Thursday, May 29, 2008

Trade Her for Trader Joe?

For those of you not familiar with Trader Joe's, it's a quaint little grocery store with organic (over-packaged) produce, wood floors, delicious samples, and tiny shopping carts that roll better side-ways than forward.  The aisles are tight, but the food selection makes me feel like I'm a better chef than I am.  So Trader Joe's is a favorite for grocery shopping.

With tight aisles and two 3-year-olds, the kids go in the cart only occasionally squishing the tomatoes and Milton's bread.  Trader Joe, that's him over there I think,

has this clever idea to keep kids busy searching for Ringo the ring-tailed lemur whilst Mom is trying to make her cart steer forward blissfully shopping.

"Is that it?" pointing to a paper tree?

"Mom, is that it?" pointing to a box of cookies.

"Is that the monkey?" pointing to, well, a monkey, but not a lemur.  Sheez.  

This game is supposed to help me focus my efforts on my shopping list?  

So when the game is over (we never did find that damn lemur) the kids are awarded a treat at the check-out lane.  The treat:  peanut butter filled pretzels.  Dude, Trader Joe, ever heard of this little thing going around with kids called a peanut allergy?  We pass on the anaphlactic pretzels and opt for a balloon instead.  Does every outing have to end up like Disneyland for kids these days?  Answer.  Yes.  

So the cart is now too full for bagged groceries (yes, we bring our own bags) and two kids, so the kids, holding balloons, walk outside where we are barraged with Save California's Environment or You're Going To Hell friendly requests to sign petitions.  I'm getting annoyed at Save California Girl.  The cart is rolling (side-ways) down the wheelchair ramp, the kids balloons are precariously blowing around, and other (side-ways) rolling carts are threatening to knock my kids into the parking lot.  After managing to shit on the planet and presumably go to Hell, I try to navigate two kids, two balloons, and a effed up shopping cart through lunch-time traffic in an overstuffed parking lot.  

It looks something like this:

Me (holding the cart with one hand, holding Tatum's ballooned hand):  "Tatum and Chase, hold hands."  (A common request that we've practiced in parking lots many times).

(Car waiting ... inching ... waiting ... inching ...)

Tatum makes a fist with her free hand.

Me:  "Tatum, hold Chase's hand NOW."

Chase trying to hold his sister's hand and a balloon.  

(Car inching .... still waiting for us to cross ... cart rolling sideways ...)

Tatum:  (smirking)  "No."

Chase:  "Tatum, hold my hand."  

Me:  (Yanking Tatum's hand and placing it on the cart, I reach for Chase's hand as we proceed to the car.)

As I'm angrily buckling Tatum into the car seat, and holding her balloon string with my teeth  I ask, "WHY were you not holding his hand?"

No answer.  

"Tatum, how would you feel if Chase got hit by a car because YOU wouldn't hold his hand?"  

Tatum:  "Happy."

Me:  "HAPPY?  You would feel HAPPY if your brother got hit by a car?"

Tatum:  (Smirking)

I change gears.  Maybe she doesn't realize that getting hit by a car is a bad thing (I haven't used that term so freely before), but I'm furious now.  

Me:  "You would feel HAPPY if your brother got squished by a car?"  (I don't know where I'm going with this, but I can't believe what I'm hearing.

Tatum:  "Yes.  I would be happy."

I'm boiling.  I know I shouldn't play the game but I'm just too pissed to stop.  I take her balloon, wave it in her face, and release it to Trader Heaven.  

She loses it.  Tears.  Screaming from buckled position.

I feel victory ... for about a half a second.  Then I feel like an ass.  Cruel.  Defeated by a 3 year old.

As we drive away, through Tatum's sobs, Chase says, "It's okay Tatum.  We can share my balloon."  (The empathy I was looking for in the parking lot from the other kid...)

Driving home in silence I can't help but wonder what I'm doing wrong.  Why did I let my tiny daughter get the best of me?  She fell asleep on the drive.  I wanted to be there the minute she woke up to talk it over.  She apologized.  I apologized.  

But how does this game go when she's fourteen?  

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

(Photos compliments of my Mom, Trish.  The next day her camera got destroyed in the "trunk" of her hard-top convertible.  R.I.P. Mr. Nikon.  Your memory (card that is) lives on.)

Did This Work?

Sign by Danasoft - For Backgrounds and Layouts

and this too ...

Sign by Danasoft - Myspace Layouts and Signs

If this worked, and freaked you out too, thank SmoochieFrog. I stole it from her site.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Do You Think It Was the Vagisil That Sealed the Deal?

Here's a recap of moving this year:

*  Lived in long-time home, outgrew it.  Sold house.
*  August 2007.  Moved into new house.  
*  Really pissed off husband.
*  March 2008.  Found 6 month rental in San Diego until we figured things out.  Moved.
*  May 2008.  Found new house and are in 30 day escrow.  
*  Husband extremely happy with staying in San Diego.  
*  Finding rental home replacements for final 2 months of lease.
*  June 2008.  We'll move again.

So that we don't end up with our new mortgage and an obscene rent payment for two months, we've begun showing the rental so that the owner can rent it to someone more stable appropriate for the long term.

Shortly after a trip to the grocery store, a couple came to see the house.  I was just finishing putting the groceries/toiletries away when they arrived.  They politely looked around.  They politely left.  They politely sent an email saying that they would like to begin a lease in our home. 

To my horror, I realized that not all of the groceries had been put away before their arrival.  The one meant to be put in a medicine cabinet and far out of sight was smack dab in the middle of the kitchen table.

So, do you think it was the Vagisil that sealed the deal?  They say to make your home smell like fresh-baked cookies, to play classical music, and to turn on all of the lights.  I say, leave out some Vagisil.  Worked for me.  

(P.S.  Antibiotics from lip episode didn't agree with my body, hence the photo above.)  

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Sleep. Who Needs It? Um, I Do.

Dear Three and a Half Year Old Boy,

You know that thing in your room, the comfy thing with the mattress, the flannel doggie sheets, the quilt, and all your special animals and blankies?  The thing that's blue because it's your favorite color?  The thing that has a trundle below for sleepovers?  It's called a bed.  YOUR BED.  

And you know that big thing in Mommy and Daddy's room that doesn't have stuffed animals or baby blankies and it's kind of hard to crawl up on, yeah that's OUR BED.  

Your bed, blue.
Our bed, well, ours.

And you know how you get all cranky in the afternoon because even though you went into your room for nap-time you didn't sleep?  There's a reason for nap-time.  It's to nap.  And then, when we want to go somewhere in the evening you do this funny thing called falling asleep wherever the heck we go.  Yeah, well, that probably wouldn't happen if you napped.

And maybe you wouldn't be so cranky if you actually stayed in your own room at night in that bed thing, your bed.  Kicking the crap out of Mommy and Daddy at night might be fun for you, but when Mommy wakes up with a bloody lip at 3 am (bad week for lips) from getting sucker-kicked by jammy feet, it's not very funny.  

Let's review buddy because maybe these are some big words for you:

BED (like yours) and NAP (like at nap-time)

(Your) BED at night + NAPping during the afternoon = Many Glorious Days in Heaven (for me, of course).

Okay, ready for the test?  Yes or no?  The following places are where you should sleep:

The Couch?

Mommy & Daddy's Bed

The Beach?

The Baby Bassinette Holding Your Stuffed Animals?


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Saturday Morning Ubiquity

Remember Saturday morning cartoons?  Remember waiting all week for your favorite show to finally arrive, hoping for a new episode of The Smurfs, or The Jetsons?  Saturdays meant waking up early (on purpose), not waking your parents, creeping to the TV, turning on the one or two channels that had cartoons, grabbing a bowl of dry cereal, letting your parents sleep in (did I already mention that?), and plugging in to a few glorious hours of animation?
Now we have The Disney Channel, Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, KPBS, and DVR.  In other words All Cartoons All the Time.  

Surely it's up to me to monitor the TV intake, which I do.  But having a couple of shows on every morning while I get ready/make breakfast/make lunches/do shots etc. is all too easy.   But many days when I need that time to blog time to vacuum and prepare an exquisite meal, and I throw a show on, cartoons in all their ubiquitous glory have lost their appeal.  

I know, back in the olden days there was no TV, or it was black and white, or it only had 3 channels.  And kids played and used their imaginations.  I'm all for that.  I'm just sayin' -- remember when you looked forward to the hunky Handy Smurf?  If you checked out my list of DVR'ed episodes you may see a handful of Oprah's and Extreme Makeover Home Editions, but the other 10,438 shows are kids shows which they can now watch ON DEMAND.  Sheez.  

Even Dora is losing her appeal in my house (which ain't a bad thang.)  I guess I'm going to have to get all original now and actually build Barbie houses out of Lincoln Logs, 'cause cartoons just don't cut it around here.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Bragging Brings Bad Karma

Lesson learned.  Well, this time at least.  I got all braggy about going on a trip sans kids.  And I got all braggy about floating in a lazy river with drinks in hand.  And I got all braggy about getting the house we wanted.  

Well thanks a lot MISTER Karma, because now I can't brag anymore, at least not verbally.  'Cause I seem to have a bad case of effing fever blisters on my effing bottom lip that make it effing miserable to eat, nag, brag, talk, or sip a salted margarita glass.  It looks a little something like this, but not on my tush.  It looks like lip-injection gone bad.  

Fuckity fuck it hurts.  So, no vacation pictures.  Just me all complaining today.  With lots of meds.  And a little sympathy.  A little.    

So, it turns out you're not supposed to be in the sun when shit like this gets on your lip.  Thanks Arizona sunshine.  My tan lines are digging you, my lip, notsomuch.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Gone Fishin'

Hello. My name is Jamie and I'm a Bloga-holic.

Well, you know I have a wee bit of a blogging problem when I'm sitting in the hotel room on a GORGEOUS day checking blogs. Actually, I'm just letting my breakfast settle, and last night's wine.

Quick recap/highlights of the trip so far.

* Sat next to youngish, normalish, cutish, looking guy on plane. I'm in middle seat so my hubby could have the aisle. Guess what said youngish not so cute-anymore-guy does on flight? PUKES in the BARF bag? Right.Next.To.Me. Are you kidding me? I desperately try to make eye contact with a flight attendant to say HELP! But Flight attendant must think I just have an eye twitch or that I'm flirting with her starchy shirt and feathered bangs. Damn it. Thank God it was a 45 minute flight because I was feeling pretty green after getting out of there.

* Let's just say cold beer and drinks with umbrellas ... as I FLOAT around the LAZY RIVER. Aw-yeah! Need I say more?

* My kids don't miss me. Tatum is in HEAVEN getting all doted on by her Nana (and Pop) and Aunt Linda. Chase has been coined "Barnacle Boy" because he's so attached to Gran. The thing is ... I miss them.

It's funny how we fantasize about getting nights alone from our kids. Then I sit at the pool and spy on the other pre-schoolers wishing I could give mine a cuddle.

Okay, back to vacation mode....the sun and cocktails beckon (like that happens just on vacation).

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Good News

I'm feeling rather blessed these days.  The first bit of good news rolled in in the form of our offer being accepted on this house.  Cool.  Given my track record this year with moving (it will be 4 times in 12 months after this one...), I will be so happy to unpack for the last time.  

The next bit of good news comes in the form of a vacation for Patrick and myself.  We're thrilled to have some time to catch up, have an entire conversation uninterrupted, and sleep without a 3-year-old kicking us at night.  

It's not so bad for the munchkins either.  Tatum gets a special trip to Nana's house, and Chase gets a special trip to Gran and Henry's.  Divide and Conquer.  

Hopefully we'll all come back refreshed, with a new appreciation for our family unit.  

I considered not bringing my laptop along, but I think I'd miss you all too much.  So I'll be catching up on your stories as the vacation commences on Friday!  

Monday, May 12, 2008

Meme Rhymes with Theme

(It took me a while to learn that.  I thought it was a me-me, because isn't everything all about ME?  No.  Oh.  Damn-it.  Well, it is here.)

Lori at Teacher Turned Mommy tagged me with this Meme.  The thing is, I suck at memes.  

Here are the rules (WARNING:  I'm not good at playing by the rules.)

a.  Link the person who tagged you.  (I did that.)
b.  Post the rules on your blog. (I'm two for two now.)
c.  Write six random things about yourself. (This is where the rules get foggy.)
d.  Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs.   (How random?  Like, totally random, with no thought on my part at all.... okay.)
e.  Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment at their blog.  (No can do.)
f.  Let your tagger know when your entry is up.  (What do you take me for?  A total slacker?)

Here are SIX places that I've been blessed enough to visit.  Although I'm all for bragging, this isn't to brag, just to document.  Before my Mommy brain cells are all used up.  And I forget.  
Where was I?

Paris, France

London, England

Florence, Italy

Venice, Italy

Rome, Italy
(Orange hair?  WTF?)

New York, NY

Munich, Germany (That's my cute Mom)

(I'm not that skinny.  The beers were just freakishly proportioned.)

(Pretzels and Beers)

Amsterdam, Holland

And now I'm tagging 6 "random" people:  If your name is Susan, Martha, Hannah, George, Adele, or Ian I tag you.  (Totally random.  I don't think I know them.  In fact, I know I don't.  But, it's a good way to get to know you if that's your name.)

Lori also bestowed this beauty on my.  Although I'm totally unworthy because I just screwed up your meme.  But thank you.  Check Lori out.  She is a Teacher turned Mommy just like me.  Her son is adorable.  She does digital scrap-booking.  She's about to pop out baby boy #2.  And she's great at leaving comments.  

I love this flowery award because it proclaims friendship in this cyber world.  I've come to LOVE all of you in this blog land.  So again, I'm cheating on the rules.  If you and I read one another's blog (that's a lot of you lovely people out there), I give this Blog Friend Award to you.  Yes, YOU!  Take it.  Share it.

And CC over at If I Only Had SuperPowers gave this sweet one to me.  The story goes that it's a "laugh, cry, think, or sigh" award.  CC says I make her laugh.  Are you good in math?  That means I got one quarter of this award.  THAT'S sayin' something.  What's it saying?  Please check out CC for her expertise in Speech and Language, her What Works For Me ideas, and her general KICK-A** approach at helping the world one teaching tip at a time.  I think she really does have Superpowers!

I'm passing along this one to Burgh Baby's Mom because I have a blog crush on her.  She was just on her local news bragging about how great her blog was, drumming up AdSense and all, so I figure I'd help her out.  Nah, she really does make me "laugh, cry, think, or sigh," especially when she puts those creepy dolls on her site.

Friday, May 9, 2008

I Almost Became A Republican

This week I had a nice surprise in the mail.  It was addressed to me.  My name.  My address.  Me.  Me.  Me.  It looked  a little something like this:

That's right.  Four thousand dollars for me.  Pretty good tax return for a Stay At Home Mom (See how I did that?  I used capital letters to show my important title).  Well, maybe that g.w. guy (See how I did that?  No capital letters there sucka) isn't so bad after all.  He might just be coming around.  Four thousand dollars for my extremely important and effective efforts as Commander In Chief at home (sorry, honey, I don't see your name on the check).  

I was all geared up for an extra special Mother's Day treat.  Maybe a new camera lens.  Maybe a day at the Spa.  Maybe that iPhone I've been whining about.

And then this came:

In case you can't read the fine print, allow me:

"We found credits erroneously applied to your account in the amount of $ 4,000.00"


See my new balance to to the IRS:

$ 4,009.19

What the eff?  I owe YOU interest for YOUR mistake.  Penis head Bush Administration.  Yeah, you know it's his fault.  

Okay, so I maybe  would have done the right thing anyways and returned the money. But come on. With interest?

In other news... have you ever read the side of your tampon box?  I don't really have to apologize to my male readers because I'm pretty sure I have none (do I?).  

Check this out:

It reads:

"Select the minimal absorbency needed to control your menstrual flow in order to reduce the risk of getting TSS."

(I know, gross.  But it gets worse.)

So, how many grams is your output my friend?  See the handy chart?  Oh, of course.  Allow me to get out my test tubes and measuring cups ... maybe add a little baking soda and WHAM!  

Anyways, today I'm just feeling all confused about the IRS and Tampons.  You?

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

A Look Back

[Note to reader:  There are an obnoxious amount of photos ahead...]

Burgh Baby's Mom reminded me about why I blog.  To borrow from her, she says, "I blog about my daughter for my daughter."  And that's just it.  I'm not laughing at you, I'm laughing with you, right?

I've got some Mom guilt.  It started when the Baby books weren't filled in with every detail of first poop, first fingernail clippings, and first time baby touched left elbow while wiggling right toes.  So I abandoned the formality of baby books, and opted for an old-fashioned journal which I plan to give each  kiddo at a later date.  Well, that went a little better, but right around the time I started blogging, the journals took a back seat.

So in a perfect world, this glorious format will be bestowed upon my munchkins to show them a snip of who their Mom was in a time of pure, sweet chaos.

And because I can't believe I don't have babies anymore, here are some of my favorite moments (in random order because my GAWD, does it have to take that long to upload photos?):