Monday, June 30, 2008

Tagged - I'm It!

So I was actually tagged by another blogger! I feel honored by this. It means the following to me: either I am a pain in the ass and leave too many comments on some of these blogs and the tagger is trying to discourage me from doing so - OR- I am a pain in the ass and leave too many comments on some of these blogs and the tagger is trying to validate my fragile self image by making feel I am part of the community and hence, the tagging. In either case, and I am not picky, I do feel validated . Someone likes me, they really like me!

soooo here goes:

Eight things I am passionate about:

1. my girls
2. my relationships (hubby and friends')
3. wine and sharing the goodness about it
4. reeling in the success that my tough love approach to training the youngest one has worked
and I can actually go out this year.
5. the 'toes' group = Chee, Fri, Dori, and Pota (my favorite food group , by the way)
6. my family unit and all that it means to have one
7. a good night's sleep or afternoon nap
8. The relished abandon I feel when I watch my kids eat, color, dance, sleep, sing, play - they inspire me

Eight things I would like to do before I die:

1. be old enough to be nostalgic about my youth
2. dance on a stage
3. travel only first class
4. be at my grandchildrens' weddings and being able to dance there
5. have my daughter actually graduate from Harvard like she wants to (she's 8, BTW)
6. have one of my winning Vegas dreams actually come true (trust me , they are better than sex dreams) ) thus ensuring #3 will always happen
7. publish something meaningful
8. share all that with my Hubby

Eight things I say a lot:

1. 6 of the seven George Carlin words that can't be used on tv....(the other one I just never use)
2. god damn it!
3. Emily, Emily, Emily (louder each time) - Hellooooo, I am talking to you!
3. Dude/Wahlter/or 'ter for short
4. I love you.
5. What a fantastic (insert word for work of art, athletic skill, or man sized body function here)
6. Sit straight, like a person for god's sake!
7. I am going insane.
8. What the hell, it's 4:00 somewhere!

Eight books I read and can actually remember

1. Are you there god it's me margaret (Judy Blume)
2. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
3. I know this Much is True (Wally Lamb)
4. To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
5. A Separate Peach (John Knowles)
6. any and all Vonnegut novels
7. most Dean Koontz books since they are all basically the same, but a good quick beach read
8. The Glass Castle (Jeanette Walls)

Eight Movies I have seen 8 times

1. any and all Pixar films
2. Shawshank Redemption
3. Godfather I and II
4. You've Got Mail
5. Shrek I and II
6. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
7. Apollo 13
8. Forest Gump

(can you tell I'm lovin' Tom Hanks here?)

So- thanks to Christen at Tiptoeing Through the Tulips for tagging me! Now I am supposed to tag 8 people, too. So , as I have nary the clue how to copy and paste their links, I will just write their names and if they so choose to participate - great! I chose these 8 because I am bigger than them - and could take them in a fight - and for no other reason but! Thanks for playing along!

Debbie at This is Life
Robin at Party of Five
Lula at Lulaville
Meryl at Mommy Meryl
Heather at Mindless Junque
Tiffany at the R Family Diaries
Kandace at One Crazy Chick
Aunt Becky at Mommy Wants Vodka

PS- We saw Wall-E today and I didn't think it was that bad. A bit apocolyptic for many people's tastes. I do, however, love the way the human spirit triumphs in the end. If anyone was a MAD Magazine reader (am I truly the only one?) in the 70's, this so reminds me of the 'story' where all the people's limbs atrophied from non-usage and we (humans) started to develop Weeble like bodies with no arms and legs. The producers of this film must have members of the Alred E. Newman fan club. I give the movie 2 1/2 stars out of 4.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Priceless ....

Turn up the volume y'all - we're rockin to some Out Kast in the car. Who needs a stinkin' tv in the car anyway!!

We had the perfect day today. Off to a little beach 'shack' in Ventura for lunch, then off to a state park for some zip line , sand castles, and hermit crab hunting. Weather was beatiful, girls and Hubby had a great time. So did mommy! Oh yeah, and let's not forget the eating dinner backwards part...Nutty Buddy anyone?

Envious much??

Parking at the state park = $0 dollars (can you believe some thing in life are still free?)
4 ice cream cones at the little stand = $8.00
Hearing Emily as she hit the metal knot tied into the zip line = priceless
(I may be sick, but I got a little pleasure out of that- sorry)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Oddly Amusing

This came on email today from Allison, whom I at first thought was one of my many (read: couple of ) loyal fans and admirers:

I was poking around your blog and I thought it was very interesting. I noticed the special focus you pay on cleaning and keeping it real, and wanted to pass these materials along to you about Hoover. Please let me know if you are at all interested in the materials in the body of this email, or if the attached document. We would love to introduce you to this Anniversary line

America’s first name in vacuuming and floor care is 100 years old. To celebrate this milestone and help consumers get the cleanest clean at home, Hoover is introducing its latest line of vacuums – the Anniversary Edition.

It went on to list all the features and benefits of the Hoover Anniversary edition vacuum cleaner.

This is what I wrote back:

Dear Allison;

Thank you for thinking of me, but - Boy did you get the wrong address. I do care about keeping a clean house, that is why I invest in the best thing the market has to offer - A very thorough, very effective, mostly lady.

Now unless the Hoover Anniversary edition also will babysit, do laundry, change and wash bed linens, dust the house, clean the venetian blinds, change the occasion pull-up (mine, not the kid) , place the bandaid and kiss the boo-boo, shave my legs, massage my feet, cook food, take the kids to the park, drive to this /that/and the other thing, do my nails, pleasure my husband, pleasure me, makes breakfast/lunch/snack/dinner/snack, go out for ice cream treats, watch endless episodes of Hannah Montana (and all things Disney channel), watch endless episodes of Wow Wow Wubzy (and all things Noggin) , learn how to put photos and video without compromising text on this blog, teach everyone else in the world how to frickin' drive, bitch slap lousy customer service representatives, record my every thought so I don't forget them, carefully sort and stow away 25,000 teeny Polly Pocket accessories, carefully change the Polly Pocket dollies with the 25,000 pre-sorted teeny accessories, pleasure my husband, pleasure me (oh, did I mention that already?), leave lovely little blue boxes around the house for me (read: Tiffany baubles), remember to send cards and gifts for various birthdays, vote in all elections, and go to every PTA meeting and soccer practice and hip hop lesson and recital.....then I am afraid I have no use for it.

If Hoover can explain what that weird surf board with the collapsable X shaped legs under it that is leaning in my closet might be, then we can talk. I also found this really strange thing that looks like an old fashion telephone that is flat on one side with tons of teeny little holes in it and some strange pictograph that look like steam coming out of said accessory could possibly be - then call me. Until such time as all of the above occurs....I think you may have gotten the wrong e:mail address.

PS- which one of thes posts on this blog is there any indication that cleaning is important to me? Unless, of course you meant cleaning my delicate Reidel wine glasses hand of course!


I find it oddly amusing that in a just a few days a law will take effect here in California banning the use of hand-held cell phones - and I went to 2 stores today to get a ear piece/ microphone thingy for my cell phone and they WERE OUT OF STOCK!!! And, I also find it oddly amusing that there is an ATM machine in our local Sprint store. And, I find it oddly amusing ( I am in an odd mood today, no?) that most of the hand held ear piece / microphone thingy's on the market today require the user to hold the microphone up to the mouth because the wire is too long when worn and while in the sitting position - which is #1 where the user would be using said device and #2 defeats the purpose of having the hands free device in the first place. Irony or conspiracy? Discuss amongst yourselves....

I had to go to the hospital today for another scan - this time for my parathyroid glands. You see, after the D.A.C (for those of you new to this mess, I refer to my issues with my now defunct and missing thyroid gland as Dumb Ass Cancer) - my blood calcium levels are so out of whack that my body always feels like it is in a 'pins and needles' state and my hands and feet sieze or cramp up on me at less than opportune times (are there really any opportune moments for cramps?) I like when I am driving, swimming, sleeping , carrying my keys, writing, typing...being. Anywho I had to have some blood work done and then get this dye injected at 10:00 and then some Xrays (read: 20 minutes of naptime) and then go back at 12:00 for more fun. So I did all that, and while I am up on the table...and I mean up - they raise the 'bed' about 6 feet off the ground while the 'nap' is taking place - my feet cramp up. I jump up and try to put my feet on the floor to put pressure on my feet (which is the only way to alleviate the cramp) and "whaaa the faaah" and not realizing that the bed was 6 feet off the floor - Well, let's just say it's a good thing I have cat like reflexes because I landed on my feet...scared the crap out of the technician (and myself) and made for some lively watercooler chat in the radiology department. Phew!

So this literally just happened moments girls are upstairs practicing a play they have been working on and I hear uproarious laughter. Emily comes down to tell something "hilarious'. She was pretending to clean Rachel's little bookshelf which has ABC carved out of the sides of the shelves. Emily had a duster (where she found it , or why she was doing it -I don't know) and was cleaning the bookshelf. The duster got caught and Emily says..."Rachel, the duster got caught in your A hole" (read: the part of the wooden letter that is a hole in the letter A, not the part of the child's touchas that is the hole in the A). They are just crackin' up. Now, I wonder where they learned the expression 'A-hole' in the first place?

Probably from their mo-fo mom biatch and her baby daddy .....

"hello, Is this the G's spot? This is child services....."

Oddly Amusing, No?

Monday, June 23, 2008

Monday. Monday - (bah, da, bah da da da )

It was hot here this weekend. Africa Hot. (but it's a dry heat). I love this weather. I know I am supposed to be like the countless others who complain about it- but I can't complain. Much to my chagrin and miserly pocketbook - we turned on the A/C for the past few days. I think when the inside temperature reaches 88 degrees, it's time to give in and cool the place down. When you are hot, thank god you can turn on A/C. When your kids are hot, put them in water. Outdoor sprinkler, swimming pool, a cool bath- whatever is handy at the moment. Needless to say, we did all of that this weekend.

Now that Rachel seems to have overcome her leetle problem, we had a pool party on Friday (read: sandwiches at the pool with a little friend and her mom). We were there from 11:30 to the water. Last summer, Rachel was 'playing' in the water. This year, she is swimming. Full on actual swimming. Diving in, holding breath , coming up for more air, touching off from the walls and pool bottom, swimming across the pool, floating on her back - the whole 9 yards. I am no longer relegated to sitting in the pool on the steps trying to avoid the splashing of toddler whose "I can swim" switch has not yet turned on. I can, if I want to, sit in a chair and just keep a watchful eye in case she gets in a pickle. I have waited a long time for this....aaaah.

We also escaped the swelter by going to the movies on Saturday afternoon. Kung-Fu Panda. It was cute, if not a little gratuitously violent. I got a kick out of the uproarious laughter coming from the boys in the theater. They are wired differently, I swear. My kids spent the time trying to figure out if the eyelashes on the little praying mantis meant that it was a girl praying mantis - while the boys in the theater were practicing their Kung Ful 'hiiiii yahs' from their seats. The good thing about this movie, was that a few of the lead 'hero' characters were female - and not anamorphized feminine female heros. No wiggly walks or waistlines and boobs (like the penguin movie where the penguins sing Prince songs and the lead penguin is suspiciously effeminate (not that there is anything wrong with that, mind you). They were heroic and equal. Good message for the boys and girls in the audience. The bad thing about the movie was that there is an overwhelming 'revenge on thy master' theme....maybe only adults with a conscience (or fear of reprisal and retribution) would have noticed it...what does that say about me?

It was so freakin' hot this weekend that when we had to walk across the huge parking lot to our car...we wound our way in and out of stores for some A/C relief. One of those stores was a huge Barnes and Noble. The first floor was jam packed with people sitting everywhere (anywhere there was space) reading the paper or a magazine. I would call it loitering, really. For all I know they were pretending to read just to get out of the blazing sun. In fact, I am sure I caught a few dozers there. I am sure the powers that be at Barnes and Noble like the fact that their store is busy - but I don't think people actually buy the 'free' read that they are sweating all over. Sure, they may invest a couple of bucks in an iced latte - but actually spend money on something literary? Something other than US or Elle or Cosmo?? Why bother when you can read it for free in the lobby of your local book store? Pony up folks- when I do actually buy the magazine, I don't want your pre-read dogeared sweaty page rippled copy - not me! I need me some fresh posters on my wall thank you Tiger Beat!!

I also went to the grocery store on Saturday. Now, not a trip goes on there without some kind of blog-worthy experience. Today was no exception. Remember that little gnarly club card dangling from my keychain that I had ordered a new one of months ago??? Well, now the store has changed its program. So- I have a brand new sleek shiny dangly thing to gnarl up! And, after spending $278 on groceries this week (most of it edible or drinkable) - the bagger actually said this:
Bagger to cashier "wow, like people actually spend $278 on food?"
Cashier to bagger "yup, people do, can you believe it . But she's only 222 points away from a $5 coupon!"
Me to both " What, do you still live with your mamas? did you actually say that??
What are you, like 15? Do you eat your mama's food with that mouth?"
(not that what they said was so bad, I just need to pick on young stupid people once in a while)

Bagger helped the old crotchety lady outside with her two carts of groceries and ran.

We love to sing around here. All kinds of songs. We put household phrases to music. Like my
sister before me - I have taught the girls their phone number to the tune of "Camp Town Races sing this song doo-dah, doo-dah. They know their phone numbers by heart. The trick is now that they sing it only in emergencies and not to anyone who will listen. Another fave is the old song "Anna Anna Bo Banna Banana Fanna Fo Fanna, Mi My Mo Manna, Anna" They like to sing peoples names as well as inanimate objects to the rhyming song. One that really cracks them up is Daddy - (you're singing it to yourselves, now - aren't you? ) Yes - it's the Banana Fanna Fo Faddy part that cracks them up. Emily thinks we should say Father Father Bo Bahther if for no other reason than to save Daddy some dignity. I say "aah, he lost that a long time ago". ...Rachel wants the Fo Faddy part left in. It was decided that we would change it to Father when he was around, and when he wasn't - we're going the faddy way. So, we are driving around and the girls and singing out things to the tune (car, car bo bar.../ car wash , car wash bo bar wash...get the picture?) and Rachel sees a truck. You guessed it...for the next two hours, at the PTA treasurers home so I could co-sign a check, at the pharmacy, at the dentist office she sang loud and proud "Truck, Truck bo Buck, Banana Fanna Fo Fuck, Mi My mo Muck - Truck!" It's hard not to laugh...and I did. Torn between pointing out the dirty word (and thus making it more enticing to say )and just letting it go until the thrill wears off - I opted for the latter.

Monday , Monday - Can't trust that day!

Thursday, June 19, 2008


I've got to start this post with a few words about my complete and utter lack of understanding (read: patience to actually learn) the whole Bloggy cyber world. After six attempts to add some great photos herein - (read: there, here, no here, not here, uh oh there are gone!) I can't figure this out at all. I add the photos, and then all the words come out in a column not a paragraph. I better go fast before this even gets messed up.

Emily graduated from 3rd grade last week. When she was just a baby, we called her 'mini-he' because she looked exactly like Hubby. I see myself in her as she is approaching the ripe old age of 9 in September. Scary thought, poor thing.

Seriously, she is terrific. Hubby owes her a skateboard and a Nintendo game for the straight A's. She started camp this week and so far- every day has been wonderful. I am charting the scrapes, allergy complaints, dehydration issues, sore pinky toes, sunscreen splatterered other words, how many dramas and visits to the nurse and phone calls to home she will have this summer. So far - after 3 days at camp- the count is 4 and 0. She may have started her life looking like him , but she is becoming me all the friggin' way. (Right ma?)

Emily wants to go to Harvard. She wants to be the first female Yankee player. She wants to be professional singer and dancer. When she was about 4, she had simpler aspirations like being a crossing guard. She said "I blow a mean whistle, don't I?" Thank god she doesn't want to be President. I would like her to have at least some realistic goals. (ps, I am not a Hilary fan- but sadly I don't think a woman will ever be president in this country...although who better to multi-task and fix this mess we call a home?)

And, Rachel on the her morning of her preschool graduation, got to go with me to Starbucks to carbo load before the ceremony of song and celebration. And, as this was graduation day - she got a special treat. We usually order the fruit and yogurt (yeah, right)- or at least the fat-free blueberry muffin. But today, she's all over the chocolate donut like 'buzzards on a gut wagon'. She asked for a straw in the milk so she didn't smudge her lip gloss. So cute.

Now fast forward a week or so to the past 6 days and our poopie battles. **Mind blinding mental imagery occuring soon. Fasten your safety belts** In an attempt to get the kid to do her 'thang' so we can actually leave the house this summer (see previous posting) - I had her kneel on the potty. I had her standing on the potty. I had her sitting, legs open froggy style - bending forward enough so she could see what was happening in her nether-region , leaning on my knees so she wouldn't fall over. I had her by the armpits with her legs dangling over the pot like a Thanksgiving bird on it's way to the stuffer. She sat on her potty seat so much that there is a permanant ring on her little hiney! Her butt is redder than one of the baboons from the National Geographic know the ones, right? They attract mates with their red butts and by flinging their 'business' at the boys. But I digress. Sunday was a success - Monday was not. Nor Tuesday. Nor Wednesday. That will bring us to today. Today was a rousing success!!! She went like man! Twice! Two cartoon worthy swirly-poohs that would have made the illustrators of MAD Magazine and the Alfred E. Newman fan club proud!! We did a happy dance today, folks! We go to the pool tomorrow! And good thing- it's been over 100 degrees here this week. I am just so excited that I was able to hold my end of the, uh, I mean bargain. We do nothing until she does something. This has been harder on me than on her.

Rachel went to a Birthday party. Another one. This one was not a Pinata smashing party. This one had a rock wall to climb. She loved the going down part more than the going up part. By the end of the party she had made it 3/4 up the wall. Going down was like flying like Tinkerbell to her. So cute!

And, finally - My little Spaz-tronauts!! Who says I don't recycle! Custom fitted space helmet ready for hours of after dinner fun. Well, minutes - least long enough to snap this little video.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Happy #@&%^ Summer Vacation

I don't know what all the fuss is about. Quite frankly, I find the whole thing quite anti-climatic. I mean, when I was young (er) - I couldn't wait until summer vacation. Now, as a stay at home mom...I realize that there is no such thing as summer vacation, or spring break, or winter holidays...No such thing.

Last week was a whirlwind of end of year kid shit. School carnival, dance recital, 3 birthday parties to attend (not to mention shop for gifts to wrap and give), pre-school graduation, 3rd grade play, last PTA meeting of the year, last day of school, Father's Day....and as Hubby scheduled a real busy week, I was up early each day with the girls and prepared for the events at hand. I had to be 'on' all week. I don't do 'on' on a regular basis. I don't do perky. But, I rose to the occasion, showered each day before the girls woke up (which is a feat unto itself) and went about the various and sundry, shiny, happy things that I am supposed to do with purpose.
June Cleaver : eat your heart out! Most parts of our week went exceptionally well....

Here are just a few things that tainted my cork:

1) Hey lady in the ATM drivethru at the bank.. It is a drive-thru and not a full service teller. Have your shit ready before you get there, stick your card in , press your PIN and get your money and GO! This is not the place to apply for a mortgage or fill out 27 separate graduation cards with crisp $20 bills....that's why it's called a drive thru, see? They even abbreviated the word through because it takes too long to read it.

2) Hey gas station owners and credit card companies...if gas costs about $50 a gallon, why is the limit on credit cards $50 per transaction??? What the hell are we supposed to do? We try to be good and run our cars to empty (I don't 'top off' as all the reports are saying not to do) and we fill in the morning (as all the reports say to do - gotta do our part on emissions or something tree hugging like that). So I wait on line for the gas station that actually still takes debit cards and can only fill about 3/4 tank on my $50 limit. It actually costs about $80 to fill my tank. That's just friggin' gross.

3)Hey grocery store owners and chicken farmers...if I can buy those 8 breasts of chicken for $7.00 with my 'club card' (a.k.a. that little gnarled tag that dangles from my key chain), then how could it cost $16.00 just 'cuz I don't want to give my phone number out?? I mean really. It obviously only costs $7.oo and that includes the mark-up and all that crap. Why don't they just write 'effin $7.00 on the price tag? You actually get punished for not wanting to divulge your private information . Screw that. I'm done with that store.

4) Hey egomaniacal mom at the last day of school....No, the kid doesn't want your autograph! This is a true story. Our school principal is retiring this year after 11 years at the same school Too bad, he's a great educator and advocate for our kids. But I digress. After a tearfilled morning honoring him in a school wide assembly, he gave hugs and signed the kids' yearbooks. They were all clamoring around him waving their yearbooks and pens like he was an actual Jonas Brother and this mom, who scares the shit out of me really, starts taking the books and signing her name like she was , I don't know- Hannah 'frickin Montana. She is far from it. She is more like Roseanne Barr. All the while , the kids are sorta dumbfounded and don't know what to say. I (crouching down so as not to be seen) make sure my kid's book goes to the right set of hands. I knew they were his hands. Hers knuckles are hairier.

There were some things, however, that made me swirl with joy:

My girls and their various events of the week. They had fun. And were proud of themselves. Me too. My 8 year old got all A's and A+'s on her report card. She's only in 3rd grade - but armed with that report card and her winning Essay (see post titled Humongous) ...Harvard Here We Come! And my 4 year old can write her own name and sing her phone number the tune of 'Camp Town Racers sing this song, doo-dah, doo-dah'. Wheeee!

Watching anyone else but Lisa the 'biatch' win this season's Top Chef on Bravo. Go Stefanie!
(how sad is my life?)

Being listed on the blogroll of The Secrets in the Sauce (SITS)..I have had quite a few visitors and commentors. I have arrived.

Starting up the ol' SWIRL business again. Actually going to a Woman's Business start up meeting thing called Ladies Who Launch. Gonna bang the creative drums, so to speak.

Made it through the week with minimal tears. In the 'I miss my father ' category, I mean. I think it really hit me when I spoke to my consumately busy mom who finally admitted she was lonesome. I just can't get the moment we 'got the call' out of my head and that profound sense of loss I felt then, I still feel after 5 months.

And, of course, there has to be at least one really shitty event...4 days, eight pairs of panties, three warm baths, one suppository, several pedi-lax and one sore bottom, but Rachel finally pooped on the toilet. We are both wiped out with this one. But suffice it to say - I think we may actually be able to leave the house soon.

Happy Summer Vacation...let the games begin.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Critical Mass

We have reached it. Literally and figuratively. In the 'potty' department, that is.

At the advice of some commentors, Dr. Phil, the Potty Whisperer (care of NBC's Today Show clip), my sister, and everyone else....I sat Rachel down and laid down the law.

It is no longer my job to take care of her 'body goings on'. It is hers. Her jobs, and she only has two - is to make pee-pee without me in the room and to make poops on the toilet. My job is everything else.

After three days and many tears....last night was the worst. I got indegestion from the pain of listening to her cry. She got what we called the 'ha-ha's . You know that sound when a kid (or adult) cries so hard that each word they are trying to sputter out starts with a 'ha'.

Me: "so Ray, what is your choice? Go to bed or go the bathroom?"
Her: "ha-I ha-don't haha-know"
Me: "You have two choices, and only two"
Her: "ha-but ha-I ha-don't ha-wanna ha-go to haha-Disneyland!"
Me: "tonight that is not one of your choices. What's it gonna be, Ray"
Her: "Okay, I'll try"

At least she is trying. At that point last night, I knew it wasn't going to happen. But we went through the motions. She admitted that she doesn't want to stay home all summer in the house. She wants to swim, and play, and go to camp, and do things. This is HUGE!!! She also admitted that she is afraid. She is afraid that her bum is going to come off. I told her that unless someone unscrews her bellybutton, her bum is stuck on there real good. And part of my job is still to make sure that nobody screws with her belly button.

Today- she must have tried about 10 times. I gave her baby laxitive to soften things up a bit. She must have had about 20 glasses of water and lots of raisins and fruit and bran flakes. The poor thing- at this point, it is not her is physical. She acquiesced to the fact that she's gotta go. Tonight we watched a very cute movie - which we all enjoyed more that we thought. "Mr. Magorium's Magic Emporium" was cute and had some very punny lines for the adults. But I digress. In the movie was a magic block of wood whose purpose is of no consequence at the moment except to illustrate the following:

Her (pirate face and tears welling up) "I can't do it"
Me: "Do you want me to get the magic block of wood?"
Her (looking around the bathroom) "We don't got a magic block of wood"
Me: "No, but we have a magic box" (I sally forth to retrieve a package that arrived for her today)
Her: (eyes lighting up a little, crooked smile starting to come out from under the tears) "What's in it?"
Me: "I don't know, but it has your name on it " (now that can she can read her name, I show her the address label)
Her: "Yer just pretending" (Pirate face has returned as she is holding back the tears)
Me: (shaking the box to prove it is not empty) "It is an after-poopy present"
Her: (full on tears and snot and all) "It's duck"
Me: "No, it's not a duck- look!" (I open one flap of the box to show her that something colorful lay wait)
Her: " I SAID IT'S STUCK, MY POOPY IS STUCK!!!" Waaaaaah!!!

I am holding in the laughter and truly pained inside...she is exhausted and frustrated. I want to be able to leave the house. I so want to give her a pull-up and let her go - but if I give in, nothing I ever say will matter. She knows it, I know it. Now you all know it. It's there, just waiting. Like a little turtle just poking it's head out.

Tomorrow- for Father's Day...Hubby's goin' in with vaseline and forefinger.

We have reached Critical Mass. Or, I hope he does in the morning.


To all those Dad's out there. Happy Father's Day. I only hope you are loved as much and as unconditionally as Hubby is by his two girls. They made up a song for him that they will sing after they let him sleep late (yeah, right) and made some cards. Too cute. I love to watch him play with the girls in the pool, or cook for them, or listen in as he recites a Dr. Suess book with all different voices for each character, or brush their hair, or do 'knock-overs' and tickle monster before bed time. He's the best daddy. Well....second best. I love you David.

and I miss you so much my Daddy. Five months and it still hurts so bad.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Skittles! Joy.

The calm after the storm...

....the storm before the calm.

Aaaah. Pinatas and birthday parties and the parent (me)who hates them.

Seriously, who ever thought giving a bat to a bunch of 4 year olds to swing crazily at a box full of sugar ....What-ever. At least this pinata was innocuous enough. A big silver star loaded with skittles, lollipops, starbursts and gummie things. Watch Rachel as she excitedly waves the bag to show me "See mom? Skittles!" Joy.

The last party we went to had a toddler sized Snow White pinata. The sight of a bunch of kids literally whacking the stuffing out of Snow White then charging the ruins to collect its innards left Rachel questioning the meaning of life itself. No amount of Skittles was worth that look of horror.

*authors note: No child was harmed in this posting. Video taken not to protect the innocent, but to show that my kid has manners and did not hoard. Sugar coma was self induced by child and not by hostess of aforementioned party. Mother of sleeping children rested comfortably in a lovely little glass of California Rose and a bowl of yummy risotto. Joy.

I need some help with my blog

I think I am so clever...but I need some help in the design department. I think if I were to win this contest offerred by SITS (see sidebar for link) that not only would my blog be fancy...but words would flow from my fingers like the muse I think I am.

Check out to see what is offerred and cross your fingers that I win. You know when you are all dressed up to go out, you walk taller and feel better? Well, if my blog was all dressed up, I would write smarter and more often. Here's to trying. (swirl and sip the rose now)

Even if I don't win, you should come back and leave comments for me...

I need to learn a few things about blogging. I always thought I was clever and funny and wiser than everyone else until I started 'trolling' and reading others' web logs. There are some great writers out there. As soon as I figure out how to do it, I will add their blogs via a listing of blogs I read every day. I could really be friends with some of you out there! No, really. I could.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Practically Perfect In Every Way

-describes Mary Poppins of course...for those who have not seen the movie in 20 years.

The phrase also describes my Rachel. She is just delicious, ya know. I always take 50% of the credit for that. Hubby gets the other 50%. We are good parents. No- we are great parents. Lots of love, a goodly amount of patience, two terrific senses of humor, an awesome big sister for little Ray Ray to emulate -whom we raised as well (see how that works?) We have the same goals for our kids. We, as parents, balance each other really well. We have been reading to our kids since they were mere specks of rice in utero. We always laugh, praise, encourage and nourish. We gently admonish (snarky grin) when necessary careful not to break those delicately maturing psyches. And are firm when called for. Basically, you get the gist. We are awesome. Jump back, kiss myself, kiss, kiss.

But the title of this post is a giveaway that all is not perfect - it's practically perfect. I am ashamed to admit this but as parents we SUCK at one thing. Potty Training. Yes- we have a 4 year old who just won't do her thing #1 without me standing at the bathroom door and #2 on the potty at all. She is a friggin' camel. Holds her water all the live long day! And the poop thing? No amount of bribery, cajoling, enticement will do it for her.

This is a rundown of suggestions from friends, parents, self-help guides, teachers, doctors...and what we have tried and what hasn't worked to date.

Treats: Tried the jellybeans, m&m's, hershey bars, cookies, gum, standing rib roast, new porche, house in Maui....nothing will make this kid 'sing'. I have given treats for just the mere mention of recognizing that 'tickle' in her tummy. I have left a trail of treats from the family room to the potty. She walked around them like they weren't there. I have gift wrapped the treats in pretty packages and left them on the bathroom sink. She asks "what's that?" and as soon as I tell her that if she goes on the potty, she can open it and find out. She stops asking and pretends they are not there anymore. I have even found the gift in the trashcan on several occasions.

Disney: We'll go there as soon as she goes there. "I don't want to go Disney" (her)
Sleepovers: You can't go there unless you go there. " I don't want a sleepover"(her)
Dinner and a Movie/ vacation/ anywhere that takes more than 2 hours I can't go there unless she goes there. " I wanna go to dinner and movie/vacation/anywhere that takes more than 2 hours " (me)
Summer Camp/Pool Party/the new Wall-e movie/playland at the mall/ the park /outside to play/in my room you get it?? You can't go anywhere until you GO there!!! "I don't want to do anything". (her)

I am basically held captive by my child's bowels. If I stop giving in (which I have once or twice), she holds it in until her eyes fill with tears (an pee) and she is doubled over in pain. What am I to do? When we do leave her with a sitter, she doesn't go at all. Except with 'illa' our one day a week nanny/housekeeper who has been with us since Rachel was 6 months old. And with her it is only in dire emergency.

I try not to get angry - but time's a tickin'! We have plans in October and I don't want to cancel them because my kid won't open the floodgates on a regular basis. I am usually against this kinda thing - but I'll take any suggestions. Chances are - we've tried it.

You see, the 50% she got from me includes stubborness and giving the silent treatment. She will not give. And when we try to discuss it, she clams up tight. Goes all "Tommy, can you hear me?" on us. I do that too. Even when I know I am wrong- I will not relent. I will go stone silent. The tension can be palpable. That's my contribution to the fold...well, about 10% of my half, anyway.

Other than this one little thing - well, this one BIG thing - the kid is perfect!! Seriously, she is easy going, happy, funny, sweet, smart, physically adept, warm, charming...I can go on and on and on. The kid's a freak of nature in more ways than one. In this one way, she is the wrath of nature.

I need help. Professional help maybe. And not just for the kid.

*author's note: this post is dedicated solely to Rachel. I am sure, in time, I will devote much blogging to Emily Rose as I am sure that I will have embarrassing parental admissions of failure regarding her upbringing as well.

Monday, June 2, 2008

What's Up With That, Anyway...

To steal a line from a famous sitcom - What's Up With That??

What's up with customer service? Or, should I say - lack of customer service? The other day, I am at the local 'very expensive organic market' whose brand I am careful not to besmirch as I might ask for cashier position there someday (if the economy keeps this way) and after buying delicious fresh fruits and veggies - I head over to my favorite place ...the cheese and wine department! I could spend hours there...tasting and comparing. So- in the midst of my lactose coma brought upon by my 'would you mind if i have a taste of this?'-ness - I found 6 bottles of yummy wine to pair nicely with the cheeses, and some hors d'houevres that my Chef Du Jour friend Debby was fixing for the evening (more on that later) - I wended my way to the checkout lane.

$195.00 later ( no 2 buck chuck for me!) and I asked for a 6 bottle cardboard carrier for the wine. The response was, "Uh, I think you have to buy those now." I am all -'you're kidding me' and the kid shouts across the checkout lanes to the most tatoo-ed and pierced one (which seems to be a prerequisite to work there) who confirms my disbelief. She (at least I think it was a she as androgyny is the other prerequisite) says "Yeah - I'll give it to you today, but next time you have to buy it." Sheepishly, I accept the offer of the cardboard and leave the store; all the while accepting the stares and glares of other shoppers who, unlike me, have their re-usable thermo shopping bags and bamboo baby slings strung about them.

Now, I might be making a big deal out of I am spending $4.99 on organic milk, $5.99 for organic strawberry's, and some serious wine and I am complaining about having to buy a cardboard box. But- what is up with that? The friggin' tree is already dead. I shouldn't have to buy the container I am going to carry home with me and re-use for future purchases. (snarky grin)

So this morning - I went to my local 'large box grocery store' whose name shall also be withheld in case I chicken out on the tatoo and cartlidge piercing , and I need job there- because as much as I like to buy organic and locally grown...there are just 'nationally known' brands of things that I can't do without (Welch's, Skippy and Charmin to name but a few). The music they play may not be as good, but I do weekly shopping there for things like plastic baggies and laundry detergent. Today, Rachel and I are at the store, and the little 'club' key tag thingy that I has been dangling off my keychain is gnarled and doesn't scan. The cashier promptly shouts 'Why don't you get a new one, this one stinks' To that I reply "I have tried 3 times to get a new one (and I have) and nothing has been sent to me yet." She is relentless and tells me how easy it is to do. I say I know and have filled out the transfer request 3 times. She goes on to tell me (or yell me as the case may be) that all I have to do is fill out the request form and she'll give me a new key tag right away. "You just fill out the thing check off transfer and they'll send you a new one you probably will lose your points and stuff blah, blah,blah" She lost me at 'fill out'.

On and on she goes-with each plea her voice getting louder and louder. On and on I say how I have already sent 3 requests...yada,yada,yada. She is still going on as I pack my own groceries (in plastic, not paper , shame on me), pack up my kid, pay for the load and head out the door. Granted cashiers at 'large box grocery store' are not awful people, but some of their people skills are just awful. Was she on commission for card replacement or auditioning for carnival barker or to be the one who calls over the loudspeaker...Irv, cleanup on aisle 5! What is up with that?

I have to get a blood test today. Or, should I say - another blood test. Since the D.A.C. (dumb ass cancer for those who are either new to my postings or need a refresher in swirlgirlese) I have to go every 3-4 weeks to check TSH levels so I can get my new dose of Synthroid. And, as I am still having problems with this 'pins and needles' feeling and my lips are still burning and my hands , neck, stomach and other various muscles keep cramping - this time around the Doc is checking calcium and a few other things. So, last week I went in for my routine blood test at the lab where I always go. We have new insurance, so they have to photocopy everything all over again. I should have recognized that 20 minute process as an omen. I get a call from my Doc's office that the lab called and said that it will take up to 10 days to run the test. 10 friggin' days? It used to be overnight! Maybe it's the new insurance- I don't know. But I do know that I am out of Synthroid and now I have to get a few pills to tide me over. So, as ridiculous as this sounds (synthroid is a $4 prescription), I go to the pharmacy and beg the guy for a few pills to tide me over. Friggin' insurance. He says - "If I fill this, insurance will not let another fill for another 30 days". We're not talking narcotics ...this is synthroid. So, the pharmacy guy 'sells' me 3 pills for $1 each. I am so frustrated, I just take it and leave. Remember, I just spent $6.00 on a pint of strawberries...what's another couple o' bucks?

Now, I get a call from Doc's office that lab did not have sufficient sample to run the tests. Is that code for 'oops, we screwed up and lost it? Is this because new insurance will only pay for blood tested at the same crappy lab that also makes those crappy key tags that can't be scanned? I have to go back to have more blood taken. This time I have to go to the hospital. What a freakin' pain in the neck. Find a parking spot in the garage, go to information desk, wait for 1 hour in registration, go to lab, wait there for 20 minutes...get the stick for 30 seconds. Now, I have to do this each time I need to give blood, which is every month by the way. I hate hospitals. And, this one I hate the most as it brings up a couple of uncontrollable waves (tsunami's) of emotion. I had my gall bladder removed here on Xmas eve '06 with Familla Godzilla , the nurse that would scare the crap out of Nurse Ratchit (a la Cuckoo's Nest) on the ward that night. And, on January 10th of this year, I was here to have my Fine Needle Aspiration to find out I have D.A.C. at the very moment that I got the call my wonderful dad had passed away. I couldn't walk out the door of the building without the wave (tsunami) hitting me. Needless to say, I don't look forward to my monthly visits there. I need to find another entrance and egress route if I am going to do this regularly. The emotional toll is too much for me.

Then, to top it all off, I stepped in some friggin' gum that some cow spit out on the ground. Gum. That crap should be banned. Gum - and discount key tag cards and gummi anything's and D.A.C., and......

What's up with all that, anyway?

Ps- check out my other site to find out more about my new business venture. I am revisiting SWIRL, Simple Wine Information for Real Life, at the behest of Debby of Chef Du Jour ...she cooks, I swirl - we all have a good time!!

Pss- I am becoming quite the on the link for The Secret is in the Sauce to the right for some Best Of blog entries...I am trying to win a contest here! Humor Me!