Thursday, November 5, 2015

What's a blog for if not for complaining?

Okay, fine, I have lots of good/funny/thought-provoking posts in the queue but they're hanging out there in the nether ether because I've been super focused on HEALTH and WORKING OUT and stuffs during my lunch breaks recently to remember to take care of the mental (see what I did there) side of things. Also I have to share a computer with Dylan and he's been doing a lot of shows recently and I rediscovered I have almost every Sookie Stackhouse novel on my Kindle and that whole series needs, nay, demands re-reading and blah blah talkycakes.

Anyhoodle, I stayed up way too late reading last night but still dragged my butt out of bed at 0-dark-thirty to work out. That was my first mistake. The second was getting out of bed altogether. I had made my lunch last night which was a good thing as this morning was dedicated to dinner prep (Garlic Shrimp Stuffed Avocados - peeling four cups of frozen shrimp takes, how shall I put this, a stupid-long time. Totally worth it though. Moving on.) Of course, no morning is complete without short-order cooking microwaving breakfast for the kids. But never at the same time because why would they allow me to coordinate movements with shrimpy hands? At least I didn't have to drag either of them out of bed this morning so there's that.

Shrimp peeled, garlic minced, kids fed, finally time to prepare my omelet for breakfast. Heated up the pan on the stove and whisked the eggs all fluffy like. Dammit, forgot the bacon. Eh, screw it. Wait, nope, it's bacon. Have to have it. Microwave bacon. Holding bowl, whisk and cooking spray, attempt to remove lid of spray. Drop spray which rolls under cabinet and end up covered in cat fur. Most people would put the bowl and whisk down at this point but I'm not most people. Still holding the bowl and whisk, retrieve spray and blow off cat fur. Spray pan while simultaneously dropping whisk. Dammit! Put spray down, pick up whisk still holding bowl. Promptly spill half of eggs onto counter, down cabinet, and onto the floor. A@$%d^e$%! Crack open last egg and beat to within an inch of its life. (For the record though, this may have been my best omelet to date. The secret ingredients? Rage and cat fur.)

It's school picture day so commence delicate negotiations with Noah over an appropriate shirt to wear (spoiler: not Orioles or tie-dyed Eye of Sauron.) Compromise by tucking said Eye of Sauron shirt into his backpack to change into later. Yes! Victory is mine! Wait, why is the coffee pot making gurgling noises? Oh dear lord, please don't let the pot be cracked. That would be filed under First World Problems: Very Bad. Whew, no crack. Don't want to know why it's gurgling. Onward, Ferb!

Okay, we're back on schedule, everyone looks presentable. Hey guys, let me take a picture of you before Picture Day (yes, I realize how asinine this sounds.) Noelle, give me a pose. Awesome, thanks honey.

Okay Noah, now you. Can you please look at me? Aw, thanks for the hug sweetie, all right, let's do a selfie.

Okay, please can I get a picture of you? Arms down? Smiling? No, not scowling. No, not like you're in pain. C'mon honey, a real smile? You know what? Forget it. I'm done. I ask so little of you and you won't let me take a nice picture. Fine. Yes, I'm upset. I'm disappointed that you wouldn't do that for me. Put your jacket on and get in the car. We're leaving.

I silently groused on the drive to the bus stop. We got there just in time to see the bus appear out of the fog. Hugs and kisses and 'I love yous' and onto the bus they went, me back into the car to head to work through the thick fog. Visibility was low so of course I had someone riding my ass then passing me as soon as he could which did nothing for my mood. So here I am: tired, cranky, sore, and annoyed as hell at anyone who commented on the sample buckets looking to be heavy (they were) and not doing a damn thing to help. PSA: if you're not going to help me with them, keep your mouth SHUT. That is all.

The upside? My boss bought us lunch today. I had already logged my pre-prepared sandwich but after this morning, honey badger don't care.

And I ate the whole thing and felt better because food makes me happy and I'm not allowed to drink wine at work. The end.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Getting to know Noah

Long weekends, while wonderful, can be hell on earth when you have kids. Not that they aren't awesome and sweet and you just want to burrow into the snuggles preferably at a time later than 7 am but extra togetherness (for them) rarely ends well for anyone. For that reason alone we always try to have some sort of activity planned to keep them occupied and distracted from annoying the bejesus out of each other. This Labor Day was no exception.

Sunday was just a beautiful day and my main goal was to get them OUTSIDE. Alas, Noelle woke up with a hacking cough and a very low-grade fever. Sorry kiddo; no way you're leaving the house today. She needed to rest and Noah needed to be removed from electronic stimulation so I made a unilateral decision: we'd go to the zoo. At first there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth: Are Grant and Carter going to be there? No. Waaah! Are Kylee and Karson going to be there? No. It's just you and me. Waaah! Then he got over it and got dressed while I made lunches and packed snacks. I love that about our zoo (The Maryland Zoo at Baltimore), sure, it's not free but we go often enough that the membership we buy pays for itself in a couple of visits and we can pack the entire kitchen if we want. Suddenly, it dawned on him: he's got a whole day with just mommy and no sharing. Onward!

With multiple kids, where we go and when is always a negotiation but driving down I told him that he gets to set the agenda: we'll do as much or as little as he wants. He makes the decisions. And so he did. We saw the prairie dogs, spending a lot of time there. He requested a stop by the playground but decided once there that he'd rather have a drink and we headed down the shady path, him stopping to read the banners, practicing sounding out the words. Something that would never have happened if his sister or cousins were there - they'd be too busy laughing and running. He and I together? We took it slow and talked and walked and held hands. I made a vow to myself to be more present and less 'all-pictures all the time' and pretty much held to it. Sort of. And you know what? I've got a pretty neat kid.

We noticed all the updated signs and read them. By doing so we actually saw the river otter. She was huge! We got to see her get out of her nest and slip into the water. He jumped across the lily pads and we explored the caves. He pet the goats and didn't whine to ride the train. If he had asked, I would have gotten us tickets but no, it was time to visit Africa! With a quick detour by Penguin Coast for a time lapse construction video dance party. We saw two crocodiles swimming with turtles and our favorite funny monkeys. The giraffes were out in force and sitting down in the giraffe viewing area for lunch, three of them came up to vie for treats of leaves. We saw the elusive Dik Dik and the warthogs, heading then to visit the elephants where we practiced reading more signs and talked about why they were brown instead of grey. We headed back to the African aviary and spent a long time searching out all the birds, all the while steadily chatting about everything and nothing. We got to see the new cheetah, a beautiful, powerful animal stalking her new habitat and the lazy leopard snoozing in the sun. We finished our zoo day with penguin feeding time then headed home without a fuss.

Even the drive home was special, chatting the whole way about nutrition and what we have to do to survive. Our good moods continued with a quick stop by the grocery store and then back home to daddy and Noelle...and electronic entertainment. But that night he wanted me to get him ready for bed even though it was his turn to be with Dylan. Just like me, he didn't want that day to end. I've had experiences of being just with Noelle and it's fun and easy because she's so much like me. With Noah, I haven't done that before and wow, I've been missing a lot! He's sweet and funny and observant and curious and just so, so loving. All of which I knew but it's so much easier to revel in it when I can devote myself fully to him.

I've got the best little boy and I can't wait to do it again.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Bus Stop Diaries

August 24, 2015
Dear Diary,

Welp, here it is. The first day of school. New clothes, bags packed full of supplies, reconnecting with friends. The bus should be here soon; I really hope we don't have the same problems of the substitute driver always being so late as we did last year. The bus is here, hooray! And then the bus left. Just blew right past our stop with many (many) kids and stopped at the other entrance to our neighborhood. Did...did they combine the stops this year? So we all picked up bags and sped-walked to the other stop just to watch the bus pull away. The other parents said another bus is coming but it's getting late. Maybe we should just drive to school since it is the first day and all. Yes, that's what we'll do. So we packed up back into the car and away we went. I'm sure that it's just first day bumps; it's not like this bus stop hasn't been right here for years. Oh, wait. It has. Well, I'm sure that tomorrow will be better....

August 25, 2015
Dear Diary,

Can you believe that Noah is SIX today?! I can't. He's really excited about his birthday and we're bringing cupcakes and small goody bags for all of his classmates. I hope that his new teacher doesn't mind; it's hard with his birthday being the second day of school and not knowing his teacher's rules and all. It will be so much easier for him carrying things today. The principal called the house last night to apologize for the bus snafu so I'm sure that it has been resolved and they did say there was to be an early bus and a late bus. The early bus came at the late bus's time and I started to get worried. With only five minutes before the bell was due to ring, I decided to drive them, muttering some not-so-nice things under my breath. I hope that the kids didn't hear me. At least the 'late' bus showed up! As we were getting into the car so we hopped back out and ran to catch it. I'm really not comfortable with how this is going diary; how are they supposed to transition to school without that critical time buffer? Oh well, back to school night is tonight so I'm sure we'll get some answers then.

August 26, 2015
Dear Diary,

Noah had a great birthday! He really liked all of his presents and I got to meet their teachers at Back to School night and had ice cream cake and chips and salsa for dinner. The principal certainly apologized for the bus issues but we don't know what's happening with them still. I really hoped that it wouldn't be late today - I've got a lot of work to do and need to get to the office. We decided to play it safe and waited at the 'early' bus stop - along with the rest of the neighborhood. Hee hee, I wonder what the 'late' bus driver thought when she arrived to an empty stop? When the 'early' bus pulled up at 9, the driver just about flipped out that she couldn't take all of the kids. (There was room for all of them. Our neighborhood is the last stop on the route. She took them all.) I'm confused diary; why would the school send two buses to the same small neighborhood and tell half of the kids that they can't ride one of them and have to wait for a bus that won't pick them up until just before classes start? In other news I finally finished going over my shelf life report. Man but do I have a lot of stuff to block! I wonder how far Noah has gotten in his Lego Batman game? I'm crossing my fingers that tomorrow the routes will be sorted out. Tonight I go grocery shopping for Noah's birthday party. I must remember to get booze. And lots of it.

To be continued....

Tuesday, August 25, 2015


Six years ago today, a special little person was born. Well, maybe not so 'little' *cough10lbs7ozcough* but a wonderfully snuggly and squishy little boy.

And what a little boy you've become: all legs and gap-toothed smiles, wheeling wildly through this life. You feel so much; all the joys, all the sadness but through it all remain so kind and loving and empathetic. You still love climbing onto my lap when we're relaxing on weekend mornings, you doing your thing (usually playing Minecraft or watching videos about playing Minecraft) and me doing mine but we're close and together, my arms encircling you and you lean back against my chest, so I can kiss your head and snuffle your hair. In moments like those, the world slips away and we go back in time to when it was just the two of us; Daddy at work and Noelle at school. I know these moments will grow further apart so I hold onto them as tight as I can now.

You are so full of life, going full bore towards everything. There is no halfway with you. When you get frustrated, you throw down your pencil, your hands up, complaining you can't do it yet the moment my back is turned, you pick it right back up and do it. You are so, so capable my little man. You love to play with other people but I love watching you play by yourself. You are lost in your own little world of Legos and Minecraft, heroes and villains, ninjas and pirates. You look just like your daddy but you have my attitude. I'm really sorry about that.

You are becoming your own real person: joining Cub Scouts, learning how to swim, conquering kindergarten and now taking on first grade. You love Lego Batman and Minecraft and Mario. You cheer for the Orioles and the Ravens like a good Baltimorean but aren't defined by sports. You are the tallest in your class and the youngest but it will get easier, I promise. You love dark chocolate and jelly beans meaning that I have to share with you but I'm rewarded thousands of time over with giant hugs and sweet kisses. You are tough but still wrap yourself around Bla Bla every night and adore your big sister. I will miss Five but I'm so excited to meet Six.

I love you so, so much baby boy. Happy birthday!



Monday, August 24, 2015

They're going back! Maybe...

Today marked the first day of school for our county. I've got a third and a first grader this year; how in the world did that happen? Curse you Father Time and your slow but inexorable waltz towards entropy! We had the tools (supplies. So. Many. Supplies.), we had the talent (braaaaains), and we had the new outfits (natch.) We were so, so ready. (Fine, I; I was so, so ready for them to go back mostly so that they could sleep later.) Because we seem to live in a parallel universe, they sleep in during the school year as the bus doesn't pick up until 9 am (if we're lucky) for a 9:20 start. This has the effect of school mornings being rather enjoyable for pretty much everyone.

School! What fun! Wheeee!
 Since this isn't our first rodeo, we left the house at 8:45 to get up to the bus stop as the bus tends to arrive a tad early at the beginning of the year. We reconnected with friends, traded notes on who had what teacher, and of course, posed for pictures.

90 degrees and wearing a scarf. Like a boss.
Well, Noelle did. Someone else may have been a little grumpy about having to put down his Lego Minecraft get ready for school.

Just take the picture already, woman!
Just a bit after 9, the bus pulls up...and passes right on by. Wait, what?! While it stopped at the second neighborhood stop at the top of the street, the rest of us grabbed backpacks stuffed with supplies (so many supplies!) and hauled ass up the hill to the stop...where the bus pulls away.

What the actual fuck?!

Is there a second bus for our neighborhood? Did the driver really just blow off a group of 25 kids? Ours is not a new stop, not by a long shot. Kids are bewildered, parents are frantic so I called the school and asked politely - for me - what in the name of pants was happening. It turns out that there are two buses servicing our neighborhood now, an early one and a later one with the usual bus driver. However, the later bus was running late (no shit, Sherlock) due to an accident somewhere but was on its way. How very reassuring given that it was now 9:12 and they are expected to be in their classrooms by 9:15. And did no one in the administration think to inform anyone on the route as to the changes seeing as a bus LEFT A BUNCH OF KIDS AT A REGULAR BUS STOP.

Breathes heavily.

I had to get to work so we tossed everything into the car and took off for school, fully expecting to see the bus come barreling around the bend any second.

Nope. No bus.

Of course once on Main Street, there was traffic due to a closed lane. Did they not get the memo that schools were back in session as of today and maybe it would be a better idea to wait until, oh, 9:30 to start that shit? Clearly not.

Rolling to a stop, I pretty much barked 'Go! Go! Go!' to the kids, shouting out room numbers as they dashed into the building, dragging their supplies (so, so many supplies.)

I really, really hope that I got their room numbers right otherwise enjoy your day in whatever class I sent you to, guys.

Don't ever change, Baltimore County. Don't ever change.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Physics is hard, yo

Some days I think that I can be perfectly happy without touching booze again in my life...and some days send me straight for the bottle. I'll let you decide where this day falls.

Scene - The lab. My office.
Annnnnnd Action!

Co-worker: Did you take the samples up the street this morning?

Me: Huh?

CW: Did you take the samples up the street this morning?

Me: Oh...yeah.

CW: Why didn't you take the box?

The Box.
Me: Because it didn't fit in the bucket.

The Bucket.
CW: Does it have to fit in the bucket?

Me: For carrying samples? It helps.

Not fitting in the bucket.
If this wasn't a fitting end to the week then I don't know what is.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

And you thought that TPS reports were bad

The following has been paraphrased based on a true conversation, except for what I made up.

From: Derperson & Co. HR Department
To: All Employees

We here at Derperson & Co. HR are fully committed to bringing you the best work place experience possible. To that end, the following policy changes have been implemented so that no one will have to be bothered by anything ever again:

1) If you have a complaint against someone for anything, no matter how small, make sure to communicate this anonymously with few details and no specifics, preferably in the form of a note slid under a locked office door. We all need some excitement and mystery in our lives after all.

2) Report everything. No matter whether or not a statement, action, or thought was communicated directly to you, if you find it the slightest bit offensive, best to not take chances and report it immediately following the guidelines of Rule #1. To ensure your complaint is the top priority, include the phrase 'sexual innuendo' in your note; you'll get the quickest action* that way.

3) If you feel that the HR department is not moving swiftly enough for your liking or has closed the file in a non-satisfactory manner to you, rewrite your complaint and send it to the corporate ethics hotline again anonymously and with few details. Feel free to add anything additional but make sure to not include any specifics. It's a good idea to invoke the 'unwanted physical contact' but refrain from mentioning whether your were the recipient of the contact or not. Emphasize that hugging was involved and that it bordered on an embrace. This will ensure that all other activities lose urgency in light of this fact.

4) Employees will now be required to wear opaque bubble-wrap suits to work to eliminate the possibility of exposed body parts that could offend someone with the added bonus of improving our safety record. Remember: you can't get injured or be seen if there's nothing to see. Report any violations in the manner as described above.

With your help we can make Derperson & Co. an even better place to work, free of any interaction with fellow coworkers at all. As everyone knows, HR has nothing better to do with their time than investigate vague complaints for weeks on end and doesn't really do anything the rest of the time anyway.


The HR Department

*I guess we have to report ourselves now.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Great Toilet Caper

AKA Thug Life of a Five Year Old AKA This Will Go Down On Your Permanent Record.

Summer vacation has finally started for the kids and for us that means 1) getting up earlier than for school and 2) spending the entire day outside. Doing things. Being active. At camp!!11!Eleventy!1. It's for your own good, you'll learn to swim, have the same type of childhood I did, blah blah blah nostalgia-cakes. (I figure I can get another year, maybe two out of this plan before the totally catch on that they are getting seriously screwed in this process.)

Day Two was yesterday and I was at work (when am I not? Seriously.) when I got Teh Call. Fuck. Fuckity-fuck-fuck-fuck. It was his counselor (naturally) with the news that he had been in the bathroom when the lid to the toilet tank fell and shattered.

"Is he okay?"

"Well, yes, he's fine." she replied, clearly surprised that I had asked. Really? Why wouldn't I have asked that? "But" (oh hell) "he picked up the lid and it fell and shattered so since it was destruction of property, you'll need to pay for it."

"Oookay. I understand. But he's okay, right?"

"Yes, he's fine, just some small cuts."

"All right, I'll be on the lookout for the bill. Thanks." And I went back to work, wondering what in the world would have possessed the child to investigate the inner workings of a toilet tank. I mean, other than being five-year old boy that is.

As the day wore on, it puzzled me more and more. That is so out of character for him; he's never exhibited and burning rush of investigation over the toilets at home. Maybe it's the being in a new place and having new adventures made him spazz out or something. I don't know. But those things are heavy. And while he is tall, he's not that tall to get sufficient leverage to lift it. Sigh. Oh well, we'll figure this out at home; at the very least he'll have to pay for half of the cost out of his allowance as it broke as a result of him doing something he wasn't supposed to do. We'd get a bill, we'd pay it, that would be the end of it.

Oh ho ho ho!

This morning as I dropped them off at the camp bus stop and van driver was the counselor who escorted him to the rest room yesterday. She filled me in on the story: she took him to the bathroom and while she waited outside, she heard it shatter and went in to find him crying with his swim trunks still down. She lifted him up and away from the shards and got the director. At some point in this I was called and told we were on the hook for paying for it. Then came the kicker: he was suspended from camp for today, Wednesday, June 24.

Wait, what?

Because the lid broke due to his actions, that is considered 'destruction of property' and therefore vandalism with an automatic 1-day suspension. There it was, in black and white, on the incident report form...that we didn't receive yesterday thanks to Mother Nature's epic temper tantrum.

"They didn't tell you he's not allowed to attend camp today?"


She called the senior director to see if he could serve his suspension tomorrow seeing as we weren't aware of this. Nope. No dice. Do not pass 'Go', do not attend camp. How exactly were we supposed to know this if you didn't give us the sheet telling us this, let alone a follow-up phone call? It wasn't her fault and I tried very hard not to take it out on her but still. This is an unacceptable fail in communication. Plus, you know, he's FIVE. Probably not a dangerous criminal in training. But I get it; there are rules and consequences to breaking the rules. I have no problem with that. I do have major problem with the communication piece and how it was handled. They will be getting an earful from me when I can trust myself to not completely unload on them which at this rate might be next July.

Fortunately my mother-in-law was able to come up and spend the day with him so he kind of wins today as Grandma is his most favorite person in the entire world. I have my doubts that he actually lifted the lid; either it was already off kilter and fell when he lifted the toilet seat or he put his hand on it to peer into the opening and that shifted it enough for gravity to do its thing is a more likely and logical explanation. But the counselor probably came in, saw the mess, and asked "Did you lift it?" and in shock and pain, he probably agreed and now in his mind that is what happened. I don't blame her per se, but how things are phrased are of critical importance, otherwise you are leading the witness.

We'll never know what really happened but one thing's for sure - he'll have a helluva 'What I did during my summer vacation' essay when they get back to school. Which really can't come soon enough for me and now, I suspect, for him too.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Susan Lucci has nothing on me

Wait, how long was her Daytime Emmy losing streak? 18 years? Hm, I think I'm holding tight on ten or 11 now so she still has the edge. But she won, eventually, right? Whereas I notched another one today. Suck it, Lucci, this loser streak is mine.

Why all the sturm und drang? What am I losing at? Certainly not weight; I'm winning at losing that. No, this streak is all about my career idling. For eight. long. years., I've been doing the exact same job. Not by choice but because I can't get out. I've applied for at least 10 jobs in the company and have been rejected for every. single. one. after spending the first nine years getting every job I wanted. Whyfor the career stall? Could it have something to do with being shunted back to the plant after my cushy R&D position was eliminated whilst out on maternity leave with Noelle? (Why yes, I'm still a bit bitter about that.) Does the stigma of being a plant worker carry that strong a smell? (In my case, yes, it does. Literally. Just ask Dylan. Or visit anytime after 6:30 pm.)

Recently a new position came open that was perfect. The career track that I wanted to take and FFS, was already pretty much doing the same thing here in the plant. But, alas, someone was selected who had done it before. Their fit was like a hand in a glove whereas apparently I was more akin to Drusilla trying to force her big-ass foot into the glass slipper. Okay, the HR guy didn't say that in so many words but the thought was there. Of course, he went through the platitudes of making contact with the local HR rep as it's their job to help with career planning and I immediately thought that he's never met our HR department before. I was, however, able to control my hysterical laughter at the thought so chalk one up to personal growth.

When I get home tonight I'll look sadly at all the dress clothes that will once again wither away in the closet, hoping against hope to one day see the light of day before going to horribly out of style. (HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!) On the plus side though, I may not have gotten this job but when I interviewed, I looked damned good doing it.

And besides, there's always next time. Right, Susan?

Monday, April 13, 2015

Spring Break: The Breakening

Last week the kids were on Spring Break. Being a good mom, I took off work to spend the time with them, assuming that their break would align with their cousins' break giving ME a break during their break (I may be a good mom but I'm also a lazy mom) but because the universe thinks my planning anything is funny, the overlap was one measly day. So now I was on the hook for two kids for the week. There was only one thing left to do: plan the hell out of the week and DO ALL THE THINGS.

Technically their break started on Good Friday but since Dyl was already off, that was one day I didn't have to worry about. Saturday I worked for a few hours then took them shoe shopping and then we dyed Easter Eggs. PSA: year-old cheap-ass egg coloring kits work just about as well as you'd expect. The more you know. Sunday was Easter and with the distraction of family and egg hunts, so pfft, this was a piece of cake. Then Monday rolled around.


Looking at the weather, Monday was going to be the only really decent day to be outside so I rejiggered plans for the zoo. Someone was extremely excited to be on spring break as I was woken before 7 by a snuggly, talkative Noah. Someone needs to learn what 'vacation' means. Luckily though, my sister and her boys belong to the zoo too so we met up with them and the bonus addition of Grandmom Yvonne and Granddad!

It was hella crowded (see: only nice day of the week) but it really didn't feel that way until we got to Africa. The lion cubs were all grown up but the lemurs weren't out. Bummer. As part of my 'good mom' persona, I even remembered the sunscreen which was a victory in and of itself. Then I worked that night.

Tuesday was still warm, but definitely gray so a trip to the National Aquarium was on tap for us. But first, needed my pre-7 am snuggles, this time from Noelle. Yawn. At least we'd make our ticket time. I hadn't been to the aquarium in years so watching the kids run from exhibit to exhibit was so much fun! The whole concept of an 'open rainforest' freaked them out until they saw the maned tamarinds and nothing was ever so much fun. We saw everything: rays, sharks, Nemo, jellies, dolphins...but the highlight was eating lunch in the cafeteria where Noelle had a slice of pizza bigger than her head. Miraculously we escaped without exiting through the gift shop so I'm counting that as a win. Then that night, I worked.

Wednesday was cooler and rainy and our first stop was to get Noelle's new glasses. They are adorable on her and she couldn't get over how much clearer everything was.

Then it was home to finish folding laundry, pack for our overnight with my parents and eat lunch before heading to see the movie "Home." It's super-cute and a truly 'kids' movie. There are no underlying jokes for parents but that didn't matter, I liked it as it was and the kids laughed and giggled through the entire thing. Then we drove to my folks' for our DC extravaganza the next day. I didn't work but had way too much wine. Um, ouch.

Thursday I woke early after sporadic sleep and a pounding headache (see: wine) and knew I was in for a long-ass day. But after chugging a gallon of water and an equivalent amount of coffee (okay, and a few Advil), we were on our way. First stop: the White House.

Paparazzi in training
After that we headed over to the Museum of Natural History. The dinosaur exhibit was closed but we saw the hall of mammals, the gems and the ocean life.

The girl's got style
Number 1 on the threatdown: bears

Noah got really scared by one of the fossil films and was ready to call it a day at that point (code for: go back to Nana's house and play "Transformers" on her iPad) but I was mean and said 'No.' Onward, Ferb! Next stop was my favorite museum, Air and Space. The kids weren't quite as enthralled with it as I was and we narrowly avoided a major meltdown with Noah wanting to climb on the 'rover' and me not knowing what in the hell he was talking about.

This apparently is a 'rover.'
Finally we found it and after that he consented to take a picture.

Tis true! I was there!
All was quite good when we hit the gift shop and he got a space shuttle toy. Noelle vacillated between a cherry blossom snow globe (SNOW GLOBE!!), a t-shirt, and a magnet, ultimately choosing a magnet. Okay then. The final stop on our whirlwind DC tour was the National Geographic Museum to see the Monsters of the River and Spinosaurus exhibits.

Not a Spinosaurus.

Noelle found other kids to play with so I shielded Noah from yet another scary movie. We met up with Nana after her meeting to head back home and crash. Okay, and to play "Transformers."

Proof! Nana was there too.
Friday we left my folks' house early and as a surprise I took them to Ultimate Playzone, a local indoor bounce-house place. Unfortunately, it was mostly little kids there at that time but I had a conference call I couldn't miss at 2 pm so the early slot it was.

Actually Mom, we don't really care.
We finished by visiting their preschool which was just next door and holy crow, Noah was a full head taller than the kids he was in class with just last August. They swarmed him, three deep when we entered KR-B, all screaming "Noah!" I might have teared up. Just a little. And then I worked.

So today I'm back at work, the kids are at school and life slowly returns to its normal rhythms. I've caught a cold which is in no small part due to running myself into the ground last week but you know what, it was all worth it and I'd do it again in a heartbeat. Spending that time with my kids, doing things, watching the delight on their faces, and yes, spoiling them rotten, brought me so much joy, maybe moreso than them. I'm the luckiest mom ever.

And I can't wait for spring break next year.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

I need my sense of personal responsibility well rewarded for this

If you have been living in America for the past week, you know all about the SnowIceMageddopocalypse of 2015 - Part the Eleventy that hit last week. School was cancelled well before the first flakes fell so Dylan stayed home as he can't drive a stick shift and that was going to be the best option for getting anywhere. From my years of driving a Wrangler, handling an all-wheel drive Subaru that we borrowed from my mother-in-law was no issue so off to work I went. We closed early but next morning were ready for business once again. Did I mention that it got really cold Thursday night? And the Subaru is really old? Huh, well, that's important.

The plow front-loader came through around midnight and while Dylan had done an amazing job keeping our sidewalks and parking area clear, we still faced a speed bump of icy snow because: hella cold. Knowing it would take some extra time, I decided to be smart and warm up the car while clearing the parking area. I pushed the 'dis-arm' button. No answering chirp. Aw hell. Just to be certain, I pushed it again. Nada. Several more times. Not a chance in hell. So I went to manually unlock the door. Ha. Haaaa. Nope. I tried the passenger side. Nothing. Both back doors. Negative, ghostrider. Every door was frozen shut. The car clearing tools were IN the car, doing me absolutely no good. My last hope before giving up and getting (MOAR) coffee? The hatchback.

This will certainly be comfortable.
It was not frozen so yay! Unfortunately, this meant that I had to climb through the hatchback, over the kids' booster seats with my knee twisted into my ear, getting my other foot stuck in the cup holder and into the front seat, trying not to disembowel myself on the gear stick to 1) reclaim the car-clearing tools an B) start the car to warm it up. Crap, the door still won't open even after throwing myself against it several times. There's only one way out now: back over the seats, getting my butt stuck between the bucket seat while trying to free my leg from the pedal areas, smacking myself with the window cleaner before finally falling into the rear of the car to escape (?) into the cold. After all that I still had to dig out the mound of ice and snow to get the car out of the parking lot since most people don't put lifts and oversized tires on Subarus.

That took a good 15 minutes to do; wait, why are my hands so cold? We played outside with the kids for an hour yesterday and they were perfectly warm. It must be the shovel's fault. Okay, time to get this show on the road...oh you have got to be kidding me! The flipping doors are still frozen shut?! With the heater running on 'High'?! I don't get paid enough for this shit. Back through the hatchback I went,,crap, can I even close it from inside the car? - this time getting my hips stuck between the bucket seats and my foot wedged behind the rear-view mirror. After a few minutes I finally extricated all body parts and got settled. I was over half way to work before the door locks unfroze so at least I was able to exit the car normally once I got to work and spared the ignominy of calling for help to get me out of the car...since there is no interior release for the hatchback. I'll be expecting my hazard pay in my next paycheck, okay?

Yeah, sure, now you cooperate.

And this is why yoga would have been a good idea. The more you know.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Never go up against Noelle when a book is on the line

While Noelle is my mini-me in every physical way possible (well, except for hair color. I mean, I always had dark brown hair and so does Dylan so where is this light brown shade coming from? I digress.) she has more of Dylan's personality traits - sensitive, a little timid, etc. The last word in the world I would use to describe her is 'competitive.' That's me to a 'T.' A challenge? A contest? Sportsball? Bring. It. On. But nothing has ever really fired her up. Until now.

Her school gives each class a library period a week and it turned out that getting to check out books was the best thing that had ever happened to her; she devours new books like they're goldfish crackers and apple juice. (Okay, that's totally me but with red wine and dark chocolate.) The librarian declared February to be 'Caldecott Award Winner Month.' Is that a thing? I guess I could go Google it. BRB.

Okay, nothing official but we'll go with it. At any rate, the school librarian put forth an assignment with an added challenge - the second grader who read and filled out a book report sheet on the most Caldecott books for the month of February would get to pick out their very own Caldecott book to have forever and ever. Amen. She heard that, perked up her ears and It. Was. On.

To be honest, the first two weeks were kind of slow; she would check out two books, read them, fill out the report form and turn them in. Then she heard a classmate say that he had turned in several more than her. Rather than just shrugging and stopping, she viewed it as the ultimate challenge - to beat Emberson. Thanks to the pointless snow day yesterday, she cajoled Dylan to taking her to the local library to scavenge any and all Caldecott books she could for the sole purpose of winning and taking him down. (Shout out to Ms. Beth the librarian who helped determine which titles were there and where to find them.) She had read several last night by the time I got home, read more for her assigned reading time, got up early this morning and read four more, finishing the last report sheet mere minutes before we had to walk out the door. Today she is turning in NINE reports. NINE. That's how bad she wants this. The level of trash-talking that has taken place over the past 48 hours has been truly epic in scope. For that level of dedication, I will buy her the book of her choice because DAYUM.

She said, "Draw down boy!"
Hm. I wonder if there is any way I can leverage this competitive streak to get her to put away her books after she reads them....

Oh, and @SesameSquirrel? I have a young lady who might want to talk to you about library science because BOOKS.

Monday, February 23, 2015

I'm sorry Monday but I just don't think this is going to work out

I've never been one to blame stuff on the day of the week or to accuse anyone of having a 'case of the Mondays' but I could be persuaded to come around to this way of thinking. It began this morning with the news that our school system was on yet another two-hour delay and since Dylan had a big project at his work that he couldn't be late for, I was going to have to go in late. Again. My boss has been extremely understanding but you never want to push goodwill too far or have it seem like you're taking advantage (I'm not, even if they were in before-school care, someone would have have to stay with them - since the program is based in the school, if school start time is delayed then they're not open. It's a trade-off for the ease of not running all over the place.) I had a back-to-back panel and meeting scheduled for this afternoon but I should be able to prepare for both. Thus resigned, I got up and went through my usual morning routine: work out, shower, remote in to be available, pot of coffee, eat breakfast blah blah blah.  Noelle was up first and requested a viewing of Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (good girl.) Noah got up soon after and we were all set for a slow morning albeit one punctuated by blasters and lightsabers.

About 8:45 I decided to begin prepping my lunch and tonight's dinner but before I could start that, had to finish primping (which means brushing my teeth and waving mascara at my non-existent eyelashes.) Okay, good, start making my lunch. Whoops, Noah wants his breakfast. Sure sweetheart , here's your breakfast. Oops Mommy, I spilled my milk. Like all of it. A full glass. Which is now aiming right for the new computer as I still had it up since I committed to being available until 10 because responsible. Quickly sop up the milk and rescue the computer. Comfort Noah that no, I'm not going to throw you out of the house for spilling your milk. Discover puddle of milk on the floor, bite back an oath. Get it cleaned up, new milk poured, back to my lunch.

Crap, I've still got to dice the chicken, saute it and make the peanut sauce as well as clean out the pan since it will be needed for Step 2 this evening. Find the rice, measuring cup and saucepan, line them up for ease of application. The chicken is still partially frozen so chopping is taking a while as I have to blow on my fingers to warm them up. Whip up sauce, start dishes, dammit, where are the frozen vegetables? Right, in the downstairs freezer. Get package of stir fry veggies and seeing the laundry room reminds me that I need to do a load of laundry. Back upstairs, grab the basket, down to the basement. Okay, now time to saute. All browned? Excellent, let's drain it. Wash more dishes, pack up sauce and chicken for later. Run back upstairs to get Noah's library book, remember that I haven't written out the menu and instructions, run back down the stairs to do that. Realized that my forearms are sore and cramping from shoveling so writing looks more like Black Speech than anything else. Good luck tonight honey. Mommy, can you bring my AT-AT up here? Sure Noah. Runs back down to basement, grabs giant AT-AT, runs back upstairs. Movie is finally over (good god that was long), get Noelle breakfast. No spillage. Huzzah! Okay, let's get dressed.

Phew! Okay, we're back on track now...until it's time to get shoes and coats on. Sorry Noah, you can't wear your boots; they're still damp (dafuq?) Get your jackets...what do you mean they're not in the closet? Oh right, they're drying in the downstairs bathroom. Run back down, grab jackets, remember that the clothes need to go in the dryer. Take jackets upstairs, pretty much throwing them at the kids, back downstairs to load dryer, back upstairs to get out the door. It's Hat Day, don't forget your hats! Okay, everyone out, it's time to go. What do you mean the doors won't open...oh FFS, they're frozen shut again. Finally get doors open, everyone in. Shit, where are the keys? I can't find the keys, I JUST HAD THE GODDAMN KEYS! Search next to kids, under car, by front door, trying not to slip and slide into the storm drain, still no keys. I'm panicking now as the time cushion to get to the bus stop before the bus is shrinking rapidly. Still no keys. Check the front seat - aha! Down the side where dropped things go to die. Fire up the engine, pray to God we haven't missed the bus.

Whew! Bus isn't here yet, let's go....shit! Shit! Shit! Here comes the bus. Let's move, move, MOVE! Noelle, your door is stuck, get out Noah's side, I'll grab the backpacks just goooo....whoa the sidewalk is icy! Down goes Noelle. You okay honey? Yes, Mommy, I'm fine. Good, let me help you up....whoa! Slide down the the sidewalk into her, get us both across the street, get Noah his backpack and everyone on the bus. Almost fall into slush waving good-bye. Duck-walk back to car, realize my sunglasses are in my backpack which is in the trunk and say fuck it. Off to work and a semblance of sanity.

I picked a helluva season to give up drinking.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Everybody poops. Except when they don't.

Nothing brings more giggles to five-year old boys than poop. Or butts. Or farts. Say any of these words and you are guaranteed at least 15 minutes of relative peace as they laugh themselves sick, them farting on you notwithstanding. I think they're biologically hardwired to respond to it; the trick is making yourself scarce when it happens. And it will happen. Anyway.

Monday the kids were off school for President's Day so I was home with them. We were pretty much confined to the house as there was the outside possibility of the toilet installer coming but they had their 'new' phones so eh, no harm no foul. (I am so over Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja but have no one to blame but myself for loading them in the first place.) I should have known something was amiss when I couldn't get Noah interested in lunch. Some juice, yes, but not food which coming from the human vacuum cleaner should have set alarm bells ringing. Eh, maybe it was just that we hadn't done a lot and he didn't need to refuel. I mean, he did eat a pack of peanut butter crackers so I was sure it was just a being lazy thing.

Until it was dinner time and he complained that his tummy was hurting. As a parent, your first line of reasoning is to send them to the bathroom. Trust me. Nope. No dice. But he didn't eat and whined that his tummy hurt. And it just got worse the rest of the night. My poor baby. He's pretty tough but when your little guy curls up on the bed, crying 'Why is there so much pain?!' your heart breaks as you try to hide a smile because it's just so damn cute. (This is my submission for Mother Of The Year right here.)  His tummy was tender to the touch but suggesting that he might need to poop was met with wails of 'That won't work!' Of course not honey, I don't have 40 years experience with all sorts of digestive issues. Dyl agreed with me that he was most likely constipated so with great trepidation we gave him some apple juice to help move things along. The trepidation came from the last time we did that, he ended up puking all over bathroom and his bed. Fool me once and all....

He slowly sipped it and when it was gone was shocked that he didn't feel better. I, uh, guess I should have mentioned that it would take some time to have an effect but he was miserable so went to the store to get him some stool softener. His choices were pills (snort), suppositories (no. Just no.) or castor oil. Noah, are you SURE you can't try pooping again? No? Okay, castor oil it is. My little trooper drank it up whilst very confused by the taste.

"Mommy, this tastes like oil!"  You're not wrong buds but it will help you feel better in the morning.

Early the next morning he trotted downstairs, bright eyed and bushy-tailed feeling lots better. I only got one half-hug before he announced "I gotta go bathroom!" and tore off. When he emerged, he was a whole new boy. Hooray poop! He was also hella hungry from not eating the past day so he pretty much polished off the rest of the French Toast sticks and there may have been a banana or two involved. It's a bit hazy as I was trying to keep my fingers out of his way.

The moral of this story? Learn to love your poop as when you can't, you'll be very sad indeed. Just know that I'll bring the castor oil.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

And in the fourth hour, she started work

Sometimes when you step back and look at your life and schedule, it really doesn't seem possible to complete as many tasks as what you've done in less than a third of a day. Yet they are done which is either a testament to superhuman strength and juggling ability or a complete psychotic breakdown minus the really good drugs. Pretty deep for a Thursday morning, no? To wit, my day so far (so far being 9:50 am.)

5:20 - drag my tired ass out of bed
5:26 - drag said tired ass onto elliptical machine
6:30 - stumble off of elliptical machine
6:31 - try not to fall on shaking legs going back up the stairs
6:31:30 - gasp 'Good Morning' to Dyl
6:32 - view set of stairs to bedroom with dread and possibly some tears
6:50 - receive surprise visit from Noah whilst clad only in underwear and bra. Good morning! I'm sorry honey, I'll start saving up for the therapy now.
7:00 - downstairs for breakfast with no stumbling. Hot water is a miracle worker y'all.
7:01 - smugly smug that there's an hour to get stuff done before kiddie prep gets into high gear
7:20 - realize that I haven't finished my breakfast yet. Crap. Damn you, iPhone!
7:20 - 8:10 the following happens in no particular order:
  • Put away dishes from last night's dinner
  • Prepare Noah's breakfast
  • Unload dishwasher
  • Reload dishwasher
  • Prep my lunch
  • Unload dryer (downstairs)
  • Forget next load of laundry, run back up two flights of stairs to get it (sobs)
  • Go back downstairs to laundry room (goddammit)
  • Load washing machine
  • Fold towels
  • Prep dinner marinade
  • Wash prep dishes
  • Finally finish coffee
  • Dig crock pot out of cabinet
  • Write out dinner preparation instructions
  • Find rest of dinner items
  • Set out pans and items needed in proper places on stove
  • Eye solidified bacon grease under the burner, decide I don't have time to give a fuck
  • Back upstairs to brush teeth and apply make-up
  • Prepare Noelle's breakfast
  • Fill water bottles for kids
Now it's time for the kids to get dressed, brush their teeth, comb their hair, wash their faces and make their beds. Though I usually end up brushing their hair, washing their faces and making their beds. Ten minutes until we walk out the door so just enough time to throw the chicken in the crockpot, pour the sauce on it, make sure the crockpot is actually plugged in, turn it on, do a sweep of the house for anything needed for work or school, check that lights are off and thermostat is set and Noah, where are your mittens? No, Noelle, you can't wear shoes without socks today. What do you people do with your hats?! 

Out the door at 8:50, I've already been up for three and a half hours, still have a full day of work ahead and there may not be enough coffee in the world today.

But at least I can sit down there.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Obsession is Nine-Tenths the Law

For the past few months Noelle has been talking about cell phones whereby 'talking' I mean 'obsessed' with them. At least once a day she'll ask why she might need one, what she would do with one and is it fun having one. The answers are usually when she gets to middle school and is involved in activities (drama club, basketball, school projects, etc.) that we can't get to in the middle of the day, you can't use them in school but yes, you can stay in contact with your friends (and us) and yes, it's a lot of fun but personal responsibility, don't ignore the real world, blah blah blah. She's not asking- precisely - but it's clear it's on her mind. (Okay, who in the world would give a second grader a smartphone? I mean really, what would possess someone to do that?) I've resigned myself to fielding these questions for the next four years but framing it as teaching good citizenship (and reining my own use in because she'll learn it from watching me.)

Well, last weekend Dylan and I decided it was time to upgrade our phones. We each had an iPhone 4, the cheapest available two and a half years ago, and they were struggling with only 8 GB of memory, we couldn't update operating systems and half the functions didn't work. (Clearly we are not early adopters. Get off mah lawn and all that.) Knowing that we keep our stuff for a long (long) time, I researched the various options and costs, settling on an iPhone 6 with 64GB. (Thanks to it being President's Day weekend, we walked out with an even better deal than I imagined. Thanks Verizon!) So here we are, each with a new iPhone 6 in hand...and two iPhone 4s. Strangely, they didn't take them as a trade in (HAHAHAHAHAHA) so now what? If you guessed 'taking all messaging/calling features and apps but music, YouTube and games off the phones and giving them to the kids for their own systems', take a bow. They're still connected to the WiFi at home but have no access to the app store (not that they know the password to authorize any purchase. Hell, I'm not even sure I remember any more.) Of course there are limits on the use but yeah, my kids now have their own phone. I should probably delete some songs though as the explicit version of 'Payphone' isn't really something she should be listening to. Responsible parenting and all.

Can you guess who asked this morning if she could tell her friends that she has an iPhone now? Well done, me. Very well done indeed.


Thursday, January 29, 2015

Five is the same as Three except taller. And with more words.

You know, once Noah turned four, I thought, hey, this is it. We are done with the nonsensical tantrumming, the limp noodle-rigid board histrionics, the second guessing of the wisdom of having another kid. And four was magical. Sweet, snuggly, independent...everything you tell yourself it would be to get through the seventh circle of hell that is three. The corner, it had been turned. Smooth sailing all the way to puberty.

Thanks for setting that unrealistic expectation there Noelle.

Then kindergarten happened and I swear the drama has been upped by a factor of 10, not including my sensitive snowflake.

Let's talk about homework. He gets a packet of homework pages to complete in the week, four to five in total, so we break it down to to one page a night. We aren't talking diff EQs here, more like 'circle the pictures that have the beginning sound of /b/.' Or 'Trace and write uppercase and lowercase /E/.' Stuff he's been doing in school already and just practicing at home (see: homework.) Dylan drills Noelle on her spelling words at the same time so it's not like she's off on some magical adventure while he has to slave and toil. A single page will end up taking him 15 minutes to do because he throws down his pencil after every letter with an 'ugh! I can't do this!' which he has just done so okay. Then the tantrum passes and he finishes it perfectly happy without a fuss. Meanwhile it's taking everything in my power to drop plunge my head into the soapy dish water and scream.

What's also fun is food. We've recently informed him that we now expect him to eat the entire baby carrot as opposed the the single bite we were allowing before. I know, we're such monsters. This news was greeted with much wailing and gnashing of teeth which we ignored and went on with dinner. Five minutes later, Dyl nudges me - Noah's carrot was gone. We told him to eat the whole thing and he did. He also shoved the entire thing in his mouth at one time earning himself a really magnificent gag reflex but that's not the point right now.

But the best, far and away, has to do with anything regarding personal responsibility and not just trashing the house because forts are fun! Noelle has been asking about earning money and so we told them that they had been getting a secret allowance for a while now. Actually, I wasn't sneaking it and told them on more than one occasion where their money was but eh, it's just Mom talking. NBD. There are some Lego Friends sets that she would like that are really elaborate and hence really expensive. I'm not shelling out for that unless it's her birthday or Christmas and since both have just passed, she's got a while to wait but I did bribe offer her a deal: If she can save up half the amount from her allowance then Dyl and I would kick in the rest. Teach money handling, responsibility, delayed gratification etcetera and so forth. This took a turn towards chores and expectations around living in the house and contributing to its cleaning. In for a penny, in for a pound so Noah was included too.

See?! I did have a point with that backstory.

Well since we're now going to really seriously mean that that she needs to help out, it's only fair that Noah have similar requirements. The day we told them about this plan (picking up toys, putting away books, generally not trashing the house), I was sitting on the couch after dinner reading and Legos and various cars and action figures were strewn over the family room floor. It was almost bedtime so hey guys, come in here and put your toys away. Noah came in and gave me major stink-eye for not cleaning up. Sorry bud; I set the table, made dinner, cleared the table and washed the dishes. You're on your own. Moving on. Noelle was nowhere to be seen so he stomped around picking up a single Lego at a time muttering "This is gonna take forever!" and "Ugh! I can't believe I have to pick up all these toys!" Yes darling, it's a hard knock life you have indeed.

(I may have been hiding a big-ass grin while this was going down.)

For all that he may drive me insane, he's still my Doodlebug, my BooBoo, my yummy little guy. Five may be Three on steroids, but in the end, I'll take it.

Besides, can Three give you this much ninja?

I think not.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

It's time to get resolute up in here

Y'all, I've given this resolution thing a lot of thought. I mean, who doesn't want to do life better, right? But the regular resolutions are kind of boring so hey, how can I mix it up some - things I need to do with things that are fun or out of my comfort zone. The results? Well, you'll just have to read on to find out. With no further ado, I present the 2015 Road Map to Make Friends, Have Everyone Like You, and Always Be Happy.

1.  Okay, I'll be honest; this one's a bit serious: to run a 5K. I hate running. Despise it. There is nothing that I like less than long distance running. Cross country running*. But my aunt was recently diagnosed with breast cancer so training and running in a Komen Race for the Cure event to honor her seemed like a good idea - push out of my comfort zone and do something to support what she's facing. This will be a stretch as previous running was limited to 60-foot sprints which in a complete coincidence is the distance from home to first base on the softball diamond. Funny how that works.

2. I've had two children. Two very large children. Vaginally. And while I would never trade their squishy yumminess for anything, they did quite a number on my pelvic floor so Resolution Number Two is to convince Depends to sponsor my running attempt as no cotton anywhere is that absorbent. (Why yes, I do blame Dylan for this; why do you ask?)

3. Teach Noelle how to cook. (Full disclosure: she's actually asked to do this.) And as a fun bonus, maybe she'll eat what she cooks! Only having to make one meal will be a wondrous thing indeed. We should get there by 2020.

4. Get rid of the dead tree in the front yard. This should be a no-brainer yet every year, it taunts me by mayyyybe starting to bud when BAM! Nope. Which happens right around tax time so you know that shit ain't getting done. If we gotta rake leaves, then they'd better be our own. I'm looking at YOU, creepy Russian neighbor.

5.  Generally get the house organized. And perhaps de-cluttered. A bit. In some ways Dyl and I are polar opposites: he likes 'stuff' and I just want space. Things piled on every horizontal (and sometimes vertical) surface make me grumpy and twitchy. And you wouldn't like me when I'm grumpy and twitchy. Hell, *I* don't like me when I'm grumpy and twitchy. Though that might mean purging some books. Hm, I may need to rethink this one....

6. Be a grown-up and actually communicate what I want/need rather than expecting people *coughDylancough* to just read my mind and do it. (I know, I totally betrayed all females everywhere with that one. Sorry ladies. Time to put on your big girl pants and deal with it.) The conversations I have in my head are awesome but the imaginary friends aren't going to get stuff done. Damn, look at me being all responsible 'n shit.

7. Actually finish putting together the family cookbook. It's only been 3 years since I've started this project. Uh, crap. *Waves hand frantically at family members who are reading* - This is not the post you are looking for.

8. Write more. Nuff said.

9. Try to be nicer/more patient. This always appears on my list so you can see how well I succeed at this one. Also, get off mah lawn!

Looks like I've got quite a bit of work to do so time to hop to it. With any luck we'll meet back here in December for Resolution Wrap-Up: The Search For More Challenges.

*Eleventy-thousand fake bonus points if you can name the movie.

Monday, January 5, 2015

And on the 13th day, they returned to school

As of 9:02 this morning, Winter Break 2014 was officially in the books.

Thank GOD.

I love my kids to pieces and think they are the greatest people ever but twelve days off was a very very long time for sibling togetherness, not to mention our sanity. The umpteen billion toys received notwithstanding, the days still revolved around live action Super Mario Galaxy 2000, Lego battles in the hair salon and the fight for truth, justice, and all that is pre-shrunk and cottony. The last few days I caught myself thinking longingly of those winter breaks just nine short years ago where I plopped my butt on the couch and spent seven, eight, nine, days in a row plowing through books, the only creatures needing anything being the cats and they were pretty self-sufficient. I didn't have to share my peanut butter with anyone and if I wanted to take a mid-day nap, then dammit, I took me a nap! Of course, that meant no cuddles and no marathon games of 'Life' but for the introvert that I am, it was heavenly. If only I'd known what I was missing.

But for all the text-speak and Mario Kart, I did enjoy spending the break with them - assembling all the Legos, spying when Noelle read to Noah, hovering just out of eyesight as they created yet another world in Legoland, and teaching them how to use a paring knife to chop celery for the split pea soup they wouldn't eat.

Huh, I guess I am pretty good at this 'momming' thing after all.

Now, what am I going to do with them over Spring Break?