United States of Motherhood: July 2009

Friday, July 31, 2009

I HATE HEAT: Global Warming Kiss My Ass

It was over 100 here in Seattle the last couple days.

That means it was 90 degrees for three days here in the Seattle 'burbs.

No, not outside. Inside our blasted house. The thermostat registered 90 degrees. It was 58 percent humidity in the kitchen.

No air conditioner. FOUR large, unblockable skylights in 20 foot ceilings. Makes for one irate wife.


Still lobbying husband that we need to get it. I covet every neighbor on our street when I hear their AC grind on.

I did catch CG hanging out at the neighbors air conditioned palace yesterday.

And yet? We still don't need AC "for a few days a year."

I count at least 10 that it's been over 80 in our house this year. Arsehole!

Every year it's getting hotter and hotter here in Seattle. Call it global warming, natural warming trends, whatever.

All I can say is this is one of many reasons we left California. I hate heat.

Thx for the Flickr pic by l0ckergn0me

Monday, July 20, 2009

One of Life's Little Luxuries in a Bad Economy and Great Marriage: The Good Toilet Paper

I grew up in a family of eight which necessitated cheap toilet paper.

My mom even tried to institute a 4 squares rule. Seriously!

Since living on my own, then starting our family, quality stuff was the only option.

One of life's little luxuries.

Charmin Ultra Soft Quilted.

But lately, life's got in the way.

Too busy to shop--to keep up.

So it came down to one coveted roll of toilet paper Sunday amongst our three bathrooms. CG carried the roll from commode to commode for it's denizens PB, Li'l man, and me. We barely made it.

I used four squares.

Then, it flew out of my mind as I was off at 6:30 for a swim meet.

I came home to a proud CG. After seriously using a paper towel for his own ((ahem)) needs, he went out and bought toilet paper.

The "strong" kind he said with pride. "The kind that doesn't pill." The kind that doesn't fail.

Fabulous! I was glad we had something; don't get me wrong.

However, he had bought sandpaper on the week-end my stomach has decide to revolt and I've been throwing back Pepto like shots after Taco Bell issues.

My tush is not happy to move from it's soft, billowy Charmin bought in scores of rolls from Costco in the past to cardboard. Strong cardboard, but cardboard nonetheless.

I do believe this might have been one of my husband's first handful of times buying toilet paper in our almost 13 year marriage. He's never strayed before in my loyalty to my toilet paper label of choice.

I do believe.

I also believe, no matter how grateful I am, it will also be his last. My derriere can't take it.

So what's your poison? Soft? Or strong? Or maybe in this economy, cheap?

Friday, July 17, 2009

Life's Happy Little Accident: Compliments of the Dick Near You

After 5 days of meets in 6 days, we played hookie from swimming the other day.

Why would such a dedicated swimming family do such a thing?

Someone decided to let the air hiss out of the two passenger side tires on CG's Mini at our latest swim meet Tuesday evening.

It appears someone didn't like him parking in front of their mansion on Mercer Island.


Of course, my absent minded husband didn't notice and drove on the highway for a scant handful of miles and the 10 month old tires were shredded.

Of course, he had three kids with him--two of which we were carpooling home.

I came to the rescue in my trusty SUV steed.

Of course, my car was filled with a red wagon, pop up tent, four massive swim bags, two existing kids, and coolers which required repacking my SUV to fit six kids, a wagon, cooler, and said massive swim bags, plus three more. We stuffed the gigantor pop up tent diagonally in CG's Mini.

Re-packing a SUV on a narrow shoulder while cars careen at highway speeds at dusk at you?

Whooo-ey, fun, my friends. Priceless.

Took said kids home. Dropped our kids home with warnings to make dinner and then straight to bed. Whiplashed back with dinner for CG who had been waiting on the side of the road for 2 hours.

In that time?

Roadside assist couldn't find a blasted contracted tow truck.

We ate in my car while CG juggled three phone lines trying to get someone out there. We finally paid $300, despite roadside assist before the tow truck driver would come. We were promised it would be reimbursed, but my thought wandered to people who don't have a credit card to give over the phone. SOL!

We finally got our car towed to the tire dealer we had a warranty with and got home just 30 minutes or so after midnight.

8:45 PM to 12:30 AM to get towed and home? Ridiculous.

So, that 7:45 practice that requires a 6 AM wake up the next day? That soooo was not happening.

So we played hookie. We slept in.

Well the four of us without a swimming attendance requirements. Eldest went to see Harry Potter with a friend and then went off to an oh-so-luxurious afternoon practice.

Oh, well maybe the three of us, since CG has this little thing called a job.

We took CG to tire store. We got curry for lunch. We argued the warranty and got 2 tires for $130 instead of the $400 offered. We dropped CG at Starbucks to be a corporate wageslave.

We shopped for stuff we didn't need. PB got four outfits. The poor boys got socks.

We drank cool drinks at Starbucks and played board games waiting for CG to finish, scooped Eldest after practice, and then went on an impromptu foray to a restaurant made famous by Sir Mixalot.

Yes, my friends, we went to "Dicks, the place where the cool kids hang out."

The burgers were terrible, soggy fries, and five cents for ketchup.

Pretty much living up to the reputation of a restaurant lauded by a 2 bit, 80's rap star that CG's pimply-faced self listened to in high school.

Yes, what an outrage that we had to pay for ketchup especially since PB practically mainlines the stuff.

And yet, we had grins on our faces.

Fifty cents later for ketchup and another $30 for crappy food, we were off with a smile to find a park.

We found this strange, but cool park on top of a reservoir that we found. Yes, you heard that right--- an underground reservoir in the middle of urban Seattle.

There was a odd troup of hoola hoopers there. A dozen scantily clad women flipping hoops on ankles and necks. Some even lit up. There was even a token or two of men. It made me think of People's Park in Berkeley, but greener and cleaner. We are in Seattle after all --albeit in Sir Mix-a-Lot's old 'hood.

We ate greasy food, not caring about upcoming swim meets. We dipped toes in water fountains. We swung on swings. We watched bizarre hula hoopers. Then we played a raucous hour long game of TV tag. Never would this have happened without two blown tires...making lemonade as usual, my friends.

Ever played? I admit, it's been a while. It's a game of tag where you must yell a cartoon character and squat tot he ground before the person who is it tags you.

Believe me, it's hard to come up with a unique character, yelling "Woody Woodpecker" or "Mighty Mouse," before a kid in much, much better shape tags you.

Then they ask, "Who's Mighty Mouse?"
When you are it, they shriek,"Lois."

I say, "Who?"

"You know, mom, from Family Guy."


My strategy was in using my mind, rather than running. I went through Looney Tunes, Tom & Jerry, the Disney Princesses, Simpsons, Scooby Doo, Flintstones, Jetsons...

So smart I was. Up and down. Squat after squat. Nope, no running for me. Squat, squat, lunge, hunch, squat...

I haven't been able to walk straight for two days. Seriously. I couldn't sleep the first night because of my throbbing thighs.

Perhaps my lazy butt should have run instead of testing my memory?

Perhaps I shouldn't have eaten a crapload of grease which made me think my 36 year old butt could still gracefully work off those calories with each lunge and swirl like I was six?

Perhaps CG should have parked on the west side of the road or used the free valet parking for his precious Mini?


I think not. For while we now have costly new tires and I, screaming thighs, I still have a smile on my face.

I like it when life's little accidents turn into some much needed down time.

So yes, inconvenient tires costly, thighs screaming, and yet still a smile.

So to that someone who didn't like CG parking in front of your mansion? I'll call you Dick.

So say there, Dick, thanks for mini-vacation. Our posse had fun on Broadway:

I am sure that is not what you intended. Dick!

Thx for the Flickr pics by timo_w2s

Monday, July 13, 2009

Who Needs a Vacation From Summer Vacation? Admitting You Have a Problem

Anyone else reading need a vacation from their summer vacation?

Ummm, me!

Pick me!

Swimming two swim teams for three kids seven days a week--sometimes twice a day--has been beyond brutal.

Whatever we do is not enough.

I am sure all of you mom's of kids that play uber competitive sports are nodding their heads in commiseration.

Michael Phelps' mom is a saint. A saint I tell you.

So, I am realizing quickly, with meets, meets, more meets, champs, and long course champs, we have about two weeks free of swimming until the fall schedule starts.

We had a three day weekend of meets ending yesterday, followed by a meet tomorrow. Then next week we have swim meets from Tuesday through to Sunday.

Every. single. effing. day. Sigh.

And fall schedule for swimming starts in mid-August!

(Tap! Tap! Tap! 'Scuse me? Ahem! When did August 18th become fall?!)

So, to all you out there wondering where I've been?

It starts with P and ends in L.

We won't start in about coaching and swim mom dramas.

I could talk all night.

The shining moment of summer so far? We did end up having some wonderful family visits from my sister, brother and their families.

We still went to practice with family here mostly because we are afraid of our swim coach. Seriously. Another story entirely....

However we still managed to show them a lot of the parts of Seattle that we love including Mt. Rainier...

...which was completely snowed in after we drove the three hours to get there which I would have known if I had done my research rather than constantly widening my butt driving to swimming.

Now it's back to swimming, swimming, and, yes, more swimming.

I think my feet are permanently webbed.

My head is a stuffed with carpool schedules, swim practices, and good intentions to disinfect the house some day.

Just please remind me of my resolution to do NOTHING with PTA or the kid's school this fall, m'kay?

I always think I'll catch up in summer, then swim teams hit.

Then I have good intentions once the kids go back to school...then school and swimming and volunteering hits.

So I make resolutions to get my life together once school ends...


It's a vicious cycle. This year I hope to stop my hand popping up and my hand magically writing my name down on volunteer committees.

Hello. My name is Scout's Honor and and I am a volunteer-addicted swim mom.

I hear the first step is admitting you have a problem.

Now that next step...

All that keeps cycling in my head when it comes to steps is the line, "I'm falling and I can't get up!"

Gah! I think drowning might be more appropriate.

Thanks for the Flickr pics
by programwitch and by Pierce Place

Sunday, July 5, 2009

A Moment of Silence Here: Mourning a Family Pet's Passing


A moment of silence needed here...

(Pause. Heh! Silence? Me?)

Sadly, PB's fish "Crystal" died while we had six house guests over the last 10 days.

I did not give the passing the proper due attention it deserved.

PB, while clearly distressed was easily distracted by visiting cousins and applying temporary neck and face tattoos.

Even yet, my more than slight stress at permeating house guests in my introverted lifestyle, made me have a minor break in all that's holy about motherhood.

Yes, I told her just to flush it.

PB was brusquely persuaded to swish her little friend Crystal in the porcelain throne...by herself.

No moral support.

Nope! Too busy keeping house in a semblance of cleanliness and free from bio-hazards as sadly I did very little cleaning before said house guests arrived. Even though I had CG stall for two hours after their flight arrived before returning home. Ooops! Sorry Molly.

So, no, no one brushed away PB's non-existent tears . Nope.

She only got a shriek from this Mommy to not bury the poor thing in the flower bed or Seb would dig it up along with $500 in newly planted flowers and landscape with him.

Another shriek ensued when she tried to sneak the decaying fishy corpse into her father's office as he was on a conference call so he could give the event the grave contemplation it deserved.

Not a shining moment for me.

Good moms lament with their children when family pets die.

Good moms use these moments to teach about life cycles, spirituality, pragmatism, creationism, or whatever sage advice of their choice.

They provide hugs and kisses.


Does the fact I've had an extra three kids in the house count? Two toddlers?

Nope. Didn't think so.

So here I sit in the dog house.

No worries. My brother left me plenty of beers with which to drown my conscience.

I think it might be the beer talking because now I am considering this for the thirteen cent feeder fish we had for just under six days who we deliberately bought to cycle our new tank for better fish and for about whom I told the kids not to get attached to even though I knew they would ....

Plot 37 is calling to me.

PS Please don't tell PETA about that fish cycling part. I'll deny it and any knowledge of taking my houseguests to that dastardly place where they throw dead fish. Heh!

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