Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Top Ten - Indy 500 edition

Memorial Day weekend is my favorite and yet one of the most exhausting of the summer. We end up running around, sweating, eating and drinking a lot, and come home after 4 days more tired than when I left.

But in all that mess, Hubby and I get to go to "The greatest spectacle in all of racing." And now that we have two little race car lovers-in-training, we get to take Nathaniel to the track for the last day of practice (Carb Day) and for the Indy Lights race. So that means TWO days at the track, with lots of family time sandwiched in between.

Top Ten Things I Learned Over Memorial Day Weekend

10.) If I ever want a jacket on a road trip, I must put it in the car MYSELF. Despite the fact that a jacket was ON TOP of the pile of bags to be put in the car, SOMEONE still missed it.

9.) It is possible to forget more things than you pack.

8.)  If you don't actually have to catch anything to be good at fishing, I. Am. Awesome.

7.) When you only have one long-sleeved anything, you will drop burger juice on the front of it within 5 seconds. Boobstain fail.

6.) My 4-year-old knows who Danica Patrick is, what number her car is and what color too. But really, I think it has nothing to do with the Go Daddy commercials and everything to do with the fact he thinks Patrick from Spongebob is driving it. Let's hope that innocence lasts a long time...

5.) Elizabeth loves Tony Konan and she felt the need to write it on a bathroom stall. She also needs to learn to spell.

4.) The crowd at Carb Day is in training to be Parrotheads. The only time I have seen more drunk people in one place at one time was at a Jimmy Buffett concert. And that was when a woman got stuck trying to go through a turnstile WITH Hubby. Ah, good times...

3.) I am probably the only one of my friends (of a similar age) who can sing "Back Home Again in Indiana." I am that cool. And I <3 Jim Nabors.

2.) Pit stop competitions are really cool.

1.) There's a reason they call them "rookie mistakes." Sorry, JR.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

For my family, this weekend was all about family, fun and racing, but it was also about something else. Here is to all the men and women who have given the ultimate sacrifice by laying their lives down for our country, to preserve and protect the freedoms we so often take for granted. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Round 1 to John Deere

If I were to make a list of the things I do everyday, it would be ridiculous. There's a lot of thinking on your feet, rolling with the punches, wiping up bodily fluids, and doing whatever it takes to not lose your schmidt.

You know, the usual.

And even though I am "the boss" at home, I don't like to do everything. Hubby gets anything to do with heavy stuff, mowing, changing batteries (especially of things that involve screwdrivers), changing light bulbs and - because I can - bug squishing and disposal.

That doesn't mean I can't do those things. I just don't wanna.

You see, I grew up in a house of women. You either figured out how to do it yourself or called somebody. We only called for big things, like leaking pipes or remodeling. My Nana mowed the yard herself into her 80s. As a result, I didn't really "learn" until I was married. Oops.

The push mower was easy - same theory as a vacuum and I've been doing that since I was about 9. The lawn tractor we bought after we bought our house was a different story.

Before kids, when I had a more flexible work schedule than Hubby, I would try to help out and mow when we had busy weeks. But after several attempts, when I'd get halfway out into the yard and something would stop working right, prompting a frantic call to Hubby, he all but banned me from climbing onto our dear green and yellow tractor.

I'm pretty sure JD was grateful.

But tonight we had no choice. Hubby was rushing off to a softball game after dinner, and there is rain in the forecast tomorrow. And then our week is pretty much done. The grass is already going to seed, so if we waited until after the holiday weekend, I would have to call my friend's hubby to bring over his combine to harvest the yard.

So after I threw the kiddos in bed, I spent the next hour and a half outside fighting swarms of rabid mosquitoes. The yard has added more obstacles since the last time I mowed - trees, bushes, a bench and 2 playsets - and I started in the backyard since I needed a refresher on ya know, what I was doing. As a result, I ran her out of gas in the FRONT yard for a change, but then freaked because it wouldn't turn over after I added what little was left in the can in the garage. Unfortunately, my lawn-loving neighbor was out, so I was pretty sure he was laughing at me the entire time. I finally caved and told him I couldn't start it. He came over, had no idea even how to start it himself, and just jiggled the key and she came to life.

Of course it did. She's got a thing for guys. I think she's still mad at me for the last time I mowed...

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Wipe your shoes on me before you come in the house

I'm starting to feel like a doormat. Those mud prints don't come off in the washer very easily. And I'm already buried in laundry.

It's a fine line we Mommas walk. Do what you need to do for your kids, your hubby, your house, occasionally your job and then every once in a while, take 30 seconds to pee alone. If you don't do that, then chance are you'll end up totally losing your schmidt at inopportune times. Usually in a public place. With lots of witnesses.

Heaven forbid you try to take more than that, though, else we all go to heck in a hand basket.

My line has been fuzzy lately. And I guess that I have no one to blame but myself. I let things pile up on my plate and then freak out because, well, there is a lot on my plate. Counterproductive, I know, but that's how I roll.

The few times I've tried to gasp for help, I mostly get blank stares. I've gotten one "you can do it," and that goes a long way. But it won't last me forever.

I'm more than halfway through the craziness of May, but I know that the rest of the summer really won't be a reprieve. I have to get used to no naps and no preschool - ouch. Our weekends are filling up fast and I may not get a breather until the snow flies. And my bestie who tries to keep me from losing it will be gone, so I'll be alone in my insanity.

Unless something changes. If only I knew what. Or how.

I'm sure the secret is to find something - besides solo bathroom time - that is just for me and incorporate it into my day. But even when I do that, I think of a thousand other things I could be doing and then I'm not sure I get what I'm really supposed to out of the 8 minutes of time I carved out. Or in order to do it, I stay up past my bedtime.

So to recap, on one side of the line is doormat status, on the other is Mom time laden with guilt.


So excuse me while I go fold laundry. Clearly I have a long way to go...

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Church league softball fail

I was all ready to come home and write about Hubby's first experience playing church league softball.

Yes, I said Church. League. Softball. And not just a bunch of old dudes moseying around the bases. This is hard-core stuff. And lucky for him, he only has to be a "member" of the church. I couldn't even tell you what denomination we are supposed to be. 

But sshhh, don't tell.

You see, I thought a) it was too cold to watch the game and b) that it was early enough Hubby would be home before the monkeys went to bed, so not worth it, right? Well it was cold, and it was an hour later than we thought, so instead of taking them home after a worthwhile trip to the library (ie no books with typos), I grabbed some warm clothes on my way past the house and went on down to where Hubby works to meet him for dinner before the game.

Clearly I was not in my right mind. I didn't even get frozen custard out of the deal. Boo.

I should have learned from my cold experience at the preschool picnic this morning and said "No." Enjoyed our new library books, mac n cheese for dinner and maybe even some movie snuggle time. But they miss Daddy.

I am a sucker.

I threatened that if they didn't listen, we would go home. Okay, Mommy, we got it, they told me. Bah.

I gave them quite a few warnings before the game even started. I was pretty much on my last nerve when Leah tumbled off the front of the bleachers. She was fine, swore she would sit, but five minutes later was jumping, crawling, giggling... just being two. When she asked to go to the bathroom in the bottom of the first, I sighed, but took her, because she's been a trooper about staying dry and has an odd affinity for pooing in public places.

Long story short, that trip was uneventful, but the next five minutes sitting in the stands was. Mommy was DONE. I told them we were leaving, and both of them howled the long, five minute walk to the van. Hubby said he could hear them (mostly Nathaniel) all the way to the car. I got to hear him halfway home too, until he passed out.

So I have no idea if there were any brawls on the mound, or other un-Christian-like behavior, like Tim Wilson says...

Bummer. Maybe next time.

Monday, May 16, 2011


In a perfect ideal less whucktacular world, I would have a routine to this whole writing thing. I'd have a space and a time to collect myself and what's left of my brain cells.

But the truth of the matter is that I'm not there yet. Unless I want to give up sleeping. It would be much more productive if I didn't need 8-hours 7-hours whatever I can get a night to recharge. My floors would be swept, my dining room light would be spiderweb free and the kids would be able to see in their bathroom mirror past the toothpaste spots.

So here is a public service announcement for those of you who are new to this whole "following a blog thing" and who are tired of obsessively checking my page to see if I've gotten my ducks in a row. Unless you really want to, then, in that case, have at!

If you scroll down, on the right side under my blog list (which are awesome blogs that I follow and read daily, so check them out) and my followers is a subscribe drop-down bar. You can subscribe to my posts and it will show up on your Yahoo! or Google home page (or other) whenever I post.

I will keep posting links on Facebook, but this way, I can come to you instead of the other way around.

But that's all you get tonight. My battery is about to die and oh, my laptop is about to shut down on me too. Here's for less whucktacularness tomorrow...

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Radar of doom

I do not have a crush on the weather guy. I swear.

But just because I consult the news obsessively through tornado season and refer to him by his first name, Hubby says I have a weather crush.

Dude. Seriously. I could do better.

Hubby just doesn't appreciate that every time the sky gets dark, my stomach starts tying itself in knots. That I haven't lived in the Midwest long enough to just look at the sky or the radar, go "eh," and continue my day. Sorry. I know plenty of born and bred corn-folk who feel the same way this city mouse does.

The last time I ranted about the weather was right before the massive tornado outbreak in the South, so I have to qualify: I get that we have been lucky. We have had two near misses in six years. But it's storms like the ones that just hit Alabama that strike an all-encompassing-gonna-wet-myself kinda fear in me. I limited how much news coverage I watched and read so I would still be able to sleep at night, but I heard enough to be scared. All the stories were heartbreaking. People were killed in their basements - they did everything right and still could not survive Mother Nature's wrath.

That's what scares the shit out of me.

So this time of year, I check for warnings at the first sign of a single gray cloud. I stay up until the 11 o'clock news so I can check that nothing is coming in the middle of the night. If I had control of the remote right now, we'd be watching local channels - no matter what crap show was on - until Rick says nothing is going to hit my house. But it's Cubs v. Cardinals, so I will have to settle for obsessively checking radar and Facebook (where I am a fan of the local station and get weather updates in the news feed) and listening to the thunder get closer.

And trying not to look nervous so Hubby will stop laughing at me.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


If I get any more news - good or bad - I think my head will explode.

This week is normally a little hairy for me anyway, but the ups and downs of the people around me is taking its toll too.

My almost-like-the-little-brother-I-never-wanted came home from a tour in Afghanistan. To see pictures of him reunited with his wife and daughter is enough to make me a weepy, blubbery mess. I will definitely cry the next time I lay eyes on him. And that won't be soon enough.

A friend of a friend is having health issues, and all I can do is be her sounding board. I know a little about the hard road ahead, but all I can do is shake my head and murmur my sorrow. And offer to cook. Wait, scratch that. Don't want to cause more suffering ;-) When in doubt, bake. If my Nana never said that, she sure acted it. I've got a freezer full of bananas that would love to be bread...

And that is just within the last week or so. I can carry a grudge or a burden with the best of them...

Sunday, May 8, 2011

All I Want...

Ahhh... so today is my day, huh? I don't know, being a mom is the hardest job on the planet - I'm not sure just ONE day can really do justice to all the sacrifices we moms make.

I am appreciated, and sometimes it shows. Leah's new trick is to wander into the laundry room, see her clothes and ask if they're clean. When I tell her yes, I get a knee hug. "Oh fank you Mommy, fank you!"

I love Hubby and my children, and wouldn't trade them for the world. But I think my list of potential Mother's Day gifts is a bit more than they can handle.

Today, I want... walk into a room with one task in mind and not be reminded of three more I have been ignoring. have the trash cans emptied randomly on any day that is NOT trash day.

...the energy and attention span to read a book for more than five minutes.

...the time to shop for myself without a) feeling guilty, b) feeling rushed, or c) caving and shopping for everyone else.

...the entire world to stay home so we can go out to breakfast without waiting for 3 hours for a table.

...a spark of creativity so when Hubby asks what I want for dinner, I will actually have an answer besides "something I don't have to make or clean up." go one day without applying stain stick to someone's clothing.

...a nap.

...a nap in a hot tub.

...a nap in a hot tub after a massage.

...a nap in a hot tub after a massage and a tasty beverage.

But most of all, I want a hug and a kiss from my own mom, so I can tell her how much I love her.

And that she has two amazing grandchildren who have a pretty alright mom themselves.

Happy Mother's Day, everyone.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Revenge of the soccer mom

I am not ready for soccer-mommyhood yet. But I think it's only a matter of time. So far the organization - or lack thereof - is driving me batty.

We are halfway through our second season of magnet ball, aka youth soccer. When you have 4-and 5-year-olds running around, all following the ball with complete disregard for order, positions or passing, I think the term "soccer" should be used very loosely.

While Nathaniel has the coordination and energy level for running up and down the field incessantly, he is lacking one important thing. Height.

I know, shocker. Our kid is short.

He is at least a foot shorter than all the kids on his team. Only one girl has about an inch on him. He can keep with the herd and if he could actually get to the ball, he has good dribbling skills. But there are a few taller, older kids on his team that can just flat out out-run everyone.

One kid in particular is miles ahead of everyone else. He's just fast. And good. And he knows it. He wants the ball all. the. time. And the volunteer coaches are too nice to tell him to back off and let his teammates have a chance too. I love that he seems to have talent and a love of the game at a young age, but this is also the perfect time to teach a little bit about being a member of a TEAM.

He scored 7 goals in one game. No one else - on either team - scored until the end, when the coaches all but duct-taped him to his own goal post. I get that no one is really keeping score, but come on.

After striking up a brief conversation with his mom, who was at a recent game and was paying more attention to who she knew on the sidelines, I found out that he has never played this well (not buying it) and that he just turned 6. Um, excuse me? This is a 5 and under league. My kid can barely keep up with kids his own age, let alone someone who's two years older.

I have heard through the grapevine that the league had too many kids in the 7 and under age bracket, so they moved some down into ours. How is that fair? Cap the sign-ups or add more teams where you need them. Trying to take shortcuts effects the kids more than anyone.

It's not fair to our superstar that he can run rampant over everyone on the field. Aren't sports supposed to be about rising to the challenge and learning to succeed? It's not fair to my runt that he has extra tall and developed kids to try to keep up with. Set the bar higher than it should be and he's going to get discouraged.

He's gonna figure out soon enough how the world really works.

Friday, May 6, 2011

A trip to Crazytown, AKA Thursday

I spent yesterday living in my car. While it was moving. We went here, there and everywhere and by our last stop, I was so done, I was ready to camp out in the lobby so I didn't have to drive home. Again.

I had to run an errand for the community band which involved driving an hour (with two children) to wait for 5 minutes and be done. So since I had to go all the way to the "big city," I tried to make the most of it with a few extra stops. And then we still had Hubby's concert to go to. This is what I learned.

Forced nap time inside a moving vehicle is still almost as peaceful as the rare nap time at home. Except that I couldn't nap too, or risk driving off into a corn field.

An hour nap when they normally get nothing will not make children sweet and docile at the mall. It will turn them into screaming, running banshees, much like how they act with no nap. Blink. Blink. Figure that one out.

Clothes shopping for Mommy with two fully mobile children who understand what it is you are attempting to do is like shopping with that Verizon Wireless guy. Except instead of "Can you hear me now?" you hear:

Mommy do you like this one?

Mommy do you like this?

Mommy, do you like this?

Mommy how about this?

Clothes shopping for them isn't any better.

Mommy is this my size?

Mommy is this my size?

Mommy is this my size?

Mommy is this my size?

Being "allowed" to run willy-nilly through a mall means the children will spend the hour drive home making strange, disturbing noises and giggling like they're about to pee their little pants. Oh, my kingdom for earplugs.

It is not a good idea to wear light-up shoes to a concert in a dark auditorium, especially when the wearer is physically incapable of being still and wants to "clap with his feet." Halfway through the second song I made him take them off. Those dang things are bright and I was pretty sure the ladies sitting behind us were one clap away from seizures.

A resealable bag of bear crackers is a perfect oh-crap-I-need-snacks-but-we're-already-running-late find, but the squirming will reach its breaking point during the absolute quietest part of the song and will be the loudest treat known to man. Ever.

And then the snack cups will be dropped, twice, and small bears will be crushed underfoot in a place where you weren't supposed to have food or drink.

When one child needs to pee, both will. This meant I missed a 70-bar piano solo of one of my favorite jazz songs. Yes, 70 bars is a LONG time. And they have very tiny bladders. How is that possible?

But the moral of the story is, we all survived. The rugrats got to watch Hubby play, they did NOT in fact shout his name at an inappropriate time during the concert and were out within 30 seconds of the final drive home.

Still, I'm not doing it again anytime soon.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Butt I Don't Wanna!

Most days I am grateful I never went into advertising or public relations. Ya, I don't actually make any money (and didn't even with a full-time job), but at least I still have my soul. There are commercials on TV that make me pause, blink, lose brain cells and instantly forget whatever product they were trying to promote. And then I wish I could have the previous 60 seconds of my life back.

Case in point.

I have an intense, irrational hatred of The Bears. By that I mean the Charmin bears. I'm sorry, I am no nature expert, but you cannot tell me that a bear needs to find a tree in the woods to do their business. Or that they somehow sew leaves together to make their own back woods Charmin so it can spin on a tiny twig roll right at bear arm height on said "business" tree.

Give me a freaking break...
My hatred evolved to the point that I changed the channel anytime I caught a glimpse of the bears. I would never even think to BUY Charmin. It would be like supporting the bears and the ad managers and their collective insanity.

And don't get me started on feminine hygiene products. I guess I don't have the right kind of friends, because we don't sit around and talk about, well, ya know... THAT stuff. And if that's what the "right" friends talk about, I'll stick with my "wrong" ones, thank you very much.

But somewhere along the line, some ad person must have thought that line of thinking was the way to go. Because I just saw a commercial that told me I need to talk about grown-up butt wipes with my friends. 

No. I don't wanna. And you can't make me. 

I don't want to know what is going with my friends' butts or anyone else's, for that matter. It's bad enough the last 4 years of my life have been preoccupied with wiping two small butts. I am *this* close to only having to worry about my own again. 

And when I do, I'm not sharing it with anyone.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Groundhog Day

I felt like I got a lot done today. Not sure what I have to show for it though.

There are still 3 baskets of clothes to fold, 2 light bulbs out in the kitchen, a mountain of toys in the living room and the Wii has been yelling at me for being a slacker.

Like the groaning every time I step on wasn't enough.

But I feel like we're stuck in an eternal weather Groundhog Day. It has been gray, windy, rainy and cold forever. Literally forever. I counted the days and I am excellent at math.


I'm gonna blame my Nana for this one. She has always had better days when the sun is shining, like I need the Vitamin E for my brain to function properly. With her crazy genes, I will live until I'm 100 but you better keep me somewhere sunny.
Sure he's smiling. He's been hiding
out at the beach for 6 months

And my allergies have been giving me heck. I feel like somebody has a belt wrapped around my lungs, just on the next to last hole so I can just almost get a full breath. So every once in awhile I'm gasping like a freaking goldfish and digging for the inhaler.

That tends to make me cranky. I know, I know, I like to BREATHE. So sue me.

But those things have been making me cranky for awhile now. So I feel like every day I'm griping about the weather, the cold, my weak-a$$ed lungs, and the fact that my family likes to wear clean clothes that have been folded every now and then.

Just call me Phil.

Monday, May 2, 2011

"Why was he killed?"

In typical me fashion, I missed the news last night. I didn't realize the biggest news story in a decade had broken until this morning, when Facebook lit up with patriotic sentiment.

I interrupted our regularly-scheduled cartoon marathon to catch a few minutes of CNN. I read stories online, but I needed to see someone saying it for myself.

Osama bin Laden was, in fact, killed.

In a split second, my heart took me back to Sept. 11, 2001. I was a junior in college. I went to work at my campus job in a rush, and for once, didn't turn on my radio while I got ready. By the time I figured out what was going on, the first tower had already fallen. My boss let me call my grandmother, because all the news was saying was that a plane went down "near" Pittsburgh. She and my mom were fine.

University offices closed at noon, and all I wanted to do was hug Hubby (then my boyfriend), but of course he was 4.5 hours away working. I settled for a pillow and the company of my roommates. All 6 of us were transfixed by the news for the next few days. We huddled around the television as if watching those towers go down over and over would somehow bring clarity. Or closure.

In a way, closure came today. A moral victory, perhaps, but not the end of fear. It cannot bring back the thousands who lost their lives on 9/11 or in the fighting since then. But it does say that we are strong. We stand united and we will not be defeated.

Nathaniel wandered into the living room after breakfast and cocked his head in confusion as the news anchor announced once again that Bin Laden had been killed.

"Why he was killed, Mommy?"

"He was a very, very bad guy, kiddo."

I am so grateful he doesn't understand yet the gravity of the war on terror. Or why his "Uncle" Mark has been sent to Iraq twice and Afghanistan once in the last 10 years. And why some of the men and women who have been deployed never made it home.

I am thankful he doesn't understand the fear that we have all had to deal with since 9/11. To him, bad guys are only in movies, and they never win.

But today, score one for the good guys.