Monday, March 23, 2009

By the Way

We finished the Narnia series. The Last Battle was the perfect, yet bittersweet ending. When it was over Caroline and Ijust sighed. Lily cheered. Now it's on to Winnie the Pooh, although, when she heard the British narrator, Lily cried "Oh no this is not Pooh, it's Narnia!" She is currently naming all of her dolls Susan because "Susan is not a friend of Narnia." What a little pip! Or PITA take your pick.

I Second, Third, Fourth That Emotion

Oh my, talk about emotional roller coasters. I feel like around here these days just wait a minute and another emotion comes rolling through. I don't know how poor Rob deals with all of theses ever changing emotions (he's pretty steady, either silly, tired or annoyed).

It started with the rabbit. The night he had his stroke, I was fine until Rob came home from basketball and picked up the poor bunny and held him and rocked him. Then I lost it. I never got it back after that, especially when I had to call 7 different vets and say "My rabbit had a stroke and I need someone to euthanize him." I finally found wonderfully kind place. I managed to bawl my eyes out from my arrival to my departure. They gave us a little plaster foot print of him. It can go with Sierra, the dog's print. I am Starting to envision my old age with a wall of animal footprints. Is that comforting or kind of sick?

During all of this I caught a nasty cold. On Monday night, I was making a cup of tea and as I was pouring the water, it exploded all over my hand. Oh my god, I have never been in so much pain or scared. I didn't tell Rob how worried I was, but I was a little freaked out. This happened at 10:00 at night and I opted not to go to the ER. I spent the night with my hand in a bowl of cool water and then trying to sleep and crying because of the pain. I went to work the next day because my friend had an emergency and I needed to cover her class. After much chastising from my "mothers" at work, I went to the doctor and got an updated tetanus shot and anti biotic cream. When my friends called to ask what he said, I replied "Don't use my hand as a tea bag." No one thought ti was funny.

On Thursday one of my best friends had a baby. We've been waiting for him for awhile. She had lots of complications during the pregnancy and I was very worried. Of course I was so excited after the baby got here, you would have thought I'd birthed him myself. I love hearing about new babies, especially when I've been watching so many of my friend's relationships fall apart. There is something so hopeful about making a family and creating new life.

Did I mention that we have one of my friend's living with us for a month? She's great and we're having fun.

Add the stress of finishing a complicated alternative portfolio assessment on a student and the unknown about my job situation and I am a little in limbo (and perhaps a little manic).

Right now my hand looks like a mummified monkey paw and is starting to itch like hell. I tried to explain to my students that I was "The Teacher with the Mummy Claw." The turkeys didn't even laugh. They were too bust being grossed out by it. I really hope it doesn't scar. I can be pretty easy going, but the idea of life with a shriveled hand is not appealing. I know it could be worse and Rob says that I've already ruined my chances to make it big as a hand model, but still. I guess I am vain. I'm also lucky that it wasn't worse. Yet again, I am a cautionary tale. Your welcome:)

Friday, March 13, 2009

One of Those Days

Well, it looks like we will be short one pet very soon. I think Madison, my 11year old bunny, had a stroke tonight. I don't know for sure because I can't find an emergency animal hospital that will treat small animals. I could go to the next town over where everything is very expensive and spend $300 or more. Hopefully, the poor guys passes peacefully in his sleep or I find a place in town tomorrow.

It seems like these things always happen when Rob isn't home (we had a thousand times worse experience a few years ago with a sick dog who ended up passing). When I called to share this info/idea with him, he agreed. The odd thing is he's almost always home. Maybe the powers that be fell I can handle this best (I like this idea better than dumb luck). Caroline is convinced it's because of Friday the 13th.

My poor babies are so sad. I don't help. I'm not good at sugar coating reality. I'm more of a just the facts kind of gal. I gently explained that the rabbit was old and probably wouldn't make it through the night. This is how nature takes it's course and if it didn't we'd take him to the vet tomorrow to end his suffering (I simplified it for Lily).

All I know is that I want chocolate, which shoots my "I'm going to work out and have a snack of Kashi cereal" idea in the foot. It also shoots "the girls and I are going to watch Idol while getting a head start on the laundry" idea in the foot as well. They are cuddled on the couch watching Beverly Hills Chihuahua. I'm going to have to put them to bed soon though. I know they'll start crying again. Oh poor girls, poor bunny.

He really was a good little bunny.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


I'm kind of stuck on this whole idea of relationships lately. For a blog that is supposed to about my children's antics, I seem to be doing a lot of self reflecting. Pretty narcissistic for a shyish bookwormy type. Anyway, relationships. I have reached the sage Jedi master stage of marriage. We're in a groove, no mid life crisis yet. This morning as Rob and I checked off the list of to dos before a quick good bye I said "We seem more like consultants in the business of family, than a couple." He said "Well, that's where we are." He's right.

I have become what one friend calls "the patron saint for young women with immature or stupid boys in their lives." (this is an unofficial title, no word from the Pope yet). I have some good women friends with relationship issues (no details will be given their stories are not mine to tell). I have spent a great deal of time listening to what's going on and giving what I hope is useful advice. Mostly I listen and try to cheer each one on, although a a few times I have wanted to take a couple of their guys into a room and knock their heads together.

The response I get after talking to some of them is "We should clone Rob. He's wonderful." Whoa there hold your horses. I absolutely adore my husband, but he is not perfect and for that matter neither am I. We have had some pretty big bumps in the road that we have worked hard to get through. Honestly, sometimes it was really hard. I think the thing we aren't prepared for when we get married is how hard it is. It is constantly changing, while also staying very much the same. It's more than the wedding, the gown, the flower, and the honeymoon. It's not just an event. Romance is more than flowers, presents, dinners out etc. It's a partnership.

My parents took the kids last weekend (thanks again guys) and Rob and I had a whole day together. I believe the last one was when Lily was two. We had a wonderful time. We had lunch out, went to a movie, and had dinner out. We had a movie choice between Watchmen or He's Just Not That into You. Rob choose the latter. Probably because Watchmen is three hours and because he knew I really wanted to see He's Just Not.....


I enjoyed the movie. It was cute and in someways uncomfortably truthful. Men can be jerks and women can be drama queens. A couple of things really made me think. In the beginning a little girl is crying because a boy pushed her and called her names. her mother says he did it because he likes her. The narrator explains that that's where all the trouble begins. Women are programmed to think men being mean means they like you. Hmm? Never really thought of it like that. Have I used that line with my girls? Yup. Did my mom use it with me? Yup. Will I ever use it again? Nope. Will the friends that I shared this scene with use it again? Probably not.

The other thing that made me tear up is when one of the male characters is cleaning up the kitchen after a family emergency. He's just helping out. Not doing women's work. Not being praised for it. Just helping. See, a partnership.

That's what I think Rob and I have now. We fill in where the other is lacking. He knows my strengths and weaknesses. I know his. It's like a dance and we do it very well. So many things we can do without even talking. Take a sick child in the middle of the night. We each have our jobs and do then without a word. The child is cleaned and comforted all in five minutes without any problems. It is an amazing and powerful thing to be that in sync with someone. It also takes work to get there and maintain it. It isn't always constant, but when you loose it, it is worth fighting for and working to get back.

OK enough sermons for now. My kids better do something funny soon so I don't have to think so much.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Days Like These

I started this blog as a way to deal with days like these. I had a sweet post ready in my head all about relationships, but fate had other ideas. I'll post about relationships later. Anyway.....

The day started off with both Rob and I muttering and swearing when we woke up at 6:30 to the dark (DST sucks). The rest of the day went well enough except for the fact that I was tired and itchy (yay! allergy season). I actually left work a little early and wasn't going to have to fly to the sitters. I ended up getting waylaid by a problem with a student and got to the sitters in the nick of time. Now I was running late and still had to return library books and go to the store (it was 5:45).

I finally pulled into the drive at 7:00. Not ideal, but enough time to have a quick dinner and give Lily a bath. I dragged half of the groceries in and let the dog out. As she tore down the stairs, I glanced at the gate and saw that it was unlocked. It was like a scene from a movie as I ran in slow motion yelling "Nooooo!" while the dog bolted through the gate. I have a very smart sweet dog, but she loves to run and will not come when called. I muttered "dammit", asked Caroline to take care of the rest of groceries, and put Lily in the car. Lily is a compulsive rule follower and was very perplexed at the idea of getting in the car without shoes. I drove slowly around the neighborhood while listening to the constant patter of :

"I miss my dog. Where is my dog. Boy a lot of people in this neighborhood have kitty cats, we don't have a kitty cat. We have a dog. I miss my dog. Where is my dog? Where are my shoes? Why aren't I wearing shoes. Mommy, that's a kitty cat you're yelling at. That's not Callie. You're so silly. Mommy that's an inappropriate word. Choose another one."

This pleasure drive went on for 15 minutes until I finally found the dog and convinced her that she wanted a ride. When I got home, Caroline had emptied all six bags of groceries into the middle of the kitchen floor in order to organize them before she put them away. After I slowly exhaled and told her that was one strategy, I suggested she run a bath for her sister. As the tub water ran, I looked at a kitchen with a floor full of groceries and a sink full of dishes (yeah those didn't get done yesterday). To add to it all I have a living room full of clean not yet folded clothes. I thought back to the conversation I'd had with the wise woman at the grocery store.

As I told Lily to stop whining, a lady walked by with a cart full of two crying boys. I looked at the middle aged woman in front of me and said "It's the melting hour." She replied "As a young mother I learned that this is why happy hour was invented."
Well I got through the groceries without any happy hour aids. I started on dishes and dinner (time check 7:45), when I saw a moth fly down from the ceiling. This fall I had fought (and thought I'd won) a battle against Indian Flour Moths. I started jumping and swatting at it like some sort of deranged cat. Caroline came into the kitchen and joined me. We lept all over the kitchen swatting until we finally achieved, in Caroline's words, "moth guts." So much for teaching her to respect all living things.

I wrestled Lily out of the tub, served them both pasta and started on the dishes.

By the time Rob got home (he was at soccer coach training) , the dishes still weren't done and I had a huge headache. I didn't yell or complain, though. That's progress.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Perfect Storm

Lest anybody worry that I'm days away form a nervous breakdown, no worries. Today was the perfect snow day. We spent most of the morning sledding and then when Rob came home we went back out again. My thighs are burning from carting myself and dragging Lily up and down the hill. We have the best sledding spot in the woods behind our house. Halfway through there is a mini hill and you go airborne. So much fun. Watching my huge neighbor (this guy is built like a tank) go down and spin around and around finally flying backwards was hilarious. Lily invented a new song "I'm sledding on my butt, I'm sledding on my butt, sledding, sledding, sledding on my butt." She's a class act. Of course her mother screamed "Holy Crap!" as I sailed through the air and honestly thought I wasn't coming back down.

The kids are nice and tired and I got to watch half a movie. I might even finish it tonight. There's my fifth batch of Amish Friendship bread in the oven and plan on having a yummy snack tonight. Sweet dreams.

Sunday, March 1, 2009


Every once in a while I need to stop and remind myself that "it's all good." This is one of those moments.

Last week, I got caught up in a whole lot of drama that really wasn't mine to worry about. Between negotiating the ever changing soap opera that is the lives of my friends, my co-workers and my daughter, I lost time to do what I love; write. It reached it's height when I spent Thursday night sleepless with my stomach in knots. Friday morning Rob first told me gently to calm down and then in a more grumbly tone threatened to disconnect the phone or speak to my friends himself. I promised to let it go and chill out.

The ability to chill out is a new one for me. I've spent the last five years not sleeping, tearing up my stomach, and steadily gaining weight. I also refused to really let anyone know that my world was imploding and I was drowning. I got through. Now, I just have to loose the weight and be careful with my stomach.

Rob pointed out that I've went through and survived my own rough times, I can't carry others' for them. I can listen , I can care, but being an emotional sponge won't help. Seriously, when did he get so wise? This is the same man who ignored me four years ago. If you'd told me then that he would be like this now, I'd have never believed it. I really like being married to this version of Rob.

Back to chilling. It really wasn't that hard. Tonight we got a surprise March present: snow! The girls instantly stopped fighting, put on their pajamas backwards and started a snow dance in the front hall. Really it was more a snow slam dance with whopping and hollering and frenzied spinning. Then they flushed ice cubes in every toilet. I finally got them into bed. They snuggled in together (it's the one time of day they won't part) surrounded by stuffed animals and comforters. I raised the shade so they could watch the snow as they fell asleep. When I left the room I heard them sigh softly and that was it; I'd chilled. Really, this is all I need.

Beware the Sharp Tongue

I am a smart ass. I always have been. I honed my skills in my teens and made it into an art form. I married a smart ass, and low and behold we have raised two, well, smart asses. I enjoy a good joke or sharp remark as much as the next person, but parenting a wise guy is not much fun. I must have been cheeky to the wrong person because my wise guys tendencies have come back to bite me in the..., you get the point.

This week has been particularly brutal. Caroline has unleashed all of her pre-teen angst and sharp remarks squarely on my head. I am now "she." As in "She is making me crazy." "She won't let me do anything." And so forth. The result has been an irritated mother and a lot of grounding. Caroline spent last week banned from computer and TV and almost lost the chance to attend the father daughter dance. By Saturday, she was chagrined and got the message, that words and tone of voice can hurt. I have vowed to watch my tone as well, but how?

So much of who Rob and I are is jokey, clever, and witty. If I eliminate the sarcasm, all I am left with is Pollyanna and she is admirable, but a bit of a wet blanket.

I am receiving quiet a challenge to this vow. The girls want to watch American Idol with me. I love to watch Idol and call my friends afterward and make snarky remarks. I love watching the honestly good performers, but some of it is laughable. I make WTF type comments throughout. Now, I can't. The things that I find insipid and cheesy the girls love.

Take the group songs. I find it to be the worst kind of Up With People type performance. Caroline was charmed and excited. They sang her favorite Jason Marz song, "Oh, look there is her favorite guy, oh that was fun... " I had no comments, I was biting the blanket, trying not to ruin her excitement. She loved the guy with the "Emo hair." He has an amazing vocal range, but the hair, seriously now. I said nothing, though. Instead I entertained fantasies of Caroline someday bringing home a boyfriend wearing "guyliner" and me falling on the ground laughing as she declared "You've ruined my life!"

Then there is the girl with the Ariel hair (Lily's favorite). She also sings beautifully, but she made the worst Idol error in my eyes. She sang a freakin' Heart song! I can't stand Heart (courtesy of a really bad psycho boyfriend in college). So what does Lily want? To watch it three times! Do I crush her enthusiasm? She the little angel who was standing in front of the TV with sunglasses perched on her head, rocking and twirling. No, I indulge her. I can't fault them. They are rooting for two of the better singers.

I think that I'll watch it first when the girls are sleeping, then I can get my snarky remarks out. I'll watch it again with the girls. Someday we will have fun as an awesomely clever and sarcastic family. But we have to wait until they've learned how to control their power and use their skills for good and entertainment, not to hurt. It's kind of like raising young super heroes. Sarcastic twin powers activate!