Thursday, May 31, 2007

Little Pots of Gold

My children are going for some kind of world record.

Most Weeks Mother Kept From Completing Full Week At Work!

It has been ten weeks since I last worked a full week. TEN WEEKS!!

If I wasn’t self-employed I’d be thinking about firing my sorry behind for never showing up to work.

Yesterday afternoon The Rooster decided to spike a 102 degree fever which means she was … KICKED OUT OF DAYCARE!

Again.

W00T!


(Mind you, not a single symptom since that spike, but I’m not BITTER or anything.)

This morning I had to drop The Mayor off at daycare, leave him there and take Roo back home with me. This doesn’t usually go well. The Mayor is not a big fan of being left behind.

But lo! This morning I was saved by my people. Oh, the good people of Ireland!

The daycare teacher was playing Irish fiddle music and I could not help myself.

My arms fused to my sides, I hopped on one foot and then the other, my legs kicked out in a herky jerky way and all the while I spun in circles like a drunken leprechaun.

Soon there was a swarm of two and three year olds surrounding me.

“Hold your arms against your sides!” I cried. “Our people don’t move their arms when they dance!”

There was a mass of toddlers performing a great, armless hopping and kicking tribute to my people.

Toddlers turned in endless circles and I snuck away leaving the short ones to their jiggety jigging.

The Blessed Irish.


The Dance of Our People

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Fly

Most mornings lap swimmers in the far lane at my YMCA pool get booted at some point to make room for children from the attached elementary school.

The children come in for swimming lessons, but I swim there three to four mornings a week and have almost never seen a lesson given.

Instead, the children are released into the far lane and, like any group of unsupervised kids in a pool, they begin to go nuts – jumping in and out of the other lap lanes, balancing on the rope, splashing like crazy...

I don’t mind any of their behavior, I really don’t. If I were a kid in the pool without any adult supervision, I’d be doing the same.

What does bother me is that they never get an actual swim lesson.

Never.

Whenever I see this happening, I break from my workout to ask the nearest 'official looking' adult what is going on and I am always told that the kids are having “free time.”

The kids deserve a real lesson. Their parents aren't there to see what is happening.


I have repeatedly complained at the front desk.


Today, the young woman in charge of the children (we’ll give her the benefit of the doubt and call her the swim teacher) sat on a bench at the side of the pool busily bent over a stack of papers.

She didn’t even glance in the direction of the young boys she was supposed to supervise.

The boys jumped in the water, swam one length and then got busy being unsupervised boys in a pool.

I stopped my workout in the middle of my lane, stood up and asked the swim teacher why the kids weren’t getting a lesson. Again with the “free time” answer.

“Why is it that they never get a lesson? All they ever have is free time. Couldn’t you teach them something?”

[Oh, how I cower at the mere idea of confrontation. NOT.]

“They deserve a lesson,” I told her, “They deserve your attention.”

She shrugged and went back to work on her stack of papers.

Soon all the boys were creating a splash fest in my lane.

I swim hard. I won’t necessarily see kids in my lane until I’m swimming right over them. Their presence in my lane is dangerous for them and for me.

[Because me strong like bull.]

How could she not even watch them for SAFETY? Children, in a pool, under her supervision… is it me or do they not, at minimum, deserve life guarding?

Narrowly avoiding making pulp out of the group of boys I stood up again and this time I yelled at the "teacher.”

“YOU’RE NOT EVEN WATCHING THEM!” I screamed.

[Troublemaking busy body that I am.]

You know what she did?

She yelled at the boys and kicked them out of the pool.


That is when I lost my cool.

I stood in the center of the pool in my swim cap, goggles and Speedo and I released upon her... the WRATH OF JOY.

[OH, THE JOY OF YELLING LOUDLY...]

“I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU ARE KICKING THEM OUT FOR BEING BOYS!! YOU ARE THE ONE NOT PAYING ATTENTION!! YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO BE THEIR TEACHER! HOW CAN YOU PUNISH THEM FOR BEING KIDS WHEN IT IS YOUR JOB TO SUPERVISE THEM?"

[This was followed with further RIGHTEOUS INDIGNATION, delivered at a high volume, using that tone of voice that my mom hates...]

When I finished my workout, I showered, got dressed and went to the front office.

I asked to speak to the director.

She took me to her office.

“I want to confess and to complain,” I told her. “First, I want to confess that I yelled at your swim teacher. But I also want to complain that the children never get a lesson.”

I went on and on about how they deserved to have a proper lesson, how they deserved to be supervised… how they deserved attention from the adult caring for them.

The director told me that all the boys really needed to learn in the class was to swim one length of the pool.

I stared at her for a moment.

“Well, they can do that,” I said. “But doesn’t that tell you that they are capable of doing more? Doesn't it indicate that these young boys are full of potential?"

I paused again.

"Teach them to FLY.”


USA Flying






***********************

justpostmay2007

Monday, May 28, 2007

Learning to Love the Sharpei

Regardless of how much I exercise my abs I can't seem to rid myself of the saggy bit of under-tummy that joined me once I was done birthin' those babies.

Yep. It seems to be here to stay .

I am getting used to its presence though, so much so in fact, that I have developed habits around it.

For example, whenever I sit down I hook a thumb into the waist of my pants and pull them out ever so slightly
so that as I sit the saggy part deposits itself inside the pants. (If I don't do this it will hang over the top of the pants and that is just. not. pretty.)

I may have even become too used to my new lower abdominal companion.

The other night we went out to dinner with some friends and as I sat down I did the thumb-hook thing and said,


"Hang on, I've just got to get my post-partum Sharpei in my pants."

Hello.

How about a nice dinner out with me and my big, fat mouth?

Ever since I discovered the havoc that childbirth wreaked on my body I have been trying to find practical ways to accept my new shape.

I'm trying to be more comfortable living with the little under belly Sharpei dog -- especially in
times of nakedness. (Woof, woof!)

Over Memorial Day Weekend K and I tried out a new plan for increased marital... uh, intimacy.

Here's how the plan worked...

The exact second the children go down for a nap... GET NAKED NOW NOW NOW!!!

I have to say, K and I are very good at planning -- and this, like many of our plans, was a good one, particularly for our Yippee Yahoo Regions.

(Did I mention my big, fat, too-much-information-sharing mouth?)
Ahem.

Anyway.

The second best thing about the GET NAKED NOW NOW NOW plan was that in addition to the "OH, SWEET BABY!!!" time, there was the post "OH, SWEET BABY" time -- time to talk to each other while still naked.

Somehow K and I found ourselves talking about exercise. (Heh, heh.)

We got on the subject of stomach muscles and I said,

"My stomach muscles have never been as strong as they are right now. Except you can't see the abs through all this post partum, wrinkly, stuff."

"Let's see," K said.

Then... my man grabbed a hold and he TUGGED THE SHARPEI DOWN.

Oh. My. Got.

"Look at that! You totally have a six pack under there!"

Uh, huh.

The joys.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

The Shoes Make The Man, I Always Say

I come to you today deeply, deeply disturbed.

My internet friend William is in trouble.

There is the obvious problem with his choice of carbohydrates...

poop & boogies spud

...but this post is not about his yam issues, this is a post about MAN SHOES.

I should start by telling you that William is one of my favorite male bloggers.

[Keep your shirts on, I said ONE of my favorites. Sheesh. I get around, O.K? Cheeky!]

For the most part, I tend to shy away from male bloggers.

[With the exception of Kevin Charnas whose left nostril is my retirement home.]

I guess I should clarify and say that while I read quite a few of the man-blogs, I read many more from the wimmins.

Anyway, William...

I like his writing style and his sense of humor. But best of all, his writing gives me the sense that he not only really loves his wife, but that he has a profound respect for her as well. I really like that.

Sadly, I have recently learned that William has a problem.

Here is the thing:

William doesn't care about his shoes.

Does NOT CARE about his SHOES.

That is just wrong.

The man is wearing adult sized light up sneakers from Wal*Mart... but one is broken so only one lights up... and the lighting up one is malfunctioning so that it never STOPS lighting up.

Does this look like a man who should be known as The One Light Up Wal*Mart Sneaker Man?

poop & boogies


Ladies, ladies, ladies. We must help William understand that the shoes are the icing on the hotness cake.

Women see a good looking guy and think,

"Oooh! Nice hair... nice face, too! Mmmm hmmm, nice chest, sexy bottom... BOW CHICKA BOW... AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. Run! Horrifying shoes!"


[ABORT! Abort lusty thought processes stat!]

Adult light up sneakers from Wal*Mart? What can William be thinking?

poop & boogies 4


Perhaps William thinks that his choice of shoes no longer matters because he is happily married to an alarmingly beautiful woman who loves him just as he is...

But seriously, should the lovely Lauren have to go out in public with
The One Light Up Wal*Mart Sneaker Man?

People of the internet!

Go to William. Help him find a mo' better shoe.

William, listen to the people (except maybe not Kevin), but listen to the other people.

Do it for them...
poop & boogies Luckiest


This post was awarded a "Post of the Day" award from The Rising Blogger!


Friday, May 25, 2007

I Have No Thoughts or Feelings About Anything

Last night we had dinner out with another family.

In the middle of the conversation I looked at K and blurted out,

"You're so CUTE!"

He gave me a look that said, "Um, O.K. Ms. Non Sequitur. Whatever."

The thing is, lately I've noticed that I am not in touch with my feeeeeeeeeelings.

When I get together with a friend that I haven’t seen in awhile and they ask me what I’ve been up to I draw a complete blank.

I feel like I have nothing to say.

Every day truly is the same here at The House of Joy.

So when I looked at K across the dinner table and saw him... you know, really saw him (and his HOTNESS) I had to tell him because I thought,

"I'm having an actual feeling. YIPPEEEE!"

But, that is the only thought or feeling that I have had in a few weeks.

So what do I record here?

When in doubt...

Blog about... blogging.

[Apologies to my real world people who could give a schnitzel.]

((((THIS is my really amazing transition to the next topic... don't let my awesome writing skillz intimidate you.))))

Plain Jane Mom told me that the Blogger's Choice Awards just drag on and on until October.

That is a long time for someone as impatient as me to wait.

The NOMINATRIX wants RESULTS.

I am nominated in a few categories and I've been keeping an eye on my status as a loser.

This blog is NOT The Best Parenting Blog. (I know, I know. SHOCKING.)




Have I not shared the best, most nutritious recipes for young children?


Nutritious dMeal


Have I not inspired parents to read to their children in a lively way, by making Mike Mulligan bark like a dog?

April 9, 2007 Mom of the Week counts for NOTHING?

((((DORK PARENTS UNITE.))))


In addition, I am NOT the hottest mommy blogger.





I nominated other people for the "hottest" category, but when I did it, I wasn't thinking of "HOT" as in "National Park Rangers are HOT," I thought of it in terms of temperature.

You know, which blogger is
the most schweddy.

Is that wrong?


Me?

I am SO hot.

I am on FIRE, baby...


heat_miser of joy


Go ahead, make me schweddier.


This blog is also NOT the best blog of all time.



But for the record, I totally won that already.

Like back when I was writing posts during the
big bang.

big bang of joy


I also won it way back when I was blogging at the time of The Dawn of Man.


The Dawn of Joy


...and also in the time of Jeebus.


the_walk_to_emmaus with joy

So there is really no need to win it again now.

Finally, Best Humor Blog?



You've got to be kidding me.

This blog is NOT funny.

Everything I post is 100% serious.

Are you laughing AT me?

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Wishful Thinking

The Family Joy was gathered in the kitchen.

The Mayor and The Rooster were involved in some made up game where The Mayor repeatedly covered The Rooster with a blanket.

The Mayor, wanting to switch the game so that the blanket would cover him, turned to The Rooster and said,

"Hey! DO ME!"

The Rooster, responding to her brother's request, said,
"OH-KAY!"

K was sitting on the kiddie play table and I was smooching on him.

K, hearing The Mayor's comment to his sister, broke apart from my kiss and said,

"Hey! DO ME!"

...and I, kissed him again and said,

"OH-KAY!"


But let's be real.

Did we see any action at The House of Joy after this looooong day with the short people?



Joyminatrix

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Oh, right. Sharing is NICE.

Last night, as a special treat, I bought myself a box of organic blackberries.

I imagined that today I would sit by myself in the middle of the work day and savor each fat berry.

Blackberries are my favorite fruit. I would eat them all the time if only a tiny box didn't cost $437 million dollars.

Oh, to live in Seattle where the blackberries grow like weeds...

My southern-raised Granny makes excellent
blackberry dumplings.

She has made them for our family for as long as I can remember and there have been many, many times that she has made them just for me.

I bet
she didn't always feel like rolling out the dough. She always did it anyway.

This morning, The Rooster had THE INSATIABLE HUNGER.

She ate a plate full of eggs, a packet of cheese and four thick slices of Hebrew National Beef Salami. Then she asked for more cheese.

We went to the refrigerator together and she saw my berries.

"I want berries," she said.

[Of course.]

I took them out and set them in front of her at the little table in the kitchen.

I sat with her and watched wistfully as each plump berry disappeared into her small mouth.

One by one she ate them all up.

Oddly, I enjoyed them almost as much as if I had eaten them myself.


blackberries

Granny’s Blackberry Dumplings

Ingredients:
3 cups sifted flour
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup shortening (butter, margarine or Crisco)
1 egg (beaten)
1 teaspoon vinegar
1/2 cup ice water

Freshly picked blackberries
Sugar
Butter

Directions:
Mix flour, salt and shortening.

In a separate bowl, mix egg, vinegar and ice water.

Mix the flour mixture with the egg mixture and refrigerate dough overnight.

Divide dough into 10 - 12 small balls. Roll each ball out into a circular shape. Fill with as many blackberries as you can and add 1/4 cup sugar and a pat of butter. Fold the dough around the berries, sugar and butter to form a dumpling.

Put the dumplings in a baking dish together.

Cook for 10 minutes in a pre-heated oven at 450 degrees. After 10 minutes, reduce heat to 350 and cook for an additional 40 minutes.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

I've Heard It's Nutritious...

This morning The Rooster finagled sitting on her father's lap to eat her breakfast.

"Uh... this diaper is suddenly feeling really WARM on my leg," K reported.

"Rooster, is there something in your diaper?" I asked.

Roo nodded vigorously, "YESH!"

"What's in there, Roo?"

"CORN!"
Oh, dear.

Why even eat corn?

Green Veg


*******************************

Send a Rooster to Schmutzie for her cockroll.
Strong women crow together against the worst of times.


Monday, May 21, 2007

Overthinking Harold's Purple Nightmare

We've been reading Harold and the Purple Crayon to The Mayor lately.

haroldpurple

Harold exists in a blank world with nothing but a purple crayon. He must invent everything around him by drawing it himself.

The first time we read it The Mayor found it a little upsetting.

Harold can't find his own house, his own window or his own bed.

The Mayor was anxious.

I know it is suppposed to be
an "understated tribute to the imagination, reminding us of the marvels the mind can create and giving us the wondrous sense that anything is possible..."

hpcPath

But I hated the book as a child. (I do recall my brother loving it though.)

Harold lives in a world of nothingness, endless, boundless, limitless white space.

Anything he wants to experience he must create himself.

Fair enough on one level, but...

He is searching for "home" and he can't find it.

Harold falls into the sea, he plummets down the far side of a moutain.

He comforts himself with nine kinds of pie.

[Note to self: NINE KINDS OF PIE!!]

He creates a dragon to protect his apples, but then he's afraid of it (and so am I!)


harolds-purple-crayon



The policeman he invents to help him find his way is not at all helpful (or real.)


hpcCop


Harold is alone, utterly and completely alone.

He creates a city void - an endless sea of empty windows.

Poor Harold. No one to talk to... nowhere to turn.


hpcCity


In the end, Harold has to draw "home" and sleep there.


hpcCovers


Maybe this book is some kind of litmus test for personality type.

Perhaps some people experience the book as an
existential celebration of the human capacity to create meaning in life while others find it a woeful tale of isolation and lonliness.

I want Harold to wake up from his bad dream in the end. I want him to find his "real" home -- a place where he has parents and where purple is not the only color.

[What does this say about me?]

At the end of the book, I can't help but feeling like Harold is either suffering from a severe mental illness or he is in hell.

HE IS IN HELL I TELL YOU!!!

Wait.

Could Harold be...

THE DEVIL HIMSELF?


Effing children's books.

Friday, May 18, 2007

The Mother of All Meme Posts

WARNING: THIS POST IS GUARANTEED TO MAKE YOUR EYES BLEED.

I have been tagged for so many memes that I feel it is time to present:


THE MOTHER OF ALL MEME POSTS!!!



MEME #1: FIVE FOR FEMINISM

I was tagged TWO MONTHS ago byTwo Knives... two Knives, two months... I got confused.

The meme asks for five thoughts on feminism and how it has changed us...

- One -

Uh... did I ever tell you about the time that I was invited to join a "feminist salon" back in the height of the Utne Reader salon craze?

No? Shocker.

This incredibly hot, babe-a-licious woman asked me to join the feminist salon group called "Amazon Salon" and I said, (I really said this) "No. I can't join a feminist salon. I'm married."

I don't know what I was thinking. (I'm not sure I was thinking.)

I am still red in the face today, fifteen years later. I am such a dork. (And I don't mean the whale penis kind.)

- Two -

Years later, K's best friend Big Brian went on a tirade about the way that the act of shaving leg and armpit hair was an oppressive misogynist burden for women and they shouldn't do it. They should not bow down to THE PATRIARCHY by shaving. NO!

It was summer and I was wearing shorts and a sleeveless shirt. Big Brian could see that I was shorn. (Baaaaa.)

But Big Brian went on and on and on about how women should NOT have to shave and that shaving was a ridiculous beauty standard and blah, blah, blah.

Finally, I said,

"Big Brian, what is the difference between a man telling me TO shave and a man telling me NOT to shave?"

Big Brian does not discuss the shaving of female leg and armpit hair anymore, ever, anywhere, with anyone.

[Oh, my crowning feminist achievements.]

- Three -

Pants. I'm really grateful to wear pants. Pantyhose are nasty and include the word "panty" in the name. I don't like the word "panty." What's to like? Panty. Bleah.

That's three thoughts...

- Four -

I've blown my wad. Heh. (That's four!)

- Five -

I am fiveless.



**********************************************************


MEME #2: SORT OF AN EXTENSION OF THAT INTERVIEW MEME

During that whole interviewing meme thing that went around last month, I interviewed Iris and in her post answering MY questions, she (totally cheated and) asked me questions.

Questions from
Iris:

Can you think of a specific lesson that your mere existence in this world has taught someone else?

Thanks to me there is one more person in the world that knows that everyone has a little hole in their butt... does that count?

Can you think of a lesson that you learned from a brief encounter with a complete stranger that changed the way you think, act, etc?

A while back we saw a man eating out of a garbage can on the way to church. Months later we had an opportunity to do something differently.



**********************************************************


MEME #3: SOMEWHERE IN THE RANGE OF 7-10 THINGS
YOU DON'T ALREADY KNOW ABOUT ME


Twisted Cinderella, Karly at Wiping Up Snot & Abby at Shearly Delighted all tagged me for 7-10 (the number seems to mysteriously vary in this meme) things you didn't already know about me.

I share everything with you people! You know about my sexual fantasy, my mighty wind, my little children of Israel and my difficulties with lube.

What can I tell you...

1. I was a thumbsucker. I sucked my thumb until I was eleven (at least.)

2. I worked as a bartender in college. I have never since had so many men tell me I was beeyooteeful at 2:00 a.m. "Yer the moesh beeyooteeful woman ina whirrrrlllld..."

3. I am an ENTJ on that Myers Briggs test. Apparently about 5% of the population turns up ENTJ. The one word description of my personality based on that result is "The General." (I'm in charge in case you were wondering.)

4. I think brussel sprouts are delicious.

5. I wanted to name The Mayor "Wyatt" but K said no.

6. Dolly Madison is my cousin 14 times removed. (Not the snack cake Dolly Madison - the other one.)

7. I have never had a nickname (unless you count "Pookie Fritz" which is what my parents sometimes call me.)

8. My heritage is Irish, German & English.

9. I speak perfect Spanglish. Super bien!

10. I took German in college and all I can remember is, "Der hund hat hier geshissen" though I don't know that it is spelled correctly.


**********************************************************


MEME #4: THE STUFF IN MY PURSE

Mrs. Schmitty tagged me to show the world the things in my purse.

The thing is... I mostly still have to carry a diaper bag.

On the rare occasion that I do get to carry a purse it only has my wallet, phone and keys.

Maybe some lipstick.

So dull.



**********************************************************

MEME #5: POST A PHOTO OF YOURSELF WITHOUT MAKE-UP

I wasn't tagged for this meme started by
Adventures in Babywearing, but I liked it and because this is THE MOTHER OF ALL MEME'S POST...

Here I am, without make-up, looking kind of serious at Miss Avery Lane's birthday party...

IMG_5554

You get a nice view of my moustache!



**********************************************************

MEME #6: WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOURSELF?

First Jen asked Tabba to write about the things she loved about herself. Then I opened my big mouth about it.

Things I love about myself:
  1. The Mighty Wind has no smell. It is COMPLETELY odorless. K will disagree, but he is lying -- LYING!!
  2. I don't procrastinate. (With the exception of meme #1.)
  3. I am always right. (Again, don't talk to K about this.)
  4. I'm in charge. (Ditto. No discussing this with K.)
  5. Generally I am a hopeful person. The glass is half full. People are inherently good. Life is beautiful.

Yippeeeeeee - this meme thing is getting easier as I go!

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Love American Style

The other night we were lolling about on the couches in our living room after the children went to bed trying to decide if we should watch television or go to sleep.

[Oh, the STRESS of the decision making around here!]

K lifted his legs up in the air and pondered his leg hair.

[Our evenings are just THAT rich.]

“My leg hair looks kind of blonde tonight. It makes me able to imagine myself as an old man with grey leg hair. Will you still love me then?”

I sat up.

I looked over at him, this man I love.

“I will,” I said. “I will still love you then. I won’t ever stop.”

I got up from my chair and went to sit beside him.

I tucked my head into the spot on his chest where it fits just right.

We stayed like that for a long while.

Then, after a long measure of love, I said,

“Dude, let’s watch some crappy TV shows.”



Love American Style

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

The Shot Goes All Father & Son On Me

I haven't talked about The Shot in a long time.

K is the undisputed King of The Shot.

He balls up his dirty underwear at the end of the day, calculates the intended trajectory, hurls them up at the ceiling fan and hopes they land in the laundry hamper.

[Usually they don't, but when they do there is a great fanfare and the crowd goes wild. K's arms fling up, he runs a lap around the bed. He makes that crowd noise that boys make.]

This past weekend at the beach there was a new spin on The Shot.

K was changing The Mayor into his pajamas...

Hmmmm... little boy underwear plus ceiling fan... possibilities!

"Mayor, do you think I can throw your underwear at the ceiling fan, spin it around and have it come back and hit you on the head?"

The Mayor's eyes filled with mirth to match his father's.

"Noooooooo!" The Mayor said.

K balled up the teeny tiny Thomas the Tank Engine briefs.

He made the necessary mathmatical calculations.

He flung the itty bitty underwear up... and they flew across the room.

The Mayor laughed.

"Here," K said to The Mayor. "Lie down on your bed. Put your head on this pillow and I'll try again."

The Mayor assumed the position.

K threw, the teeny tiny underwear, they caught on the ceiling fan blade, they spun around...

...and they flew down and SMACKED The Mayor right in the head.

K's manly victory dance ensued.

The Mayor laughed.

I shook my head and thought, "that is one odd chromosome."

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Where Has The Joy Been?

Why, we have been to the sea!

IMG_5658_edited-1


Within two minutes of arriving at the beach, The Mayor adhered to a long standing anti-bathing suit statute -- an early piece of Mayoral policy dating back to 2006.


IMG_5899


IMG_5682_edited-1

I found myself shouting, "SHORTS ARE OVER RATED!"

Other tourists were highly amused.

IMG_5757

The fearless Rooster took one look at the ocean and headed straight for it.

Straight into it.

Headlong.

IMG_5805

The waves crashed into her, knocking her down, getting salt water in her eyes.

The Rooster stood up spitting, laughing and yelling her trademark, "MORE!"

(A clear improvement over her 2006 beach trip achievements.)


IMG_5872_edited-1



IMG_5921

And now...

Beefcake photo of Hot Husband inserted for no other reason than to say,

"Park Ranger Uniform or not, BOW CHICKA BOW WOW!"


IMG_5862


And now we are home.

(And from now on, we're traveling with our own pillows because clearly we are OLD and decrepit.)

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Gamma Attle

The Rooster is really just learning to talk.

She can say quite a bit for 20 months - or at least I think so.

One of her favorite things to talk about - now that she can talk about anything - is Grandma Seattle.

[Only it comes out "Gamma Attle".]

The Rooster loves Grandma Seattle.

Most mornings on the changing table she looks at me and says,

"Gamma Attle!"

"What about Grandma Seattle, Roo?"

"Ina SEE her."

"Yeah. I want to see her too."

Most mornings Rooster plays with the phone in my bedroom and babbles away to Grandma Seattle as if she were on the line.

The other day, as I listened to her daily report to Grandma she said something I have not heard before.

Rooster ambled along in her pretend conversation with Grandma, pausing here and there, responding "yes" and "no" to the various measures of silence on the other end. The, all of a sudden,

"I love you, Gamma."

I smiled and I thought,

"I love her too, Roo."

Happy Mother's Day, Mom.

Much love,
Jessica

Friday, May 11, 2007

The Good Times

My kids missed me while I was gone.

Perhaps that should make me feel guilty, but instead it made me glad.

Usually I am the chopped liver around here.

"I want Daddy!" is the repeating chorus that The Mayor and The Rooster sing most days.

I admit, I get tired of always being their second choice.

Sometimes, when K and I are in the middle of talking and the children interrupt, K diverts his attention from me in order to respond to them.

I so much prefer it when he says something like, "Wait a second, Mayor. Mommy and Daddy are talking."

When he forgets to do that I sometimes feel like his second choice too.

My brain tells me, "These three people have no need for me. I'm going to the Bahamas."

Then I pout.

(Because I am MATURE and able to
achieve conflict resolution by discussing my feelings.)

Then K sees my pouty face and his face falls. He feels bad (but also rolls his eyes because I am being so mature... AGAIN) and he apologizes (AGAIN) not because he's guilty of anything, but because apologizing is simply the faster way through the pouty stage.

(I can sometimes be a little high maintenance. THERE. I said it. Are you happy now? Jeez.)

Anyway, when I got home from D.C., K told me that the kids missed me.

Apparently The Mayor repeatedly made public service announcements stating that I was "in Washington, D.C. for work" and asked when I would be home.

The Rooster cried herself to sleep both nights calling for mama. (Poor little love!)

They were both asleep when I got home so I snuck in to watch them.

The Rooster stirred, even opened her eyes. I imagine she saw me there in some deep realm of the subconscious, but she didn't awaken.

The Mayor was sweaty in his bed, perhaps dreaming of running fast.

In the morning, The Rooster insisted on eating her breakfast while sitting on my lap. She gave me hug after hug.

The Mayor asked to lay his head in my lap and was still there for much longer than normal while I stroked his hair.

When I dropped them off at daycare The Rooster cried.

During my goodbye hugs and kisses session with The Mayor he gave me a shower kissing love.

He kissed my knuckles and then kissed his way up my arm.

He turned my head to the side, moved my hair, kissed my ear and then did the other side.

He kissed my forehead and my cheeks.

Occasionally he paused to hold my face and simply look at me.

Then more kissing. My whole face. My neck.

After The Greatest Goodbye Hugs and Kisses Session of All Time, we headed for the door for our goodbye waves.

The daycare teacher had the radio on and the song "Could It Be I'm Falling In Love" by The Spinners was playing.

The Mayor and I held hands and spun around all smiles and dancing.

We kissed goodbye once more. We waved and blew kisses as I walked to the car.

I was first choice for a moment, not second, and it was nice.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Tarzan Goes To A Meeting

I am back from Washington D.C., however, I left a SIGNIFICANT part of me behind... or a significant part of my behind...or a significant amount came out of my behind...and I left it there... or something.

I think I mentioned that the project I'm working on is the exploration of a potential merger.

The personal dynamics of the meeting were pretty fascinating.

People holding similar jobs can't help but feel awkward with their counterpart wondering who might be the future boss of the other.

Despite the tension, the whole group needs to work together to conduct the proper due diligence analysis.

I was struck by the difference in the way men and women handled it.

Early on the first night I sat with a group of women. They were evenly split, half representing one group and half the other. The conversation immediately turned to topics that create unity.

The women talked about how many children they had, the kids ages, the particular challenges they faced with children that age and the stresses of being a working mom.


Soon all the women were laughing together remembering when they were 13 years old and three-way calling boys.


"Ask him if he likes me and I'll just listen."

Remember that?

The women immediately created a sense of camaraderie and common ground with one another.

Later that night I was seated with a group of the men.

They immediately got down to the business of establishing who had more power.

They "one-upped" each other, interrupted, disagreed, argued and became combative.

They puffed up their man chests and beat on them with their hairy fists.

I half expected them to swing on a forest vine performing a Tarzan yell.

Men are so weird sometimes.

I left Washington thinking that before a meeting begins men should be required to go to the bathroom as a group.

In the privacy of the men's room and away from the women they should just get it over with... drop their pants, get their measuring sticks out, establish rank and THEN come out and have the meeting.


Me Tarzan. Mine Bigger.

Tarzan

Friday, May 04, 2007

Anthony


In the early 90's I ran an academic enrichment program in ten elementary schools on Saturday mornings.


I would recruit, train and organize volunteers to go into "at-risk" public schools to tutor and mentor children and I would regularly volunteer too.

The interesting thing (to me) was that hundreds of kids would attend.

Hundreds of children came to school on Saturday!

It spoke to how few options there were for them.

The children were all considered "low-income."

The principals of all ten schools told me that they believed the children were
desperate for attention from caring adults.

I remember the kids being terrifically interested in learning and excited to talk and laugh with us.

They would tell us things about each other.

Pretty rough things, actually.

From the school staff we learned which kids most likely got themselves up for school each morning and how many children showed up without having eaten anything.

We heard terribly sad things about the lives of the bright, young faces that sat before us eager to get started on math, reading, or science activities -- ANYTHING.

Anthony and I instantly connected.

It's funny how feeling connected with someone happens regardless of age differences. There are some kids that I just get, who seem to get me, and we click.

Anthony was like that. We clicked right away.

The other kids routinely gave Anthony a hard time and I couldn't figure out why. He was a good looking, friendly kid.

The other students made sure I knew
about Anthony's family.

His father was in prison for murder. His mother worked the streets. There were guns and drugs...

They taunted and teased him about it all in front of me,
judging him.

Knowing these things only made me feel all the more fiercely protective and loyal.
I just adored him.

Anthony's favorite activity was art.

He marvelled and delighted over the just-purchased art supplies the volunteers would bring to the "Saturday School."

Anthony confided in me that he dreamt he would be an artist
when he grew up.

That was the first time I wanted to help a child achieve a dream.

That week I went out and bought art supplies for him. Colored pencils, markers, drawing paper... I couldn't wait until Saturday. I knew he would be excited.

On Saturday he wasn't there.

The other kids told me that he "suddenly moved away" and didn't know anything more than that.

I never saw him again but I've never stopped thinking about him.

I hope he made it through and that I'll find him again someday, his work on the wall of a local gallery.


Thursday, May 03, 2007

Smell My BO-KAY

I don’t drink much.

(Okay, okay - I don't drink much ANYMORE!!!)


K doesn’t drink at all, but I’ll have the occasional glass of wine.

The problem is that I know so little about wine.

Recently, when I dragged Jen out for a drink against her will, we went to a wine bar.

“What are you going to have?” I asked her staring blankly at the list of whites and reds.

“I think I’ll have the syrah,” she said.

My first thought was, “the WHA?”

Because I believe (with all my Ethel Merman heart) that there IS a song for every occasion, my second thought, was:

“Que sera, sera, whatever will be, will be.”

I am sure Jen is grateful that I didn’t break into song.

When the waitress came and Jen ordered the (que) syrah, I looked up and said,

“Uh. I’ll uh have that too.”

As the great knower of all great wine-isms you shall henceforth call me “The Nose of Joy, Wine Expert.”

K is no better.

One year, as a holiday gift from his office, he received a $200.00 restaurant reimbursement voucher.

We decided to go to a place run by the Michelin Guide’s Chef of The Year.

The restaurant was housed in an expensively renovated space in the fancy part of town and the menu was a prix fixe, seven-course affair.

The well to do and soft spoken clientele murmured to each other at their elegantly dressed tables.

The sommelier brought us the wine list and though he did not intend to order wine, K flipped through it.

“Jessica! This wine costs $250.00 a bottle!” he whispered aghast.

I raised my eyebrows and he flipped the page.

“This wine costs $1,000.000 a bottle,” he said (this time kind of loudly.)

I looked at my fork.

“OH MY GOD!” he nearly yelled, “THIS WINE IS $3,000.000 A BOTTLE!!!”

The low talking diners glanced at our table.

The sommelier hurried back and asked what he could bring us.

“I’ll take a ginger ale,” K told him, snapping the wine list shut and handing it to him.

“Mousier,” the sommelier apologized with a sneer “we do not serve ginger ale.”

“Oh. Do you have cranberry juice?”

[A look of disgust and a slight head tilt to the right reluctantly indicated the affirmative.]

“I’ll take the cranberry juice,” K said.

“I’ll just have water,” I added.

[I had to clarify that I meant TAP WATER, slovenly hick mailbox owner that I am.]

After seven courses from the best chef in America I remember thinking,

“That was great, but I’d have been just as happy with a burrito.”

Fast forward to last night -- I went out with my (not so new anymore) new mom’s group.

I looked at the wine menu and saw “Malbec.”

My only frame of reference was,

“OMIGOD, BECKY!!! I like, totally love this mall
– they have Old Navy AND The Limited!!!”

My friends had to edumacate me.

I came home around bedtime and told K of my wine foibles as we brushed our teeth.

We decided that from now on when we feel that we are being judged by the wine servers for being as ignorant as we are we are going to initiate conversations that go like this,

“Do you serve the Franille here?”

“No?! Well then surely you have the Portois de Grudeau?”

“No?! This is an OUTRAGE! I am EMBARRASSED to be seen here!”
Oh, the sophistication.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Serviced

Access to the internet is restored!

I am serviced.

FWWWWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHH!



Scarlett Loses DSL

Awesome photoshop skillz dedicated to Jill at NotSoSage .

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

OTJ Needs A Servicing

The DSL line to my house done up and died.


"How dare you go down on me, Earthlink!!"

Okay, there is a problem with that last bit...

I mean, "How dare you" and "go down on me" don't belong in the same DOCUMENT much less the same sentence.

I tend to lean more towards this way of thinking...

"Oh, I do DECLARE, Rhet! I seem to have dropped my hanky! Be a gentlemen and fetch it for me...oh, and since you're already down there... "

Ain't no "how dare you" involved, you get me?!

Anyway, my access to teh internets is troubled.

Right now I am using a borrowed laptop and STOLEN WIFI!!!

I'm a CRIMINAL now!

[Interesting to see the WiFi account names my neighbors have chosen...]

Because I am sneaking onto the web, I havn't been able to surf around the Blog-O-Sphere. Are you missing this trusty internet pal's comments on yer blog? I'm missing you too.

My dead-as-a-doornail internet access is not just putting the hurt on my travels in blogland, it's proving far worse for my PRO-FESH-I-NULL CAREERZ.

I work as a consultant and I work from home.

These days I'm working on a big, fat merger and scrambling to get a presentation ready for the merger task force meeting taking place early next week in D.C.

So as you might imagine, now is a GREAT time to have no e-mail.

Yeah! Awesome!

If only I could get SERVICED.

Heh.

April Perfect Post Awards

The Original Perfect Post Awards – April 2007


The Nominatrix is at it again!

I just can't resist an opportunity to pass out the bloggy buttons.

Here! Have one! Yay!

This month I wanted to give props to Canape of Don't Take The Repeats for her post called Peanut butter and Nilla wafers.

This post is a window into everything that is most important to her right now.

I read her all the time and I can't wait to meet her in Chicago in July.

Thanks for being so real and for sharing it all with us, Canape!


canape


Oooh! Late breaking love fest news! Canape nominated ME for a Perfect Post Award for
Legacy. Thanks, Canape!

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Spread the love!

You too can award a fellow blogger with the Perfect Post award.
All you need to do is e-mail Mamma K at Petroville(at)gmail(dot)comand ask her to put you on the Perfect Post mailing list. She'll e-mail you every month when it's timeto send in your Perfect Post pick.