Archive for February, 2011

Dead Air Would Be Preferable

February 14th, 2011 at 2:10 pm » Comments (11)

At 11:25 am, I’d about HAD IT with all the stupid love songs I couldn’t escape on the radio. I’d been in the car only ten minutes, but they had taken over every single station. I turned it off. I’d just left the gym. Despite the instructor’s way too perky attitude and black t-shirt with the word ‘love’ written across her chest in pink, I thought it was all about the sweat and not about the Valentines for that one little hour.

And I was wrong.

A delivery guy came INTO THE CLASS with a pretty arrangement of white hydrangeas and red roses. He was looking for someone. He didn’t find her in there. I was glad to see the roses go out the door with him. I’d rather smell and see sweat than roses any day.  I did wonder, though, WHO in the world would call and order flowers and ask that they be delivered to his sweetie when she’s working out…? Would y’all LIKE that? The absurdity and the inappropriateness and the ickyattention-getting-ness of it all just blows my mind. But that’s just me. I don’t like public displays of attention personally, nor do I like anything that resembles a rose.  They’re equally horrifying.  Maybe the girl got her delivery and was completely swept off her bench press, who knows.  And, really, I hope she was.  And I hope she was a tipper, because that guy looked stressed as he made his way through 40 sweating women doing plyometric lunges all around him.

I have to go get ready for a preschooler’s Valentines party. I’m really in the mood for hearts and pink and doilies and can you tell? Eh. Seth-5yr will be happy and that’s all that matters.

I hope y’all are having a really great day, whatever that looks like for each of you. (Unless it’s getting roses delivered to you at the gym, and then I  might need more details, please, on how this works for you. It’s okay, explain away. I’ll be nice.)

This Is The Last We Speak of This…

February 10th, 2011 at 9:15 pm » Comments (8)

Y’all were SO sweet to me. Thank you. Every one of you. I’m kinda done with school for a week (yea!) so I haven’t been online much at all and didn’t see all your sweet comments until now. (And Jan, I’d like to hear more, please, about the auburn/green!)

Sometimes God will send someone to be otherwordly kind to you because He knows that the very next morning at 9 am, you will be having a Hopping/Screaming/Shimmying Totally Justified FREAKOUT and you will need to have been miraculously reassured that He has not forgotten you.

I’ll spare you the worst of it, but I will say that I think I ruined a $600 vacuum and I was covered head to toe in dog vomit.

(Yeah. That actually  IS the version of that sentence that spares you the worst of it.) The hopping/screaming/shimmying thing made everything infinitely more disgusting, as it actually managed to transport many particles to areas of my hair and face and body that had not originally been contaminated. Sometimes it’s better to freakout in Deer In Headlights stance, but I always forget until it’s too late.

Also? Screaming involves the mouth being open, which is also ill advised under the circumstances.

Mike is out of town. And still blissfully unaware of these events. He called last night and seemed rather pleased with himself for giving a financial workshop twenty feet from the Arizona/Mexico border. But I think the danger I created all by myself in the hallway at 9 am using canine leftovers was possibly equally hazardous, and definitely more traumatizing. Mike has managed to incorporate a career with small elements of danger and get paid well for it. I have managed to create chaos with large amounts of Nasty and lose money in expensive appliances.  (We’re both REALLY good at what we do.)

The vet says the dog is fine.

The vet is weird and wonderful and knows his stuff.

But this dog is NOT fine.

After this morning, I am not really fine, either. I’d like to bathe in bleach,  brush my teeth with disinfectant, and hire a hypnotist to remove the memory of the 9 AM Hallway Incident.

But I’ll just go to bed early with a good book instead.

Cupcakes and Jesus in 5 Minutes Flat

February 8th, 2011 at 11:59 pm » Comments (10)

West Texas is a weird and wonderful place, y’all. Have you heard?

I ran into the grocery store for cupcakes for one of the boys to take to school tomorrow. It was a quick, five minute errand I can’t stop thinking about, 10 hectic hours later.

It’s a busy week. I don’t bake cupcakes even on weeks that are not busy. (That’s because I don’t bake.)  But a child needed 15 tomorrow, so I ran in and grabbed three clear plastic 6 packs of cupcakes from the grocery store bakery. I stacked them on top of one another, but they felt a little unstable so I held the stack in place with my chin. That’s all that was on my list, so I went to the shortest line and stood behind an older man in a pastel plaid shirt.

He had his back to me, of course, so it got my attention when he started talking to me before he even turned around. He probably heard my creaky, plastic cupcake tower… but still. It was strange. And getting stranger. “You come on up here and go ahead of me. I have this whole basket and you just have those,” he said, nodding at my balanced tower. He looked around behind me, as if looking for someone.

I thanked him, but turned him down. One of my biggest pet peeves is to feel as if I’ve somehow inconvenienced someone. I hate that feeling.

He insisted. And then he moved, so I had little choice.

I thanked him again, and we switched places. Quietly, he asked me, “Do you know my Father?”

He was in his 70s, with skin that looked chalky. I wished I had a little philosophy’s Hope In a Jar with me. It would have taken care of that winter dry skin beautifully.  His hair and eyebrows were white, he was tall, and his eyes were a medium brown. I don’t think I’d ever seen him before. Not that it mattered.


“Well, my Father told me to turn around and say hello to the little mother of four kids, but when I did all I saw was… you.”

I didn’t — couldn’t say anything. I was too busy sizing him up.  He was doing the same thing, but in a nicer way.

“Sometimes I reckon I hear wrong,” he said, and shrugged. Still watching me, though, waiting.

“The four kids aren’t with me… you heard right.”

He gave me a small smile and a small  nod. “He knows every hair on that head ‘o yours, and He keeps track of you all the time. Watches out for you, He does.” He gestured for me to move up a spot in line, as someone ahead of us left. In the same quiet voice he said, “Even tells old men to say hi just so you’ll know you’re on His mind.”

I smiled, but couldn’t really speak. Wouldn’t have known what to say anyway. Maybe I should have been really creeped out, but I wasn’t. He was just too… gentle and peaceful and kind.

“I have three kids. My girl was big-time trouble. And then, when she was 23 everything turned out all right, I guess. She tells me she loves me all the time now. She turned out to be a really great woman. I didn’t think I’d ever get to say that about her. Sure makes me proud. You have a daughter like that?”

The cashier was scanning cupcakes and asking how I was, but I couldn’t exactly pay any attention.

I must have flinched a little at his question.

He just gave me more gentle nods and repeated, “He’s watching over you. It’ll turn out, just you wait.”

I wanted to tell him thank you, but my throat felt completely closed up and I was trying hard not to give in to an embarrassing urge to cry. I hoped he knew I was grateful.  He probably did, seeing as how he knew everything else. That brief, bizarre conversation meant the world to me. Lately, I’ve felt very alone.  Not that I’ve really admitted that to anyone.  Least of all, me.

I guess I didn’t have to.

I’m glad that line wasn’t any longer. I don’t think I could have held the tears at bay against the overwhelming kindness of the man in the pastel plaid shirt.

And to think that  my first inclination was to get this guy a little Hope in a Jar…

Couple of Yadee Things

February 7th, 2011 at 11:13 pm » Comments (1)

As soon as you tell the internet that you have an unholy, unethical financial agreement with Victoria’s Secret that you really don’t want to end… it stops. Victoria forgot my secret January birthday after all. And my secret February birthday. I have no right at all to be pouty about this… so, eh, yaknow… i won’t be. much. ish.

A version of the following ridiculous scene has played out TWICE in the last few weeks at our house:

Seth-5yr calls lingerie “Yadee Things.” For “lady things.” And he gets VERY annoyed when he picks the bathroom lock at 6:45 in the morning and sees me in Yadee Things blowdrying my hair.

He’ll shake his head and turn to Caden-6yr. I turn off the hair dryer in time to hear Caden-6yr say, “I KNOW. She tells US to get dressed in the morning.”

Like, GEE can you believe the HYPOCRISY we must endure?

Seth-5yr puts his hands on his hips and gets right to the point. “Mom. I don’t really yike it when you yook yike dat.”

Seth-5yr is a straight shootin’ little thing. And usually I like that about him. Respect it, even. But this is a notable exception.

Caden-6yr nods with an expression on his face that expresses total agreement with what his brother has said.

“Boys, if you don’t LIKE this, then DON’T PICK THE LOCK. Maybe you could KNOCK. NEXT. TIME. and I’ll grab a towel. OKAY?”

They look at each other in surprise. This had not occurred to either one of them.

“Oh! Yeah. Yet’s do dat. Come on,” and then they disappear and I don’t call after them to see what it is they wanted in the first place. They’ll be back.

I do not explain the concept of being “still undecided on what to wear that day.” This is one of those areas that, instinctively, I know the numerous males in the house will not comprehend. I also do not explain the concept of privacy or the significance of the time being 6:45 am. Generally, I don’t explain anything at 6:45 am, and it is definitely not my finest mothering hour. So to speak.

I think I need better locks.

SuperBowl Plans and Lip Gloss

February 5th, 2011 at 4:06 pm » Comments (8)

Is anyone else thawing out? We are, today, but I think it’s all supposed to re-freeze. Has the weather affected your Superbowl plans?

Not mine.

Mike is taking the boys to a “male only, father/sons, and no wives” Superbowl Thing.

Which is fine with me. I’ll be seeing The King’s Speech instead, with other women who might have a similar appreciation for Anything With Colin Firth, Please.

I like football, but some years I just don’t get into the regular season and then it seems a bit silly to go to the trouble of watching and caring about the Superbowl.  This is one of those years.

Minor Details That Need Conclusions:

(Let’s just assume one or two of you care, so that I can cross this off my to-do list and follow up where it was perhaps stated/implied that I would.)


*It’s 55 degrees today and the dog is okay to go outside and take care of business. (This sentence right here is blogging at its worst, I KNOW. Hang on, I’ll liven it up with inadvertently sexy sounding stuff in a minute)

*The Roman Empire paper was turned in and a 95 was received on the rough draft.

* Was thoroughly thrilled until the instructor sent out an email saying, “If you got a good grade on your rough draft, whatever, do NOT be thinking that means you’ll get a good grade on your final paper.”

*And then I wasn’t thoroughly thrilled anymore.

*No idea how the final will be graded, but the “DO NOT BE OVERCONFIDENT” email deflated me quite effectively. Maybe I  had been guilty of this in a pleasant, fleeting way. Now, not at all.

*Today I saw Amee (the one who teaches the Crazy Difficult Butt classes), but I did not go say hi or hope she would turn around and see me.

*I’m antisocial, but I was also eating nachos after Caden-6yr’s basketball game, and I have no doubt that my butt would have been seriously Held Accountable For The Nachos. Most likely with 7000 squats.

*This next section is for Sara:

Warning: If you are not Sara, beware. Do NOT dive into the shallow end. NO diving into shallow waters. WADE IN, if unsure. Be CAREFUL. This is not for everyone, and not for men. There are no lifeguards on duty here, and if you regret that you kept reading after this warning, I refuse to pity you. Proceed with caution. It’s REAL shallow. (This is really pretty much just for Sara, since she asked.)

NARS lip gloss in the color Orgasm is, according to Sephora,  a “sheer warm pink with golden shimmer.” That’ s not how I’d describe it. I’d put the word peachy in there.

NARS lip gloss in the color Super Orgasm (isn’t that a bit redundant?) is described as “peachy pink with gold glitter”. Again, not how I’d describe. I’d take the word ‘peachy’ right on out of there. It’s more of a carnation pink. A barbie pink. Not a peach at all.

Orgasm: Years ago, when they came out with Orgasm lip gloss and it won all these awards and it was supposed to look SO great on everyone… I doubted. Didn’t you? Because what color really does? Well. THIS ONE.  It really does. And I’m not terribly into peachy ones, usually.  Also, though, I don’t like the blush in the same color (orgasm). It’s really pretty, but then I kept noticing I’d have a fleck of gold metallic stuff on my face, and I Am Not A Showgirl, I’m A Mother of Four, Thanks, so the metallic lint didn’t really work for me. But if you like the color, but not the gold flecks, just go with Benefit’s Coralista because it’s exactly the same. Or, for something cheaper, look for colors that are not disguising that they are Orgasm imitators. I saw one called ‘Afterglow’ but I can’t remember the brand. There was another one called something like “pass the cigarrettes” and another one called “wow, THAT was nice” but I don’t think that’s exactly word-for-word correct. You get the idea.

SuperOrgasm (can’t even type that without rolling eyes. Aren’t they inherently ALL fairly super? Right.):  It’s pretty. But it’s not award worthy, or hype worthy like the original. I think NARS had a really great success with Orgasm, and their marketing department came up with an idea to sell another color with a similar name and the same base audience… and this is the color that just happened to get picked for that role. It’s just not THAT great. Pretty. And I like it… but not enough to reorder when it’s gone.

I’m fairly pale/white, and like pinks more in the winter, peach-ish colors more in the summer.  That’s why I think you’re good with the original, Sara.

If anyone would like to weigh in on the orgasm/superorgasm color conversation, or want to name other favorites, of course go right ahead.

Caden-6yr and the Warthog

February 3rd, 2011 at 10:03 pm » Comments (1)

Yesterday Caden-6yr got in the car after school and sighed deeply. Then he said solemnly, “It’s going to be a lot more winter since the warthog saw its shadow.”

“Uh… what? Babe,  it’s not a warthog.”

“Oh. Right. That wasn’t the important part. It was the more winter part that mattered.”

I think he was wrong about that as well, but I’ve had days like that, too. Where one short sentence can be wrong in every possible way. At least his was funny. To me. Not to him. He was thoroughly depressed and bundled up against the icy conditions on the afternoon of Warthog Day, and was not terribly thrilled with the prospect of more of the same.

It’s Like Potty Training a Dog

February 2nd, 2011 at 9:56 pm » Comments (8)

It would be REALLY wrong of me to complain about the weather here. Given that most likely, it is nothin’ compared to your weather. (Jenn S and Sara and Linda as notable exceptions). BUT. I’ll make it fast, PLEASE? Thankssomuch.

Monday the kids had school. Tuesday, FOR NO GOOD REASON AT ALL, the kids did NOT have school. Today, Wednesday, the kids started at 10. Tomorrow they start at 10 as well. Have i mentioned it… the roads are FINE. We’re all good. I sorta slipped on a patch of ice one little time today and it was not EVEN noteworthy except it’s the only time that has occurred all week long and shhh, but I kinda LIKE a little unpredictability like that.  It’s better when it’s mud, but ice will do in a pinch. Wakes you all up and makes you feel alive, yaknow? (Like a crazy rocking boat, because I don’t get seasick, or rough turbulence on an aircraft.  I LIKE it.)

If the roads were bad, I’d be all for this school delay stuff. ALL for it. But since I do not agree that it is necessary, it’s a bit obnoxious around here. (And really, you homeschooler types, YOU ROCK. I don’t know how you do that. I always thought, eh, well, maybe if I had to I could pull that off. Nuh UH, never, I have changed my mind this week.)

So the kids have all this OHMYGOSHSNOOOOOW energy that does wonders for their attention spans and respect levels, and then you know who ELSE has snow issues? The DOG.



Thanks to unnecessary delayed school start times, I have two fewer hours of kids-at-school time to get all my own school/house/gym stuff done and then now I have that time thoroughly eaten up by the DOG’s SNOWPHOBIA.

He’s a pretty chocolate lab. Expensively, expertly trained. He does not bark, he does not bite, he does not jump.

And he does NOT pee in snow.

Which is too bad, because that’s all we have, right on up to the back door, AND the front door, and no I will NOT be letting you twinkle in the garage, Duke. Don’t even think about it.

So all day I would stop with the history and take the dog to the backdoor and say, “Go. You can do it. I believe in you. Go act like a dog.”

And all day long he would hang his head in protest, but walk out the door (thank you, expensive expert dog trainer types), and then turn and look at me through the door with a face that said, “No. I… I…  just can’t. You couldn’t either. I’ve heard you talk about how picky you are about gas station bathrooms. I KNOW YOU COULDN”T DO THIS, EITHER, WOMAN, NOW OPEN THE DOOR AND LEMME IN.”

And so I put on my coat (oddly, also chocolate and faux furry) and go out there, too, for company. But no. We come inside, and he drinks water and I wonder if I should stop him or if I should keep refilling it and which would be better. It’s only 4 degrees, and too cold to leave him outside. He’s never gone on the carpet before (thank you expensive expert dog trainer types), and I don’t want that to change today.

At one point I called my mom and asked her what to do. She suggested putting his paw in a bowl of warm water. The weird thing is, I woulda done it if I had just ten extra minutes right then, but of course I didn’t because I’d used up all the time in the WHOLE DAY already on this problem and I had to leave right then.

The irony is this sweet dog came from South Dakota. I reminded him of that a few times today, but he’s all, “WHAT? Shut UP with that. I am tropical.”

Anyway. I NEED those two hours back in my day. I NEED all that extra time and energy that I normally do not waste on trying to get my dog to twinkle. I do not have time for this. Really. Sure, I’m a stay-at-home mom and we have All Kinds of Time, right? That’s a myth. We don’t.

But next week? Next week I will be pretty much done with these classes for a week or two… and the snow will have melted… and there will be mud.

At least there’s that to look forward to. Next week, in the middle of a normal school-day, in the middle of nowhere, I will be getting a bit reckless in a large red truck and loving every second of it.

Dirty Dancing Heats Up a Snow Day; A Fake Dr.

February 1st, 2011 at 8:25 pm » Comments (5)

Today, where I live, it should NOT be a Snow Day. Those kiddos should have gone to school and I should have carried on my regular schedule of whatever important stuff it is that I do. Like, um, blogging.

But my phone rang at 5:38 am to say school was canceled. The roads are FINE. I know this is probably not the case where you are, but where I am, we’re all good. We’re just overreacting.  I know, because I called the gym to make sure they were open and classes were on, and then I took the boys.

Staying home makes me claustrophobic. SNOW makes me claustrophobic. Decreased street traffic (not there’s much anyway) makes me depressed. Not going to the gym or doing something else just was not an option.

However. No one else in this town felt the same way because the gym was deserted. The Zumba class is usually packed. Today, there was just me. And eventually, one other gal. Lemme tell you, that changes the vibe COMPLETELY. Whereas with a group, it’s a fun dance-y, high cardio workout. But. With just 3 it turns into a slightly illicit-feeling private lesson in dirty dancing.  Uh… fun, but not exactly what i was expecting. Left feeling a bit sassy.

The afternoon was spent with a fire going and without dancing.  And just now Mike asked me to call about some insurance thing and “it’ll take like ONE minute, MAYBE.” He’s standing in the bathroom packing for a trip, and as I dial he says, “uh…. I guessed at your height and weight.”

He winces, as if he knows there’s no good way to follow up on this statement, but he doesn”t want me to find out from whoever is about to answer the phone. And it’s already ringing.

He wasn’t all that far off. He made me 6 pounds heavier and two inches taller. Whatever. The guy on the other end of the phone answered by saying, “Hi, I am a doctor, and will be discussing your medical history on behalf of this insurance company.” He sounded twelve. I instantly doubted his credentials just because he sounded so young and because he has to read a script that says, “HI I AM A DOCTOR.” Yeah, right, buddy.  And why is this company making doctors call anyway? Is that a legal requirement? Because it seems a bit overkill to me.

He asked me everything there was to know about a repaired left acl/knee thingy and everything there was to know about my post partum depression  (totally legal and largely ineffective) drug use after Seth-5yr. Needless to say, that phone call was NOT a minute in length. It was much longer.

I spent the whole phone conversation thinking that he was probably a really awful doctor who had gotten fired from all the Actual Medical Jobs and this was the only job left. But that’s a bit mean, given this economy. But still,  I thought it, and they could use a new script.   It thoroughly distracted me from answering the Endless and Lame Questions, which is not really a bad thing.

I wanted to know why he sounded like he was twelve. I wanted to know exactly how old he was and if he was on probation for malpractice of a serious nature. Why was he working by asking me boring questions about stuff instead of doing something more medical? What’s your story, boy-child-fake-doctor? Is this a good use of the nation’s doctors, regardless of how underage they sound? I think not. I bet there’s a group of patients out there somewhere for him who won’t mind that his voice hasn’t dropped yet and he could be real helpful to them. Whoever. Wherever. Fulfill his doctor-hood without having to first say, “HI I AM A DOCTOR. NO REALLY. SHUT UP, I MEAN IT. SERIOUSLY. I REALLY AM.”

I felt bad for him.  NPH got to grow up and leave the Doogie thing in the past. This guy deserves the same.

As soon as I got off the phone, I went and told Mike my actual height and weight in case he ever needs that information again. On that note. I’ve been 5’4 since we met. Actually. Since well BEFORE we met. I can understand not knowing the weight because that’s been all over the place with the whole business I was in of creating and providing housing for Real Live Babies, but the height? That’s been a constant. Come on.*

*okay, i just realized that if I were to SAY that to Mike, he would point out that I never know how old he is. But that’s different. Because THAT number, unlike my height,  is always changing. And I don’t care about age, his or mine, and can never remember anyone’s age. Right. It’s entirely different.