Archives for May 2007

Today, Today, Today

I’m feeling kind of random today. It’s been a long day, and I’m just waiting to hear the girls settle in for the night. I’ve tucked them both in bed, but every now and then, Pumpkin whines or yells to me, “Mama, UP!” and The Princess wanders in the office asking for a glass of water or if I’ll lay down with her. Hubby is at his weekly softball game, and so I’m the sole cruise director on this ship tonight.

It’s been a long day. Today, The Princess had her well child check so she could get her shots and an updated immunization record so I could enroll her in kindergarten. Now, I knew she was due for shots. I did. But. I didn’t tell her. I didn’t even MENTION the word “shots” until we got to the doctor’s office and I said, “You might need some…” She instantly panicked – especially when “some” turned out to be “three”. Two pokes in her right leg, one in her left. She started screaming as soon as the nurses swabbed her leg with the alcohol wipe. She was sitting on my lap and I had her arms held down and her legs trapped between mine. Gruesome. And as the nurses were giving her shots, I could feel her warm tears falling on my arm.


I didn’t apologize to her, though I wanted to. Though one of the shots left a big ol’ nasty bruise. But I told her, “Sometimes we have to do things we don’t like to do because they are good for us.” Oy. Mean mean mommy.

I took the girls out to lunch after that, figuring we could all use a treat. It’s funny – keeping the kids under control in a restaurant is way easier when I’m alone with them than if Hubby’s with me. He is a big softy, and lets them do whatever they want. Drives me UP THE WALL. I don’t believe kids should have the run of a restaurant. I think it’s rude. When I’m dining, sans kids (yeah, I know, it rarely happens), I don’t want to have someone else’s kid running all over the place and interfering with my meal. And I’m a parent. Kids will be kids, yes (which is why I hope the waitress wasn’t totally hating on me after we left and a good chunk of Pumpkin’s lunch was on the floor under her high chair – I tried to clean some of it up, I swear!), but there is a lot to be said for teaching them how to act in public and how to behave, and having expectations for their behavior.

Anyway. What was I saying?

The girls behaved beautifully. Lunch was…mediocre. We went home, had some naps, and have basically been kicking around the house ever since. I was hoping for some rain this afternoon, but it never came, though the temperatures seem to have dropped a bit (not enough, in my opinion). Once the kids finally fade for the night, I’m gearing up to watch “So You Think You Can Dance” while trying to force myself to work out. I’m so addicted to SYTYCD – it’s not even funny. Actually, it IS kind of funny, when you think about how my daughter’s dance class drove me C-R-A-Z-Y! Last night on the show, I actually saw a girl I knew from The Princess’s dance studio. And she made it through to the Vegas round after the choreography segment (for those of you watching, it was the heavier set girl – part of a brother/sister duo. She did hip hop, her brother did the tap/krump/”krapp” dancing). Always fun to see people you “know” on TV (hasn’t happened since someone I knew from elementary school was on “Road Rules” like 100 years ago).

Anyway, I have no point today. Just typing.

Tomorrow’s Friday. THANK GOODNESS.

Why I’m A Tremendous Cranky-Pants

1. It’s too hot. By 9:30 this morning, it was already 75 degrees. And it wasn’t done heating up yet. It’s nearly 11 now, and I’m roasting. I am content with 75 degrees. It would be fine if it didn’t get any hotter – BUT – it was hot yesterday and due to get hotter today. And I don’t like hot.

2. I’ll be straight up blunt – I’m a tad hormonal. Yesterday, my shorts didn’t fit (retaining water, much?) and today they were snug, and let’s just face it: starting your day having to squeeze your heinie into shorts is never good.

3. I went to get my oil changed after The Princess left for school. Pumpkin screamed almost the whole time we were there. I hate that. The plus side to that (because I’m not all glass-half-empty today) is that the guys working on the car so much wanted to get me out of there that they didn’t give me any grief about how I was oh… about a thousand miles overdue for my oilchange. And they didn’t give me a list of things I needed to fix on the car (also good).

4. It cost $60 to fill up my van this morning. YIKES! That’s just crazy. Thank goodness we stay pretty local – that tank of gas should last a week, week and a half.

5. Did I mention that I’m just hormonal and moody? It’s like I can’t help being crabby. And we have no chocolate. Why don’t we have any chocolate? If we had chocolate, I would totally understand my clothes not fitting, but we don’t. So they should.

6. The Princess is now five, so yesterday, her smartybutt response to anything I told her to do was, “I don’t have to do that! I’m five!” as if the rules cease when she turned five.
“Princess, stop standing on the chair!”
“I don’t have to! I’m FIVE!”

“Princess, it’s almost time for bed.”
“I get to stay up late now. I’m FIVE.”


7. I have to do the pick up portion of carpool, which means I have to wake Pumpkin up from her nap in order to go pick up Princess and Boy. That sucks. I hate waking up a sleeping kid, even though…

8. Pumpkin didn’t sleep well AT ALL last night. Consequently, Hubby and I did not either. She didn’t seem to want anything. She’d wake up, want to be held, then said, “Night night.” Put her in bed, five to ten minutes of quiet, then the screaming started again. Given that I was feeling like death (oh, cramps too, by the way – lucky me), I got up with her a few times, but then gave up. As did Hubby, who finally just shut all the bedroom doors at about 2:30 and let her cry herself to sleep. (I’m actually really glad I was zonked out by then with a pillow over my head). Of course, I peeked in her mouth today and it looks like maybe… more teeth.

Happy Birthday, Princess

Dear Princess,

I cannot believe that today you are five years old. I can’t believe I have a five year old – and I can’t believe that time if flying by so quickly. I remember the day you were born and it sure doesn’t feel like that day was five years ago – but, here we are, on the day of your fifth birthday. You’re outside with Daddy right now – you have on your new bathing suit from Grandma and Grandpa and you’re splashing around in your wading pool and blowing bubbles with the massive bottle of bubbles you just received. This morning, Grandpa drove you and Pumpkin in the parade: he’s really been wanting to drive you in a parade for a long time (but don’t worry, he’s already said “never again” – he was sort of hoping you guys would find it more fun, and I don’t think he was enthused either!).

This past year has been amazing. Since I’ve been home and you’ve started going to a preschool instead of daycare, we’ve spent lots more time together. We have a lot of good days – and we have the occasional “off” day. Some days I’m cranky, some days you are — or the double whammy: we both are. But, we muddle through. I love you so much and I love hanging out with you. It’s amazing how grown up you are becoming. I would say to people, “She’s four going on 20!” You would get this look on your face (like, duh, mom), and say, “Fiiiiiiiiiiiiiive.” As if I don’t know exactly how old you are. Silly goose.

You’re a little fashionista sometimes – which scares me, because so help me, when the time comes, I’m not going to be able to tell you how to put make up on or any of that. You like skirts, flip flops and spaghetti straps. After your dance recital a few weeks ago, you wore your recital costume and tap shoes all day the following day.

You are starting to read! You amaze me how you are sounding words out. Just an hour ago, we were watching “Hannah Montana” on TV (it’s your current favorite) and you were telling me what the signs the audience members were holding said. Holy cow.

You are a loving kid. You are getting good at telling me you’re sorry when you have a bad day (and get loud with me). You are getting good at not having temper tantrums (thank goodness). You are expressive, and articulate, and amazing.

You are going to do amazing things. You already do. I love you so much, Poodle. I’m going to close this letter now, because we’re taking you and your sister out for ice cream to celebrate your day.

I love you with my whole heart, and I am so very lucky to be your mommy.


One of These Days

I’m not sure when I’ll be able to read “I’ll Love You Forever” to my kids without my eyes filling with tears when the mother dies at the end. I’ve been reading it now for almost five years, and every single time when I get to that part, I end up having to choke back tears and steady my voice while reading the last two pages. It kills me.

It’s All About Music

1. Favorite Beatles song: “The Long and Winding Road”
2. Favorite Rolling Stones song: “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”
3. Favorite Doors song: “People Are Strange”
4. Favorite Bob Dylan song: “It Ain’t Me, Babe”
5. Favorite Led Zeppelin song: “D’yer Maker”
6. TV Theme Song: I love the theme to “Growing Pains”
7. Favorite Prince Song: “Erotic City”
8. Favorite Madonna Song: “Live to Tell” (Edited to Add: I have re-thought this, and I have decided I have to throw a nod in to old-school Madonna: “Lucky Star” was my favorite from her first album, and then she had “Dress You Up” on the Like A Virgin album, and I liked that one too… I was a huge Madonna fan when I was younger. Embarassingly huge Madonna fan).
9. Favorite Michael Jackson song: “Pretty Young Thing”
10. Favorite Queen Song: “Bohemian Rhapsody”
11. Favorite Motorhead Song: Pretty sure I don’t know them
12. Favorite Ozzy Song: He really bugs me, so I’ll say, “Mama I’m Coming Home”
13. Favorite Public Enemy Song: “911 is a Joke”
14. Favorite Song from a cartoon: “Eep Opp Ork Ah ah” from the Jetsons
15. Favorite Bruce Springsteen song: “Dancing in the Dark”
16. Favorite Depeche Mode song: “Enjoy the Silence”
17. Favorite Cure song: “Lovesong”
18. Favorite song that most of your friends haven’t heard: “Shameless” by Ani DiFranco
19. Favorite Smiths song: “Please Please Please Let me Get What I want”
20. Favorite Beastie Boys song: “Intergalactic”
21. Favorite Clash song: “Rudie Can’t Fail” (Have y’all seen “Grosse Pointe Blank”? This is on the soundtrack – great soundtrack, great movie)
22. Favorite Police song: “Every Breath You Take”
23. Favorite Eurythmics song: “Sweet Dreams (are made of this)”
24. Favorite Beach Boys song: “California Girls” (since I used to be one)
25. Favorite Cyndi Lauper song: “I Drove All Night”
26. Favorite song from a movie: Can’t pick. I’m the queen of soundtracks.
27. Favorite Duran Duran song: “Hungry Like the Wolf”
28. Favorite Peter Tosh song: never heard of him
29. Favorite Johnny Cash song: Seriously, I couldn’t name a Johnny Cash song til I saw “Walk the Line” – so whatever. I’m not gonna be a poser and be like, “Oh, I loved “A Boy Named Sue” because whatever.)
30. Favorite song from an 80’s one hit wonder: “Mickey” by Toni Basil
31. Favorite song from a video game: Seriously? I have NO idea. I’m not a gamer.
32. Favorite Kinks song: “You Really Got Me”
33. Favorite Genesis song: i don’t really like genesis.
34. Favorite Thin Lizzy song: None.
35. Favorite INXS song: “Never Tear Us Apart”
36. Favorite Weird Al song: I really don’t know. Not my thing.
37. Favorite Peter Gabriel song: Eh.
38. Favorite John Lennon song: “Imagine”
39. Favorite Pink Floyd song: Toss up between “Wish You Were Here” and “Learning to Fly”
40. Favorite cover song: I’m gonna be embarassed to say that I like Madonna’s version of “American Pie” – not better than the original, but it’s okay.
42. Favorite dance song: Lots.
43. Favorite U2 song: “One”
44. Favorite song from an actor turned musician: ??
45. Favorite disco song: “Flashdance (What A Feeling)” (I wouldn’t have thought it was disco, but it’s on my disco compilation cd, so THERE).
46. Favorite Power Ballad: “Angel Eyes” by Steelheart
47. Favorite Guns N’ Roses song: “November Rain”, “Sweet Child O’ Mine”
48. Favorite The Who song: I have no idea
49. Favorite Elton John song: “Crocodile Rock”
50. Favorite song, period: Ah, too many. Can’t just choose ONE.
51. Favorite Sting song: Eh.
52. Favorite Billy Joel song: “The Longest Time” and “To Make You Feel My Love” (which is mine and Hubby’s song)
53. Favorite Burt Bacharach song: “What the World Needs Now”
54. First popular song you have a memory of hearing on the radio: “Lost in Love” by Air Supply
55. Favorite Eagles song: Hard to choose just one. I love the Eagles. “Take It Easy” is up there, though.
56. Favorite Road Trip Song: “Love Shack” and “Dry County” by the B-52s remind me of when my mom and I drove cross-country to move to Michigan in 1990. Still reminds me of being in the car.

Thursday High – Lows

Every night, The Princess and I chat about the best and worst parts of our days. It’s a tradition – sometimes the highs are deep, insightful things. Sometimes not (Today, she’s geeked about a new lamp Hubby bought her).

So, here are mine to share with you all:

1. Hubby? Who’s that? He had to be to work at 7. Came home for about 15 minutes before dashing out to his softball game. At least, I think it was him. He was moving so fast, it was kind of a blur.

2. Realizing that there is no way I can stretch the batch of brownies to feed The Princess’s whole class tomorrow… so I had to quick bake something else (Actually, I had enough to feed the kids, not enough for the teachers – and they look like they like brownies. A lot).

3. When Stepson and The Princess got into a fight this morning which involved throwing Pumpkin’s wet diaper that I had just changed and had not yet tossed in the trash. BOTH of them really ought to have known better. He really should have (at 11). Seriously, a flying pee-filled Pamper is an omen of some sort. Generally, not a good one. Which brings me to…

4. I had an allergic reaction to my new cleanser. Which sucks. I have little bumps on my chin. I hate that.

1. My sister took The Princess out for ice cream. Now, it’d have been even better if, oh, I was invited too, but… I think The Princess sometimes gets bogged down feeling like she misses out because she’s sharing all the good stuff with Pumpkin. Sometimes, I really dig that she gets to do something special on her own.

2. Planning and picking the kind of cake we’ll be making for The Princess’s birthday party.

3. A great email from a friend.

4. At about 7:30 tonight, Pumpkin grabbed her stuffed animals and told me, “Go bed now.” Her vocabulary is exploding and the fact that she’s this little verbal powerhouse is just amazing. I love this stage. We’re still struggling sometimes to understand what she’s saying (The Princess is by far the best at translating), but it’s amazing. She’s speaking in sentences and saying words I never even knew she knew!

Anyone else – good stuff going on lately?

8 Random Facts about Me

Catching the wave from all the others who are doin’ it (and NO, if you were jumping off a bridge, I wouldn’t do it too).

1. I was in the musical “Oklahoma!” my junior year of high school. It involved wearing a frilly peach dress, too much stage makeup and doing choreography with a parasol. The lingering “Oklahoma!” effect is that I can still sing all the lyrics to most of the tunes from the show: “Chicks and ducks and geese better scurry….” [Fun side note: Hubby was in the same show. Can’t remember if he had a speaking part or not. We weren’t really getting along then.]

2. I moved to Michigan when I was 13 years old. Previously, I had lived in the Bay Area in California. We moved here not long after the quake of 1989 (you know, the one that caused part of the San Francisco Bay Bridge to collapse? Some scary stuff). It’s odd to me that I am now more Michigander than Californian.

3. I have a weird obsession lately with microwave kettle corn. Love the stuff. I’m sure it’s loaded with stuff that is ultimately going to make me grow tumors in weird places, but, I can’t help it. It’s yummy.

4. If Hubby hadn’t gotten a say, I would have named The Princess “Julia”. He hated the name though. If I hadn’t gotten a say, he’d have named her Montana. I hate the name Montana – seems kind of like a stripper-name.

5. If Pumpkin had been a boy, I won naming rights because while I was pregnant for her, Hubby crashed his car… again. He seems to crash a lot, actually. He has learned not to give me grief about my driving, because, hey! I’m not crashing. Anyway, I’d have named her Nicholas. He hated that. Said they would call her “Icky Nicky” and a bunch of other gruesome things (and he got really creative, let me tell ya). Fortunately, she was a girl. Picking her name involved about a billion emails back and forth to narrow our list down, but… what fun. I will say that she is NOT: Alexa, Dylan, Jordan, or Kyla. Names that were on the list, but didn’t make the cut (And I will say that I’m not 100% wild about her name like I was with The Princess’s… Wonder if that’s common for second kids).

6. I hate swimming. Sure, I’ll splash around in a pool for a bit, and I CAN swim. But I don’t like it.

7. I played flute through elementary, junior high and most of high school. I picked it because it could fit in my backpack. I never really got any good at it because I didn’t like to practice. Slacker.

8. Though I hate feet, and I hate people touching my feet, I sure do love a good pedicure. They make me happy. And though I’m deliriously ticklish, I never get the giggles when I’m getting a pedi. (Man, I really should schedule an appointment – that sounds really lovely, doesn’t it?!).

One of Those Eerie Things

A few days after my post about “Marinating”, I was reading a book (which, I’ll be straight up with you: It was a total fluff-read. It was NOT “War and Peace”), and stumbled across the below passage and it stuck with me because it wasn’t so far from the way I had been feeling, and that maybe an outstretched hand is enough sometimes:

We spent the rest of the session talking about my theory that in every
relationship – friendship, romantic, whatever – there is an alpha and a beta.
Namely, one strong person, the rock, so to speak, and one weaker link, the one
who does the leaving. By weaker link, I don’t mean to imply that they’re a less
critical component: In fact, if you put two strong types together, they often
combust, sort of like two opposing elements that explode in chemistry

I wasn’t sure why my alpha dog theory had been weighing on me as of
late, until Janice suggested that other than you, Diary, it would be nice for me
to find someone on whom to lean. You know, so I didn’t have to bear all my
burdens alone. I told her that I liked living as a solitary being, and that
really, at the end of the day, i was the only person I trusted enough to rely
on. (No offense. I do find you to be a fantastic listener.) She nodded and said
she understood, so she suggested taking baby steps, that I shouldn’t be afraid
to also look for small gifts, for people who outstretched their hands, even if
they weren’t offering a full shoulder.

She Has Taken Her Bow and the Curtain Came Down

Dance class and the experiences are officially: O-V-E-R.

Today was The Princess’s recital and by golly, what a long long long day it was. Before the 1 p.m. recital, I arranged for my sister to do The Princess’s hair (which involved curling it all… The Princess has very straight hair, but my sister, the aspiring cosmetologist found that spraying the heck out of it with Aqua Net seemed to let it hold the curl. I also didn’t wash her hair last night, so it was just a touch on the dirty side. Nice). While Sis was doing the hair, I was trying to make myself presentable, pack up The Princess’s stuff (tap shoes, ballet slippers, t-shirt for the finale number, card for her teacher, makeup for touchups – gag). Once the bag was packed, I applied her make up while Sis finished curling and spraying.

I quick had The Princess throw down some lunch, we got her in her costume, and we hurried out the door to get her to the auditorium. I was hoping to deposit her backstage, run to the local florists and get her some pretty after-dance flowers, and come back for curtain-up… but once I got through the chaos of parking (it was NUTS!), got her checked in backstage (I gotta give them credit – they had a great great system for checking in the younger kids that really eased my mind about leaving her there – AWESOME), and checked the time, there was NO way I was going to have time to leave and come back.

So, of course, the studio had a florist there. And I paid too much for a pink rose for my kid so she would have it after the show.

Hubby arrived just before the show started with Pumpkin and Stepson. My mom and her husband came too. We sat in the auditorium which was stuffed to the gills. This is always where I wish I was better at doing math in my head – if there are x seats and the studio charged $12 each for tickets, how much money are they taking us for?

Curtain came up late, but The Princess’s number was early in the show. My goodness, seeing my kid on stage was exciting for me. But, I have to say, she could’ve been making a PB&J up there, instead of dancing and I’d have still been proud. The auditorium was packed with people and she didn’t seem to be nervous at all. I know she didn’t get that from me. She danced her little heart out, she bowed, and shuffled offstage… and then…

I had to sit through another TWO HOURS of show (plus a ten minute intermission, during which Hubby left with Pumpkin and Stepson, and my mom and her husband left, leaving me sitting alone with a bunch of empty seats surrounding me) until all the girls took the stage for the finale, did their little bows, and the curtain came down.

She did a great job – I’m not kidding – my girl has definitely got some stage presence (which will come in handy when she’s the President of the United States in thirty-some years). She had a blast, but we are both glad it’s over. We came home and she wore her costume all afternoon and all night until it was time to get her changed into pajamas for bed. That may be her most expensive play outfit yet.

While it hasn’t always been the best experience, and though we’ll be moving on to a different activity in the fall, I’m glad she tried it and was able to decide if it was for her or not. Next fall, she’ll be tackling soccer (Hubby was a soccer champ in high school and is hoping to find her inner Mia Hamm), and maybe, if schedules and sanity permits, gymnastics again. We’ll see. For now, I’m just going to enjoy being activity-free for the next few months.

After Some Marinating…

The past month or so feels like I’ve been hit repeatedly with a stick. I don’t know how else to describe it – just when you think the last blow has been dealt, someone knocks me upside the head with the stick again.

Or something like that (I’m really not good with metaphors).

It certainly seems as though there has been one thing after another in my life, weighing me down lately – two deaths in the family a month apart, major home construction (three months past the deadline), wrapping up from a chaotic time on the home front from tax season. Admittedly, I think I’m a tough gal – but – I think the combination of all those things just pushed me a bit far.

Most of the friends in my life are people I have been friends with for over 15 years. I certainly have a history with them. I have a lot of trust in them (which is huge – I’m not one to hand out trust willy-nilly). But, over the years, we have developed roles in our relationships – and, as a friend pointed out to me over a (much needed) discussion over dinner last night, often in my friendships, I’m the listener.

I was recounting to her the story of how I found out my grandma was ill and in talking to another friend and feeling that she wasn’t being there for me. I had spent a long chunk of time with her and upon getting home realized that I hadn’t really said much about myself at all – instead I was being the supportive one, I was letting her air the things on her mind. I don’t mind that – in fact, I believe friends do that, but I got home realizing how little people really know about me, because I spend a lot of time listening and not a lot of time talking. Again, that’s more my style – I’m not one to put all my cards on the table, air every grievance, cry on shoulders. I’ve never been that way. Do you remember the girl in high school crying in the bathroom because of some boy? That was NEVER me. I really only recall a few times in life where I was that publicly emotional (one was my wedding day).

But then, is that my fault or theirs? Is it on me because I’m not being up front telling them, “Hey, this is what I need from you right now?” Or should they be saying, “Hey, you got a lot on your plate right now, do you need to talk?” Because I feel something somewhere isn’t working, and it left me feeling not-so-great at a time when I was already feeling a bit like roadkill.

I am very selective about the people I let into my life, and I know that I have some of the coolest, craziest, loving friends on the planet. I do know this. But I also know that I am wired somewhat differently in terms of how I am emotionally: I’m not a touchy feely, spill my guts sort of person (except on my blog, apparently) – and it left me hurting to not find what I was needing when I needed it.

As the days go by, I’m sort of drifting through it – the hurt is lessening because I sort of wonder how I can expect someone to know to give me something I’ve never seemed to have needed. Even if one person left me hanging, I still found an unbelievable source of comfort with a handful of friends who bless me with their presence in my life. The past day or so has renewed me and has me moving forward, trying to just get over it and get past it and move on.