Wednesday, January 31, 2007

And then it was Wednesday

We just got back from our long weekend, short visit to see family in Kansas City. We flew on one of those tiny little planes that only seats 50 people or so. Those things terrify me. I am not afraid to fly, hardly even think twice about it, but those things have me twitchin' and sweatin' the second I spot them on the jetway. Puddlejumperway. I had a bloody mary, two vodka tonics, and 3 beers to calm my nerves and it was entirely effective. One upside of this airplane was, the seats are divided with 2 seats on one side and 1 seat on the other. I got the one seat by myself and the flight attendant told us in no uncertain terms that our lap child was not allowed on my lap. It was rough.

I interrupted my mom reading a book to let her know we had arrived. She told me we came out of the wrong gate---so it might not have been a fun family get together after all, with all my monkey business of wrong gate exiting. I climbed in the backseat of her car and sat between Benja and Avee for the 40 minute ride. Avee immediately claimed my left arm, 1/3rd of my shirt and my right ear as hers for the ride home and screeched loudly if I dared move any of them without her permission. Benja was thrilled to have me sitting next to him, a rare treat in the car. Not since he was a screaming 2 month old and I tried the whole buckled in breastfeeding contortionist routine in the back seat. But he didn't appreciate me then. He slipped his hand through my arm and contentedly sighed, "I want to stay here forevoh."

I had a great time just soaking in the comforts of family and friends. We all showed up sick and everyone was still nice. Well, except for us. My sister's baby is even cuter in person. Of course. And she's perfect. And she is one doted on little girl. I think I saw her out of someone's arms a total of 15 minutes the entire 4 days we were there.

My ideal vacation is lounging. This vacation was ideal. Fortunately my sister has a 5 week old baby that has her subdued and our paces finally matched. Benjah loved the endless supply of papers to draw pictures and write words. Avee enjoyed the mostly-nice animals that let her follow them around and yell and squeal and periodically kiss.

At one point I said to my sister, "Did you read [our 13-year old niece]'s most recent blog post? It's hilarious." My 13-year-old nephew said, "Have you read your blog? It's hilarious!" Yeah, that's me, appealing to the masses of all ages.

And now I'm home and Avee is sitting on my left forearm as I type, tattling on Benja. Apparently he pinched her cheek when she tried to sit on his Curious George coloring page. That's what she just told/mimed/signed/reinacted for me.

I learn more and more about myself through my children, everyday. I discovered in my early twenties that children unwittingly imitate their parents in the biggest ways. I babysat a 4 year old for 2 days who kept me abreast of all the neighborhood gossip and at the end of those two days I knew more about those poor neighbors (poor except that old lady next day who drank two bottles of wine a day and never changed out of a housecoat all day and had a secret bank account with hundreds of thousands in it) than I did about myself. I resolved then and there to have my ducks in a row enough when I had children that my "sins" wouldn't be displayed so blatantly for the world. Avee just got on the phone and said something like, "ohhhhh yeah, you should see her shoes. What.Ever. Ohh, okay, bye!" I swear I'm not catty, but I can say that all I want, the proof is in the little puddin'.

And now I'm going to teach my children with my actions, just what "exercise" is. They need to go into the world knowing full well that exercising means eating an entire box of Almond Joy cookies (aka, the devil dipped in chocolate) and maybe putting on a pair of pants when company comes.


Dude. All I can say, is Dude.

I am the friend outside the bathroom who gets panned periodically.

I love how champagne is the cure-all attempt.

Uh, did somebody warn Kevin?

Thursday, January 25, 2007


Today is Millie's birthday, over at What On Earth Is That Smell? Her REAL best friend already gave a cool assignment for you to fill Millie's comments with, so I'm gonna use MY comments as the second best thing. Give her some age old advice. A good knock-knock joke, or even a riddle will do.

Since I'm supposed to be on an airplane in less than 5 hours and that entails completing 3 more loads of laundry, packing, lunch, napping two children and showering---I'm gonna have to keep it short and my contribution will be a riddle. For you Millie. And it's homemade, from Benja.

What has 3 legs, an orange face, kicks really hard and screams a lot?

A monstoh!!!
They just don't make 'em this good anymore.

I hope your day is wonderful and all your birthday wishes come true!


Monday, January 22, 2007

The Purple Club

Do you remember those girls when you were growing up that the other kids (particularly boys) always seemed to like and they were just cute unassuming girls that couldn't be bothered by any of the attention? Maybe you were one of those girls. I always seemed to be friends with them. I also spent a LOT of time in my youth observing such girls and trying to figure out just what made them so special. To others, that is. I didn't necessarily pine for the attention, but I was intrigued that their very existence got that kind of attention.

I remember when I was in 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade there was a girl in a grade higher than me that just seemed to have it. I stared at her endlessly. I just couldn't figure it out, but I stared nonetheless. Yeah, I was one of those kids. At least I outgrew it...

Anyway, I guess I decided it was the way she walked that made her cool. What I was unaware of at the time was that she had back problems and walked with a very straight stiff back. At the same time she was naturally endowed with a, how shall I say it, notable booty. So, my solution, walk with my back stiff and stick my butt out as much as I could. I was certain that was the key to her success and popularity. Internets, I will have you know I have NEVER confessed this to ANYONE. Not even those who know my deepest darkest secrets know this about my clearly, very bright elementary years.

Later, when I was in sixth grade and we ruled the roost, or so we thought---my closest friends started a "Purple Club". I think it was outlined in Sweet Valley High books, but my brilliant friend Amy applied it to us. I was sure that the inclusion in the purple club (even though I never cared for the color) was the ticket to being noticed. I was wrong.

In high school and later in college, I didn't ever necessarily stand out. I always had a lot of friends and with guys, I could interest one or two with witty banter, but I never had the straight back, big butt look that I was certain caught the men's attention. As much as I wanted to unwittingly be the object of many's affection---I wasn't.

Fast forward 20 years later and I have an offspring that is the very thing I desired to be. People are constantly fawning and she couldn't care less. I guess this is where I get fulfilled because I definitely don't mind being the vicarious recipient of fawning. Call me desperate, I am who I am.

Well, Sketchy did a post with a little bit on Burger King, which made me laugh, and reminded me also of a recent incident at my local Playland of choice.

Since Aves was about 15 months old she has been navigating the tunnels and slides and walls of the Mickey D's play structures, with ease. At first, in the summer, I had my cute little skinny niece to retrieve her if I got nervous that she was stuck---but soon even Erica determined her job was useless with Avee's climbing and navigating prowess. So now, I sit back with my super-size fries and let my kids run wild. It has never been a problem, Avee has always returned back to me whole and happy.

So, you can imagine my alarm when a couple of weeks ago, shortly after she darted from my safe arms, I heard her wailing from the top of the structure. I admit, I panicked. I went to a tunnel and pretended for a second that even my head would fit through and yelled, "Avee, come to mama!" She was really wailing and clearly distraught. I felt sick. Why do I always have to push it, she's just a baby!

Then I hear an older girl kind of talking baby and saying, "Come on, it's okay, I'll take you to mommy, let's go." I was relieved as I knew she was talking to Avee and was at least in capable enough hands to get her down to me, where I could assess the damage.

The girl holding her came down with Avee writhing on her lap, and about 4 or 5 other 10-11 year old girls right behind them. Avee lunged for me and whimpered pitifully. "What happened Aves, did you get stuck, did you get hurt?" Notice I didn't say scared? Because I know my child. The older girl offered to me, "She just got scared being so high up, so we were trying to help her get down."

Ding ding ding ding! The reason for the screams. She wasn't hurt or stuck, and for pete's sake, not scared. She was TICKED. I thanked the "helpful" girls for bringing her down and a couple of them thought they'd reward themselves with a little more one-on-one with Avee and tried to take her from my arms to coo over her and baby her. She scowled and swatted at each of the offending hands. I feebly offered, "She may just need some time to recover" and went back to the uncomfortable, slippery, pleather couch where I had previously been pretending to watch my children, over the Pac-man game on my phone.

Avee made herself busy on the coffee table, swinging from video game controllers (by the way, what idiot thought it was a good idea to put video games at a fast food restaurant playland---isn't it bad enough that we've conceded to feed our kids crap in the first place?)

Whether she meant to or not, Avee waited long enough to "lose" the older chics, before she returned to the play structure. It was a good 15 minutes. Even I thought the older girls were gone. She trotted off to the structure and I watched for her in between rounds of Collapse on my phone.

3 minutes later, I hear the same desperate, heart-wrenching screams and I leapt from the couch. I quickly go to the place where my head sort of fits and yell again for Avee to go toward the light---that I was blocking, with my slight frame. Sure enough, she came down on the lap of older helpful girl and was glaring and wishing desperately she knew karate. I had to laugh. My little princess had a following, people just waiting to dote and follow her every whim and all she wanted was to climb through the rope tunnel without someone helping her and down the slide BY HER SELF!!!!!! Again the older girl offered that Avee was scared. Again, I let that explanation sit, and let Avee do her thing to try and shake them.

The third time it happened I realized I was one of those people who wasn't dealing with my screaming child, and annoying the heck out of the other moms so I finally told the girls, "She really just wants to be left alone." Being one of those people who used to love fawning over little kids (becoming a mother cured me of that tendency but GOOD) I felt really bad breaking the news to these girls. But I also felt that it was important that they know not all things in small packages are cute and nice. Sometimes they spit and glare if you get in their way.

I suspect in 10 years or so, some pathetic little red-haired girl will be painting a red strawberry birth mark on her back, certain that that is the reason Avee is the "it girl" of her school. Or heaven forbid, spraying her hair up in a cowlick, if Ave's isn't so lucky to escape her dad's contribution to the gene pool.

For certain, I'll be teaching her to notice the little staring people. And to be nice. They just might grow up to be bloggers and phenomenal phone Pac-man players. I'm just saying.

Friday, January 19, 2007

When Will I Learn?

I just need to purge, confess, do whatever people do when they've done something wrong. Repeatedly.

I know I'm not a bad mom, but I'm really sick of my tendency to learn the hard way at my child's expense.

Avery has bilateral ear infections, sinus infection and swollen tonsils.

What made me take her to the doctor? Well, the nurse who said get her in here now, and her unsightly crusties that made me love her less. Oh just kidding, like that's even possible. But, her eyes just weren't getting better. She had moments of lethargy and hours of fit throwing over dumb things like the underwire in my bra jabbing her, but really now---is that sooooo different that I would be inclined to rush her to the doctor?

The problem is, she IS sick and she DOESN'T complain. So my insecurity at being a hypochondriac has spilled over to fear of being a hypochondriac by proxy and I fight the urge to take her to the doctor because "after all, she's not complaining".

Avee doesn't complain when she has a right to. She does complain when the seam in the shoulder of my shirt impedes her comfort of lying on my shoulder. She does complain when I switch the blue pillow for the identical blue pillow that she's leaning against. She does complain when I put her cup in the wrong cup holder. She does complain about every other unreasonable thing she encounters, but NOT about throbbing ear pain, difficulty swallowing, and sinus pressure that makes gunk ooze out of her eyes. How on earth am I supposed to get it straight then?

So, I'm putting this out there as a reference for myself for the future, for making you all responsible to remind me, and well, for sheer posting consistency TAKE THE CHILD TO THE DOCTOR FOR CRYING OUT LOUD.

And now I am going go be a human car track for the little shiney car that Ben is playing with. It will go over my mouth so I "can't talk" and over my eyes so I "can't see" and over my nose so I can't breath, and then follow a trail down my chin, down my neck, hit my clavical bone and lose control and fall into the valley of dark depths and irretrivability. It's a VERY fun game. For one of us. We've been playing it for half this post. I'm that good.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Find It In Your Heart

For less than $1.43 a day you can make a difference in this little girl's life.

Your pledge alone can make the nights a little more quiet, the days a little sweeter, and the mama a little more sane. Don't wait another minute for someone else to solve her problems. Send your pledge for the next 16 years of just $1.42 a day to

Monday, January 15, 2007

Avee, Almost 2

Dear Avee,

Tonight when we laid you down for bed you had a red oozing eye from whatever cold of the month you have contracted. Considering how much your nose is running, how much your eye has "run" and how many times you've sneezed today, I'm guessing you don't feel so hot. But you don't complain. You just upped your daily dosage of hugs and snuggled a little longer with whatever blanket you have managed to acquire. You offered a cheerful "Cake-coo!" to your dad when he gave you a medicine tablet.

You are terribly cute Avee. I know most children are, it's a fact---but there is something so charming about you, it's hard for me sometimes to take my eyes off of you. And you know it. And that just fascinates me all the more. You are this strange combination of being completely aware of what the grown-up world thinks is cute, and performing as you feel necessary, and being completely independent and marching entirely to the beat of your own drum.

You love to do sign language and know a considerable amount of signs. But rarely on demand. You hug and kiss me more than I have ever known a child to do in a day, but never on demand. You love your bed and take naps and go down most days and nights without a sound. But you always shake your head emphatically when I ask you if you are ready for bed.

You say "mmm-hmmmm" with the same inflection I do when I'm pretending to be listening to your brother or your dad, but I'm not. I strongly suspect you to are just pretending to listen and have already figured out the difference.

There is nothing you can't do. There is no surface you cannot get to. There is no can of Pringles too high, no cookie too far back. You are so much like a monkey with your climbing that you have taken to saying, "muh-key, muh-key" over and over as you scale our kitchen cupboards to get to that coveted yummy food I've tried to keep out of your reach.

Last week at the park you got yourself up a swinging rope so swiftly that I couldn't even get to you fast enough. Even I panicked a little, I who watch you climb, fall, scale, recover, conquer on an hourly basis. The woman I was talking to rushed alongside me to get to you. You were halfway to your next feat before we could bound the 5 and a half feet to "rescue" you. You are quite agile.


This was an unfinished, unpublished post, but I loved the recount of who Avery was at the time.

The World's Most Perfect Sentence

Tonight after dinner J put the kids in the bathtub. 20 minutes later I got around to going in to see if I could help. Both kids were playing happily and when I asked if either needed to be lathered up and scrubbed down, J answered that they were both clean. Including the bottoms of their feet.

I said aloud, "Wow dad's on the ball isn't he!?" Avee nodded and emphatically added, "Dad-ball!" Her two favorite things in the world. She never knew there was such a perfect sentence to be uttered. Then she promptly picked up a squirting fish and nailed me in the right eye with a perfectly aimed stream of water.
Just FYI: Avee's face is red in this picture because she is a) sick and has a runny red left eye to prove it and b) just escaped a headlock Benja had her in, in an effort to "pose" for the camera.

Friday, January 12, 2007

I Have A Few Thoughts On This Matter

I haven't seen any pictures of Her Royal Round Rebekah since she was born. I got an email from my sister this morning with three words and a picture:
"Blog this baby"

I have a few things to say in response. And since this is my blog, I will show no shame in making this ALL ABOUT ME.

S, we can't be friends anymore. For so many reasons. But I'll give you just a few of the most trivial and pressing.

I have to wait at LEAST 3 months, and even that's subject to opinion, before my children actually start looking human and less like a George Lucas creation.

I give you, exhibits A and B:

This 3 week old cuteness you are sending my way is not fair.

Secondly, I am the redhead. I am the one who had to suffer through a childhood of red hair and incessant comments and promises that someday I'd like it, and carrot top, all the while you got to flounce through life with beautiful brunette hair with just the right amount of reddish highlights, but no amount of teasing or gawking. ME I tell you, ME. So WHY in tarnation do YOU get the little auburn haired beauty!?!?! Is there no justice? I have lived my entire life as a humble, sweet, long-suffering redhead, and not only am I supposedly not even a redhead anymore (see #5 and paragraph 2), your little preshy makes my little preshies look like washed up Loreal #39, impersonators.

Thirdly, you aren't the boss of me.

But I blogged it anyway because there are only so many things I can do to alleviate the ache in my heart to have my arms around that little pumpkin, of pie edibility.

That is all.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Of Diets and Eating Things

I enjoy reading about different diet strategies and "eating plans" to compare and contrast them and someday incorporate the good ideas into my new, improved, health-machine way of life. Most recently I am reading about the South Beach Diet. It seemed to have creeped up out of nowhere and I really don't know that much about it. It's similar to other things I've read. They all say to stop eating white stuff.

This morning, I ate brown and white. And I'm really interested in finding a "lifestyle change" for eating that incorporates 10 Oreo cookies for breakfast. I would rock on that plan. **

Speaking of eating, sometimes I just want to gobble these adorable children up.

Benja calls his Spiderman Vs. Doc-Oc video "Spidohman dee-vosus Doc-Oc". Is it so wrong to hope he never outgrows that?

And then last night, little Aves hurt her two fingers. The girl has taken blows to the head (from the floor and other inanimate objects, mind you) without blinking---so it was really surprising when last night she cried quite a bit and whined most of the evening over two little scrapes on her finger. I doctored them up for her. She was highly offended by the suggestion of bandaging her fingers until she saw Ernie and the Cookie Monster on the band-aids. After I neosporined and wrapped them up, she laid on the couch like an invalid, propping up her fingers. I wanted to eat her whole becaues it's SO DANG VALIDATING. I have been this way my whole life and as much as I wish I wasn't a hypochondriac and lover of attention, it's just who I am. And I see that it's in my hard-wiring, as it is in Avee's. Not only is she a cute little malingerer, she validates my neurosis at the same time. What more could a mother want in a child? I ask you!

** I would be perfectly willing to substitute Cheese Pringles. Or alternate day to day. I'm flexible.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Them's the facts

Tonight I cried watching Dog the Bounty Hunter.

Benja calls jawbreaker candy "workjobs" even after I correct him repeatedly.

I hate unloading the dishwasher.

I really really wish Benson and Stabler would kiss.

I haven't enjoyed any of the last 15-20 movies I have seen.

My 21 month old already knows how to manipulate situations based on nonverbal cues and basic human behavior. This scares me immensely.

I dreamt last night about my mother-in-law breaking up a high school fight in a girls bathroom and later getting a scathing, illiterate letter from the father of the instigator.

Some days caller ID is my best friend. If I've not answered when you have called, I swear I wasn't home.

I attended 3 days of law school when I had just turned 26.

Benja told me "well, I still love you" after I made him stop trying to play a game with me at naptime.

He says "well" at the beginning of sentences the same way his grandma does.

J washes the bottom of his feet when he showers, I didn't know people did this.

Avee insists on the bottom of her feet being washed before I remove her from the bathtub. She couldn't care less about the rice in her hair, syrup on her elbows, dirt on her shins, and snot on her face.

I often forget I'm pregnant until I try to pick up the 378 pound 2-year-old I babysit. Or clean the toilet. Or listen to conversations about cremation at lunch.

I love Japanese food.

We are not going to find out the sex of our third child before birth. Despite the immense peer pressure I have received.

I did NOT like the movie Happy Feet. If you did, I'd like to know why.

I want to blog about Donald Trump to get my ratings up. He does that for people you know.

I think Donald Trump should get a hobby.

Neither J nor I have ever watched an episode of Extreme Makeover Home Edition without getting choked up.

I feel utterly unprepared to be the mother of 3 children.

When I went to get Avee out of her bed this morning she yelled, "Yay Mommy!" as soon as she saw me.

Tonight I played dogpile with 5 little boys and Avee and halfway through remembered I'm nearly 5 months pregnant and probably shouldn't.

This post is a pathetic attempt at being consistent. You're welcome.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

My Little Sunbeam

I've tried hard not to let it happen. But when my 3 year old graduated from the "baby" nursery to the children's Primary at church, I got choked up. It was his first big transition since he outgrew his adorable Children's Place outfit when he was 10 months old. Oh wait, I mean, since he stopped being our only child at 22 months when Avee was born. Yeah, that's right. I cried then too.

Well, today I had to sneak in, and be one of those obnoxious moms who thinks the world revolves around her baby, and watch him for the first time in his new environment. He was calmly taking everything in, but he was a little awestruck as well. He sat quietly in his chair and I felt like he participated quite appropriately with brilliant answers. The lady leading the group didn't necessarily concur. But I do understand, he's MY preshy---not her's.

So, probably the highlight of what I did get to hear Benja participate in was him testifying of his faith in Spiderman. As the lady taught that faith is believing in something you haven't seen, but know exists, he hollered out, "Like Spidoman! But...I've seen Spiderman." So, perhaps it was a faith testimony retracted.

Later she spoke of the Holy Ghost and what it does for us. Benja and I have had lengthy, and somewhat frustrating (for me) conversations about the Holy Ghost. He'd like nothing more than for the Holy Ghost to be a superhero and while there may be some similarities, I don't feel I can in good conscience send him into his Primary class espousing such "truths". But some things I just. can't. control. As the lady asked what the Holy Ghost does for us, my brilliant theologian offered, "he can help us when we're hurt!" I beamed with pride but nobody really heard him. In a much louder voice he yelled, "And the Holy Ghost can FLY!" Of course, everyone heard that.

My kid's not the one running circles around his teacher or tipping in his chair or picking his nose, yet. It's so hard for me to know exactly how he'll be when he's really only ever been with me.

He is however, the one testifying of Superheros and introducing "strange" doctrine to his fellow three year old classmates. He's also the one who recited the first article of faith word for word his first day in primary. I'm really not bragging, I'm just saying....

Friday, January 05, 2007


I got a camera today. And not a moment too soon.

Tonight there was a warm chocolate chip cookie waiting on the table for Benja when he had changed out of his clothes and put on his pajamas. He generally dresses himself, so it's not that big of a deal, but pajamas can be tricky, with all that flame retardant, close fitting material and whatnot. I LOVE to say flame retardant, I think the phrase should be used much more in our culture.

Benja was in his pajamas in no time and I walked past him just minutes later sitting at the table enjoying his cookie. I noticed in passing that he put the pajama top on backward. I didn't think twice about it because I really don't think that stuff matters when you are three. And going to bed. The irony of it was almost missed on me. I said, "Oh Benja, you put your pajamas on by yourself, you are so smart!" and I hear my SIL say, "he surely is gifted" so I did a double-take which made me laugh very hard.

See? Nothing wrong.

Wearing things a little backwards when you are three really isn't that big of a deal.

Unless there are three adults in your house who are ready to pounce on any opportunity to laugh heartily at your expense.

J sweetly tried to explain to Benja why we were laughing. He only got out, "See, it's funny because your shirt says 'gifted' and..." I cut him off from telling our 3 year old we were laughing at him not with him.

But Benja let out a hearty laugh of his own and gleefully hollered, "Yeah, it's so funny because I'm NOT SMART!!"

Then I got mad.

Don't nobody say that about my baby genius.

The Romance Waffle House

When I was dating Jay, we lived 250 miles apart. Most of our time together was crammed into two weekend days, and a periodic Monday holiday. He worked for his dad during the day, and then worked a graveyard shift at a pasta factory. In addition to becoming a pasta expert, he became a zombie. He didn't sleep enough, didn't eat enough, and didn't get nearly enough face time with his beautiful girlfriend.

Looking back, it's hard to believe I fell in love with him and knew he was who I wanted to spend my life with--the way that he was. He was nothing like he is now. You could say I saw the diamond in the rough. He really was just as wonderful in my eyes then---but after we were married and he got sleep and food on a regular basis, people started commenting on how wonderful and delightful he turned out to be. I like to think it was all me. Because I like to think everything is all me.

But it wasn't. It was more like how I'm an ogre when I'm pregnant and really, I'm a delightful person aside from those 9 months. And the 1 month before and two months after....
J realizes that a regular dosage of chocolate, and a good year will get me back to my normal wonderful self.

Back when I was young and spry and in love, I thought it was the greatest thing to take J to work at 11 pm and be there in the parking lot at 7 am to pick him up. WITH makeup on. He couldn't pay me enough for that kind of service now.

One of those times he jumped in the car smelling like vermicelli and rigatoni, we were recently engaged and he leaned in close to me and said, "what color are your eyes?" I put the car in reverse and replied, "Blue, same as they've been every single time you've ever leaned in to gaze lovingly at them, or kiss me. Why?" He leans back in his chair and says, "Oh, because one of the guys I worked with asked me what color your eyes were when I told him I got engaged, because he says that's how he knows when a man really loves a woman, he knows what color her eyes are. I guessed blue and I was right!"

My heart skipped a beat. So romantic.

Another one of those early morning pasta pick-ups, J wanted to take me to a nearby Waffle House before going home. To this day, I'm not entirely clear on why he liked it, but I know it was something he really wanted to do. I don't feel bad for not knowing because I'm certain if today, someone asked him what color my eyes are, he'd still have to guess his answer.

We went there. I don't remember the food. I think I enjoyed the hashbrowns. I vaguely remember the setting. I remember sitting across from the emaciated, sleep-deprived love of my life and not caring that he ate bacon like a caveman. Boy have things changed.

Fast forward nearly 5 years. I am driving our 3 year old to an "ABC Art" class (which Benja subsequently called his "1234 Learn" class and "ABCD Painting" class) and pass a Waffle House. In my rush to get two kids fed, dressed, clean, and out the door before 9 am, I hadn't eaten. So I was hungry. After dropping off Benja and wrestling Avee back into her carseat because we do NOT leave Benja in a roomful of toys and other kids and expect her to leave willingly, I headed back toward Waffle House.

My heart still fluttered a bit from the memory of sitting across a booth from my true love, watching him lick ketchup from the corners of this mouth and dip toast in runny eggs, and thinking it was all charming. I scooped up my still yelling Avee and headed inside.

There were about 10 other guests there and at least that many employees behind the counter. A girl quickly came and was ready to take my order. She tried to talk to Avee who wasn't interested in conversation as much as she was in trying to stab my ribs with a fork. The waitress asked me how old Avee was. I said 21 months. "Oh man, she's leetle. She's soo leetle, is she okaaay? Why is she so leetle?" You mean, why do I, a 5'11", non-petite woman have such a small child, or do you really think she's so little that something must be wrong? I. don. know. Finally she took my order. I then watched her walk 3 feet away to the grill and prepare our food. While she was doing it, another girl walked by and untied her apron. Our waitress swore at her. Three feet away. About 10 feet away another lady opened up a swinging door and proceeded to yell out the name of every employee that was behind the counter that she could see. Loudly. Repeatedly. NOBODY responded to her. She just went away. Another waitress yelled across the restuarant "AMBER, TABLE 4 NEEDS A COFFEE REFILL!!!" Amber was cooking my hashbrowns, elbow deep in potatos. The yeller was next to the coffee pot, NEXT to table 4, counting her tips.

That same lady later went over the the fridge and retrieved 3 big strips of bacon, slapped them on the grill, started to walk past us and stopped to coo at Avee. She took Avee's face in her hands and then rubbed her hands all over Avee's "adorable red hair". I almost threw up. It's not like Avee hasn't had nastier things in her hair, or even more elaborate food concoctions---but SHE put them there. Not some grown, bacon-fat hands, stranger woman.

Avee dropped her coat on the floor and I almost threw up again. In their defense, I am like 19 or 20 weeks pregnant (yes, I really don't know) so I'm sure "almost throwing up" comes a little more easily but not THAT easily. The floor was disgusting. Almost too disgusting for my $12.99, 3 year old Payless shoes even.

Avee dumped water all over the table and at the same moment our waitress walked by and said in passing, "everything okay?" and kept walking. I actually laughed at that. Why even ask?

Avee's waffle wasn't cooked in the center, fortunately she's a pretty consistent edge-eater so it didn't matter.

It's hard to mess up hashbrowns, so my food was fine.

As I left, I couldn't believe I had eaten there before and RETURNED. I'm totally curious now what J's attraction to the place was. Maybe it had something to do with mine and Avee's meal, with tip, costing $10. It must be. Even though he didn't/doesn't know what color my eyes are, I DO know that boy loves to pinch a penny 'til it squeals.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Last Year and Whatnot

Some people are sooooooooo whiney....

My friend Millie did a post the other day back, which she got from someone else. It's the first line from your first post of each month in the last year, to summarize your year. After reading her lines, I thought it was just a great idea I'd like to imitate. Then I read my first lines and thought it was a stupid idea because my first lines don't make me sound as interesting as hers.

I'm doing it anyway. And I'm taking some liberties, as did she. I'll use a couple lines or more. Because apparently I have trouble getting to the point.

I didn't start blogging until the end of March. I don't think I knew anything about blogs before February. I had a completely different blog for several months, and having to switch blogs was a really sad experience for me. If that doesn't tell you something about the richness of my life...
So, from both blogs: An*els In My Re*rview and the new, more secrety Dancing Without Rhythm. I would like to take credit for single-handedly improving all friend's, acquaintances and a handful of blog reader's spelling of the word "rhythm". You're welcome.

March---One of Jay's favorite movie lines to quote is from the little neighbor boy in "The Incredibles" when Bob sort of snarls at him gawking in the driveway "Well, what are you waiting for!?" and the boy replies, "I dunno, something amazing I guess!"
My first post about waiting for something amazing to write about. Clearly, I have gotten over THAT insecurity.

April--- So, I got this in an email from my mom: "I tried to 'educate' myself and looked up 'blog' in the dictionary.....not there" and " I didn't know what a 'blog' was......I've read one now, but, could you also clarify where they go, and what it means, etc". You're never too old to get good advice from your mom, right?

May-- Benja sincerely loves the maintenance men.

June--I've been thinking a lot about the aging process. I'm 30. My age has almost become meaningless to me.
An insightful and introspective view on age, I am happy to look back and learn I DID have thoughts beyond "how long does chicken stay good in the refrigerator", etc. However, my favorite line from that post was:
“And although it hasn't been openly discussed, I'm sure that soon both Jay and I will be coup d'état-ed because Avery's just about one inch and a couple of gutteral consonant sounds away from putting us out on our weak, sorry, permissive, non-authoritarian-enough batooties. I can see it in her eyes”
The wisdom in that prediction astounds me.

July-- I think I might have forgotten a little of why I started blogging in the first place.

--There really should be a law against web-illiterate people trying to pretend they know html. Because what I've been doing for the last 2 hours should be illegal.

September--Leave it to a smelly topic like poop to break my silence.
Now, I hyperlinked this sentence because I had forgotten about the entire post and was FASCINATED by the first few paragraphs. I mean REALLY. Read it. Do the math. I was 7 days past the point of no return.

October--Are there certain phrases or words you use or know, and can remember exactly where you first learned them?

November--It's as though we didn't even celebrate Halloween. Well, we didn't. It takes a lot to get us to celebrate around here, but we DID go trunk-or-treating and trick-or-treating. I had the delightful pleasure of "following" behind a lady who "crashed" the church trunk-or-treat she-bang, let's see if I can get anymore hyphenated words in-here. There. Anyway, she kept saying "Trink-or-treat!" and I laughed every single time. Mature? No, I'm not.

December--So, a couple of months ago it was my friend’s birthday. You all know her as Code Yellow Mom. I met her in a time and a place when the word “mom” belonged to someone else, and blogging was something you did in the bathroom and didn't talk about.

It's a new year! I'm looking forward to what this year brings. I think I'll learn yet again, I don't know everything. Really, I have a lot of evidence to the contrary, but I do seem to be learning that lesson over and over. Baby #1 and Baby #3 are my most vivid examples of that lesson. Both of them came a year early.

Right now, I'm coping with a 21 month old who looks today like she came out the losing end of a bar fight. I'd post a picture so you could see I'm not exaggerating, but I have no camera. She as a 6 day old bruise from a fight with an ottoman and then a cut/bruise on her eye just below it from a race with a closing door, in which she lost. For the first time. I think the 4X's too big dinasour boots she was wearing were a hinderance. She'll do better next time. Those battle injuries combined with staining blue frosting around her mouth, make her a lovely sight.

And the 3 and a half year old is going through some sort of toddler-preschooler puberty that is WAY more than I am equipped to deal with. Psychology and Human Development degree notwithstanding. Simple requests like, "please watch what you're doing when you go to the bathroom, we don't need a trail all over the bathroom" is met with wails of epic proportions and don't EVEN get him started on putting shoes away or wearing a coat before he can go outside.

Anyone who knows some tricks for dealing with the latter, send 'em my way. I'm desperate.