Friday, December 28, 2007

I'm fatter... but so are you.

Christmas.

There is but one word to accurately describe it, and (ironically enough) it is one of the Seven Deadly Sins. Imagine that... we celebrate the birth of Christ (even though his birth was not in the winter at all, but I digress) by indulging most wickedly in one of the most terrible of sins - gluttony.

Oh, that's right folks. GLUTTONY.
And it's goooooood.

Gluttony abounds.
Turkey, ham, sweet potatoes, macaroni & cheese, mashed potatoes, pie, etc. You name it, we eat it. And I will shamelessly admit that I LIKE IT. Christmas just would not be the same without a big heaping serving of gluttony.

And I'll also admit to loving it when my presents are in the gluttonous realm.

There. I said it. I like presents... lots and lots of presents!
And luckily, I have a husband that comes through. :D

My gluttony for this year? A Nikon D80 camera, complete with lens, carrying case, and several books/manuals. I swear to God, I swooned. And here I never thought that something electronic could bring a woman so close to ecstacy. (he he)

So now that I have a good camera, that means I take really good pictures, right? Yeah. I thought so. It's all about the camera. Maybe I should be a professional photographer now... ya know, even though I haven't had a chance to play with anything but the 'Auto' settings yet.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Pity Party, Table For One.

It's 3am I must be lonely....

*Buzzer sounds*
Incorrect answer. Try again, Matchbox 20.

Not lonely... oh how I WISH that was it. No, something far more sinister and and annoying has me up in the dead of night in the middle of December. A mucous invasion.

Don't get me wrong... as a lifelong allergy sufferer with questionable immune system function, I'm used to snot. But this is no ordinary snot. This is super-powered, radioactive snot from the planet Krypton. (OK, maybe not - but it's bad. Trust me.)

Normally I'm not a big whiner (shut up, Paul) but Christ! I have been sick for a freaking MONTH now! As soon as the first cold was closing up shop and vacating, I get struck with this doozy. And to top it off? Not only am I miserable, achy, snotty, and sleep-deprived, but so are both my kids. Joy. And I get to take care of them all. day. long. tomorrow on very little sleep, with aching lymph nodes. Awesome.

So yeah... I would give both my aching lymph nodes for loneliness to be the problem keeping me awake. *sigh*
It's gonna be a LONG day.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Dandruff

So, it's gotten rather chilly here lately.
In fact, it's what a lot of Southerners (to the smirking amusement of those used to 'real winters') would call bitterly cold.
Brrrr.

Before I go on, you must understand one thing: Here in North Carolina, we have very little concept of what 'winter' really means.
To us, winter means digging out a sweater or two, and maybe a light coat. The words PARKA and SNOW BOOTS are as foreign to us as grits are to an Indian family living in New Jersey. We simply have no use for them.

Now, knowing a bit about our area, it will come as no surprise that snowfall is a Big Deal. Any snowfall. 1/4 inch of snow is grounds for a Holiday around here. Not only are all schools and workplaces shut down until the last of the evil white stuff melts, but everyone kicks into 'disaster mode' buying up all the bread and milk in a ten-mile radius.

(Hey. We have no snow plows, and to my knowledge nobody here even knows that snow tires exist. )

But that's not really the point. The point is that if anyone admits that it MIGHT be possible to drive in snow flurries, they might stop declaring every little bit of heavenly dandruff a Holiday. So we all play dumb. (Well, OK. Some of us play dumb. The rest... well... fill in the blank.)

So obviously there are some good reasons to hope for a little white stuff on the ground... however, some people are really in need a tranquilizer, a vacation, or something. In the post office Wednesday, I was minding my own business (wishing the slow-as-molasses employees very, very ill) when a lady barges in all red-faced and excited, about to pee her pants.

"IT'S SNOWING! IT'S SNOWING!!"

Uh huh.
Sure enough, a little dandruff was drifting down.

1...2...3...4. Four seconds. Four seconds and it was gone for good, leaving you wondering if you ever even saw it at all.
The first snowfall of the year... blink and you missed it.


I'd bet my ass that Ms. Exciteable had milk and bread in her car.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

I love you man!

Ever notice how everything seems better after half a bottle of wine?

No matter how bad or trying your day, that lovely taste and feel of rotted grapes always makes your insides tingle and your mind go to a mellow fuzzy place. It's a beautiful thing.

I love you man.

God bless the man who first deigned to taste that fermented pile of slush that was once grapes... he changed my life forever.

Now if only I could get a handle on that changing water into wine gig... that would be sweet.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Ho *freaking* Ho

So... decorating the Christmas tree.

Pretty straightforward, right?
Yeah... no.

The lights.
The %$#%&!@ lights!

I swear to God, they are conspiring with my kids to drive me absolutely batshit insane. When all is said and done, I may just have to swear off Christmas trees for good. (And people thought I was a Scrooge before – HA!)

Pop Quiz:

What did the lights do to make me so vile-tempered?
a) Work when tested
b) Half stopped working once on the tree
c) A new strand died every time a previously non-working one was fixed
d) All of the above

How were my children and the lights working together against me?
a) Once all the lights were working, a toddler pulled a bulb out, resulting in partial blackout
b) Once all the lights were working, a toddler swung beads over her head, shattering a bulb
c) Once all the lights were working, a toddler touches a bulb, and a partial blackout ensues
d) All of the above

Did you really have to ask?
The answer is d. The answer is always d.

I'm happy to report though, that with the help of my lovely and talented assistant (husband), the lights are now working in the proper fashion.
Unfortunately, now both the kids are fascinated with removing the ornaments and destroying them. As a result, all our decorations are now inhabiting the (approximate) 2.5 ft section at the top of the tree where the kids can't reach.

Charlie Brown's tree had nothing on us.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Because I said so!

Did you know that it's a doggie?

Yeah.
It's a doggie. Everything is.

Case in point - Elisabeth at the Ren. Faire, in the petting zoo. (She loved it and refused to leave, so we stayed there while Anna & her minion (errr... Daddy) went to do a few different things. )
The ensuing conversation went as follows:

Me: "Look Ella - SHEEP!"
E: "Doggie!"
Me: "No... sheep."
E: "Doggie!"
Me: "No... it's a sheep."
E: "DOGGIE!"
Me: "Honey, those are sheep."
E: "I'S. A. DOGGIE!" (insert furious dirty look)

Ooookkkk. I give up... it's a doggie! Sheesh. (Thought, but not said (lest I anger her further) as I back slowly away, making no sudden moves.)

While unexpected and slightly unsettling, this little exchange sent two couples within hearing range into paroxysms of laughter when they witnessed a 2.5 ft tall individual telling me off and setting me straight.
(This of course is not to say that I wasn't very nearly choking in my own effort not to scream with laughter.)
A good time was had by all.

Lesson learned.
Do not argue with a 17 month old. If they say it's a doggie, then damn it - it's a doggie.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

The Pants

Yes, the pants...
Or lack thereof, as the case may be.

Today we managed to corral the kiddos and head out to the Renaissance Faire.
Have I mentioned that I love the Renaissance Faire? The turkey legs, the music, the jousting, the sword-eating guy... what's not to love?!

So being that we are very free with our love around here, we obviously set about tackling our favorite things with great gusto. And really, all was well with the exception of one tiny hitch.
An unscheduled show.

Tell me... what is proper etiquette for a situation in which your child decides to drop trou in the middle of a Ren Faire and proceed to dance, stomp and sing around the picnic table? (Hypothetically speaking, of course. A 'friend' wants to know.)

Yeah.
I don't know either.
I was rendered positively stupid by the sight. I could do little more at first other than sit there dumbstruck (with a bit of turkey hanging out of my mouth) amazed that I was now officially that parent. You know... the one you look at pityingly while thinking "Poor bastard. What a handful!"

But hey. At least she didn't take a crap in front of the beer stand.
Silver lining, folks. Silver lining.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Do you want fries with that?

I love fast food.
I don't care WHAT it is - it's better if it comes in a paper bag and someone asks you "Do you want to value-size that?".

It's greasy, it's fatty, it's life-threatening, and I love it so.

Why am I dead-set on making my arteries scream for mercy?
I blame it on my childhood.

(What? I'm not allowed to do that anymore? It's not Politically Correct?)
Well, tough. I don't feel like taking responsibility for the fact that I'll eat crap on a stick as long as it's deep-fried.
So, to hell with it. I'm pulling out the freshman Psych. card and blaming it on my Mother. (*grins*)

After all, isn't that what Mothers are for? Isn't that what I have to look forward to?

(Considering that there are more charges for Chick Fil-A on our debit card statement than there are rednecks at Wal-Mart, you can see that I am doomed to the same fate when my offspring get their first Lipitor prescriptions.)

But eh.
You know, I'm usually so brain-fried by dinner time that on some days it's a wonder that I don't accidentally microwave the cat for dinner... so it could be worse.
The kids should be grateful! I'm actually doing them a favor here.

Chicken soaked in peanut oil is a damn sight better than singed cat hair any day of the week.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A Glimpse Into The Golden Years....

Ever wonder what life will be like when you grow old?

I used to....

I used to wonder, but now I have my answer - the Senior Citizen years are like being a SAHM, but without the food throwing and snot.

Your work consists of wiping asses (children or spouse - it doesn't matter).
You long for interaction with other adults who still remember you.
The highlight of your day is having a meal out with someone who has all their teeth.
You hang out at the YMCA several times a week - not necessarily to get fit, but for a change of pace.

It admittedly feels rather strange to be in the locker room after my workout surrounded by almost NOBODY who isn't eligible for the Early Bird discount at Golden Corral. But hey... on the bright side, I have the best skin and perkiest bits of anyone in the locker room - a feat I haven't managed for quite some time!

The saddest part?
I think the 90 year-old woman that I regularly run into in the locker room (after her water aerobics class) is in better shape than me. I console myself by thinking that she obviously must have a sweet young thing at home. Nobody who wipes butts and spoon-feeds puree to another human being 24/7 is that light on their feet. No one.

So yeah. The YMCA is pretty good for an ego boost sometimes.
If you can avoid watching your cellulite jiggle in the mirrors of the workout room, that is.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I'll have my usual, please.

I am such a creature of habit.
A stalker's dream, really.

I do the same things every morning, noon, and night. I order the same dishes at restaurants (over and over and over again), and I even dress the same pretty much all the time (think 12 shirts, exactly the same, but in different colors. Yeah. I'm daring). In short, I am a walking Excel spreadsheet.

Yeah. Anal much?

Now if only I could apply that discipline (cough*obsession*cough) to things that actually matter... like, oh, I don't know... laundry? Cleaning? Filing?
But alas... I fear that I am doomed to be completely anal-retentive only about the supremely inconsequential. And I wonder why my kids won't go to sleep without nightlights, humidifiers, and a bath before bed. (lol) Apple... meet tree. You didn't fall very far.

Before you know it my house will be a condemned structure... but eh... who cares? I've already had a glass of wine, had a bath, and put lotion on for the 27,000th time today. The important stuff is taken care of. Life is good.

Needless to say, if you look up the word 'Flexible' in the dictionary, you will not be seeing my picture.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Straight up, please.

It's a martini kind of night.

There are fresh juice stains on the floor, and even though the beastly ones are in bed I still hear the vague echo of shouting and tantrum-screams in my head.

Make mine a double.

I need a powerful anesthetic to forget that lately my kids can be so rambunctious that I have become a walking ad for birth control. One look at my brood having a simultaneous tantrum in Wal-Mart is enough to send any blissful young couple high-tailing it to the condom aisle - for the Value Pack.

To put it succinctly, I am freaking beat.
Today was the kind of day that makes boot camp look appealing - I could use a little R&R.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Winning Streak

Two good things in one day - I'm on a roll!

I had a Dr. appointment today to get a 'growth' on my neck checked out.

The verdict? It's a sebaceous cyst. The doc reached right out and popped it. Voila - no more lump. I felt pretty damned undignified, obviously. Here I was entertaining visions of lumpectomies, cancer, chemo, hospital bed rest (hey, a girl can dream), the works... and it turns out to be a nasty fluid-filled cyst.

Yum.

I did get a flu shot while I was there though, so at least I didn't completely waste that $20 copay.

But wait, there's more! After that, the really good thing happened! (What, you thought being pronounced cancer-free was the best thing that happened to me today? Ha!)

BOTH of my kids are now taking a nap. Both of them. Lately that happens about as often as Britney Spears washes her hair, so you can see why I am so excited.

The house is so blissfully quiet I could cry... after I look to see if Ed McMahon is here with my check yet, of course. (Hey. It could happen. My kids are both napping - did I mention that?) I think Ed must be coming soon... I'm obviously heading into a winning streak here.

Maybe I should go buy a lottery ticket.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Bring on the Chinese Water Torture... please!

Gah!
Some days being a SAHM feels like war torture.

Imagine this: Your CD player is malfunctioning, stuck on repeat. You have no choice but to listen to the song "Wannabe" over and over again until you can disconnect it. Now. Imagine that you CANNOT STOP IT, and you have my morning.

"Wan cowwwah? Wan cowwwah? Wan cowwah!" ("Want to color" for those not versed in baby-speak.) Constantly I hear this. Even when the crayons and paper are right in front of her! What does this munchkin want from me? Am I supposed to color FOR her? Or maybe I should use my Mommy-magic to have the crayons perform tricks... or perhaps I should miraculously defecate some new yet-to-be-invented colors for my budding artiste.

Well... eventually the kid has to nap, right?

She finally conks out (no doubt dreaming about the superior nature of Crayola to Prang), and now we get to my afternoon.

The artiste is sleeping, so I'm alone with Anna for a couple of hours. So, being the optimist that I am, I decide to embark on another (different) artistic pursuit with her.

Oh boy.

The artistic pursuit? Priming the laundry room. (The previous homeowners were SEVERELY taste-challenged) I knew I'd have 'help', and boy was I right. She attacked the walls with gusto - a little gummy bear-fueled painting machine. Great, right? Well, yeah... except that the minute I turn my back, she smears the door with her paint (the door she was expressly warned AGAINST painting).

OK, chickie. Paint time over.

So yeah.
My day was long. Long and 'interesting' for lack of a better word. Ask me in the morning, though, and my kids will be angels again. :)
It's the blessing (curse?) of parenthood - your own kids are always angels.

(And even if they aren't, you still have to say it. The doctors make you sign a contract as the head is crowning... they can't have you screwing up that whole 'propagation of the species' thing by telling the truth.)

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Clean is overrated

Given that I'm a 'housewife' I suppose I should be more into this homemaking thing. Ya know, fresh bread, clean floors, clean children, freshly ironed towels... the whole Donna Reed spiel.

Honestly though, I just don't get it when people speak of cleaning products in the loving manner I reserve for a triple-fudge brownie, or a really kick-ass cocktail.

Like the other day - a friend of mine was waxing poetic about Mr. Clean Magic erasers... they took the grime around her sink right off! What miraculous little pieces of heaven!

My thoughts went a little something like "Huh. You're supposed to wipe that stuff off?"

It's a conspiracy.

I've been watching Trading Spaces and Antiques Roadshow for years... and I know that filth is in! You just have to learn how to sell it to others.

*Nosy neighbor makes a comment about your ring-around-the faucet? Fix her with a pitying stare and inform her that it is verdigris, not grime.

*Your husband is skeptical about the cleanliness of the stainless appliances, and remarks about the food crusted on them? Roll your eyes and ask him if he hasn't ever heard of a little something called patina. Then inform him that patina greatly increases the value of antiques... someday he'll be grateful.

Yeah.

I'm proud to say that I am one step ahead of the game. Magic erasers be damned - I am patina-rich thanks to my two wrecking balls I sometimes refer to as children. Hey, they have their uses. Thanks to that spaghetti sauce and fruit leather patina, I'll be a rich woman someday.

Monday, October 8, 2007

King Of The Germ Heap

My kids are angels.
Why other kids cannot follow suit and be un-annoying angelic creatures, I'll never know. (insert sad headshake)

Take this afternoon for instance:
My girls and I go to Chick-Fil-A for lunch (where we go waaay too much, but I digress) and then they play in the play area for a bit afterwards.
In said play area, I encounter "Annoying kid, type 1" - type 1 being the goody two-shoes RULE ENFORCER.

(Not to be confused with type 2, which is the KNOW-IT-ALL, or type 3, which is THE TATTLER.)

So, apparently I made a big mistake by letting my kids wear their shoes in there - after all, we were leaving in just minutes, and they never climb on the equipment anyway... they just play with the ground level toys. Well, Mr. RULE ENFORCER busy-bodies himself right on up to me and informs me that shoes ARE NOT ALLOWED, and my kids would have to TAKE THEIRS OFF!

Well, who died and made you King of germland?

We left shortly thereafter. I had to get out of there before the urge to pummel that kid with my gallon-sized drink cup took over.

From my experiences at various activities, I am left with but one conclusion: Once they start to talk, I mostly dislike any kid that didn't emerge from my hoo-ha.
The End.

Intro

People without children have asked me a time or two "What's it like?"

What's it like....
Kids are a force of nature - raw, unfettered, and strong. And raising them is a lot like attempting to tame the wind... the best you can hope to do in either instance is to harness some of it, and redirect it to where you want it to go.

And this is where I am - chronicling my attempts at taming the wind. And I dearly hope that I don't screw it up. :)