Wednesday, December 29, 2010

pardon me, i am embarassing

i have some issues to work out along the lines of uncontrolled rage. pretty much, my kids need to prepare for a lifetime of embarassment. we had a totally awesome, completely fun day yesterday. we played in the snow, we played with our new christmas toys, we revelled in our awesomeness. by late afternoon we headed out to the street to ride bikes with all the neighbor kids. tons of kids, tons of parents, tons of fun.
 however, we have a problem on our street of people driving like maniacs. it drives me crazy(pun totally intended) and the other parents and myself don't hesitate to make our annoyances known to the perpetrators. today was no exception. a bunch of punk teenagers were driving way too fast and swerving all over our road where our kids were playing. a neighbor dad flagged the car down and commenced telling them to slow down. i was a rational bystander until this point. then the future petty criminal responded to neighbor dad with denials of his speeding offensess and proceeded to drop a big fat F bomb. and that is where i snap. i'm probably the last person left on the planet who gets mortally offended by foul language but i can't help it. this kid was yelling at US and was wearing a greasy bandana on his head. only bret michaels can wear a greasy bandana and get away with it. so at this point i am in this kid's face yelling(read: screeching) like it's my job about him killing my kids and him being sent to jail for manslaughter and me visiting him everyday for the rest of his life just to make him miserable. allegedly. it actually gets a little hazy for me at this point. i was in the zone. i'm not even sure if my feet were still on the ground. sadly, i would still be yelling if he hadn't driven away.
at this point i turn around and all the other parents are silent. and i realize how crazy i look. especially to my nice, classy German neighbors. i am sure i wasn't dispelling any rude american stereotypes.  "hi, i'm a mormon! do you want to know more?" it's getting close to dinner time and our little group starts to break up(i'm sure it's completely unrelated to my outburst). i shuffle off home with the kids but my heart rate is racing. i can barely make dinner because my hands are shaking so much. luckily, our chicken needed a good pounding before baking though all of the chicken stabbing was most likely unneccesary. to top it off, scarlett is watching ni hao, kai-lan while i am cooking and it's all about using our words properly and staying in control. lead by example, i always say.
so, one of my new year's resolutions is to reserve yelling for family members only. because no one wants to be around a lunatic.

the author masquerading as a mild-mannered mother:
happy new year!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

dixieland delight

because of our neverending flu battle, my 25 days of christmas had to condensed and edited. which is a crying in the night shame because i was REALLY trying to create some great memories. i was able to eek out a few more christmas-y activities before the big day, but some days it was a bit of a stretch.

-picked out new ornaments for our tree
-watched it's a wonderful life
-watched the family man(my fave to watch with thomas, proof it's possible for new jersey to be romantical)
-watched christmas vacation(not my favorite)
-hid thomas' present in various locations around the house
-coached the kids to tell thomas that he was getting new shoes for christmas(though he wasn't. sneaky sneaky)
- drove to georgia without a single throwing up incident
- made red velvet pancakes(like heaven for breakfast)
- went running on christmas morning to break in my new sneaks. it was so fun to run and see what other families were doing on christmas morning
- played family football with thomas' dad.
- braved the mall on christmas eve eve

and just enjoyed being together as a family. which is always the best part. we especially enjoyed pretending to be farmers at thomas' mom's house. but cows really stink.
*bright eyed and bushy tailed.
*red velvet cake on christmas morning. not to be confused with red velvet pancakes the weekend before.
*FINALLY! i can stop hearing about the zhu zhu pet pizza shop.
*winter in southern georgia. we narrowly missed the snowstorm in south carolina.
*scarlett actually told me that morning that my prickly legs were hurting her when she brushed up against me. lucky thomas.
*barnyard couture

merry christmas

Sunday, December 19, 2010

a multiple choice question

the past week in our household:
a- was filled with bellies shaking like bowls full of jelly, hot chocolate guzzling and glue-gunning, craft-making and school parties.
b- included non-stop caroling, hall decking with boughs of holly, and merriment with sugar plums dancing in our heads and a much anticipated ugly sweater party.
c- involved more loads of laundry than you can imagine, bulk purchases of febreeze, oxyclean and tamiflu, a visit to the doctor, a 104 degree temperature, and vomit. glorious, plentiful vomit. most notable would be the episode that involved a small female child's vomit gracing my person from neck to knees requiring a blistering hot shower. in bleach.
d- just pick c.

still stumped? according to the rules of test-taking, when in doubt always pick c.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

25 days of Christmas, days 1-12

since both my kids "get" Christmas, this year i've made it my goal do something Christmas-y everyday of december. we've listened to Christmas music non-stop in the car. by dec. 3 i had just about had my fill of jingle bell rock. also, we've just about figured out the kind of behavior that santa claus would approve of. i'm hoping to instill some experiences in their little minds so they would at least have a few good memories in between all the yelling. and moving state to state.

dec. 1- watched rudolph the red-nosed reindeer. because it's pretty much THE greatest Christmas cinematic achievement in drama, music and claymation.
dec. 2- baked gingerbread cookies. even though gingerbread is kind of gross.

dec. 3- enjoyed downtown Christmas lights. and ate pizza.
dec. 4- went to chuck e. cheese for lunch and then picked out our Christmas tree. from the luxurious lowe's parking lot.

dec. 5- decorated Christmas tree while listening to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir singing Handel's Messiah. and finally put the kid's pictures in the little picture frame ornaments that had been hanging empty on the tree the last two years. tree

dec. 6- had a family home evening lesson on Christ's birth with the nativity set and then watched animated nativity videos on youtube. and i cried. i'm so emotional when it comes to teaching the kids about Christ.
dec. 7- cut out snowflakes. all two of them. then colored our little hearts out on other non-Christmas related projects.

dec. 8- made fudge. ate fudge. unbuttoned pants.
dec. 9- visited santa at the mall. wiped up a bloody nose. wanted to shove a little kid(and his mom) who made a big deal about scarlett's bloody nose and embarassed her and made her cry.

dec. 10- made Christmas lists by cutting out pictures from catalogs.

dec. 11- attended ward Christmas party. and enjoyed a robust meal of 3 big bites of turkey and salad i ate with a spoon. there's always plenty of food at a ward activity.

dec. 12- made cookies to deliver to our friends. who ended up not being home. so we ate them ourselves.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

mucho de nada

a few more thanksgiving thankfuls

1. thankful for my aunt susan for hosting my little family for dinner. sorry britney spears, i have a new motherhood muse. i was so inspired by her organized house, well-behaved children, delicious food and spiritual atmosphere that i am definitely rethinking a few things. like perhaps piles of junk really isn't a decorating statement.

 2. thankful for running a 5k with my cousin cami, who has mastered adorable at 15. at 15, i had mastered awkward and frizzy.
plus, only one of us threw up during the race.

3. thankful that people still wanted to eat my atrocious red brownie velvet cake. it's hard to impress people when your signature dessert looks like a hot mess:

4. thankful that dirty ron's serves bacon on their breakfast menu. i'm more of a dry hot cake girl myself.
but we've got a couple of bacon fans.

5. thankful for lovely saturday weather, public parks, paved running trails and signs that point you the right direction when you run aimlessly and get lost. and who could forget to be thankful for a foot that keeps falling asleep while running after i thought i had finally resolved that problem. (not really thankful for that last part.)

6. thankful for our ugly gingerbread house tradition. and thankful that at least one of our football teams won their rivalry game. i have no more words about that.

7. thankful for nice kids who get along and quietly play computer games while i roll back and forth on the floor stewing and pouting about the alabama/auburn game. and about the complete farce of a blown call during the byu/utah debacle.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

more unsolicited advice

*who looks this good after birth???

i was talking to my brother david last week, who along with his beautiful wife christine, are now parents of an adorable halloween baby, about just how great and amazing the first few weeks of your newborn's life are.

there were a few things that he said that really hit a familiar chord with me.

1. why does everyone insist on giving you advice and then mention that you should only listen to them and that everyone else is wrong?

2. will it get better?

and i had to laugh when he said this. but not in a humor-filled-haha-you-silly-brother kind of way. it was more of a reminiscent-of-those-newborn-day-memories-that-are-still-too-fresh-and-i'm-still-scared-of tiny-babies-maniacal-laugh. if only people would say what those first few weeks are really like: hazing for the parent fraternity. and no matter what, you are initiated in.

if i wrote a handbook about what to expect after what you are expecting has arrived, i would start with a cruel irony. your new baby will be the most helpless when you are the most helpless. you will have days when you think your body, your baby and the rest of the entire uncivilized world(we are talking children afterall) absolutely hate you. if you've never been beaten with a lead pipe from your neck to your knees, you will soon have an indication of what that may feel like.

after you've established that this state of sleepless hysteria is normal, there are a few other things you need to know. it will get better, but it will never ever be the same. you will have to master your own version of crazy. even if you do somehow make it back to your pre-baby weight, your pants will never fit the same. it's like folding a map up after a road trip. you can get it pretty close, but no cigar. some parts will forever have an accordian-like appearance.

and babies and children are really gross. and you will become really gross. and somedays you will be okay with it. occasionally, that heaven-sent pacifier with fall in the dirt. the first few times you will wrap in nicely in a plastic bag or wet wipe and take it home and thoroughly sanitize it. after a while, when this pacifier repeatedly hits the ground, you will start popping it in your own mouth to clean it off. and then after you realize how gross this is, you will start picking up the pacifier off the ground and then waving it around in the air or blowing on it to "breathe-sanitize" it. and then pop it into your baby's mouth. and i can testify that no one ever died from a dirty pacifier.

your personal cleanliness will take on new meaning. a shower a day is like a trip to the showcase showdown on the price is right; not every constestant gets to do it. a shower every couple of days will make you feel like you are really accomplishing something. a shower a week will make you feel a little less grimy. you will have moments when you are getting ready for the day(usually around 3 or 4 in the afternoon) and you can't distinguish where a pungent urine smell is coming from. then you realize that odor is coming from the towel wrapped around YOUR OWN HEAD. this actually happened to me LAST WEEK. but don't worry. all those other moms you see at the grocery store at 1030 at night all feel the same way. and if they say they don't, THEY ARE LYING. and lots of moms lie. about their exercise routine frequency, about their baby's sleep schedule, about their baby's developmental milestones. comparision is not your friend sister.

and the best piece of advice i ever got about parenting, besides pureeing vegetables into cupcakes, was to pray and then pray some more. it works and it refreshes and re-energizes me for the next day. of absolute chaos.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

gratitude raditude

things to be thankful for:

*75 degree days in november. training wheel biking has been great. running has been great. south carolina is beautiful. and nobody has to mow the lawn until spring.
*veteran's day. it's one of my favorite holidays in existence. even without presents. but i have no objections to incorporating gift giving into remembering and honoring our veterans.

*phineas and ferb. most kids shows are strictly learning or strictly lame. sometimes both. the kids love phineas and ferb and i always find myself laughing at professor doofenshmirtz. i love a good subtle pop culture reference mixed with inane hilarity.

*my sense of humor. if weren't laughing all the time, i would probably being crying all the time. those are my two main settings.

*great kids who still love me, even when i am the queen of nightmares. inability to deal with messes and clutter and whining is my 3rd setting.

*functioning vehicles. however, by mentioning that i am grateful for their ability to operate properly, i am jinxing myself. this is where my sense of humor comes into play.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

things i don't want to forget

SATURDAY! we went to a farm/pumpkin patchery/corn maze. we used porta-potties. and got high on hand sanitizer.
reagan dressed himself for the outing. i don't want to stifle and creative processes. it's a little "mondo" if you ask me.

the kids were fascinated by this little pig. i think they named him schumpy. (we've also had a fish named schumpy. i think it's a family name.) i was overpowered by the little sausage's foul scent. there was no love lost between us.

reagan was the catalyst for the maze visit. he went on a field trip and begged to go again.

the rest of us were less impressed. it just reconfirmed to me what i already knew from my years in college: i would rather eat corn than get lost in it.

and then scarlett entertained us with her "binastics". she's a natural.

MONDAY TUESDAY WEDNESDAY! i spent every free minute sewing scarlett's halloween costume. i skipped workouts. i bargained with myself. if i got through the zipper i could go to the bathroom. if i finished the hem i could get a drink. i was hard core. i became personally acquainted with my seam ripper like never before. and then she REFUSED to wear it. REFUSED! she wanted to be a princess(which i have issues with but that's another post for another day) and i wanted her to be scarlett o'hara like in years past. it was a battle of iron wills. i had hoped i could at least wield a little more control of her halloween decisions for a few more years, but i was wrong. so wrong. and now my world is completely falling apart.

scarlett decided to be completely unreasonable and get all sick and fussy and not wear ANY kind of costume, princess or not, at our church halloween party.

so scarlett and i went home after about 20 minutes of no fun and crybabying and i pouted and crybabied and watched degrassi: the next generation until the boys got home.

sulking is sometimes the best medicine. i highly recommend it. in full flapper make-up and fishnets.

THURSDAY! my mom flew into town for a fun halloweekend.

the weather was perfect and fun was had by all.

***click on this picture!

my favorite part of our nature walk was scarlett losing her cool with her stroller and her baby flying out and skidding in the dirt toward the water. because who has been there? don't be ashamed.

i had to teach the kidlets the finer parts of local duck and goose behavior management. when they get too close and nip your fingers, you've got to give them a little of their own action.

FRIDAY and SATURDAY! grandma and the kidlets and me all piled in the car and took a short trip to north carolina to visit my uncle sherman and familia. unfortunately, the only picture we took was of this giant peach in gaffney, south carolina. but it's pretty cool if you love giant peaches.

SUNDAY! we took family pictures after church. this is an outtake. they were about 99% outtakes. but my shoes look killer. there was lots and lots of staring into the sun, and the shade not cooperating and booger picking and weird-looking, borderline inappropriate hand gestures. so we get to try again. which is awesome! because only one out of the four people in the picture loves getting her picture taken.

and then afterward, we sadly had to take grandma back to the airport. some of us took it better than others.

scarlett and a bucket full of nerds. which also describes my college dating track record! cha-ching!

reagan was more than a little torn up about it. he tried to block the front door and announced that he was done living with us and was moving back to missouri. and part of me silently agreed.

happy halloweiner!