Monday, January 31, 2011

He said wha??

I need to carry a tape recorder or a notebook with me, because I cannot remember all the crazy things that my kids say. And 9 times out of 10, they should be remembered.

That 1 time that I'd rather forget was when my darling boy - who had all of 10 words at the time - decided to repeat Mommy's favorite "aw crap" phrase. Let's just say you're more likely to hear "goshdarnit" around these parts now.

(My other favorite that I self-censored well before it was repeated? Son of a biscuit. Try it. It's awesome. Caught Hubby using it the other day. I'm a trend setter like that.)

There's the truly crazy stuff that Nathaniel picks up at school that of course makes no sense to me because I am not 4: like "applesauce tomato punkin."

Today, he started laughing at me for gosh only knows what and said "Mom, you're making me kiddin'"

Uh... dude... oh, never mind.

He got mad at Daddy the other day: "Dad, you're making me 'diculus." We had friends over at the time and one about spit water halfway across the room. 'Cause it doesn't really SOUND like the back part of "ridiculous."


Little girl doesn't like to be left out. When I ran out of the house like it was on fire went to get my hair cut ALONE, Daddy gave me text updates of what our darlings were up to. I got several photos of my precious OCD-trainee lining the living room floor with Tupperware lids, three lids wide until she ran out.

Hubby asked her what she was making.



Friday, January 28, 2011

Oh how I hate winter, let me count the ways...

I'm pretty sure my van used to be tan. It's now a filmy charcoal gray. And the forecast says snow for the next 4,532 days so why bother going through the car wash?

I didn't think it was possible, but sweeping and mopping my floors is even MORE of an exercise in futility. The roads are gross, which makes the garage floor gross, which makes the bottoms of our shoes gross, which makes my floors crunchy and majorly gross. Whoever designed this house without a mud room should have to come mop my floors daily from November to March.

I. Am. Always. Cold.

Because I'm always cold, I do nothing. I have arguments with myself about the benefits of sitting on the couch, curled up under a blanket vs. getting off my fluffy butt and doing housework. I understand that by moving, I will generate heat and raise my body temp naturally. But it's the same as hitting that snooze button in the morning, wishing that I could stay in my warm comfy bed forever. I have no rational thoughts before 9 a.m. and without at least 2 cups of coffee; my brain does the same thing when it's cold.

I am always inside (and cold) so I nibble on snacks all freakin' day. It's a good thing we got that Wii for Christmas so it can keep yelling "ooh" when I step on and make me feel like a major fluffy butt.

I drink way, way, way too much coffee. It's warm, and most of the time I make a cup and huddle over it for warmth.

I warmed my hands over the boiling pot of pasta for mac n cheese I made for my kiddos lunch the other day. The normal PB&J doesn't quite do that. It's sad, but I like to plan meals that require the oven so I can stand in the kitchen and warm up.

And on that note, it's time to start dinner... I'm thinking baked fish and mac n cheese. The oven AND boiling water. ;-)

How many days until spring??

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The laundry fairy's twin sister?

My neighbor has admitted that the laundry fairy may have suffocated in her laundry room. 

Damn. So I guess that means I have to do it all myself. 

Until the laundry fairy's demise can be confirmed, I am enacting a new policy: If it smells clean, it is clean. If it's iffy, spray it with Febreeze. If it's dirty, don't plan on wearing it anytime soon.

A good friend is helping me rustle up some high school-aged babysitters for my monkeys, but in the meantime she bailed me out. I'm not sure who will be more ready for bedtime, her or my kids. She's a helpful empty-nester like that. 

I told her to stay away from my laundry. I know it's bad and my laundry room is frightening. I want her to respect me in the morning. And I'm not sure if any of Hubby's underwear has holes. And that's just sad. 

So in retribution, she cleaned up my kitchen and even LIT A CANDLE. Hubby raised an eyebrow as he looked around. I assured him it wasn't me. Dummy said without thinking, "Yeah I noticed."

Don't worry. He will pay for that one. 

I figured she stopped there, but oh no... Hubby and I went to the basement to watch basketball, I mean the State of the Union, I mean... uh... right. Anyhoo, I saw something I haven't seen in a long, long time. 

The carpet. 

The toy store yakkage that is normally covering every surface my little minions can reach - and some they can't - is neatly lined up against the wall. Like little angels were down here playing? Whuck? We may never play with those toys again. I may just have them come down here and sit on the floor to admire the neatness. 

Either that or my friend needs to move in. 

But not until I check our laundry for holes.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Wii: Now I can suck at multiple things at once

We got a Wii for Christmas. I was very excited to get said Wii. I have played at a few people's houses and figured it was friendly enough my kids could play it.

The problem is, my 4 year old can kick my butt.

Hear that thud? Oh yeah, that was what was left of my self esteem hitting the floor.

We are raising a racing addict. If there is a car going around in circles on TV, he will watch it. He will ask for cartoons and if the television is tuned to Speed when I turn it on, he will holler if I try to change it. As a result, he loves Mario Kart. And it's something he can do while his sister is napping that gives me a break from the never-ending questions.

An occupied child means I love me some Mario Kart.

So I decided to give it a try. Hubby kept telling me I needed to try the easier level on one player to get used to racing (two player goes to the "advanced" level automatically). I guess he figured I would stop playing with him if I kept sucking so badly.

"I think you'll do better. You'll like it," he said.

If my preschooler can win races on the beginner circuit, surely I can, right? I mean, he's won enough he's unlocked new tracks. It's a KID game, right?


I managed to win one race of the four, but once I had the lead in the others, I was hit with every possible obstacle. I was making a jump at the exact moment that the game decided to blow me up. In another, I went from 1st to 12th in about 15 seconds. Hubby just shook his head. I'm pretty sure it wasn't all from my crappy driving, but still...

I was never very good at Nintendo growing up; I only "beat" games using the Game Genie cheat codes and even then I had a heck of a time. I am just missing the "gamer" gene.

The draw of the Wii is that it can be for us non-gamer types. Who didn't see the commercials with Grandma bowling when Wii first hit stores? There should be hope for me, then, right?

The problem is the Wii games we have also cater to coordinated athletic types. Which I. Am. Not. I was third string on my middle school volleyball team. When I played softball in high school, the coach taught me to keep score, because I had NO chance of ever actually playing in a game. I love sports, but they sure as heck don't love me.

I can be a klutz and a video game failure all from the comfort of my own basement. Awesome.

My skateboarding career is in jeopardy, now that I've tried to play on Wii Fit. I'm pretty sure the game laughs at me every time I try it, and the sad thing is I am getting "better." (Only because they don't give negative points.)

I will never admit to how bad my score was on the obstacle course. Note to self: figure out how to delete embarrassing scores before someone else sees.

After my racing debacle the other night, Hubby put in the sports game in the hopes it would boost my spirits. He proceeded to kick my butt at sword fighting two games in a row.

Thanks, dear.

He beat me at everything. He's got the high scores on everything except Wii Fit yoga. The only chance I have is the 3-point contest, where I can kick butt and take names, but he can't figure it out. I can't either, so I can't even coach him.

But just when I was going to ask to play basketball and salvage something from my evening, he said "Oh look, it's 10:30."

Oh, suddenly we're worried about getting the recommended 8 hours of shut-eye? Punk.

So maybe in a few years when the kids are both in school, I can start practicing my Wii athletic skills. At least then only the game will be laughing at me.

My skateboarding career can wait.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Knock on wood

A strange thing keeps happening in my house. It's been going on off and on for a few weeks now and I'm afraid to talk about it, lest it stop.

So, here goes.

My children are playing. Playing together. In another room. Without Mommy. And without (mostly) destroying things.

Insert heavenly music - aaaahhhh!!!

This is what Hubby and I hoped for when we decided to shoot for a 2-year age difference. Kid A would not remember life before Kid B and Kid B would think Kid A was the coolest big sib ever. And they would entertain each other and stay out of my hair for at least 5 minutes.

So far, it's working.

Today, they're having a "'tend" sleepover in Leah's room, which means they got into their closets, pulled out their "Going to Granny's" sleeping bags and are camped out on her floor. They've come downstairs for drinks of water and a quick snack, but then went right back up. I can hear giggling, which means Nathaniel is making his little sister laugh hysterically by saying very deep, comical things like "stinky socks have apples pumpkin."

Thanks to his buddy at school, "punkin" is hilarious. I have no idea why.

But as long as it stays upstairs, I don't care.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

When Mommy starts talking to appliances...

Dear Clothes Dryer,

We need to talk. We've been together for years, but it's come to this. You see, there's something missing in our relationship. It's not me, it's you.

I give and I give and I give - clean, wet clothes to toss around and dry - and I get damp clothes in return. I clean your lint trap. I had Hubby check your vent to make sure it was clear. I don't use dryer sheets because my uncle said I was going to burn my house down. What more do you want from me?!

Maybe you don't understand where I'm coming from. I run a zoo. I have a husband. A son. A daughter. A cat. A dog. All of those beings make a mess of every single solitary surface in my house. I could clean from sunup to sundown daily and it wouldn't make a difference. Unfortunately, I can only put clothes in your neighbor and partner in grime, the washing machine. If I could put my poor, sippy-cup-leak-stained-fur-encrusted couch in there, you bet I would.

But I digress.

After almost 9 months of letting you have a go at every load of clothes twice, I've reached my breaking point. I spend the entire week washing, drying, drying, folding and putting clothes away to start the vicious cycle all over again. I can probably start using the sniff test on clothes to cut down on loads, but once warmer weather sets in and sweat, grass and mud become daily battles, that won't cut it.

Hubby is big on budgeting for the year, and he really didn't factor in kicking you to the curb in 2011. He thinks you should live a full, satisfying life that is LONGER than 6 years. I guess 5 if you count that you started sucking over the summer. I can only drool and visit your competition at Lowe's for so long before he can't stand it anymore. Just ask the dishwasher. Once it started running on its own, his days were numbered.

So shape up, Dryer. I don't know what RFM's Randy the Laundry Fairy has been telling you, but that guy is nothing but trouble.

I'll leave you with this.

Oh yeah. I went there. The younger man. He's bigger, faster, quieter and DRIER.

Momma B

Monday, January 17, 2011

Are we there yet?

I have rotten luck when it comes to vehicles. And driving them. To anywhere.

Case in point:

I spent the weekend in America's Dairyland hanging out with one of my best friends and celebrating her baby's first birthday. I have been put to work each of her kid's birthdays because I can be helpful and she doesn't mind letting me. The first year it was keeping her company while she decorated the cake at midnight. This year, I was promoted to making the macaroni and cheese. Oh yeah, I'm big time now.

And did I mention it happened to fall when Hubby was gone on a business trip? He's missed the last 3 birthdays. I'm pretty sure there are some of my friend's family members who think he's imaginary. The running gag ain't so funny anymore.


The first time I tried to drive to their house solo I drove through construction in Chicago (I know, shocking, right?), I got a nail in my tire at 4 p.m. when all the shops are closing and had to drive 50 mph on the donut the rest of the way with 2 kids screaming in the back. 

It's a miracle I even talk to her anymore after that one.

The second birthday I did OK. Kids, vehicle and I all made it there and back in one piece. 

Friday I had no trouble getting through Chicago, there were no frantic emergency potty stops and we were happy to spend a long weekend at our destination.

Sunday afternoon when it was time to get going, I used the remote starter on the van to let it warm up while my friend's hubby helped me load my car with stuff and kids (only mine. I checked). We were about 5 minutes on the road when I got a text from Hubby, telling me his flight home was taking off. Then I noticed the only part of me getting warmer was in direct contact with the seat warmer. 


I was almost to the highway and Nathaniel was complaining he was cold. I knew the next exit was about 20 miles down the road, so I pulled into a parking lot and broke out the cell phone. I called my friend. No answer. Called her hubby. He's not a car guy, really, so wasn't any help. I called my father-in-law, who was about 6 hours away but can diagnose any car issue in his sleep. After talking me in circles for a few minutes, I figured out me and my cold kids had to head back to my friend's. 

Luckily my friend parked my kids in front of 'toons, gave me a mug of steaming hot coffee and warm socks and called her dad to come help her hubby figure out what was going on.

Long story short, the heat came back and now I need to take the van in to figure out where I have a leak in something. That let an air bubble in. That stopped some fluid from going where it needed to be. 

Yeah, I know a thing or two about cars.... NOT

So needless to say we got home a lot later than I figured. Kids sacked out in the car and let me be vegetable mommy today. Five cups of coffee did nothing for me. Thank goodness for Handy Manny. I will attack laundry, grocery, and figuring out where to take the car tomorrow. 

And put a AAA membership on my Valentine's Day list. 

Thursday, January 13, 2011

How did this happen?

As I mentioned yesterday, I am now president of the community band that Hubby and I both play in. So, like, I'm, like, in charge and stuff. Whuck?!

Yeah I know. Scary. But I guess if I can keep everyone in our zoo fed and clothed, I can do anything, right?! Except remember where I put my cell phone. Or my keys.

We've been involved in the group since we moved to the area. At the time, it was unusual for anyone pretty much straight out of college to be playing. Many of the members put down their instruments after high school or college and then picked them back up again a decade or more later. Let's just say we brought the average age down a bit.

I had been going to rehearsals for about a month when someone approached me about serving on the board. Hubby was still working on getting his own horn, so hadn't even BEEN to a rehearsal yet, and they asked if he could serve too. Uh, sure?

And so we did for a few years, then took a break and now, here we are, almost 7 years later, and I'm running the show. Hubby is excited to have another year off and watch me deal with the headaches. He wants to be called First Dude. I'm pretty sure Todd Palin called dibs on that first, but since Sarah Palin isn't technically in office anymore, I think it's safe to borrow. At least for awhile.

I spent most of the week leading up to my first meeting fretting about it. I was kinda dreading it. I'm not really sure why. Maybe I was afraid I'd pull a Mary Katherine Gallagher or something. But I don't tend to sweat profusely or wear Catholic school girl uniforms (at least not anymore - circa 1995, sure).

But I was surrounded by people who (with the exception of one) are all older than me. I couldn't help wondering why they decided to let the kid run things.

Oh wait. No one ran against me. That might be it. Snap.

Guess they'll have until September to find someone with (more) gray hair to oust me.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Falling off the blog

Dear Bloggy-sphere,

It's not you. It's me. 


Holding on for dear life Momma.

Life is happening all around me. I can't blink without missing something. 

I write. It's what I do. At least, it is most of the time. It used to be all the time. Now it's when I have a 5-minute window and a light bulb moment simultaneously. Or an assignment and a deadline looming that if I'm lucky might pay half of ONE monthly bill. Provided I have silent children or childcare.

In the last week, we had a monster snowstorm, Hubby and I celebrated our 7th anniversary, I ran my first meeting as president of our community band, Nathaniel took a digger that needed a butterfly bandage that Hubby couldn't find WHILE I was at said meeting, more snow, I had to fight with our mail-order pharmacy to actually send the prescription I ordered, my gorgeous anniversary present (a bracelet) was too big and can't be shortened, and...

Yeah I'll just stop there. You get the idea. Snow, bloodshed, to-do lists, more snow. Inevitably more bloodshed. Okay, hopefully not. But I have two monkeys who love to climb things they shouldn't and run in socks on hardwood floors. It happens.

And maybe next time I'll have 5 minutes to write about it.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Parenting Fail - The News Edition

My kids are pretty observant. As soon as Nathaniel could say "choo-choo" he knew exactly where every set of tracks was near our house. He now knows all of the important stores in our life: Walmart, Target, Starbucks... ya know, the staples. He is a walking, talking game of 20 questions.

Both munchkins love cartoons, but we also watch a lot of Food Network, DIY, HGTV, Discovery and Science Channel. They are equally as likely to be zoned out on a weekend morning to Mickey Mouse as to How It's Made. What can I say, I married an engineer?

In my former life, current events and the goings-on of the world was pretty darn important. I still like to know what's happened in the real world, so our TV auto-tunes to the local news everyday at 5, and if I have my way, it stays on the same channel until the national news is over.

But obviously I need to start shuffling to CNN during the day, because my children - despite all my efforts - are lost.

Nathaniel was going to curl up on the couch with Hubby while I cleaned up from dinner. Hubby had switched to BBC America to watch "Top Gear" and a commercial showed a clip from an upcoming news program.

"Look Daddy, it's Dr. Phil," my beloved cherub said.

It was President Obama.

DOH! Mental head slap.

I don't know, you tell me... was he close?


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Five Things

I really didn't have a coherent thought today.

Scratch that. I didn't have any USEFUL coherent thoughts today. "I really hate laundry" and "Damn I'm cold" don't count.

So here is a random list of things that have crossed my mind in the post-birthday-Christmas-New Years-birthday haze.

1) My cat thinks the half bath and connecting laundry room are HIS. Visitors are warned accordingly should they CLOSE the door to do their business.

He feels it necessary to hop onto the dryer, check his empty food bowl (because he's a pig and inhales it first thing in the morning), then mosey on over to my tiny counter to try to sit, walk, or otherwise fur-ify my clean laundry.

Next time he tries that, he folds.

2) I don't mind so much when my kids don't eat their Fruit Loops in the morning because of the way the garbage disposal smells afterward.

3) I never thought I would ever wear yoga pants for anything resembling actual yoga. Scary.

4) I wore two pairs of socks today. At the same time. Brr.

5) I still haven't finished the laundry. Only 3 more days before I have to start all over again.

Unless Tigger decides to start pulling his own weight.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A Wii bit of exercise

Other than dragging my children to the doctor and getting the snot scared out of me, I accomplished virtually nothing yesterday. That's what happens when those doctors with their stethoscopes and white socks with dress pants start throwing big words like "big" and "thyroid" at me.

The nerve.

And if I wasn't on edge enough, my boy child was limping around the house like his 94-year-old great-grandmother wailing that his shots hurt.

I consumed A LOT of coffee yesterday.

But once my children were asleep in a rare dual afternoon nap, I had the choice of attacking the laundry monster threatening to permanently bar entrance to the laundry room, gathering MORE of said laundry scattered around the house, cleaning mountains of lost Christmas toys or heading to the basement for a little me time.

I won. Big time. I know, shocked, aren't you?

Now that Hubby has finished his master's, we finally got a Wii as our family Christmas gift. Santa Hubby brought me a Wii Fit because I need SOMETHING to kick my butt and motivate me to do more than collect dust on our couch in the winter.

The little cartoon balance board keeps telling me my Wii Fit age is 40 because I don't have any balance or coordination and never have (Sorry Aunt Carol, those five years of dance lessons were NOT gonna save my clumsy butt).

I did feel a little better and not quite as cold after a little yoga and stretching. And as soon as I finished my 30 minutes, I heard Leah hollering for Momma.

And that was it. Back to worrying and watching a hobbling preschooler. At least I got that.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

My baby girl

This is my baby girl in her natural state - motion.

OK, so she just turned 2, has as big a vocabulary as her 4-year-old brother and is potty training. Not technically a baby, but still MY baby. I have said from the beginning she would give me gray hair from worrying about what she was climbing, getting into or otherwise figuring out way too fast.

After today, I'm going out to get the hair dye.

Both kids had their well-child visits today. Nathaniel and his two booster shot trauma is a story for another day. 

Once the doc was done checking over a surprisingly compliant boy child, Leah popped right up to have him check her. He looked in her mouth, ears and did that odd neck/throat check thingy. And then he did it again.

Insert eyebrow raise.

He went through his spiel, and almost as an afterthought he added, "Her thyroid is big."

Uh, excuse me? There's something wrong with my perfect little pigtailed girl? Well maybe. But he's not ready to be concerned yet.

So now we wait. In three months, we go back to check her height and weight. Blood tests may come later. But the worry will start now. 

The float nurse at her 18-month check up either didn't get an accurate measurement or she got shorter in the last 6 months. (My money is on the first one.) She is still on the growth chart, and is actually a little taller than her brother was at the same age. I checked her records and she's gained 4 pounds since her 15-month check up. I have no idea if that's good, bad or indifferent. 

Hence the worry. 

I started Googling as soon as we got home and didn't pry myself away from this blasted computer after lunch. Now that I vaguely know what a thyroid is supposed to do, no more good can come from medical web searching. I had a few good friends remind me of that fact today too. Thanks ladies. 

So I sit and wait. And randomly break into tears when my precious girl does something crazy smart, like ask Daddy at dinner if his 'chines are broken at work, or so very Leah, like trying to order a movie on satellite when the remote was left unattended. 

I'm not much for praying, but I might try that too.