United States of Motherhood: December 2006

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Cheating B@tch

So we checked out the movie Eragon last night. The main hero, neatly acted out by young Edward Speleers, is quite the hottie. Yep, feeling slightly embarrassed as a thirty something that thinks a 19 year old is hot. Yet, he is. I predict we are seeing the next Brad Pitt in the making. Hopefully, he will make better choices than that cheater Brad.

Speaking of cheaters, I have set my Expedition's navigation system to a Angelie Jolie-esque voice. I love hearing the clipped, yet luxurious voice stating my directions. Yet, at times, around tall Seattle buildings, I suddenly realize I am being led in circles --all the while the cheating whore repeats "recalculating" over..and over! I want to scream, "you cheating bitch", but I don't want my kids to pick up that wonderful vocabulary as well--in reference to driving.

As it is, my kids recently discovered the word bitch has quite innocuous meanings. Yes, I drearily say, as I am falling asleep watching the Westminster Dog Show, yes, bitch is not always a bad word. And no, the people on the TV are in fact not swearing, but referring to a female dog. So for the next few days, I hear little voices in the back saying in testing voices, "Grendel (our female dog) is a bitch. B-I-T-C-H." Ack! Maybe I should just say the true definition of a bitch is Angelina Jolie.

P.S. The movie was okay. It seemed a rip off mix of Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and Dragon Slayer. Another example of cheating for sure! Pretty unoriginal with underwhelming effects, but the kids liked it. I would call it matinee worthy, especially during the school break, but probably not worth the full admission and popcorn of $50 for our family of five.

Listening Ears

My 2nd grader daughter at zoo closing time announcement:

"Mommy, what did they say? I didn't put on my listening ears, so I couldn't understand them."

Um, as opposed to your non-listening ears?! All these years, I never knew she would actually hear me if I suggested she wear different orifices. Geez! Why do the elementary school teachers know this and yet never clue in us parents.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Pizza Sticks to My Thighs

CG thought it would be funny to put a temporary tattoo on my inner thigh. Since I was in a good mood, I humored him. It wasn't until after I realized it was an freebie from the local pizza place in Issaquah.

Man, it's bad enough that their pizzas really do stay on my thighs, but did I have to be an ad for Flying Pie Pizza? The kids all noticed because I was wearing a jean skirt. Luckily, the tattoo didn't last long. I wish the fat on my thighs from Friday's pizza night would be as fleeting.

Whiny Carnivores

I'm feeling so techie Martha Stewart today. CG gifted me a digital picture album this summer, populated with pictures that he let the kids choose. Needless to say, some pics chosen were down right weird...And that's been in our kitchen for the last 4 months. So today, procrastinating about cleaning and holiday cards, I updated the frame with only holiday pics from the last three years. It was impressive how many there were. I even managed to get pics of a few of our dinner guests for Christmas. Very apropos.

Speaking of dinner, I sent CG with a list after finally settling on turkey. We usually brine for 3-5 days an organic, free range Diestel turkey. Then we rub rosemary, tarragon and butter under the skin and baste with wine. This year CG's company gave us a $25 Butterball gift certificate. Whooohoo. Baby, it's going to be chemically, butterlicious! Besides, we usually have to order that type quality bird at the butcher or through PCC, and there's no time.

I sent CG with a list to go yon hither to Safeway, and he came back missing quite a few items. Safeway was completely out of cream cheese! CG's awesome cheesecake might not make an appearance after all. They were also out of red roses, fresh thyme, fresh parsley, sour cream, egg nog, most cheeses, all types of MILK, etc. I thought at first there must have been a lot of last minute shoppers like us, but CG says it's all a result of that dastardly windstorm. We'll try tomorrow because they expect a shipment. If not, we have turkey and other guests are bringing two hams and wine. Yep, a caveman's traditional yule repast of meat and whine.

Friday, December 22, 2006

No Holi-daze Stress Here

So I was so busy getting things accomplished today, I haven't had time to blog. I had some mild form of anxiety the last few days, now that Christmas is nigh on here, and thus was generally productive because of it.

I took the traditional holiday pics of the kids. They generally turned out okay, but it was like herding cats to get them all to smile. Two hundred pics later, there are a few keepers. We decided to forgo Santa because last year's was so bad with huge line in the cold at Redmond Town Center, for terribly overpriced, badly framed up, over-exposed, too late to send pics with alcoholic, yellow bearded Santa. So I decided a big no thank you was in order this year.

Yet, after today's brief photo session, now I know why there are very few family pictures of my childhood. It was hard enough with three; I can't imagine getting my family of eight to all look at the camera, much less smile. So holiday pics check!

Now I have a ton of cards which will turn into New Year's cards. I planned to do them today--sans the traditional letter. Gasp! This will be an adjustment for my family considering it's usually four pages long and escalated to eight last year! Maybe I'll tell them to read my blog. Then they would really gasp! So the card turned out to be a no-go. Unfortunately, we are out of photo ink. So not worth the stress.... Nope, I refuse to stress. Cards will get out when they get out.

Also, like wrangling cats, I spent four hours today cleaning the playroom. We whittled it down to one box full of miscellany that still needs to be put away, but at least we can now see that the room is carpeted--in dingy freaking white carpet now marred with magic markers left open under all the piles of toys...um, did I mention, at least we can see it now.

I also managed to go psycho on the "GreatGuys"--these sketchy marketplace guys from Amazon from which I bought the before mentioned crucial Santa gift. When I originally ordered on the 13th of this month this ipod-clock-radio-gadget-whatever-you-call-it, the estimated delivery was the 21st. Upon purchase, that miraculously was confirmed as delivered between 12/23 AND 1/4. Whoa Betsy! I've been freaking out every since. This is a Christmas, hence needed on or before the 25th, gift.

So I waited patiently and finally contacted them yesterday. I threatened to cancel. Well, customer service, in their queer way of communicating without punctuation, word spacing, and only in lower case, said that was impossible because said gadget was ALREADY in transit. Hallelujah, I think. So I request tracking info. So a couple hours later they respond. I get tracking info for UPS and --lo and behold-- the gadget was entered in the UPS system OVER TWO Hours AFTER they sent the email to say it was ALREADY in transit. UPS says delivery is expected, if on time, at the end of the day of the 26th.

So, furious, I email back and straight up call them liars, threaten their ratings on Amazon, and say I will seek remediation through Amazon. Every since, emails flying back and forth are less and less civil. So, I am stuck because UPS says gadget won't arrive until the 26th and I see these "GreatGuys" have a 30 percent restocking fee PLUS shipping if I refuse delivery. So that would cost me approx. $50 to return or half the price of the piece- 'o- electronic- bane- of- my- existence. Otherwise, they have a NO return policy unless defective. Is that insane or what? I could just shoot myself because these guys were $5 less than Best Buy. I would have had it by now and would have been dealing with professionals for that $5. Damn! So buyer beware.

Onward to damage control: Since this present is for my 10 year old who is starting to suspect Santa might be smoke and mirrors, but hasn't fessed up to us, I am thinking this is so not worth the stress again. So, we found a full page ad in CG's Blender mag of this whos-it-whatchmacallit-ipod-gadget-piece-of-you-know-what and we have nicely framed it. Now (finger quote) Santa (end finger quote) needs to write a letter of apology saying said present will be late because the freaking elves stuck it up some GREAT GUYS patooties. Or maybe Santa will blame it on his latest alky bender. Or maybe Rudolph got a shin splint or sciatica which allowed them to deliver PB's heavy as bricks new bike, Li'l Man's DS Lite, but hey, sorry kiddo, your ipod-load-of-shit-clock just broke the camel's..err...raindeer's back. Hopefully, our eldest will understand. Honestly, I just don't want to ruin it for the little ones because they might question the justice of eldest not getting gift on actual day---you know--the 25th! I tried. Hey, it's a nice frame...

Finally, I finalized the numbers for Christmas dinner, then invited more. Without grandparents coming, it would just be our family of five, my sister's family of three, and her in-laws and sister-in-law. So that put us at eleven. So I invited another friend/ neighbor/ co-PTA board member who awesomely invited us for Thanksgiving dinner. Now that put us at fifteen. So, hell, at that point, I'm thinking the more the merrier and invited another great friend's family o' five. She hasn't let me know, but that potentially puts us at twenty, which is respectable considering my Mormon roots. Actually, my dastardly plan is to pack in sooooo many people in our house, they won't notice the dirt, dust, dog hair, and grime. No time to clean yet or grocery shop for dinner yet. Nope, not stressing. Not me! F@#$!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Novelty Nibbles

So, CG and I love to find humorous foods, especially at holiday time. A few years back, we gifted my sister and brother-in-law a gorgeous basket filled to the brim with Spotted Dick. Well, maybe not just Spotted Dick, there were sardines and other curiously marinated and sauced food items in there as well. I guess we went crazy in the international food aisle at Cost Plus World Markets.

Yet, sometimes, I find humorous foods with no gifting purpose and no CG with which to giggle. So I purchase the items to share my whimsy with CG. Right now, to that purpose, we have many little cans of "potted meat." I just found the name had such whimsy and the cans call hither images of cat vittles for miniature Siamese kittens.

So now, the joke's over and I don't know what to do with said items. I can't throw them away because kids are starving in Africa. So I ask you dear citizens, is it okay to give them to my son's weekly pre-school food drive? Each week, the kids are asked to bring in a can food item at his crunchy coop pre-school, when I work. Then the teachers closes her eyes and then guesses the food. She often shakes the can. Afterwards, she sings a song with the food item in it. She claims she has a ready-made song in her mind for any canned food imaginable. Would it be inappropriate to send in the "Spotted Dick?" I can hear her ditty now in my mind, and 'tis not good!

So, until it's decided, the before mentioned sister and brother-in-law will be our Christmas house guests and I know what Santa is going to put in their stockings.

Motivational Video to Get Holiday Shit Together

A friend of my husband's mentioned in his blog that kids in the class that he T.A.'s didn't know who DEVO was.

What in all heaven's greasy goatballs is wrong with young 'uns these days?

So I've posted an video that should prove to be:

  • Educational for you clueless young whippersnappers that don't know DEVO from their arses.

  • Motivational for the mommy set to either get moving down that holiday list or to fantasize whipping into a shape _____ (insert word of choice: husband, kids, cottage cheese thighs, dumbass female SUV driver talking on cell while weaving-wait- nevermind-that one might be me.)

My Dentist is Cuter than Your Dentist

Santa you rock!

Santa gave me an early gift last night in the form of another windstorm. So SADLY my dental office who I stupidly arranged with months ago to have an appointment during the week before Christmas, SADLY lost power. Woohooo! I am not a fan of the dentist.

Although, as dentists go, mine is pretty rocking. Voted best in the Seattle area, it's a father & two son trio. Mine is the hot one. They also have sunglasses (no glare in my poor li'l eyes), televisions overhead with remote to change to WHATEVER station I want without a whine from the background, and a remote control for the massage dental chair. They also offer wax paraffin treatments and coffee/tea service.

The hygienists even dish juicy gossip in the area like--get this--Sammamish has one of the highest percentage of SWINGERS in the U.S. Egod! How do these women have time to have sex with someone other than their husband. My husband is lucky if he gets lucky once a month! Gosh! I guess this is another "keeping up with the Jones," here in Stepfordland a.k.a. "the Plateau."

A while back, my hottie dentist redid a crown that my old butcher (ahem) dentist in the Bay Area royally screwed up. Anyway, he did it with 1/2 the pain and 1/10 the time the other dentist took. Anyway, the office said this $900 treatment would be covered. I find out a few months later that it wasn't because the old crown was too new, albeit defective. I bitch to my new dentist. They say, I love this part, "you're right." Just gotta love those words. So my hottie dentist comp-ed me a $900 procedure. Gratis. FREE.

Anyhoo, I have been waiting patiently to get my crown (the non-biting outer side surface of a molar broke off weeks ago) fixed, but was too afraid to find the time. So I was waiting for this routine, now re-scheduled, appointment to spring it on him. It doesn't hurt, but now, just because I CAN'T go into until next week, yep, I am sure it will begin to hurt like a mother-fudger.

WHOA BETSY! Just thought of something! Hold the phone. My dentist is like a spa treatment (which I never do because that would be spending money on me--too cheap!) Why am I happy that I just lost a good TWO hours to read magazines without guilt, get a massage, get my smile brightened, look at my eye-candy dentist, and watch TV? SHIT! That is probably why I scheduled this appointment during the holiday week. This is the Mommy spa treatment for people like me who are too cheap to spend money on a spa treatment.

Santa-you suck rocks!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Santas, Let the Barking Begin..On Amazon, on Cooking.com, on Best Buy.com, fly LandsEnd.com, and Potterybarn.com too

Sebastian is the protector of all in our house. He sits regal as a lion at the top of our white stairs (I can tell it's his favorite from the grungy paw prints) and surveils his domain. Even when we put silly hats on him, he does not abandon his post.

It's also the best vantage point for seeing new visitors. God forbid that visitor is a man. The howling... the baying... the gnashing of teeth... Usually my teeth gnash as well with the racket.

If not on point, Seb also spends long hours with chin perfectly perched on windowsills which are his perfect chin height, slobbering away at all the postmen he would like to gnaw on and rogue neighborhood dogs that dare to lift their scrawny legs at our lawn. Always, with the caterwauling, to let us know he's doing a damn fine job of protecting his bevy of woman and children...oh, and maybe CG too, although I doubt man or beast would cop to liking each other. CG's favorite name for Seb is "shit for brains." and I am sure Seb would come up with a few four-letter humdingers for CG if he could.

Today, however, I look forward to each whimper, growl, and bellow coming from his 85 lb. canine chest. Why? It signals yet more UPS, DHL, and U.S. Post men arriving at our door delivering Christmas presents. Not for me, silly. I couldn't care less if I get anything this holiday. No, these are my presents ordered online. Thank God for Amazon.com. I await two more packages (delivery very uncertain because I used a non-Amazon vendor--please God let the one from Santa show up!) and all the rest are wrapped and ready. The bike is even fully assembled BEFORE Christmas Eve.

Yes, Christmas is coming and I might actually be done with gifts this year in time to start holiday cards before they become Valentine's Day cards. Let's not talk about finishing the house lights, the dust everywhere, the playroom disaster...

I know, let's take more humiliating pics of my canine best friend in silly hats!


Everyone who knows me, knows I have a snowflake fetish. We have had (and will have again if I ever get around to it) snowflake lights festooning our home. So there was much excitement when I found new ways to make the world even more snowflake-ier.

My first, to your left is a collage of snowflakes from Wilson "The Snow Flake Man" Bentley. (The pics were done under microscope and are public domain, but can't be sold).

Next, I adorned my blog with flak-a-liciouslness with a a flicker badge to your right.

Finally, I was at a favorite blog site, Notes from the Trenches , about a mom with God knows how many children. It just reminds me of my childhood of six kids and another six foster kids. Controlled, mostly loving (ahem) mayhem. So at her blog, there were these amazing paper snowflakes with directions. We are so doing those. They are gorgeous and so-so-so snowflake-y.

So here's hoping you have an amazingly flake-y day from the biggest flake of them all.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

I am NOT sleepy

So this video so reminds me of my kids trying to stay up to catch Santa every year. Or better yet, me trying to stay awake at my kids' swimming practice. Nope, never sleepy. Not one bit!

We taught our kids to heckle smokers

I think smokers stink. I know it's an addiction, but I just can't stand the smell, the yellow finger nails, and the entitlement that some smokers feel to pollute my and my children's lungs. I also think it's disgusting how much tax payers' dollars gets funneled into the diseases of a vice that people have know for decades was bad for you. Why should our generation pay for other's bad decisions? Think of all that money funneled into education, or better yet, the national debt.

I was so happy when Washington passed the no smoking just about anywhere law. California's results have shown that you make smoking a taboo and make smokers out to be social pariahs, and smoking rates go down.

Furthermore, I have truly programmed my kids to hate smoking as well. Almost too well... My kids have turned into hecklers. They take upon themselves great dramatics and loud voices to point out people who "litter" the parking lot/sidewalk with, "cancer sticks." They bemoan the stench and let everyone know within a 100 foot radius how cancer kills and is really quite smelly. God forbid someone is actually inhaling when they are around. They aren't afraid to stare until the smoker feels like a squirming bug under a microscope.

While I am glad they think smoking is gross and will probably never start, I don't know where all this bravado and chutzpah and down right rudeness is coming from?! I admit I described all these side effects of smoking, but I never told them to start heckling smokers. Anyone else have this problem where you so spectacularly brainwash your kids that they run with it and it becomes it's own monster?

Evil Comes Naturally

I've been trying to get my little monsters to clean the playroom for weeks. Usually, after many threats and bribes, it works. This time, no luck! As an aside, it does double as a spare bedroom as well.

So, it just so happens my parents cancelled on us for their much anticipated Christmas visit on Sunday. I was furious because of all the preparation I put in, all the hopes my kids had, and after said parents did not heed my warnings that Seattle weather is unpredictable, so they should fly and not drive, they used weather as an excuse.

So how do I put that to my advantage? I tell the kids Grandma and Grandpa couldn't come because they didn't clean the playroom so they had nowhere to sleep. Ohhhh...the guilt. Yes, call me evil incarnate. No prada, but all she-devil.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Holiday Blessings

Christmas used to be my favorite time of year. And yet, the stresses of gifts and the inevitable credit card bills, guests and recently, our weather, sometimes takes the sparkle and the reason for the season.

So again, how I love my Google bar which randomly shuffles through my digital pictures. Tonight, it shifts through a summer's past: getting ice cream shakes at Fenton's Creamery in Oakland, California. My boys, heads together, replete with ice cream, color together. I just can't resist these puppy dog eyes.

This picture, and other pictures like it, remind me it's all for the kids. It's that love that makes the holiday stresses all worth while. I hope everyone has a child in their lives with who to view Christmas/Hannukah magic through their young, innocent eyes.

Here's hoping you make that child's Christmas even more magical. Season's Greetings.

Soup-y Bed Sheets

I sat here in bed, in pjs still, hair rumpled, and blankets askew, hungrily catching up on my favorite blogs. Suddenly, the delicious smells of lunch waft upstairs and kidlets rush into the room on a mission.

"Daddy asked if you want lunch in bed?"

"Sure," I say, feeling slightly lazy for still hanging around in bed at midday.

A few moments later, they rush in with tray full of flatware and napkins. "What's all this?" I ask.

"We are ALL going to have lunch in your bed," they giggle.

A little uncertain whether I want crumbs along with the incessant shedding dog hair in our bed, I ask what we are having for lunch.

PB and Li'l Man gleefully shout, "Grilled cheese and tomato soup!"

Um, hello. Change of plan. What the hell is CG thinking sending munchkins into our bed with tomato soup. I tell them lunch WILL be downstairs, and disappointedly, they trudge downstairs.

In the kitchen, I ask CG where his mindset was. He says dopedly, "The sheets are red." Yes, he's right there, but the carpet is mother-fudging white.

Men can be so obtuse sometimes! Crackers are bad enough, but TOMATO SOUP!

P.S. The tomato soup turned out to be red pepper, but still just as red.

Electricity Challenged Recipe: Chipotle Chicken Quesadillas

What do you do with no electricity and a quickly warming refrigerator 55 hours into an outage? You make dinner in style. This is my favorite kind of cooking. I hate being limited by recipes. Perhaps this is why I love Top Chef. So here's a great recipe (if I do say so myself) I made for the family. Chipotle Chicken Quesadillas made only from contents of defrosting appliances:

2 lbs. almost thawed chicken breasts
3 chopped chipotle peppers with adobo sauce (from tupperware in frig--originally canned)
1/2 cup juice from jarred pepporcinis
3 splashes hot sauce (at least 2 years "aged" in frig.)
2 different jars already opened salsas (brand unimportant)
ground pepper
1 chopped raw onion
olive oil
8 flour tortillas
1 block Pepper Jack-shredded in dark

Thrown chicken thru pepper into ziploc. Marinate 1 hour on countertop because it's almost as cold in the house as it is in the frig. Cook chicken with marinade on medium uneven heat on Coleman Stove on back porch step for approx. 20 minutes. Add 1/2 chopped onion and cook another 10 minutes uncovered until sauces reduce.

Shred cheese while chicken "stews." Be sure to leave 1/4 cheese on patio next to stove so dog snarfs it down.

Remove chicken from heat, shred with forks and let sit covered for 10 minutes, while more chipotle juices are absorbed.

Heat 2 tbsp. olive oil in skillet on medium. Add 1/4 pepperjack, handful chopped raw onions, and 1/2 chipotle chicken with sauces. Heat until golden brown. Flip and cook on other side.

Cut into quarters and serve with romaine, carrot, onion, broccoli salad with gorgonzola cheese and ginger-wasabi dressing before it spoils. Don't forget the candelight mood lighting. Magnefico!

No Loyal Audience Here

What, I am gone for three days due to Godly forces and you all leave? I have lost two-thirds of my previous subscribers and have plummeted 150 spots down on Top Blog Sites. What's up with that! I surmise that most of my readership must be from the Northwest and your connections are still down? Hmmmph!

Apocalypse Now - Seattle Style

No sooner do I make a post-a-day promise, when weather mayhem dashes it all. The weather up here in the Northwest has been maginificent, property destroying, and flabbergasting. My God, I found myself wondering if we moved to a trailer park in Florida?

In the last month or so, we had:

Torrential rains that caused flooding-luckily we were on the plateau so we were spared, while other's homes floated down rivers. It was the wettest month of November ever--and that's saying something because Seattle is known for it's rain!

The next week came a powerful windstorm that knocked down trees and power. We were only gifted with a 23 hours power outage. One school day was lost and subtracted from school vacation on the end.

The next week came an amazing snow/ice storm which caused mayhem and havoc on Seattle area drivers. I discussed this in detail on previous posts so we won't go into the agony of three snow days with bored kids.

Then, we had a week of normalcy just to fake us out.

Now we come to this last week:

We had a magnificent wind storm with a prelude of torrential rains before hand. Winds were clocked at 135 miles per hour. I heard that over 1 million people were without power the first night. All of our trees in the backyard now lean to the side. More importantly, huge numbers of trees took out power lines. Our main boulevard was litered with beautiful pines uprooted or gorgeous old growth copses of trees now broken in half with only massive logs thrusting into the sky without foliage. Luckily, no one from our family or group of friends was hurt.

We were boxed into our neighborhood for a day or so and went without power for 66 hours. We cooked on a camp stove (no gas cooktop yet) and watched alot of our refrigerator's contents rot. Our house dipped to 55 degrees for 2 of those days. We had no cell coverage, no wifi connection, and no landline phone to plug in. I almost strangled my kids and husband after a while. Stir craziness and depression set in.

A large portion of our neighborhood came prepared with emergency generators. They apparently know something about our new home that we are just discovering. The buzz of generators through the night just amped up the mania of our existance. The throat-closing haze of woodsmoke over the area as people sought warmth was amazing. We traded a gallon of gasoline to a neighbor to fuel a movie for the neighborhood kids. In exchange, he hosted said video with spluttering generator for two hours while CG and I got a break from the cacaphony of whining.

Luckily, on the third day, we ventured out and found a warm lunch in a place with power. We arrived back to our neighborhood, only for it to be blocked by electricity workers. Police were very unhelpful, but we were able to find our way back through a unlocked fire trail. Then we went to the movies and came back to out street glowing once again with holiday lights.

On the down side, of course, I spent hours preparing for the class parties that were cancelled, prepping for a pre-school party at our home which was cancelled, and prepping for houseguests--mainly my parents for Christmas--who cancelled. I missed a party helping my son on his report that he never gave. We added another school day because the last day of school before break was lost. If this pattern keeps up, we won't start summer break until July!

On the good side, we spent each night by our gas lit firelight, with 50 candles glowing and glittering off sparkling Christmas bulbs, full of cheery Christmas spirit, singing Christmas carols and playing board games. I even got CG to sing on occasion when my slaughtering of lyrics became too much for him. In the end, I am sure we have made beautiful memories for our children.

So my thoughts move warily to next week. What's next-- locusts?

At least, I can be happy now, in my now overly-warm feeling house, with CG making me fabulous coffee while I plunk away with my wifi connection once again back to normal.

Note: All photos compliments of the Seattle Times. I was going through too much wicked electronics withdrawals to take many pics.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Hot Wheel Massage

Li'l Man says, "Mommy, you might want to close your eyes..."

He rolls his little car over my face and gives me the goose bumps. Now he's running tracks down my back with occasional karate chops with pudgy hands. Not bad. This is promising. Maybe I can train my li'l monkey to play cars on my back more often.

I just need to keep the little cars off my head. My hair keeps getting tangled in the li'l wheel wells. For a more shiatsu effect, maybe I'll suggest Tonka trucks next...

Hot Wheels 95 Seattle Toy Show 67 Camaro

One Handed Bra Un-Hookers 'R Us

I am happy to have my husband back, but I made a mistake. My sister's husband works from home too and mentioned they have quickies between conference calls. I tell CG this and now he's trying to keep "up" with the in-laws. Doh!

He also is becoming quite adept with unhooking my bra -- one handed -- before I realize he's snaked his hand up the back of my sweater. Damn! I can't even unhook my bra that fast! That's talent and a curse at the same time!

Mysterious Gaucho


Yep, a cowboy's life is lonely. See subject above walking into Seattle sunset. Note, no one wants to walk next to him because of embarrassing gaucho hat. Even los ninos shun this Desperado. I'm sure los ninos are thinking, "What's next? Is Mom going to wear a panty-liner on her forehead?" Yep, jest doing our job to abjectley embarrass our kids. it's tradition!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Cream is a Dairy Product and is a Valid Source of Protein and Calcium, Right?!

Today, I've been running my butt off. I shuttled kids to school and pre-school. I bought the majority of my xmas list online via Amazon or the old-fashioned way to Costco, to the Redmond Town Center Mall, and even Costplus. I went on field trip. I shuttled kids from after school activities to three straight hours of swimming. The end result was exhaustedly, we open the front door at 7:44 PM, knowing we have to get up at 5 AM for swim practice, knowing we haven't done our homework or projects, and finally knowing that there isn't a crumb of dinner in the house to be had.

I start unloading the car, and for the second night out of three, I tell the kids to forage. PB makes microwaved quesadilla; Lil Man eats crumbs of afternoon scone, cereal and grapefruit juice; my eldest begrudging eats dry Chex cereal. We have no milk so I tell him to use the heavy whipping cream or the non-fat half and half. He baulks and... get this... I try to tell my 10 year old that he needs the protein, so the cream is "healthy." Having none of that, he reads the label and arches an eyebrow at me. Yup, my kids have been taught to read labels and he knows the grams of fat and sugar are NOT good. I sense no mother of the year award coming this way.

So what was I thinking. Who the heck knows! My only defense is I have been working on 5 hours of sleep or less a night and haven't drank coffee since Sunday morning. Those who know me know that is very, very bad. I have had the caffeine addicted 6 cup a day withdrawal headache for days, added to starting yet another period. PMS and caffeine withdrawal and kid overload. Stupid! Stupid! Just no time to make coffee when there are kids to get ready and swimming practice.

Can I tell you I can't wait for my husband to make it home tonight? I might just run madly from the house...straight to Starfucks for a triple shot in the dark--squared!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

There's another man

Yup, there is another man. He's got bedroom brown eyes like CG. He sleeps with me nightly and follows me around wherever I go. He protects me and keeps me safe. And he's been living with me since CG was deployed in the Sinai in B.F. Egypt.

No, not CG Replicant, silly. It's my monstrously cute wuppy-dog. Right now he has his warm, heavy head on my left foot whilst I sit here on the couch in the living room. He may have terrible manners even after the 8 years we've had him, but he is such a sweetheart.

CG thinks I got Seb to replace him. So not true. Sebbie just called out to my heart when I was with a friend at the pound. I even went back for Seb after I was too slow to adopt him the first time and someone adopted him and then returned him.

Seb's main purpose in life, like today with CG on trip, is to keep me safe. I'd love to see anyone try to take on this man-hating, woman loving canine. Did I mention he 80 lbs. of sheer rippling muscles and long teeth? Okay, I don't think the teeth weigh that much. Just trying to scare you!

So today Seb, you rock! I almost forgive you for sleeping on CG's side of the bed last week. You man whore!

Move Over Martha Stewart

So, we finally went out and got our fresh Christmas tree this last Sunday. I didn't think it would happen because of CG's 3 weeks of business trips. I had already put up our artificial one in the family room. Now it appears we will have TWO Christmas trees and as CG says, we are taking holiday cheer to a new level. Move over Martha Stewart!

Still, I have to admit to a bit of disappointment. We received so many compliments from our tree last year and there's this feeling of wanting to honor those expectations for this year, especially with Christmas party coming up. Even the tree lot guys have expectations. The tree lot guys actually remembered us from last year as the people who bought "Old Grizzly." We bought a 12'9" tree and, with angel and stand , it soared in a room that usually dwarfs everything with it's 24 foot ceilings. It also easily had a 6-7 foot circumference. We couldn't fit it through our double front doors without compression and removing paint from doors and walls.

Unfortunately, because we waited so long, there were no Noble Fir/Grand Nobles of that size and quality left. There were a couple of 14 footers but with 3-4 gaps--they looked like branches from a 100 foot tree rather than actual trees.

So I settled. This year's tree won't be as spectacular as last year's. This year's, a 10 footer, is much more narrow, and much more easy to negotiate. Last year's tree crushed the water bucket and required moving twice because of saturated carpet. This year, not as amazingly large, but at least our carpet is dry and we can keep both sofas in the living room. Maybe part of the pride in our tree last year was the sheer bitch it was to set up. Can't be good unless it causes back pain?

So no tree gluttony in height this year, but with two trees, as Li'l Man always thinks, more is better.

Note: By the way, the tree pictured in upper right is "Ol' Grizzly," from last year taken from the top of our stairs. You didn't expect me to have decorated it already, did you?

Monday, December 11, 2006

All I got for Christmas is a migraine

Why does it always happen that I get sick when husband leaves on trip!? So here I lie feverish, fluish, with starts of a migraine and a major cold sore outbreak with three misbehaving kids and a PTA meeting I need to be at in less than hour?

I can't think about getting off this couch, much less making dinner, or going to a meeting. Yup, kiddos. It looks like it's cold cereal and toaster waffles for you kiddos for dinner. Fend fer yerselves, mateys!


I forgot 10 year olds do have some culinary skill. He's making mac 'n cheese. Now if I could just teach him to uncork a bottle of wine while I moan on the coach, maybe I can "medicate" my migraine.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

It happened!

One of the worst things EVER happened. I was shopping at a department store and found this great top on clearance. It looked cute and was so cheap, I didn't bother to try it on. One of its merits was that it was empire waisted and stretchy to cover my troublesome areas. Unfortunately, it would have had to have been a mu-mu to cover ALL my troublesome areas. Regardless, I bought it and took it home.

At home, I tried it on and it looked cute. CG agreed. As I cut off the tags, I notice it says maternity. Oh...My...Gawd... I was wearing a maternity schmock. How horrifying. Even more horrifying was that I decided that I still liked it. I am wearing it now.

How has my life come to this, I ask you?

I would like to think at one point I had some style. Now, it's about comfort and coverage. I sense a huge and fruitless diet coming on.

Hey Sailor Boy... Me Love You Long Time

Yup, CG's a hottie! This is on the ferry to Southworth-Fauntleroy.

Gorgeous day and gorgeous husband!

By the way, thanks for making the crepes for breakfast this morning. I still maintain a French dish should never contain peanut butter, bananas, and chocolate, but hey, worth a try.

Thanks also for making my morning coffee. You are awesome. You make me feel so pampered.

Now, if you'd just finish up the bottom level xmas lights, fertilize the lawn, and help me clean the garage, my life will be complete. Well, at least for today...

Love you, sugar-booger!

Bad News Bears

CG Jr. woke up today with a massive charlie horse in his neck. Sobbing, it took about 30 minutes to get him down from his loft bed. The left side of his neck was a hardened mass of contracted muscles. It was obviously swollen. Darn, I had hoped it was nerves.

No PNS Champs today. This is such a bummer because today he was competing in his best event, the 50 Free. We knew it would be no use to go when he couldn't turn his head after hot shower and heat pads. There was no way he could contort his body into a flip turn.

Next time, I guess...

We Girls Need to Stick Together

I cheated my daughter. I grew up one of five sister and I love having my sisters' support and love. I love chatting for hours about babies, diets,gossiping, exchanging recipes, and asking for advice about my period or child birth in brutal detail you might not even discuss with your doctor. Girlfriends just aren't the same and PB will never have this. We are a complete family with three children so there will be no more daughters in our future.

It saddens me that PB won't have this opportunity. Yes, she'll get the benefit of being our only princess, but won't have a wardrobe of clothes to borrow or from which to be borrowed until she hits adulthood.

Yet, I think this will also make us closer. Surrounded by males, we girls need to stick together.

Saturday, December 9, 2006

Last Blog of the Night

Here I sit, with fire place warming the room, nice glass of Malbec in hand and feet propped up, with sparkly tree in front of me. This after CG made dinner AND I was treated to a three hour nap.

I should worry because Christmas shopping is undone, our house is not ready for upcoming house guests or upcoming Christmas party, and I haven't prepped my crafts for my CG Jr.'s 5th grade party of which I am planning.

And yet, there is a sense of well-being. It will all get done. Or maybe that's my procrastinating second personality -- completely out of touch with reality. Who knows! And tonight, who cares. I have CG's glass of wine to finish too. (smile)

All She Wants For Xmas Is Her Two Side Incisors

PB was productive at our swim meet today. While too young to compete, she made use of the time working on her two teeth on either side of her front teeth. It's been obvious for a while that she has permanent teeth just under the surface. It had gotten to the point where each baby tooth was sticking out and pointing to the corners of her mouth. As her mother, I can say she looked like such a Gomer.

The dentist said she should try to work on getting them out. PB has a propensity for teeth that get stuck and need to be pulled by the dentist. Nothing is worse that paying a pediatric dentist $150 for something that can be cured with apples and tooth wiggling. At the same time, her father is squeamish about pulling and wiggling and thinks we should wait for nature to take its course. Unfortunately, that does not work for PB, and now we have a dentist that agrees.

So PB lost the first tooth at the swim meet after some tooth-twisting calisthenics. Gross for the fans, but boy, she was proud. Then, I thought that it might take some time with the other side, but the asymmetry was killing me. Just one of those crazy elements of my personality that I try to hold at bay: I can't handle anything unsymmetrical in my life from flower arrangements to fruit bowls.

Back to PB, we did some more heavy-lifting tooth aerobics after a wonderful pasta Putanesca dinner made by CG. It was quicker than we thought, and out it popped. Now, instead of a Gomer, she looks rather squirrelly. No, I think chipmunk is a more apt description. Ah, symmetry.

Well. Got to go. PB just yelled that CG Jr. "is trying to steal my teeth!" He knows double teeth equal exponential tooth fairy dollars. Are we crazy to give bonuses for multiple teeth?


Our eldest swimmer and future Olympic hopeful (hopeful for us so we can snag college scholarships) swam really well today representing our new team, King Aquatics. King has been an extreme change for us, being quite a bit more competitive than our old team, as well as being ranked 5th in the United States.

So today, we went to the Pacific Northwest Short Course Championships and, he, along with his three 200-Free Relay team mates, came in FIRST overall. Wow! You could see the pride in Alec's face, just to have made it on the A relay, but then to win first...

What a difference a day makes. On Friday, he was talking about quitting. This win will be a great incentive to keep up the 2 hour practices (along with 1 hour commute) daily for him, plus the extra 1-1/4 hour hanging out at the club during his sister's practice. Some practices even require him to wake up at 4:50 AM-quite a challenge for a 10 year old--and his parents might I add.

In the end, I think with our eldest, academics and swimming come easily at first. It's when he has to work hard and practice hard that he starts to balk. Yup, he's definitely a lover of meets and winning and a hater of practice. He somehow thinks he can swim in the Olympics, but not practice. We hope he learns from swimming that nothing comes without hard work in life.

For us as parents, who plant our butts for hours everyday at practice, slog through commuter traffic, and pay ransoms for training fees, lost equipment, and meet entrances, it's a nice reminder that it's all worthwhile. Now, off to bed because we have another day of PNS Champs tomorrow... We're proud of you, honey-bunny! Kick butt, tomorrow!

Friday, December 8, 2006

Almost Five Going on Fifty

Here's a honest to God conversation I had with L'il Man on 12 minutes drive to pre-school today:

"Mommy, why do you call me Boo?"

"Because it means I love you you?"


"Well, it started because you were so pale as a ghost, I called you Boo as a baby."

"But, I'm not a baby."

"Well, people in Louisiana call people they love Boo too. I had a neighbor from New Orleans that called his wife Boo and she wasn't a baby."

"Oh, is Boo in Spanish?"

"No, it might be French-Cajun."

"Oh, is that Mexican?"

(Sigh) Everything that isn't English is Spanish to Li'l Man. Can you tell we came from California?

"No, it's French."

"Oh." Pause for a second while brain whirs like small computer.

"Mommy, are bats teeth sharp?"

"Yes, honey. I would imagine they are, but they use them usually for fruit sucking or eating bugs. They also might suck cows blood if they are vampire bats, but they never suck humans. Did you know they can eat as many bugs as how big they are? That would be like you eating a sandwich as tall as you are!" Can you tell I like bats?

"Yeah. They probably eat Five-Thousand-Eight-Six-Nine-Million-Two Million-Forteen-Twelve-Thousand, Two Hundred Milion-Forty-two-Six-Nineteen...." He continues his litany of numbers. It's apparent like any male of his species that bigger is better.

"Uh, maybe not that many." (pause) Little computer starts to whir again.

"Mommy, who made people live?" Seriously, not making this up.

"Uh, babies come from a Daddy's sperm and live in a Mommy's tummy," I say hopefully.

"No, not babies. How do all the people in all the world, how did they get living?"

Realizing I needed to come up with something, I say,"Some people think God made people."

"Who the heck is God!"

We arrive at school and I dodge the question. When I get home, I tell CG we have seriously screwed up when our almost 5 year old doesn't know who God is. CG and I are religously conflicted, so we tend to fall back on teaching nothing.

I tell C.G., "I should have said aliens. He knows what aliens are. Dang!"

C.G. says, "You mean aliens from Mexico--you know like they speak Mexican."

I guess there was nothing to do but laugh. After three kids and 10 years of parenting, we still don't know what we are doing.

Feeling Blue

Such a funny saying, "I am feeling blue." Yet, after the news stories this week of family tragedy and evil, the weather of Seattle, and personal issues I will blog about later I am sure, I feel blue.

Yet, when I look for blue pics in my photo archives, I find only hope.

James Remembered

I haven't the words to express what I feel about the tragic story of the Kim Family's wrong turn. This story has made me heartsick. Everytime you hear of lost families, you think that could be you.

Having lived in Alaska and both my husband and I being former military, I would like to think we would know what to do, but really even my husband and I can't agree what we would do in that situation --AND we don't have the fear and terror and cold and babies in danger with which to contend to make our decision. It makes me sick thinking and reading the stories, second-guessing his decision.

Two blogs that have covered it well are Finslippy taking the more emotional, parent's side and CNN's Anderson Cooper taking the thinking and prevention side.

I know James' decision was based upon looking into his young daughters' eyes. I have teared up many times thinking of his desperation and realizing the sheer agony his wife is going through now. If only...

His daughters will be proud of his legacy.

CG Listens to Babs! CG listens to B-a-a-a-bs!

So I am sitting here in our office with CG and Li'l Man computing away. CG has his IPOD plugged into speakers and music blaring. Since my hearing issues challenge my lyrical comprehension, I ask him why this song by the Leevees is singing about six packs of "sauce." He gently, but with slight smile, says, "No, they are saying six packs of socks,"-apparently a common Jewish Hannukah gift. Oh!See below video. By the way, it still sounds like sauce to me!

Later, I am humming along to "My Favorite Things' when suddenly my mouth gapes open. I exclaim to CG,"Ohhhh....Mmmmmyyyyy...Gawd! Are we listening to Barbara Streisand?! Get out! You have "the" Barbara Streisand ON your IPOD?"

He says to me with embarassment, "I'm just playing Christmas music and when did you suddenly be able to name a song in three notes?"

WOW! CG has babs on his IPOD. Can't stop giggling here because Babs is my almost 70 year old Mom's favorite singer. CG and my Mom have something in common. Who knew!

Note: We won't talk about Bab's lame politics and habits of telling her fans to "f%&# off," at concerts when they came to hear her sing, not watch pathetic Bush skits. My Mom would be horrified.

Thursday, December 7, 2006

What Kind of Bagel are You?

Everyone in our house seems to have a bagel loyalty:

*Li'l Man is a blueberry only man.
*Princess baby once was a chocolate chip, but recently discovered cinnamon sugar .
*CG Replicant is ALL cheese. Only Asiagos do it for him.

*And CG an I are a perfect pair: Noah's Super Onion, lightly toasted, sun-dried tomato and pesto schmear, if you please.

The only thing that can make that better is a nice, low acid roast of Peet's drip. Yup, still loyal to the Bay Area even when cheating on Peet with that Starbuck's Mermaid here in Seattle.

Anyway, I just described one of our favorite College Ave. breakfasts. I think CG Replicant should have become half bagel in utero from all the bagels I ate while in college, pregnant and in the land of cheap and good food.

Pacifist Samurai, Anyone?

So, leaving a ferry after a swim meet, our family happened upon the above questionable sign. I had images of Ju-jitsu hugs and Akido cuddles. Beyond this obvious irony though, I also noted the unusual missing "s" on Martial Arts.

I suddenly had clarity. I turn to CG in the car, "What? Ah... They must draw nunchucks."

Evil Incarnate

I came across a news story that exposed new lows in humanity. A mother was charged with microwaving her 1 month old to death. I thought I had come to a point where I was very hard to shock, but this was like a gut punch.

What possible mutation, insanity, soullessness can be in a human being to cook one's own child to death? The tortuous pain that helpless infant felt is unbearable to imagine. What went wrong for a mother to act so against nature?

My only conclusion is that she is pure evil and rightly deserves the death penalty. This is what the death penalty is for-to remove this type of malfunctioning beast from the gene pool.

Mommies and Daddies out there: Hug your babies closely.

Sebbie the Pink-Nosed Dogdeer

I can hear Seb's thoughts in this pic:

I am not a freaking red-nosed reindeer! I am a pink nosed, man-hating dog. So take this goddamn piece of horse feces off my head."

"Wuh? You'll give me a cookie if I keep it on? Integrity and dignity? Don't know whatchoo talking about, Willis!"

"Dog, what dog? I am cookie whore of a dogdeer."

"Check out that bitch of a tree below. She's definitely leg-lifting material. No, not the little beast in blue!"

Whirling Dervish Tail

Grendel Baby's portrait as taken by Princess Baby:

It's come to my attention of late that Princess Baby is quite a mouthful, so we'll call her PB for short. Plus, I like the irony of calling her PB while she absolutely abhors peanut butter. Yep, I know. Very un-American of her!

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Got milk? Or Warm and Tinglies?

I have this cool gadget on my Google Desktop Search sidebar that rotates through my pics. I am terrible about throwing out bad pics and, alot of the time, there are old, out of focus pics.

Today, though, up popped up L'il Man's first day of pre-school picture which was two years ago. It definitely brought out the warm and tinglies in me. No CG, not that kind of warm and tingley. CG, as I write this posting, is giving me the come hither voice that he's going up to bed.

No, the warm and tinglies of which I speak are those maternal heartstrings. The kind that remind you how precious it is to be responsible for taking care of and doing the best for the little soul that God or some intelligent design has left in your care.

Today, those crumbs and milk mustache look heavenly. Love you, Li'l Man!


On the drive home from pre-school:

"Mommy, I know some rhymes, " Li'l man says in cute, innocent, whimsical, sing-song voice from the back seat.

"You do?" I say distractedly watching the road.

"Yup, cookie-poopie."

Hmmm.... I think. Not much of a rhyme and I can see where this is going.

"And glue-poo." He giggles. "And tree-pee."

Ahhh, the rhymes of a four year old boy. I hope that he's not busta-his-a-rhyming at school.

How embarassing.

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

Crushed, Bloody Penguins

"Mommy, what does penguin juice look like?"

"Ummm..." I'm stalling here because the visual I just got was that of the "What's black and white and red all over" variety. Ick. Crushed, bloody penguins.

"Honey, there's no such thing. That would hurt the penguins."

"Oh" (Pause) "Mommy, what does turtle juice look like?"

Ahhh, definitely weird conversational morning with my Li'l guy. L'il Guy a.k.a. Mr. P (called this since inutero) also seems to have some alarming interest and questions about his moniker "pee" and especially a fascination with poo, boogers, and unfortunately, "crap." Truly, I think he feigns his curiousity just to see how often he can work these banned words into conversation --while bodily functions are natural, these words along with very inappropriate words like butthole, stupid, vagina and yes, the F-bomb, are now banned as inappropriate because of frequency of use.

We big people, and his older brother who often sets him up to then get in trouble as well (case in point CG Replicant teaching Li'l Man the middle finger), really need to curb our potty mouths. Shit!

Not The Sharpest Tool in the Shed

My daughter missed a substantial amount of swim practice today while sobbing on deck. Why you ask? Was it because she just moved up to a new competitive group? Was it the tough Iron Man Triathlete coach who expects the world from her swimmers? Was she tired from getting up at 5:30 AM this morning? No, it was because of blisters.

The silly girl opted to wear leather, 1 size too small boots yesterday--without socks! I find this out after she walks with a limp to the car yesterday. Today, wearing fins was excruciating as was the chlorine in the open, torn blisters on both sides of both ankles.

Nope, sometimes, my daughter is not the sharpest tool in the shed. She comes by it honestly. There's a running joke between CG and I that his side of the family, while mostly academically inclined, lacks the most common of senses at times. CG agrees. When two members of his immediate family on independant occasions can manage to get hit by cars while crossing the street, well...enough said. Yep, suffering from a marble deficiency runs on CG's side of the family.

Yup, marbles!

Monday, December 4, 2006

Shiny & Happy

Today, was a dark and dreary day, straight from a Poe passage. However, everything right now seems bright and shiny because blogger fixed whatever was wrong with why I couldn't post pics and write in "compose mode." I can post pictures again.

To celebrate my bright 'n shiny mood, here are some winning pics from last summer--the only time it's been bright and shiny it seems in ages:

Princess Baby looks especially shiny from over-lotion-izing below. And let's not forget how ectastic I am in my Princess-Baby Couture for the Mother's Day. Li'l Man glows in the other-wordly light in the Seattle Zoo's aviary. Finally, in one pic, CG acts as my planet biscuits model for my pre-school cook book.

Finally, let's harken back to some bright and shiny days of yesteryear. Let's re-visit R.E.M.

Nacho, I know! And yet, it fits my mood. Will I be this happy and shiny when we wake up at 5 AM to take kids to swim practice? Let's not push it. Just enjoy the moment!

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