our front porch.

They’re back. This year, victory will be mine.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

The 13 Most Annoying Toys My Children Have Had


In honor of this week’s anticipated release of Elmo TMX, which I am proud to say I have NOT run out and bought yet, I am dedicating this week’s Thursday 13 to the most annoying toys my children have had. I would like to point out that most of these have been gifts. And for the record, Tickle Me Elmo is not on here because I actually like that one!

Please note: I tried to link to the product when I could, or a similar product, so you can see what I’m talking about.

1. Boobahs – I think I have shared my complete and utter hatred of the Boohbahs in previous blogs. You may remember that a couple of years ago, you could buy stuffed Boobahs in stores – in a variety of colors. They made freaky-ass noises, and spun their heads around as if they were possessed. Thank God that toy died a natural death. (It really did, I promise. I did not take a hammer to it, as I have been accused.)

2. Lion musical rattle – As a rule, I hate any toy that does not have an off switch. This is a simple baby toy that lights up and plays music when you shake it. At least that is the concept. Unfortunately, it plays music when it’s just sitting there. All the time. And you can’t turn it off. You don’t even have to move the damn thing, and it starts going. I finally had to take the batteries out of this one.

3. Fire engine driver – When you turn the key, it makes the sound of an engine. For some unknown reason, both of my children like to torture me by turning it on and walking away. I have to turn the annoying engine sound off approximately 22 times each day. I finally let it run itself down. Unfortunately we don’t have the correct size batteries to replace it. Darn.

4. Furbie – Why don’t they just call it Chuckie? Any toy that can teach itself to talk is evil. The fact that it mimics your voice is just down right creepy. That one went in the trash. I would have set fire to it, but I don’t think it would have burned.

5. Parents’ remote control car – LOUD is all I can say about this one. You have to turn the car on, which makes a loud engine sound (that seems to be a theme) and then turn the remote on. Eli invariably runs the car under the couch and then abandons it. I am left to fish out the car from whatever difficult hiding place it has found to turn it off before it makes my ears bleed.

6. Cheerleader doll – Another one that likes to go off on its own. This doll was a gift from Eric’s aunt because she thinks it’s cute. It’s supposed to go off if you press its tummy. It goes off if you walk across the f***ing floor. It chants, “We’re number one. We can’t be number two. We’re going to beat the woopsies out of you. The woopsies out of you.” Need I say more? Throw this one in the “Possessed by Evil” pile.

7. V-tech “ball” – I don’t know whose idea it was to make a ball that wasn’t supposed to be thrown. This ball-shaped object is very hard and heavy. It has buttons on it that play music, make animal sounds, etc., etc. All Eli saw was a ball. And proceeded to throw it. On hardwood floors. Down the stairs. No matter how many times I asked him not to. This toy didn’t last very long.

8. Teething keys – When you shake this toy (or when it moves the slightest bit), it makes the sound of rattling keys. Normally, I could probably deal with this, except it managed to wedge itself under the back seat of my car. It would go off incessantly while I was driving. It took me a week to find the damn thing, and it is no longer allowed in the car.

9. Love Machine dog – This was a gift from my aunt, who also got Eli the Boohbah. Surprisingly, I am still speaking to her. If you push the paw of this stuffed dog, it sings “Love Machine.” Twice. And you can’t turn it off. The kids love it. I don’t.

10. Monkey flashlight – A flashlight in a monkey’s mouth. When you push the button, it makes a monkey sound “Ooo ooo, aaaa, aaaa.” Again, not bad in itself, but everything is magnified in the car. Eli took this on the 12-hour road trip to Denver. I heard the monkey sound approximately 4,862 times.

11. Aquadoodle – An extra large Doodle-Pro to spread out on the floor, complete with a pen that you fill with water. Eli immediately abandoned the pen when he discovered that anything wet would work on the Aquadoodle. This includes, but is not limited to, water, juice, chocolate milk, jello, liquid soap, and my favorite – spit.

12. Workbench – This children’s workbench came with more than 400 pieces, including tools, plastic screws, nuts, bolts and fake wood pieces. It was obviously designed by someone who hates their parents. It is impossible to keep the pieces picked up. I usually find missing pieces by stepping on them at 5 a.m. Sidenote: Screaming obscenities will wake up the entire family.

13. Piano with microphone – The piano itself is not annoying. But the microphone attached to it is. Small children love to be amplified, which is rarely necessary. Imagine someone constantly screaming into a megaphone. This spurred my purchase of ear plugs.

Now, it's your turn! What toy do you find the most annoying? Please tell me, so I don't buy it for my children for Christmas!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Free time

Last night when I took Eli to Gymnastics, I discovered that not only does he have about 100 times more energy than I do, but he also has more energy than most of the other 4-year-olds in the class. This led to a long schpeel from the Little Gym owner about what a great class this is for Eli. I received the full sales pitch before he handed me a brochure and I looked at the price. $300!!!

I think my eyes about bugged out of my head. It was a great class, and Eli loved it, but unfortunately I do not have an extra $300 lying around. When we got home, I told Eric how much Eli loved the class, and faster than I could say “credit card,” he reminded me of the thousand dollars we have spent over the last month in car and home repairs. *sigh*

I told Eric I would only sign Eli up for Gymnastics if I could raise $300 myself. So, here is my shameless attempt. If you would like to make a little boy extremely happy, you can make a donation through PayPal via the link in the right sidebar.

After I got Eli home last night, it was hell getting him to sleep because he was so wound up. That made it equally difficult to rouse him this morning for preschool. In addition to both kids, I had to remember his backpack, his lunch, the “treats” I had signed up to bring (the pumpkin muffins turned out awesome, by the way. See the recipe here.), and Eli’s Scholastic book order form with a check. When I got to preschool, I was carrying all of this in my left hand while carrying Georgia tucked under my right arm. I had forgotten the damn stroller.

When I walked into the school and down the hall in front of about 10 moms waiting with their children for the door to open, one mom said, “I like your hold technique. You’re carrying your baby like a sack of potatoes,” proceeded by laughter from the other moms. Oh, snap! She did NOT just say that to me! That wench is lucky my hands were full. As it was, I had to restrain myself from dropping everything just to smack her.

I mean, come on! It’s not like I don’t feel like an insecure teenage girl 90 percent of the time anyway! Now, I get comments from the Junior Leaguers on how I carry my daughter. Grrrr. It would be wrong to slash her tires. It would be wrong to slash her tires.

After that little episode, I kissed my son bye bye, he immediately wiped my kiss off, and I left with Georgia to buy her some Fall clothes. We woke up this morning to cool weather, and I discovered she had no Fall clothes that fit. Unfortunately, Georgia did not want to go shopping and screamed the entire time we were in the store. Luckily, people at a children’s clothing store are much more understanding of a screaming child than people at Kinko’s . . . or the bank . . . or grocery store for that matter.

Anyway, I got her a winter coat, a jean jacket, and eight outfits – two of which are ugly, but were extremely cheap. So, she’s set for a little while.

I now have 15 minutes (15 whole minutes!!!) of downtime before I have to wake up Georgia and go pick up Eli. I’m going to go sit on the couch and do nothing. Woo hoo!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

In threes?

I thought bad things were supposed to happen in threes! Isn’t that the way it goes? Because I am a little annoyed here. I am on #4, and it is pissing me off! You all remember how my computer was completely fried a few weeks ago? That was #1. Then last week, there was the issue with my car - #2. The breaks on Eric’s car went out, and his car was in the shop all day Saturday - #3. And today, I spent the morning watching the plumber unclog our main line - #4. I think we need a break.

Needless to say that I have been called “ma’am” more times than I can freaking count over the last few days. That was one of the few words I could understand from the plumber, whose first language was NOT English. I could make out the words ‘ma’am’, ‘problem’, ‘tree roots’, and ‘we take credit cards.’ *sigh*

I am now resisting the urge to have a fifth cup of coffee, and I am on the computer when I should be making treats for pre-school tomorrow. Only after I signed up to make treats, I got a note from the pre-school encouraging me to make “healthy” snacks. Apparently, they thought the treats I made last year were too heavy on the M&M’s. I just think the phrase “healthy treat” is an oxymoron. They should put up a “healthy snack” sign-up sheet instead of a “treat” sign-up sheet. They can’t wait until you commit and then change the damn rules! That is not fair!

I was planning to put giant marshmallows on skewers and dip them in chocolate. Seriously. Eli had those at a birthday party, and loved them, and this way I don’t have to deal with the sugar high. Apparently, the pre-school teachers aren’t amused.

So, I have had to switch gears. It is difficult for me to make a treat that doesn’t include chocolate. I am making chocolate chip pumpkin muffins. That’s healthy, right? The word muffin strikes me as healthy, then you have pumpkin to celebrate Fall, and the chocolate to celebrate that you are in fact eating a treat. I think all bases are covered on this one.

After I make muffins, I have to take Eli to Gymnastics tonight. This should be interesting. My friend Heather #2 (as opposed to the recently married Heather #1) has her son enrolled in Gymnastics, and tonight is bring a friend night. We’re the friend. When she invited me, she said that Eli gets to run around and wear himself out for an hour while I get to sit on the other side of the partition and talk or read a book. I’m in. That is an AWESOME sales pitch. Especially since I need a break from my screaming monkey lovely daughter.

Did I mention that Georgia cut a freaking molar?! It’s no wonder the girl screams to high heaven. Not only is she cutting teeth, but she’s doing it out of order. I think this is an assault on my freakish organizational control. You are supposed to cut bottom teeth first. She got her top teeth first. The doctor didn’t even believe me on that one. Grrrr. After two top teeth, she got three bottom teeth, and now she’s getting an upper molar. It’s weird, I tell you. Weird!

Anyway, I need to go tear Eli away from the Backyardigans because I am forcing him to help me make muffins for pre-school. If I have to make treats, then we all get to suffer help.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Good old days


I’m sure you have heard me talk about Stacey and Andrea in past blogs. Stacey and I have been friends since Junior High. In college, we hooked up with Andrea and Courtney and became a wild foursome. (Coincidentally, Andrea started her own blog this month called Mommy 911. You should check it out!) Anyway, Stacey and Andrea and I moved to the same area after college, and Courtney headed back east, and now lives in Virginia. She was in town over the weekend, so the four of us got together again, with families.

Oh, how things have changed. Fifteen years ago, we were four girls who would sit around and talk about guys, skip class, fight about who would never wake up to the freaking alarm clock (Andrea) or who had the most annoying boyfriend (Stacey) or who was the most uptight (me – can you imagine?). This was punctuated by going to the same dance club every Thursday night where we actually had our own table, and occasionally engaging in interesting substances with Stacey’s boyfriend at the time.

This weekend, I walked in and looked at the seven (!!!) rambunctious children that the four of us have spawned over the last few years, and it amazed me how quickly things have changed. Somewhere along the way, we became responsible adults!

I was explaining to Eli the importance of not body-slamming two-year-old Kai off of the hot wheel, Stacey was trying to limit her daughter’s potato chip intake, and Courtney was counting to three in a vain attempt to stop her son from jumping off the couch. Courtney looked at me, looked at the kids and said, “It’s weird, isn’t it?”

Yes. Yes it is.

Andrea was in the kitchen making whiskey sours. At least some things never change.

Photo Note: Please enjoy the picture of our most recent family portrait (complete with Eli’s squinty eyes), as well as one of five of the kids – Kennedy, Kai, Jack, Eli and Georgia – yes, that’s my daughter trying desperately to escape her brother’s grip. For an even worse picture of my children, visit Andrea’s blog. On her site, you can also see a photo of the two babies that aren’t pictured here – Layla and Cooper.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Paradise By the Dashboard Lights

As I was driving the other day, I happened to look down at my dashboard. “Hmmm . . .” I thought, “Something’s different.” There was a light on that said SRS, and I’m pretty sure it wasn’t on before. Now, I know some lights require immediate action, such as “Oil” or “Low Fuel” or “Check Engine.” (I learned that one the hard way.)

Considering I had no idea what SRS meant, I was convinced it must not be all that important. First, I turned the car off and back on, hoping the light would go off – sometimes that works if I reboot my computer, so it could work for a car, right? My second remedy was one I was convinced might actually work. I would ignore the light, and maybe it would just eventually go off on its own. This could require covering the light up with duct tape, and I was willing to give this solution a try.

Unfortunately, my husband drove my car three days later. The damn light had failed to shut itself off and my hubby said, “Did you know your SRS light is on?” I told him that as a matter of fact, I did, and that it had been on for three days. I then discovered that men get much more upset about dashboard lights than women do.

“NEILA!!” he screamed. “You need to take your car in. Something could be seriously wrong!” I told him I was pretty confident everything was okay since the car was not smoking. He didn’t find that amusing. He made me read the manual. I still don’t know what the hell SRS stands for, but I saw “must get fixed yada yada yada yada could cause serious injury or death.” Hmmm . . . I’ll bet they always say that just to get you to take your car in.

So Eric called Honda and made an appointment for me to take my car in at 7:00 a.m. this morning. (!!!) I asked him if he was on crack. He assured me that he was not, and left me to figure out how exactly I was going to drag my butt out of bed so I could be at Honda by 7:00 a.m. As it turns out, there was no need to worry since Georgia woke me up at 5:00 a.m.

At least since I was taking the car in first thing, I thought maybe there wouldn’t be a wait. When I arrived at 6:55, I discovered that the six other people in front of me probably thought that too. Crap.

I drove in and gave my keys to the guy, asking how long it would take, as Eric was under the delusional impression that I may be home in time to take Eli to preschool at 9:00. The man basically said, I have no idea and called me Ma’am. Grrrrr . . . He talked about electrical systems and running diagnostics, none of which I really understood, but I pretended I did. The only thing I did understand was that this was starting to sound like something that may not be covered under my warranty. Double crap.

I retired to the waiting area and poured myself a cup of coffee that tasted like left over motor oil from the garage. I had three cups. After about 45 minutes of me watching CNN and analyzing the rest of the people in the waiting room, the car guy, Pete, came in and said my car needed a new seat belt. Something about the tension. Huh. Of course the correct part won’t be in until tomorrow. The guy suggested I get a rental car until I could pick my car up tomorrow. I told him that I had been driving around with the damn light on all week and there have not been any major disasters, so I could drive around with it for one more day. That was my nice way of saying, “I’ll be damned if I’m paying for a rental. Give me my freaking car!”

He told me he would pull my car around, so I stood outside and waited. And waited. Then Pete informed me they were washing my car before they pulled it around. He grinned and said, “It must be dirty.”

I’m sorry, did I just get judged by the Honda guy?

When I finally got my car, they promised to let me leave if I would bring the car back tomorrow to get the new seat belt. They assured me this was covered under warranty, so I suppose I will be back. But if they just give me the part, and try to charge me for labor, I just might throw hot coffee at them.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

13 Photos I Took At The Kansas State Fair

It’s time for the Thursday 13, and my first photo blog, because I’m sure everyone wants to see how adorable my children are, right? I thought so. The first few pictures are from the scarecrow contest. You will find some of the “scarecrows” quite interesting. I did.


1. Dennis the Menace – hmmm, I see a resemblance here, except my son cannot seem to smile without squinting his eyes shut. I’ve tried everything. If you tell him to open his eyes, then you get a picture with bugged out eyes and no smile. Why he feels the need to turn his face skyward is beyond me.


2. The Mummy – When Eli saw the Pillsbury Doughboy at the Fair, he excitedly said, “Mommy, take my picture with the mummy!” Hmmm. . . I can see that.

sesame street

3. Bert & Ernie – Eli and Georgia with my favorite Sesame Street characters, the gay life partners, Bert and Ernie.

michael myers

4. Michael Myers – Yes, I crack myself up. But seriously, Michael Myers scares the holy crap out of me. Halloween still gives me nightmares and I’ve probably seen that movie 150 times.


5. Eli in action – This is my son milking a fake cow. . . I really have nothing more to say because that’s amusing enough.


6. Sunflowers – In case this picture makes no sense to you at all, you should know that Kansas is the sunflower state.


7. My sweet baby – This is the one time Georgia wasn’t attempting to escape her stroller, so I had to capture it on film.

ferris wheel

8. The ferris wheel – Yes, this is the terrifying ride that made my husband knock over women and small children to escape its wrath and run screaming for his life.


9. Spinning strawberries – Children + cotton candy + rides that spin = very colorful regurgitation.

big slide

10. The big slide – Okay, this one is just fun! Unfortunately, it’s not worth the $4 it cost for hubby and son to slide down it.

georgia carousel

11. Georgia’s first carousel ride – My little girl on her first carnival ride. Pay no attention to the woman behind the curtain.

scooby doo bus

12. The Scooby Doo bus – Exciting because I think Eric got more enjoyment out of it than Eli.

cotton candy

13. Look what Eli reeled in! The fact that he ate all of this cotton candy could be the reason that he didn’t sleep for the next three days.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Coffee Talk


Before I start my rantings about the wonderments of caffiene, allow me to welcome a few new people to my blogroll. Julie from Chicago has a great blog with Flip This Body. Check out Morgen's It's A Blog Eat Blog World. And the lovely Peg writes her musings in Peggy, as she is.

On to all things COFFEE!

If you have read my blogs in the past, you know that I am horribly addicted to coffee. It is no secret. I desperately need a 12-step program. If I don’t get my coffee each morning, I get the pounding headache. It is not pretty. In fact, I would save myself a lot of time if I could just have an IV drip of coffee at my bedside. Better yet, a caffeine pump. I have a friend who is diabetic, and he has an insulin pump. A coffee pump could work exactly the same way.

Okay, I’m sure that comparison is terribly politically incorrect, but you get my point. I love coffee. I will spend $8 on shoes at Payless, but I spent $150 on a top-of-the-line Cuisinart coffeepot (which was an awesome price on sale). The people at several coffee places around town know me by name – Starbucks, Black Dog, Caribou, and especially Scooter’s. I went to Scooter’s so much after they opened that I became good friends with the barista (now former barista), Aaron. You all may know him as the sarcastic comment leaver on some of my blogs.

What is my point, you may ask. I reached an all-time coffee low this last weekend – or coffee high, depending on how you look at it. While we were in Hutchinson for the Fair, we headed over to Metropolitan Coffee (aka Peppermint Coffee or Doorhole Coffee, as it has been dubbed by Eli). Metropolitan Coffee is a little mom and pop shop with waaay better coffee than Starbucks and much better prices! Hutchinson is four hours away from my house, so we don’t visit extremely often, but every time we do, I hit the coffee shop for a fix (or two or three). This time, when I entered the coffee shop, the boy working behind the counter looked up and greeted me by name. What?! Are you kidding me?! I live four hours away! Yet I come here often enough that they know me here, too?! Crap.

I looked at my husband and saw the little sparkle in his eye. I already get teased incessantly about my addiction, as well as reprimanded when I overspend on my coffee habit each month. I have taken to going to the Starbucks in Target because when I swipe my card there, it shows up as Target on my statement, not Starbucks. Just a little trick.

Anyway, from the look on Eric’s face, I know he will later taunt me with this little tidbit of information later. I just have to figure out a way to spin this to my advantage. Hmm . . . isn’t there a guy who travels around the country going to a Starbuck’s in each city? I wonder if you could get paid for doing that?

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

McDonald's From Hell

Do you ever set out for an event and get a bad omen right off the bat? That is how our trip began as we traveled north on the Kansas turnpike. I know I was in a bad mood since I was PMSing. No, that doesn't stand for Potential Murder Suspect, although yesterday it could have. I was also sunburned, exhausted and had the beginnings of a nasty cold, which I'm sure contributed to my not-so-pleasant demeanor. But I digress.

We stopped for lunch at McDonald's on the turnpike, and I ordered Georgia a 4-piece Chicken McNuggets. This is what I get her every time we go to McDonald's. They 16-year-old Mary-Kate-Jennifer-Love looking thing working behind the counter raised her eyebrow ring at me and said, "We only sell a 6-piece McNuggets, Ma'am." That was about all I needed. Before I even opened my mouth, my husband actually backed up a couple of steps.

I told the girl I know they sold the 4-piece because I had purchased it there before. She told me I was mistaken. (I don't f*cking think so!) She said they only sold the 4-piece in the Happy Meal. If you bought the McNuggets by themselves, you could only get a 6-piece. I find it difficult to believe that I can buy a 4-piece at every other McDonald's in the country except that one. So, I asked to speak to a manager. Katie Holmes with the facial jewelry called over her manager - a middle-age woman in serious need of an extreme makeover who looked like she was seriously pissed off with her station in life. She whispered with eyebrow ring girl, and came over to inform me, "Ma'am, you can only buy a 4-piece McNugget if you buy the Happy Meal."

I'm not necessarily opposed to someone calling me Ma'am, except when you can tell by their tone that they are mentally saying, "Bitch." I called them both liars. I looked to my husband for support, but he had taken the children and ran as far across the restaurant as he could get from me. Apparently, he didn't want anyone to know he was with the "crazy lady."

At this point, the sourpuss manager and bubble-headed employee were trying to get me to pay for a 6-piece McNugget and they would just give me a 4-piece. I think I responded, "Are you f*cking crazy? Now you want to steal my money?"

I am smart enough to realize that I was on the verge of becoming completely irrational. And what was I going to do? The children had to eat, and there wasn't another "restaurant" for miles. I bought the 6-piece McNugget, with all six pieces. My husband ate the remaining two, which I knew he would. But that wasn't really the point. As my dad always used to say, "It's the principle of the matter!"

Monday, September 11, 2006

Things I learned from sleeping with my toddler

After the ordeal of the Fair, we traveled to Wellington to spend a couple of days with my parents. The kids were completely exhausted and cranky, so things did not start off well. Eli was so tired that he forgot to wake up in the night to go potty, and it has been awhile since my mom has had to deal with urine-soaked sheets.

My parents have tandem bedrooms in their house. This means you have to walk through one bedroom to get to another one. In this set-up, a screaming baby keeps everyone awake since all bedrooms are connected. Normally, I can let Georgia cry it out. When she gets really tired, she is beyond cranky. She will scream bloody murder and yell “MAMA!” until your ears bleed. It’s enough to break your heart, right? Not this cold-hearted bitch. When I’m tired, I can wait her out.

Unfortunately, my parents cannot. One whimper, and it’s “Oh! I heard Georgia! We better go get her!” Christ Almighty.

So, I put Georgia to bed first and barricaded the hall doors so no one could enter the bedroom area until she fell asleep. I practically had to brandish a weapon to keep the grandparents from making a beeline for the crying baby, but finally Georgia fell asleep. Eric and I were sleeping in the bed right next to the Pack and Play. We went to bed about 11:00. I actually fell asleep about 11:30. Georgia woke up at 12:00. Crap.

She saw me and started screaming. I could not let her cry and scream because she would have woken everyone up. Luckily (?!) we were the only two awake at that point. So, I had no choice but to bring her into bed with Eric and me.

And this is what I learned while sleeping with my toddler:

1. It is impossible to get to sleep with tiny feet periodically kicking you in the face.

2. I cannot get comfortable when a 15-month-old girl is sprawled out on top of me.

3. She can.

4. If you try to put her back in the Pack and Play, she will scream loud enough to wake everyone in the house.

5. There is not enough room in a queen-sized bed for two adults and a squirming baby.

6. This fact forced me to kick my husband out of bed and find other sleeping arrangements.

7. That did not make him happy.

8. It did make Georgia happy.

9. Three-fourths of a queen-sized bed is still not enough room for a toddler to get comfortable.

10. If you attempt to fall asleep while facing away from her, she will get pissed.

11. A toddler who has finally dozed off will pop wide awake when her grandmother walks into the room to see if she is okay.

12. This can also send a very tired mommy over the edge.

13. Amazingly, I can still function on very little sleep.

14. Georgia can’t. She’s napping.

15. She’s resting up for tonight.

16. Her father is sleeping with her tonight.

17. He doesn’t know that yet.

18. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Riding the Mid-Way

First, let me stand back so you all can admire me. I am the bestest blog of the day! Woo hoo! Yay me! As you can tell, I am very excited. Have a drink and celebrate my blogging success!

Now, on to the Kansas State Fair news!

Eli, my 4-year-old son, was so excited about the Kansas State Fair this weekend because he couldn't wait to ride the Fair rides. The one he was most excited about riding was the Ferris Wheel! He was so hyped up that we went to the grocery store when we got to Hutchinson to buy our Fair tickets in advance. By purchasing them in advance, you could save money - $15 for 20 tickets, which seemed like a good deal. At least I thought so at the time.

We took the kids back to Eric's parents' house (who live in Hutch) and put them to bed so we would be up early the next morning. When we got to the Fair the next day, Eric and I went right for the food. Lady of Guadalupe was up first. Yumo-o! Who would have thought you could find the best Mexican food EVER at the Kansas State Fair?! Then, it was on to the rides.

First up, Eli wanted to ride the Scooby-Doo bus. Here is where the tickets come into play. It was two tickets to ride the bus. Eli is four, so he's not tall enough to ride nearly anything by himself. That means either Eric or I have to accompany him. It is two tickets for Eli and two tickets for daddy. You can see how our "good deal" of 20 tickets is going to disappear fast. The Scooby-Doo bus slowly went up and down for about two minutes, I snapped a couple of photos, and then it was over. Hmmm . . . that didn't seem like $4 dollars worth of fun. Then, Eli wanted to ride the strawberries. (Think Tilt-a-Whirl for the pre-school set.) Two more tickets each. I don't do spinning, so again, I stood with grandma and Georgia, my 15-month-old, snapping pictures while daddy and Eli spun around in the strawberries.

After that, Eli spotted the games. He went over and started playing the duckie game before we could catch him, so we had to pay the carney with the gold teeth $5 so Eli could pick up three ducks and win a stuffed dolphin. It was that or $2 for one duck, in which case you win a plastic sword. We still have our sword from last year, and I am seriously trying to limit the number of weapons Eli seems to acquire.

Eli then spotted the Ferris Wheel. It was the Ferris Wheel with the big sky buckets, so it seemed safe to let him ride it with us. The interesting fact to remember is that Eric, my darling husband, is afraid of heights. He hates the Ferris Wheel, which is actually the one ride I do like, because I hate spinning and dropping and pretty much everything else that could cause any sort of regurgitation. Eli was dead set on riding the Ferris Wheel with both of us. This is when we discovered that the Ferris Wheel was four tickets per person!!! That's right, it cost 12 freaking dollars for the three of us to ride the f***ing Ferris Wheel! Eric made the comment that at that price, they better be providing you with sexual favors, too. Unfortunately for him, they were not. And in case you're counting, that just ate up all of our tickets.

We boarded the sky bucket, and the Ferris Wheel started to rise. And so did the green color on Eric's face. I looked at his hands, and he was gripping the seat so tightly, his knuckles were white. If only I had brought my camera up in the Ferris Wheel with us. Eli was excited because he could see everything! He could see where grandpa works, but most importantly, he could see the grain elevator and the water tower, with which he has a strange fascination.

After spinning around several times, Eric breathed a sigh of relief as our sky bucket slowed to a stop. When they opened the door, Eric practically knocked Eli and I both over so he could be the first one out of that thing. Hmmm . . . the fact that he will knock over women and small children to get off of a Ferris Wheel does not bode well for him if ever there is an emergency.

After the trauma of rides, we treated ourselves to a Fried Snickers on a stick and set off for home so Georgia could take a nap. And then it's back to the Fair tomorrow. My goal is to wear the children out so they will sleep for the next two days. Unfortunately, the sugar rush from all the candy they ate at the Fair is balancing out their fatigue. I may need a new plan!

Friday, September 08, 2006

It's Fair Time!

This month, we will be traveling to Hutchinson for the Kansas State Fair. Oh joy. We make this trip every year, because it’s something my dear husband has done since he was a little boy, so he considers it tradition. The difference is when he was a little boy, he lived in Hutchinson. We now have to drive four hours with two kids.

It’s not that I’m trying to be difficult. It’s just that there are only so many times I can pretend to be excited over 300 pound pumpkins, butter sculptures and walking through un-air-conditioned buildings to admire crafts made out of wheat and sunflowers.

I also have issues with the Beer Garden, which is the main hangout of the Fair. To me the word “garden” means variety. A vegetable garden has several different kinds of vegetables. A rose garden has many different colors of roses. So in theory, a Beer Garden should have many different kinds of beer. The Beer Garden at the Kansas State Fair serves small plastic cups of Bud and Bud Light. That’s it! And they sell them for $2.50 each!!!! And people buy them!!!! I’m not sure which part of that disturbs me more.

But, I digress. I can’t get out of going to the Fair. I’ve tried. Last year, Georgia was only two months old, so I thought I had a good excuse. Unfortunately, nobody believed me when I said I was still recovering from my C-section.

There is only one thing Eric can use that will get me truly excited about the Fair. Fair Food. Anyone who has ever attended a Fair knows exactly what I’m talking about. At the Kansas State Fair, they have Lady of Guadalupe, which is the best Mexican food in the known universe. That alone almost makes the drive worth it.

Add to that all of the fried food. I don’t know what it is about the Fair, but they can batter any food imaginable and stick it in a vat of boiling oil . . . and it’s fabulous! I don’t quite get it. In theory, it sounds disgusting. But when I see the sign for Fried Green Tomatoes or Fried Snickers on a stick, my mouth starts to water. Last year, they had Fried Oreos, but I didn’t try one since my arteries were screaming in protest over the Fried Snickers bar I ate.

So, I will deal with the long drive, the hot weather and the tired children. Last year, Eli was so exhausted, he threw a tantrum near the dinosaur exhibit. I was so amused that I kept trying to take his picture. Every time I did, he would roll himself into a ball and shoot me a homicidal glance. (See photo of him looking surly.)

Anyway, I will deal with all of this, and the threat of Georgia throwing up on the carousel, as long as I can get my Mexican food, Pronto pup, and Fried Snickers bar. Yum-o!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

13 Talents I Think I Possess

It’s already time for the Thursday 13. I promised to make it shorter this week, so I will try. Here are 13 talents I profess to have:

1. Supersonic Hearing – I can hear a cookie jar open or a bag of chips crinkling clear across the house. It really freaks Eli out when I scream, “No snacks before dinner!” I told him moms have eyes in the back of their heads and he just can’t see them because they’re covered by hair.

2. Loading the dishwasher – I can fit almost every dish in the kitchen into the dishwasher. Eric is constantly amazed how I do this. I will not run the dishwasher unless it is one sippy cup shy of bursting open. I refuse to waste water.

3. Infectious Laugh – My mom and my aunt cackle. I would like to believe I have an infectious laugh that always makes other people smile. (Note: some people may describe my laugh as loud. They’re wrong. It’s infectious!)

4. Amazing Pie Crust – I make the best pie crust in the world. If you tasted it, you would have a spontaneous orgasm.

5. Expert Multi-tasker – I can talk on the phone, change a diaper, watch Days of Our Lives and play Candyland with Eli at the same time and on only three hours of sleep.

6. Great Car Singer – I cannot sing, except while in my car. Just ask the people next to me at a stoplight. If I could audition while singing along to Christina Aguilera in my car, I would be the next American Idol.

7. Terrific Bedtime Story Reader – I am awesome at reading bedtime stories. I even do voices. You should hear my version of Click Clack Moo.

8. Internal Homing Device – I can locate anything in my house no matter how messy it is. Again Eric is amazed when he asks where are Eli’s shoes? Under the ottoman. Where is the grocery list? On my desk under three CDs, a box of crayons and Good Night Moon.

9. Tie a cherry stem with my tongue. – I truly believe everyone has a bar trick. I can tie a cherry stem in a knot with my tongue in under 12 seconds. The more I have to drink, the faster I can do it.

10. Do the Splits – I can do the splits. This may not be that special, but I think it’s impressive when anyone does the splits, particularly me.

11. Stroller in my car – I can fit Georgia’s stoller in the trunk of my car without collapsing it down. It’s a simple task, but it saves time, which is very important on a hot summer day in a mall parking lot with two fussy children.

12. I can get crayon off anything! – It takes a special blend of cleaners and some elbow grease, but I have managed to get crayon out of carpet, walls, doors, hardwood floors and my husband’s pants.

13. Making Lists - I am fabulous at making lists! I have several - color-coded and organized in many different categories. Everything in my head goes on a list so I don't forget it. Ironically, today's list included "Buy more notepads."

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Halloween costume hunt begins!

With the beginning of September comes the beginning of the Halloween costume search. This is quite an ordeal in our household. I got very excited the first three years of Eli’s life because I got to dress him up however I wanted. Last year being Georgia’s first Halloween, I had an awesome idea. I wanted to dress her as an angel and Eli as a devil. Wouldn’t that have made for some cute pictures?!

My darling hubby Eric vetoed that outright. He seemed to think that dressing Eli as a devil would send him into therapy in about 20 years. (As if he won’t have plenty of other reasons, I’m sure.) So, I lost that battle. Instead, Eric sat down with Eli and decided to have a long heart-to-heart discussion on what he wanted to be. After much conversation, Eli decided that he wanted to be Marcel (our cat) for Halloween.

Eric was all pleased with himself because he let Eli choose his costume. However, it fell on me to actually find a cat costume. Does anyone have any idea how freaking difficult it is to locate a cat costume for a 3-year-old boy?! It is not that easy when everything is Super Heroes and Harry Potter. Thank God for Ebay!

I was still dead set on having really cute Halloween pictures, so I dressed Georgia up as a leopard. It was a big cat theme!

That was last year. This year, Eli already has his own ideas of what he wants to be. And guess what it is? He wants to be Laa-Laa (aka the yellow Teletubby). I thought Eric was going to have a fit when Eli exclaimed his choice for this year’s Halloween costume. The look on Eric’s face was priceless. Flabbergasted would be good description.

Many parents have at least one (usually more like 10) children’s characters they completely despise with white-hot hatred. Mine are the Booh-Bahs. Those damn things are downright creepy! Barney I can handle, but I want to take the Booh-Bahs out with a sniper rifle. Eric feels the same way about the Teletubbies.

I just grinned and said in a very mocking voice, “Isn’t it great that he chose his own costume and gets to express himself?” Death glare from my darling hubby. Eric maintains that he has just under two months to change Eli’s mind.

My only concern is that I don’t know when to actually purchase the costume. I am not spending $35 on a Teletubby costume if he’s going to change his mind in two weeks. I’m not quite sure how long I should delay. I don’t want to wait too long because then I will be screwed and Eli will end up running around on Halloween dressed in my black cape and a Scream mask. It’s quite a dilemma.

At least I have a good two more years in which I can dress little Georgia however I want. Even though I prefer the costumes go together for good photo ops, I’ll be damned if I’m dressing her as a Teletubby! I’m leaning toward Wonder Woman. How cute would that be?!

Eric still maintains he is going to be Sportacus for Halloween. My old stand-by costume is Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I just dress all in black, put a cross around my neck, and carry a wooden stake. It’s a fabulous costume, and quite functional.

But I have almost two months yet to get creative. We’ll see how I do.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Who's Crazy?

I often forget how cranky children can be when they are tired. We were running errands yesterday, and decided on a whim to go by the grocery store and pick up a couple of steaks to grill out since it was Labor Day. For some reason, I get the strange urge to cook something on the grill on Memorial Day and Labor Day.

We had only run a couple of errands, so I thought the kids would be good to go for a speedy trip to the store. I was quickly reminded how any little thing can send a tired child into a complete psychotic episode.

Georgia was a little fussy, so Eli handed her a piece of paper to play with. (Yes, a piece of paper.) After about 10 seconds, he decided he wanted it back. Georgia was actually quiet, so I told him that he had given it to her, and he needed to wait until she was done with her turn. You would have thought I told him he could never watch TV again ever.

He started screaming. “IT’S MINE! IT’S NOT HERS! I WANT IT BACK NOW!” Oh, sweet Jesus. I tried to reason with him. And despite watching several episodes of Supernanny, talking calmly to your child NEVER works for me. Eli then started launching himself out of his car seat at Georgia and trying to rip the piece of paper out of her hands. All the while screaming, “GIVE IT TO ME! IT’S MINE!”

This caused Georgia to start her own screaming because Eli was trying to rip away the only thing that had entertained her all afternoon. (Be damned Baby Einstein! Just give your child a piece of freaking paper!) Then I started yelling for them to quit screaming. I am yelling at the top of my lungs (because I had to be heard over the children). “WE DO NOT ACT LIKE THIS! I DO NOT WANT TO HEAR SCREAMING IN THE CAR!”

At this point, I realized Eric had pulled up to a stoplight. The windows were down on the car. I looked on Eric’s side, and there was a 50-something couple looking at me like I’m an abusive mother. So, I turned around in my seat, and then noticed the three motorcyclists on my side looking at me in a cross between shock and amusement. The children were still screaming.

I waited until the car started again before I turned around, and our debate started all over. Unfortunately, I didn’t seem to realize those damn stoplights, and by the time we pulled up to the next one, I was yelling, “ELI! QUIT ACTING LIKE A CRAZY PERSON! DO YOU WANT ME TO SPANK YOU IN PUBLIC!” Oh, Christ! I’m sure Child Protective Services is going to be showing up at my door any moment.

We did finally make it to the store. The arguing pretty much continued the entire time. At this point, Eli didn’t care about the piece of paper anymore. He was just mad, and when he is mad, there is no calming him down. I forced him to ride in a cart, which he hates, after he threw himself down in the parking lot declaring that he didn’t want to go in the store.

Like most mothers, I have learned to block out my children when they become crazy. So, we quickly shopped for steaks, baked potatoes and sour cream, while Eli was screaming, “I WANT OUT OF THE CART! LET ME OUUUUUUT! MOMMY! MOMMY! MOMMY! MOMMY!” (repeat several times) Of course this created a domino effect, causing Georgia to cry and attempt her own escape from the front of the cart. Luckily, we were fast and got out of there before management could ask us never to return.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Pre-school Open House

Tomorrow is the first day of pre-school, which is always difficult (for me, not for Eli). As much as I welcome a “break,” it’s still hard to leave him. Maybe it’s because my “break” usually consists of coming home and cleaning like a wild woman until I have to pick him up. That may be more difficult this year, considering Georgia doesn’t take morning naps anymore, and has taken to chasing the vacuum around screaming. Hmmm . . .

With a new year of pre-school comes a new year of other parents who are always fun to assess. Eli’s class is rather small this year, so I won’t have the wide array of parental units to judge – I mean analyze – I meet become friendly with! Anyway, I’m sure I will meet some good ones.

Eli and I went to pre-school open house last week. It was just a little set-up so you could go in and meet the teachers and see the room. We were there about one minute when Eli turned to me and said. “Go! You can go now!” I’m sure deep down he’s really going to miss me, right?

I just said that I get to stay for the open house, and I’ll drop him off next week. He looked disappointed. Hmph! He went over to pull out construction toys and work on building some torture device as I chatted with his teachers. I noticed another little boy go over to play with Eli as his parents stood there hovering.

Gee, that looked familiar. Last year, Eric and I both went to the open house, complete with Georgia (who was two months old) strapped to my chest, and I was almost in tears at the thought of leaving my first-born at the hands of strangers (well-qualified strangers, but still). Even though I’m still hesitant, at least I’m improving.

I went over to chat with the new parents. I asked them if they had anymore children. Yes, they had a three-month old daughter at home. Great, I thought. I have something in common with these people. I told them I had a daughter at home, too. Then the husband said, “Isn’t it great when you get all your bases covered with the first two kids!” I just laughed and said, “Yes! One boy. One girl. We’re through!”

That is when wife’s lips formed a tight line and she shot a dirty glance at her husband. Uh-oh! He seems oblivious to his wife’s body language. I immediately get it. She wants more kids. I don’t know if he knows that yet, but from the look on her face, those two will definitely be having another baby at some point.

Unfortunately, wife then turns hostile to me, and offers nary a smile when her husband and I chat about our sons’ fascination with bugs. I moved on. I went to talk to the mother of the shy girl who was busy with the Play-Doh. She smiled at me, but seemed way too interested in the purple piece of pizza her daughter was constructing to engage in much conversation.

I went over to Eli and said, “Are you ready? Let’s go get coffee (chocolate/banana milk for him) and go to the library.” He put his toys away, excited at the prospect of a treat. We bid adieu to Miss Ginny and Miss Kathy, and went on our way, anxious for a brand new week of pre-school. It should be interesting, to say the least.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Pillow boobs

I went in to wake Eli up the other morning, since he parties all night and sleeps all day. I’m really not kidding. He woke Eric up one night because he was talking so loud. We’re not quite sure who he was talking to. Either he has imaginary friends or the house is haunted. At 3:00 a.m., it didn’t seem important enough for me to go see.

I’m trying to get Eli back on schedule since pre-school starts this week. It is very difficult to get him out of bed at any time, especially when he has been up half the night. I went in to try and rouse him, and I lied down next to him in bed.

He burrowed into my chest as he always does without opening his eyes. I think I have mentioned the challenge gravity has had on my boobs since I breastfed two children. I know all of you moms out there can relate. When I went in to wake up Eli, I was still in my nightgown, and had not yet attempted to fold up my breasts and stuff them into my bra, so Eli was content to burrow.

I tried to get him up, telling him all the fun things we were planning to do that day. I got no response, so then I just started poking him. Nothing. He was still 90 percent asleep. I started to get up so I could get myself dressed when Eli latched onto my left breast with both hands and screamed, “No mommy! Leave it!”

Confused, I asked, “Leave what?”

He responded, “Leave the pillow!” as he desperately tugged on my boob. “Don’t take it away!”

How sweet. My son things my big saggy boobs are pillows. This offered me my first true laugh of the day and a mental note to bank any money I make on my blog into an account for a breast reduction and lift.

I just responded, “Honey, that’s not a pillow. That’s mommy.” Finally he opened his eyes. He looked very confused and gave his father’s characteristic “Huh!” before rolling over.

Friday, September 01, 2006

I'm obsessive-compulsive!

I know! I'm crazy! I cannot stop screwing with the template!!!! Let me know what you think of the new look (again).

Celebrity Duets

I was making cookies last night, because I often get the unnecessary urge to bake, as Eric was flipping channels. I was making the most heavenly sugar cookies complete with wedding cake frosting (I call them my wedding cake cookies), when Eric stopped on a channel that had Cheech Marin singing with Randy Travis.

“What on God’s green earth is this?” I asked. “Oh!” he shouted excitedly, “This is that Celebrity Duets show.” I just rolled my eyes and asked, “It’s on FOX, isn’t it?” “Well of course it is!” said Eric.

I have to admit, of the FOX shows, I either love them or hate them. I wait for Prison Break each week with bated breath. I LOVE that show! But FOX is also the home of Temptation Island, Who Wants to Marry a Multi-millionaire, and most recently, So You Think You Can Dance. One look at Cheech warbling out some country ballad, and I think I knew which direction this show was about to take.

But it got better. When he was done singing, it was time to turn to the three judges in the American Idol-style judging that every show seems to have now. The camera went to the first judge – Marie Osmond. That alone made me laugh so hard I just about spit out the water I was drinking. First, she had so much Botox that her face wouldn’t move if you slapped her. She looked like one of those freaky dolls she sells (see photo). Second, she looked like she was drunk. Or high. Didn’t she have some mental issues not too long ago? Eric and I both made our appropriate “Ohmygod, look at her” comments, when the camera flashed to the second judge – Little Richard. I’m really not kidding.

When I saw him, it was a mixture of laughter and fear. He has obviously had more work done than Marie Osmond and his plastic surgeon wasn’t as skilled. Plus, he looked like he was on more drugs than Marie. “Woooooooo!”

Not often do you have a show that is so incredibly bad, it is entertaining! When Lucy Lawless came out to sing with Michael Bolton, I knew we hit pay dirt. Not that I don’t have Michael Bolton CDs somewhere in my late eighties/early nineties collection, but come on. And didn’t Lucy Lawless used to be a strong buff female? Now, she’s all blonde and anorexic. What the hell happened?

Little Richard
It was at this point, that we decided Little Richard was so high that he couldn’t form a rational thought. His “critiques” of the “singers” consisted of him repeating the words to the songs. For example, “When a man loves a woman? I love you, Lucy Lawless!”

Next up was Hal Sparks, whom I love, singing “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” with Gladys Knight. Again, I’m really not making this up. I can’t believe Hal Sparks went from Queer as Folk, which was one of my favorite shows to watch after the kids went to bed, to this! What happened to my gays?!!!!

Anyway, Marie didn’t even critique this song, she just turned to the audience and said, “Isn’t this a great show?!” Woo-hoo from the audience. Apparently, Marie was drunker than Little Richard. His critique? “Oh, I heard it through the grapevine.” The audience clapped. What the f*ck?!

Amazingly, this went on for two hours! I was busy making cookies and getting kids ready for bed, so I can maintain that I didn’t actually watch it. I just listened as somebody sang “Say My Name,” and Little Richard critiqued, “Oh, I’ll say your name!” Woo-hoo from the audience. They must be drunk, too.

Anyway, dear readers, you have to check this show out. It is so bad, I was fully expecting robot heads to pop up in front of the screen and start making sarcastic comments (ala MST3K). But luckily, I had my husband for that! Talk about thoroughly entertaining television!