Saturday, July 30, 2005

Happy Birthday Princess

Good morning Princess. Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday to you
You were born in a Zoo
You look like a monkey
And you smell like one too

Did you expect anything else from me?

BTW, since you left town, I forced myself to finish your cake. It's a tough job but someone's gotta do it.

Friday, July 29, 2005

SJ's turn.

So both girls have been posted. That just leaves SJ and the dog. Guess it's SJ today.
He was wearing his 2nd favorite outfit - a diaper. His first favorite is his birthday suit.

Hooray it's Friday

So I just noticed in the second pic of J, that it looks like horns are growing out of her head. Hee hee

I had a shower all by myself this morning. It was great. I got to be in charge of the hose. (That came out wrong.)

Had a lot of dreams last night and that got me thinking about some of my more common ones. Maybe some of you have dreams like this.

In one dream I am waiting in line to use the public restroom and I have to pee REALLY bad. I finally get to a stall and the toilet is clogged. I get to a different stall and the toilet is broken and so on and so forth. When I wake from these dreams I do have to pee so bad my eyeballs are floating. Thankfully I have never found a usable toilet in these dreams, because then who knows...?

Then there is the dream where I am in high school again. (Ugh.) Of course I am my current age - go figure. I can't remember what time my classes are or where they are. Where's my locker? What is the combination if I find it? The bell has rang. I'm tardy. Where the hell are my classes?

Another frantic dream is the one where I'm trying to call someone on the phone. No matter how carefully and slowly I dial, I keep getting the number wrong. AAGH!

Dream four is where my husband and I are about to get intimate and the kids interrupt. I am not lying. Every time I dream that we are going to do something, we get interrupted in the dream. It's just like real life! Did I mention that my husband is a very angry man?

Done with dreams. Have you ever been walking in the store and seen a fat person out of the corner of your eye? Then you realize that what you saw was a mirror? I've done this. This is when you cannot lie to yourself about how fat you really are. The manufacturers are not making clothes smaller - it's really you!

I read in the paper that some car manufacturers are making cars for the larger individuals in the U.S. Honda Civics are two inches wider here. There's more room between the seat and steering wheel in some cars. They don't advertise this, because who wants to buy the car marketed as the "fat person's" vehicle? Apparently, overweight individuals have more chances of getting hurt in a car crash. They have more mass - which translates into flying farther forward - which means belt is more likely to cut into internal organs. I always that all that fat would cushion me. Who'd a thunk?

So maybe you read in my last post about my daughter's curly hair the she lets air dry. I have curly hair and I can let it air dry too. Then I put on my red and yellow striped suit and go hawk hamburgers - because that is what mine looks like when it air dries! There is truly no justice in this world.

SJ was up past ten last night. He would not go to sleep. This is pretty usual for him, but I sure am tired. He still doesn't talk a lot, but he can hum the tune to anything. I can tell he's smart but he won't talk. If he wants a drink, he brings a cup to me. Ask him to say "drink" and it is tantrum city. He can say it by the way. It comes out "deek." Anybody else have a late talker? I guess it's not the end of the world, but both my girls were so articulate so early that this baffles me. Husband says he is just stubborn. Guess he gets it from Dad.

Have a great weekend.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Princess J Gets a New Do

Princess J's birthday is Saturday so her gift was some highlights and lowlights. I really couldn't see the haircolor difference, but her hair style looked very nice after she left the salon.

She has naturally curly hair that she lets drip dry. It falls in beautiful spiral curls down her back. Of course, she is dying for straight hair, and that is what she got for the day.

Maybe instead of the invisible color we should have gotten it straightened.

I've been tagged

Three names I go by:
1. Mom
2. Honey
3. Kitty (not by choice)

Three screen names I've had:
1. nozeemom
2. crazedmom0f3
3. carolynsb3

Three physical things I like about myself:
1. my eyes

Three physical things I don't like about myself:
1. my belly
2. my legs
3. my breasts

Three parts of my heritage:
1. Irish
2. English
3. Alcoholic

Three things I am wearing right now:
1. boa-constrictor bra
2. green shorts
3. red top (didn't go out in public like this.)

Three favorite bands/musical artists :
1. Sublime
2. Cake
3. Green Day

Three favorite songs:
1. "The Roof Is On Fire" - Cake
2. "Lifetime" - Better Than Ezra
3. "Sex Machine" - James Brown

Three things I want in a relationship:
1. Honesty (Just not blunt)
2. Dependability
3. Entertainment

Two truths and a lie:
1. I am tall
2. I speak Spanish.
3. I get along great with my MIL.

Three physical things about the preferred sex that appeal to you:
1. Tallness
2. Broad shoulders
3. Big hands

Three favorite hobbies:
1. Baking
2. Reading
3. Bargain shopping

Three things I want to do badly right now :
1. Eat a lobster drenched in butter
2. Turn the clock back to retrieve the two hours I've wasted
3. Go cycling at the gym (Can someone drive me there please?)

Three things that scare me:
1. Losing a child
2. Other drivers
3. Looking any older than I already do

Three of my everyday essentials:
1. Coffee
2. Blog visiting
3. Toothpaste

Three Careers you have considered or are considering :
1. Librarian
2. School Secretary
3. Graphic Artist

Three places you want to go on vacation:
1. New Orleans
2. Florida Keys
3. England

Three kids' names you like:
1. Delainey
2. Lissette
3. Cameron

Three things you want to do before you die:
1. Get a degree
2. Travel the U.S.
3. Make sure my kids turn out okay

Three ways I am sterotypically a boy:
1. I have a hairy chest (Okay kidding)
2. I'm not very good at housework
3. I rarely dress up

Three ways I am stereotypically a girl:
1. I do most of the housecleaning (just not well)
2. I take care of everyone else's needs first
3. I keep my hair long

Three celeb crushes :
1. John Cusack
2. Drawing a blank - Most of these men are just don't do it for me.

Three people I am tagging:
1. Mad Rabbit
2. My Mom
3. Techie In the Black (

Just Rambling

I have successfully gotten A to school again, on time even. When J. goes back to high school in a few weeks, mornings will really get busy. Then I will be a screaming shrew.

Maybe I'm anal (well okay I know I am) but does this bug anyone else? You are waiting at a stop sign, at the crosswalk. It is almost your turn to go. But...someone pulls up across from you and opens their door. They haven't parked or pulled over. They are at the stop sign with people lined up behind them and they are letting their kids out right there. I could hurry and go, but I'm not going to. I love kids (most kids anyway) and would never chance even coming close to hitting one. There are some adults I sometimes fantasize about running down...heh heh heh.

So people behind me are waiting. People behind them are waiting and they are too incredibly lazy to park and drop their kids off like the rest of us. Or perhaps their time is just more important than ours.

Another peeve - this applies to my older daughter's high school. There is a circular area where you can drop your kids off. (I've tried dropping her in the parking lot, but with all the insane drivers it looks like a game of Frogger.) You are supposed to pull to the right and let your kids out on the sidewalk. Some people pull to the right. Some people pull to the left. Some people stay in the middle and block everybody. I try to pull to the right and let her out. I put on my turn signal when I am done so I can re-enter traffic. (I know most people don't use turn signals anymore. Call me old-fashioned.) Then nobody will let me out or somebody will pull next to me right in the middle and let their kids out. Hello - does anybody see me? Am I driving too politely? Should I just pull out and make everyone hit their brakes? Maybe mow down a few teens?

And why oh why do people not let teens get across the crosswalk or the parking lot? Just because they are adult sized doesn't mean they aren't kids. Please act like they are all your own child. Let them cross - give them room - even if they are walking really slowly, glaring at the world, and have multiple piercings. They're still kids too - just funny-looking ones. (Yes - I was a funny-looking teen. Gasp if you must.)

Off on another tangent. I needed a shower this morning and had ten minutes to get out the door. I didn't shut the bathroom door because then SJ screams and kicks the door, thus waking the whole household. SJ decided he needed to take a shower too. Got in clothing and all. Screamed because he wanted to hold the detachable shower head. He is the holder of the hose and he excels at it. So I got my unfavorite kind of shower. I got wet really quickly. Then I washed up. Then I "borrowed" the hose to rinse off - SJ complaining bitterly during the whole ten seconds I alloted myself. Someday he will be sitting in high school, have a flashback of me naked, fall to the floor in the fetal position, and never get up again. Guess this is why we don't remember being two, huh?

Oh and when it was time to brush A's hair, she informed me that we brushed it yesterday. You know, I brushed my teeth yesterday. Guess I'm good to go. Want a kiss?

Happy Birthday

I have some Happy Birthdays to send out. One is to my Mom. Happy Birthday to you!

One is to my nephew Z. Happy Birthday to you too!

Mom was so excited that a granchild was born on her birthday. Then she found out she had to share her cake. LOL

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

New Neighbors and Old

We recently had new neighbors move in next door. They have four kids, three of them boys, so I imagine their Mom is hanging onto her sanity by a thread also.

Our old neighbors were okay. They were nice enough, but their dog was annoying. Also, there was this thing with their driveway. They expanded their driveway and it came into out front yard by a foot. We don't use our front yard. It's a big hill and mostly unusable, but husband was livid becaue of property value issues. So he had me call our community services district. They enforce the CC&R's. I will just call them the Stupid Town community services District for story purposes. (STD for short.)

So I called STD and they were really snooty. This was a civil matter. We would have to hire a land surveyor for about one-thousand dollars, and take the neighbors to court, if indeed they were on our land.

You see, STD enforces the REALLY IMPORTANT STUFF. They are there to catch the scofflaws who park boats or RV's in their driveway, paint their house an unnapproved color, house farm animals or build a fence out of the WRONG materials. Encroaching on your neighbor's property is not important!

The neighbor told my husband that he had actually set back his property line for PG & E easements and that he technically wasn't going into our yard. My husband dropped the subject but remains unconvinced.

So those neighbors are GONE, GONE, GONE. We have new neighbors with KIDS. Of course A. could hear them in their pool in their backyard and kept climbing on the fence to look and say hello. (Very social, my A.) I have continually explained to her that people don't want you peeking over the fence to see them when they are in their own back yard. That's just as annoying as when someone's kid stares at you in the restaurant while you're trying to eat. Do you ever wonder if you growled and snapped at them if their parents would notice?

Okay, on to the new neighbors. Yesterday, they got furniture delivered. I wanted to see what it was. Maybe it was a couch without marker stains! Maybe it was a dining room table without crayon marks! I kept waiting to see. Unfortunately you can only stand with your nosed pressed at the window so long without being branded "Mrs. Cravitz."

I never did see what they got. Perhaps I will ask E. next time I see him.

The All-Knowing E.

We moved into our neighborhood about six years ago. It was mostly retirees, but it is slowly changing. One retiree that lives here is E. He is a very familiar fixture. Weather permitting, he walks up and down the road all day. He always wears the same uniform - brown pants and flannel shirt. Sometimes he is smoking a cigar.

I like E. He is a good source of information too as he knows just about everything that goes on in the neighborhood.

The only problem is you had better set aside some time if you are going to talk to him. He likes to talk. If I'm getting ready to go put some mail in the box, and see him there, sometimes I wait.

One time we left town for the weekend and accidentally left the garage door open. We didn't get robbed! I believe this is because E. is on the job. He lives just across the street.

Here is an example of E. missing nothing. We just got new next door neighbors. Our old neighbors had one of those dogs that barked incessantly. The squirrels climbed trees, someone walked down the street, the wind blew...all worth barking at. She had a really annoying pattern too. "Yap, yap, yap...yap, yap, yap...yap, yap, get the picture. My husband hated that dog. He would open our bedroom window and yell at it. I was talking to E. one day and he commented, "Yeah we hear the dog bark - then we hear your husband yell." I laughed my butt off. (the bit that hasn't slid down my legs.)

Sometimes I see E. standing with other neighbors on the street and they have a trapped look on their face - the one that says, "I'd chew off my own leg to get out of here if I could."

Maybe he can be a bit of a pain, but can't we all? I enjoy seeing him around and hope that he doesn't move anytime soon.

Hooray for First Grade!

Today was the very first day of first grade for A. I took a pic, of course. She wasn't super dressed up, but she is a tomboy. I feel if I have fed her breakfast and she and her clothes are clean, we're doing okay.

Today I am going to clean her room. I am posting two pictures of how she "cleans" her room. She shoves everything in the closet or under the bed. That's right. The particulary aggravating part is that my husband built two sets of shelves for her to put her stuff on. If you look to the left in the pictures, you see the mostly empty shelves.

That's okay. I'll just keep throwing her stuff away. Unfortunately, the grandmothers replace it at Christmas. Ugh.

A. will be gone from 8 to 2. Hooray!

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

The Longest Day

My husband decided to work from home today. I like it when he works from home. He eats lunch with the rest of us, and it's just nice to have him here. He has a laptop and a wireless router so he can sit anywhere with his laptop and work. He can sit on the couch, the bed, at the kitchen counter on the toilet if he chooses. Today, however, he sat at the computer desk blocking the main computer with his body. I had no internet access all day. I think this is his way of getting me to do housework.

You see, I use the computer all day long. I go to it in between cleaning the living room, changing diapers, cooking lunch, etc. I check my e-mail, I blog, I go on eBay, I look for nude pictures of Vin Diesel. Anyone got that url? Okay kidding about the pictures of Vin Diesel but you get my drift.

Yes, I could spend a lot more time doing housework but it's not very rewarding. I clean a room. It's beautiful for five minutes. The kids come through. Oh it looks like crap again. If you want to walk through a house without getting your feet impaled on toys, don't come here.

So today I worked on laundry and worked on laundry some more. (It's still not done - damn laundry.) I changed sheets. Cooked at least five times. Why five times? Well the little ones got up and I made pancakes. The husband got up - I made pancakes. Princess J got up - I made pancakes. I'm a sucker, huh? But I do make good pancakes. I cleaned the kitchen, got A's school clothes ready for tomorrow, tried to see what kind of furniture the neighbors were having delivered, (more on that tomorrow), and I even found the remote control that had been missing for two days! Okay, A. helped me with that one. Tomorrow I'm cleaning her room - while she is gone - best way to do it. Hee hee hee.

My husband has another way of tricking me into doing housework. He calls me from work and tells me that he is bringing a friend home. I scurry around in fast forward while screaming at the children to "get out of the way. Someone's going to see this house. Aagh."

Then he calls two hours later and says he has to work late and the friend won't be coming after all. He's done this to me at least three times although he claims that really isn't what he's doing, and that a friend was really coming over. He sounds sincere. What do you think?

Anyway, finally, the computer was mine only J. beat me to it. I turned on the oven timer for an hour. She wasn't happy, but at least I didn't pull rank and just kick her off. She can have it back when I'm done. Darn it, didn't Vin Diesel ever pose nude?

My Evil Twin

The above picture is of A. - not my evil twin!

Last night I was sitting in my chair reading my catalog and trying to shoo the kids away. It was my "everyone go away and leave me alone" mode. Then I realized why...PMS! (This is after all the TMI spot.)

So yesterday's post about my friend which was supposed to be laughing at her came out a lot meaner than I meant it to. BTW my friend hates computers and never gets on the internet, so her chance of viewing this is zero. I'm not that passive-agressive.

One week (or a bit longer) of every month, the PMS evil twin arrives. She looks like me, but she screams a lot and devours large quantities of chocolate. Be afraid - be very afraid.

If I could just hide in the corner and nobody would talk to me it would be much better. But the children are like sharks in the water. They feel the vibrations of the wounded animal trying to swim. They are moving in for the kill. This is a no win situation for everyone.

Exercising helps, but both little ones are sick this week so we can't go to the health club. When I try to do a tape at home the toddler insists on being on my hip. If I lay down to do abs, I am trampoline mom! We live in a really hilly neighborhood so walking is tough. Have I used up every excuse not to exercise yet?

So my posts may sound edgy and kind of, well...crazed!

Yesterday was an interesting day - well maybe not horribly - but there were a few incidents.

The toddler (SJ) was in the back yard and he pooped. He pulled off the diaper. The dog was eating the poop.

"MMM- tastes like chicken, thanks. And in this handy wrapper too."

SJ had poop smashed on his feet. At least I have dealt with this situation before. The shock factor has worn off, just not the ewwww factor.

A., my six-year old girl, starts school Wednesday. Is California the only state that does year-round school? I hate it. Just when I get used to sleeping in, we have to start getting up early again. Wah. Yeah, I know. "Carolyn, pity party of one this way please."

I took her to the store just to get a few summer outfits, enough to last until fall. She begged to go to "pick them out." The minute we walked in the door, she wanted a toy. I told her that we are trying to get rid of toys, not bring more home. Then she wanted a book. I think books are great, but she won't put her huge collection up on the shelf and they're currently piled on the floor. So I said no to the book. She got mad at me then. Every outfit I held up was "ugly."

We went to checkout. A. kept begging for crap. No, no, no continued to be the answer. She "accidentally" knocked over a stuffed animal display. I picked it up and told her not to touch anything. She kept touching stuff. She was rude to the checkout clerk. People were staring in disbelief. It was EMBARRASING!

To my credit, I didn't beat her senseless. I made her take a nap when we got home. Or maybe I should have beaten her, who knows? They do get the occasional slap on the bum, but time out and revocation of privileges is how I usually play it.

Why oh why do my children decide to make me the most proud of them in front of an audience? There is nothing that brings the flush of humiliation to your cheeks like the public tantrum. It is like your children are telling everyone that you are a bad mom.

Have you ever looked at a mother whose kid is running around out of control and thought it was the parent's fault? I used to smugly do that when I only had my first child. Then A. came along. Three parenting books and seven counseling sessions later I realized she was a strong-willed child. This is the child psychologist's politically correct way of saying stubborn little sh!#. A strong-willed child is not like the usual (dare I say normal) compliant child. A compliant child wants to please you. A strong-willed child want to please themselves. It is so hard, because you have to be consistent in your expectations and what the consequences will be. She is so much work. She will push every boundary there is. I am so looking forward to the teen years. Most people either love A. for her spirit or can't stand her. There isn't much middle ground.

S.J. is shaping up to be this way also. Oh goody, two of them.

But, you know, they're healthy and thriving. So in the big picture that is life, I guess we're doing okay.

Have a great day.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Thirty-five going on Thirteen

I think when we are in high school we all feel that we will be in touch with our friends forever. But then, of course, we grow up, grow on, move away, etc.

This is about my friend S. who I have known since I was twelve. My husband said she's not really as much a friend as a parasite. It is true that if the takers and givers got on different sides of the room, she would be firmly on the taker side.

She would love to be paid to do nothing. We all know somebody like that, right? If there's a paying job for watching TV, sleeping and eating would someone let her know, please?

I think we would all love to be paid to do that, but reality intrudes. Damn reality! The last time I had a gig that sweet, I was a teenager living with my parents, bumming money and too clueless to realize how good I had it. I wanted to get out and not have to follow any rules. Mwahahahaha.

So S. and I went through the selfish teen stage together. Then I went off to the military for a bit. Came home - we hung out. Then I moved a bit north of her, got married for a short while, had a baby, kind of kept contact. My husband at the time hated her. When she told him he looked like a chihuahua and kept making jokes about his looks, he got just a little irked. He and I didn't last long nothing to do with S.

So I'm single Mom, moved in with my parents. (ugh) On the weekends we hung out. We always had to go in my car and were usually spending my money as she still didn't work. Whenever she got a job there would always be somebody who "had it out for her", usually a supervisor, and she got canned. It was never her fault, mind you.

We diverged once again when I remarried and moved far, far away. We talked by phone at times. If I drove her way, we might visit.

This brings us to the present. She is thirty-five years old. She had never left her parent's house and had no urge to leave. Therein lies the latest catastrophe of her life. She called me about two months ago and left a message on the machine that her Mom had kicked her out, don't call her at home because she wasn't there anymore. Well, of course I called her Mom. Her Mom is an adult, after all. For future reference, I'll call her mom B.

I knew that she was immature, but didn't know the half of it. After her Dad had died, seven years ago, B. asked her if she wanted to sleep in a bed with her for a bit - a comfort thing if you will. She was STILL sleeping with her. B. had paid for her to go to nursing school. S had gone from working full time to being on call at her job. Most of the time she was called to work, she said no. She had B. paying her car payment. She wasn't helping with rent or food. She was sleeping, eating, taking too many prescription drugs, buying expensive things for herself and sleeping some more. I had to side with her Mom on this one.

So I called S. I told her that her mother had valid points. It was like talking to my own children. You know something is coming out of your mouth, but they hear, "blah, blah, blah." S. got off the phone quickly, because she wasn't getting a "poor baby" from me.

Her Mom found her an apartment, paid for it all. My husband said, "Just watch. She'll try so hard to get back in her old house."

Well, within a week she hit a pole backing out with her car and jacked up the front of her car. She said she didn't feel "safe" driving it. So she is driving B's car and B is driving her car.

She told me how she got an awful stomach ache and had to curl up on her bed and cry for hours. It hurt so bad. Having never had children, she doesn't realize the luxury of being able to lay down when you're sick.

She said one of her two cats pooped in her bed and she had to go to B's house to do laundry. I bet she didn't take her own detergent over - it wouldn't even occur to her. She's not sure which cat it was. Maybe she should superglue shut the butthole of the one she thinks is doing it and see if her suspicions are correct. Yes, I'm kidding. Please don't do this at home.

This is my favorite one. She went to the McDonald's drive-thru to use her ATM. (Did I mention she's diabetic?) It wouldn't work. She called B. and told her she thought she might be about fifty dollars over her limit and could she please make a deposit for her. That told me right there that she knew she was over, because she had a dollar amount in her head. Let's just use that ATM card until they say "no" is apparently her motto. B. went to the bank. She was one-hundred fifteen dollars overdrawn. Here's where I got amazed. This is the story straight from the horse's mouth.

"My Mom told me we had to talk, so I went to her house. She didn't get mad at me like I thought she would. She did say I had to pay her back as she was very low on funds, but I could do twenty-five dollars a week. She explained that when you first move out on your own, these things happen. Then she gave me this cool, little book and explained to me that when you take money out, even when you go to the store, you mark it down in this book. Then you know how much money you have."

What the heck! Can you live thirty-five years and be THAT STUPID! I guess the only thing more amazing than her stupidity is how constantly I am amazed by it. But husband and I had a good laugh.

Her lastest update is that she somehow hurt her knee. She is on disability for a month. I imagine she probably kept jumping from her bed to the floor until she twisted it just right. "Please Mommy, take me home."

When she calls me on the phone, I try to be supportive of her, but it is getting so so hard. I guess there isn't much use in trying to explain to her, because she will never get it.

Here's to old friends.

Two Blogs I Enjoy

I feel like an idiot. I still haven't figured out how to browse and see all the sites. Two I have found and enjoy are - and Behind the stove is very articulate and funny also. Daily dancer is a guy who does a different dance every weekday morning. If you are depressed, go watch this guy and you should be able to laugh. Happy Monday. I have to go make coffee. My brain is still fuzzy.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Things I Will Never Understand

My toddler's inability to sit in any grocery cart.

Why everybody in the store goes to checkout at once.

Why the checker in the EXPRESS lane moves so much slower than the other checkers.

Why people don't start writing out their checks unti they have the total.

Why Costco doesn't have an express lane. Doesn't anybody besides me run in for just two or three things?

Why some people think it is acceptable to leave their trash in the carts.

Why canned soup is so expensive when I can make a whole pot for less than double the price.

Ditto for any frozen potato product.

Off the grocery store topic now - other things I don't understand.

My husband talking about his job. "So I wrote a program in Linux that set the parameters for the flux capacitor so it will communicate with the surge groups main frame and download the doohickey." Huh?

Why my dog eats his own poop.

Why my toddler likes to French kiss my dog.

Why my kids will torture each other but won't allow other kids to pick on their siblings.

Why people tailgate me when there is no way I can move over or go faster. (due to thick traffic)

Why there are no Dunkin' Donuts on the West Coast. Krispy Kreme can't hold a candle to Dunkin' Donuts.

Why if people see you waiting for their parking space, they move slower. Yes, it has been scientifically proven. Am I the only one that hurries?

Why the power button on television sets is made so cheaply. Our remote is constantly missing but we can't turn on the TV manually because the button pushed inside the hole. This is the 2nd TV this has happened with. Some people actually turn on the TV manually, really!

Why one bra can cost as much as a whole outfit.

Anybody that wants to add to this list, please do!

Tips for Traveling With Kids

A child's perception of time is different than ours. To them, it moves ten times slower. So when you put your three-year old in time out for three minutes, it feels like thirty. Now imagine a 3 hour drive.

If there is a safe way to have something for your kids to rest their feet on, it is a good idea. Dangling legs are tired legs after a while.

Toddlers have to stretch every couple of hours. It is a physical need. Besides, they don't have a lot of wiggle room in those tight car seats. Your butt would fall asleep too.

Before the trip, go to your local dollar store. Get each kid a cheap toy for every hour of travel. Four hours equals four toys per kid. Wrap them up - in newspaper is fine - save some money. After each hour, let them unwrap a toy. It helps pass the time for them.

If you pack juice boxes, make sure they are all the same flavor. (unless you know certain kids won't drink certain flavors.) It is guaranteed that if you have one grape flavor and the rest all something else, everyone will want grape.

You can cut a candy bar in half, using a ruler and somebody will still say they have the "smaller" half. There is a solution to this. They can all have their own candy bar or say sympathetically, "I'm so sorry your half is smaller. Since you're so unhappy with it, I'll eat it for you." No child will pass up the smaller half after that.

If you have one portable DVD player, it will not bring peace unless you only have one kid. They will all want to watch something different. My 15-year old complained because I put on Barney for the 2-year old. Yeah, like he's going to quit screaming if I put on "Lord of the Rings."

Packages of peanut butter crackers are a godsend.

Remember that ideal vacation in your head? It will never happen. Stuff will spill - kids will scream-vehicles will break down. It makes for funnier memories when things don't go right. Happy Traveling.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Vacation Part Three

This should wrap up our Pismo vacation story. I didn't intend it to get so long but, as usual, my mouth got away with me.

The first order of business our second day of vacation is breakfast. The downstairs lobby has a seperate breakfast section. I forgot to mention it has fruit in addition to the other goodies. However, fruit isn't in my kid's main fruit groups. Those would be sugar, starch, and soda.

The first thing I see is coffee. Unfortunately it isn't the first thing I grab. The kiddies are hungry.

I see frozen french toast. It's big, thick nice slices. I pop two slices in the toaster, grab some bagel and cream cheese, a banana (I never give up hope), and assorted drinks. That is one very full tray. Up to the room it goes.

I ask A and J what they want for breakfast. Of course, they want waffles. Why, you ask? Because that's what everyone else in the motel wants. Why should they be any different?

The waffles have to be cooked on a big iron. There are little individual cups of batter next to the iron so you don't overflow. (You know somebody would.) I start a waffle, grab more drinks (coffee included), and go upstairs. I set everyone up, run down to grab the waffle and am not sure how to figure out if it is done yet. (Next thing you know I'll lose my ability to pee in the toilet instead of on the floor.) A kind gentleman helps me. It is done. There is a line waiting for the waffle iron, but fortunately nobody calls me a dolt within earshot. Up I go with the first waffle.

Downstairs again. Did I mention the stairs on the hotel are outside so you have to use an exceedingly slooooooow elevator to get downstairs? Now there is a waffle line four deep. I get in line. It isn't moving. I realize Big Booty Bob is at the front of the line making waffles for his WHOLE family. I assume they number twelve. There needs to be a sign above the waffle maker stating that you can only cook two waffles at a time. THEN YOU NEED TO GET THE HELL OUT OF THE WAY! But morons like Bob would ignore the sign anyway, because they are rude people and the rules don't apply to them surely.

Finally I make waffle two. Back upstairs then down again. Time for my breakfast. I wouldn't mind a waffle but there is NO WAY I'm waiting in that line. Whatever I can grab quickest will do me just fine, because by now the natives are restless. They want to go to the beach. So what if I spent the last hour fetching their food? I'd better eat quickly and get my butt in gear - time's a wastin'.

So to the beach. This is when I'm so thankful for my spouse because we have to split forces. How do single mothers do it when they have more than one kid? A is content to play in the waves. But our little guy likes to run. The pediatrician says he is underweight. Go figure. Perhaps it is due to his inablility to walk. I take the little guy. Husband takes A. J is old enough to lay on a towel by herself while the guys ogle her. (She is built like a brick sh!@ house.)

Off we go, running down the beach. I try to keep my little guy from running through numerous baseball and frisbee games. He just runs and runs. We're getting far away from the others so I try to get him to run back the other way. This works with limited success until he sees the tractor. It is big - it is yellow- it has WHEELS - and we're gonna chase it. I'm glad he doesn't catch it, because that would be fun to keep him away from. But he runs for a long time trying. If I'd had a waffle, I would have worn it off by now.

The rest of the week goes much this way - fetching food, chasing kids, collapsing with exhaustion. The kids are having a blast and we're not having a bad time either.

Some highlights (and memorable experiences) of the trip -

When the baby was waiting for his bath (naked)- pooped on the floor and fingerpainted.
How much the kids loved the hot tub
The hole in the wall place with the kick-ass Mexican food was still there
Hubby trying to fly a three-dollar kite on the beach (didn't work)
Pismo fish and chips - the one meal we actually went to the restaurant and sat down
Going to Walmart - I can find Walmart no matter where we go
Watching J dance around in her bikini

Thanks for reading.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Vacation Part Two

So we're at the motel room. Husband and I are exhausted and the kids want to go to the beach. I understand why, I really do. I remember being on vacation with my folks and doing the same thing. I could'nt figure out why we were spending any time in that room. It was soooo boring. I told them so, repeatedly. Well this is God's way of getting you back. (Note to Princess J. - your day will come.)

I feel guilty. I remember being a kid and how hard it was to understand adults. So we take them down to the beach and it is fun watching them have fun. I also get the benefit of shoving the guilt monster off my shoulder. Soon it is time to go. The rest of the night passes relatively peacefully.

I never mentioned the motel room. My husband picks the motel room. He likes to get the really nice room. It has to be on the beach, facing the beach, and it has to have clean rooms. It is a pleasant change from when I was younger and had to stay at the no-tell motel for $70. a night which was nowhere near the beach. Oh and my (female) friend S clogged up the toilet the minute we got there, but that's another story. Nowadays, I might pick a cheaper room than what we're in now, if left to my own devices. But my husband knows better than to let me.

I do, however, have a few comments about motel rooms in general. First, they don't wash the quilts between guests. How many people have done it on the same quilt you are sleeping under? I mean, everybody goes like rabbits when they're in a motel room. (unless they have three frickin' kids)

Also, the toilet paper. If the people before you leave half a roll, the maid doesn't throw it away. She leaves it. There it is, contaminated with other people's poop germs.

Then we get to the towels. We are a family of five. We always make that clear when we reserve the room. There's always FOUR towels. They feel like cardboard and they're the size of a postage stamp, so they're not going to cover my fat ass anyway.

Also, you don't get a full 24 hours for your money. You check in at three and leave at eleven. For two-hundred bucks, I want the full 24 hours!

Last but not least, maid service. You have to leave the room so somebody can clean it. I don't want somebody else cleaning up after me. We're pigs. I just want some clean washclothes and towels. Only I don't speak Spanish and the maid doesn't speak English. Speaking slower and louder doesn't work. I've tried. This is definitely not a criticism of the people who clean rooms. They are probably the hardest working and lowest paid people on the staff. Think about it - they pick up everyone else's mess and probably put up with a lot of crap. Some of them may not have given birth, but they are all professional MOM's.

But I digress...I am telling a story like my mother-in-law. What was the point again? (Just teasing, Bun.)

We are to day two and breakfast. This motel has a great breakfast. It is make it yourself, but the variety is tremendous. Cereal, toast, bagels and cream cheese, french toast, waffles, juice, coffee...lots more I have forgotten.

We don't like to take the kids downstairs to eat because well guess. I am the official getter of the breakfast.

But it's time to go. Perhaps this lengthy tale will wind up eventually. Have a great Friday.

Thursday, July 21, 2005


So what is the definition of vacation, anyway? I guess the definition depends on whether you're an adult or a child.

Our family likes to "vacation" at Pismo. It is a six-hour drive.

It takes a week to get ready for vacation. All five members of our family have to be packed up. Many of us wear more than two outfits a day either because they are messy eaters, vain teen
or sweaty husband.

Saturday morning arrives. Time to go bright and early. We get the kids in the car and go. For the first half-hour the novelty of leaving the house brings silence from the little ones. This is when husband and I get to talk. This is our last chance to have a conversation until we go on vacation next year.

Soon we replace the adult music with "baby songs." The wheels on the bus go round and round, round and round, blah blah blah... Of course, Princess J. is bitching. "Why do we have to listen to this crappy music all the time?"

We get about two hours down the road and it is "pit stop" time. I inform my husband we need to get out at the next rest stop. It is usually the next exit, in which case we miss it, or it is 30 miles down the road.

Ah the "rest" stop. The little guy wants to stretch his legs. I chase him around desperately hoping that today isn't the day that B.J., the crank snorting trucker, goes on his crime spree. We all have to use the bathroom. By the smell, at least eight or ten people have pissed on the floor. How hard is it to get the urine in the hole? These people that can't get urine in the hole are raising children JUST LIKE THEM. It's like passing the torch. "C'mere Jr., I'll show you how it's done."

You can pee in there without sitting on the seat, but your shoes are still sticking to the floor and they will be on the floor of your vehicle very soon.

Of course, there are vending machines. A., our future telemarketer, wants three items. We bargain her down to one. It is like dealing with the rug salesman at the flea market. You might get him down to your price, but you feel like an ice pick is lodged in your head by the time you're done.

Back in the van. The toddler shrieks and arches his back. Princess J. is fighting with A. Never mind that there is almost a nine year age difference. This is when I begin wishing for shock collars. "Mom, she said...ZZZZZTTTTT!

Back on the road - oh goody.

The toddler finally finishes screaming. It is almost lunchtime. We decide to get some drive-thru , artery clogging burgers. Princess J wants the most expensive item on the menu. Hubby wants two filet-o-fish and supersized fries. A. wants a crappy meal so she can have the crummy toy. I want some Vicodan. The toddler, the smartest one of all, doesn't want anything to do with that crap food and will proceed to grind it into his car seat.

Down the road we fly, hubby cussin' and dodging the morons who want to tailgate us at eighty miles per hour. Music blaring, kids screaming, me thinking, "Are we there yet?"

Lather, rinse, repeat.

We are in the last half hour stretch. The toddler has given up yelling. His eyes have a glazed look and he's drooling slightly. A hasn't shut up yet. J is still complaining.

We're there. Hubby checks us in. A is yelling to go with him but she can't find her damn shoes. They're buried under the toys and fast food wrappers. J is yelling at A. I gotta pee.

Once we are in the room everyone picks their beds. Some want a bed close to the balcony. (husband and J.) Some want a bed close to the bathroom. (me) And some want a bed wherever it will make J yell the most. (yep, that's A.)

At least one person has had to poop for the past hour. They go stink up the bathroom for the rest of us.

We're here finally. I sit down. Five minutes pass. Then I hear, "I'm bored. I wanna go to the beach."


You Know Who You Are

You know who you are. You are driving a mini van down the road and swerving slightly because you are simultaneously putting straws in juice boxes and refereeing fights.

Your wardrobe consists of t-shirts and jeans (or sweats). Your shirts have stains on the shoulders because the toddler uses them as a napkin.

You music you most hear consists of "Row, row, row your boat" and "Mary had a little lamb." You catch yourself singing along to it.

The wet spot used to be in your bed - not on your shirt where the breast milk leaked.

You feel like if you hear the word "NO" one more time, your head will explode.

You will never fit in your old clothes again and are still having trouble resolving yourself to that fact.

Sound familiar?

All Hail Princess J

I had been suspecting for some time that royalty was living among us, but now I am sure of it. My soon to be 15 year-old daughter is slumbering peacefully at the hour of eleven-thirty a.m. Soon, she will saunter from her royal bed, raid the kitchen and then proceed to sit at the computer the rest of the day. Surely this is the right - nay the entitlement - of royalty.

Princess J. has one chore. She has to clean the kitchen every day. If I didn't remind her, it would never get done. Yesterday, at 6:30 p.m, I had to remind her. Of course, it involved pouting and stomping. How dare I not recognize her right to do nothing but eat all the groceries and take up space? Of course, only half the kitchen gets cleaned. If a pot needs scrubbed, the princess takes one swipe at it, rinses it, and returns it to the cupboard. So what if it is black and crusty. Do I expect her to break her royal nails or perhaps get tennis elbow in her arm? How would she wave to her subjects?

Why she just asked me yesterday when I was going to hand-wash her shirt that she only wore once. She'd been waiting three months! When I told her that she was capable of hand-washing, Princess J. sniffed. Surely I didn't expect her to do her own laundry!

Princess J. is a bit like Princess Fiona in "Shrek." She has a pretty face and an ugly face. When she talks on the phone to her friends, we see the pretty face, hear the pleasant voice. When she talks to us, the green monster arrives, the one with the snooty voice. They are her friends! We are her subjects. We should expect no more. We should consider ourselves lucky to get the opportunity to scrub her royal porcelain throne.

Aah, to be royalty. I wish we were all so entitled.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005


My six-year old daughter A. just started taekwondo. She is having a great time.

While I know she is having fun, I also know it's all about the UNIFORM. She wants the blue belt. I told her she has to work up to that one.

Maybe I will take her to the grocery store after practice next week. She is very social so she will just be waiting for somebody to ask her about her uniform. Should be fun to watch.

Waiting for Coffee

Our coffee pot recently took a powder. It was a Black & Decker Smart Brew and I loved it. The coffee tasted so good.

We had a French Press up in the cupboard. Iused that until my two year old smashed it in the sink. Fortunately I was right there. I grabbed him before he could grab a handful of glass shards. ( I'm sure that as he gets older, we will be frequent ER visitors. "It's the B family again. His chart is right there - the one that's five times thicker than the others." Maybe they will start giving us frequent injury discounts.)

We had an old cheap coffee pot in the garage. I cleaned that up to use. It made the coffee taste like crap - really bitter. I enjoy taste along with my fix so that wasn't working.

Out from under the cupboard came my yard sale, fifty-cent, tin camping coffee pot. It makes decent coffee. But first you have to wait for it to come to a boil - then it has to percolate for five minutes. (I think.) Coffee takes a bit longer these days. The sound of it percolating is kind of comforting though. Probably childhood memories resurfacing.

Well Dennis the Menace has arrived and won't leave the mouse alone. Gotta go.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

flatulent dog

Boots the farting dog. Gotta love him.

PetSmart was closed Sunday so I couldn't get his Science Diet.

I got a small bag of Kibbles n Bits at Walmart. He scarfed down two and a half bowls. His Science Diet does not excite him this way. He usually eats it with a pained look as if to say, "You guys aren't eating this crap, so why should I?"

I told my husband how much he loved the food and he said to continue to get it for him. I told him that Boston Terriers are very diet senstive. I told him that Boots would get much gassier. He didn't think it was possible. He was wrong.

Last night I was watching TV - Hell's Kitchen. Boots walked in, laid down, and cut the cheese. AARGH! It smelled like I was in Hell's Bathroom!

Of course it wasn't as bad as the time we gave him leftover Chinese food...

Monday, July 18, 2005

Ben Wa and Coffee?

So about two years ago, my folks went on a cruise. Their starting point was New Orleans. There is a famous New Orleans treat that my Mom wanted to taste.

She tells me over the phone, "I'm going to order a ben wa."


"You know, they're spelled B-E-I-G-N-E-T. I have a book here that told me how to pronounce it."

"Mom, ben was are little balls that gals stick up their hoo-ha."

"Maybe I'll check another book."

I had read a recipe for beignets on the internet and they sounded suspiciously like something my mother has always made called "doughboys". (On the West Coast, they're called elephant ears.) I'm not sure if I mentioned this to her, probably did because I'm a big party pooper.

Anyway, she did order one in New Orleans. Can't remember what the proper pronunciation was but they didn't send her down the street to the sex shop so she must have done okay.

When she got home, she called me. "It was just a doughboy!"

Sunday, July 17, 2005

My toddler is making me crazy

Woo-hoo, my first blog ever. Blogging is now so common that it is probably on its way out. That's okay - I always miss the boat and have a great time despite it.

My holy terror two year old is making me crazy this week. He has a room full of toys - none of which he plays with. He would rather destroy my house along with my sanity. He is incredibly tall with very long arms. No surface is safe from Mr. Octopus.

There are gates at each side of the kitchen. He either climbs over them or uses them to stand on and climb onto the counter. He then proceeds to pull everything he can reach down and onto the floor.

Got anything metal? He'll stick it in outlets.

He loves to pull off his diaper, I think for the pleasure of getting the dog to sniff his butt. Eew.

He pulled over the BBQ grill today and got ashes all over the place. He tasted them too.

He spilled the dogs water. He colored on my walls. He reconfigured my desktop. (Wish I were kidding - I'm not!) He had one big tantrum. (not as big as yesterday's) He threw the clean socks on the floor.

He was good in Walmart though. I got everything on my list without a meltdown!

He is lucky that he has a really sweet personality and a cute smile.

I have two other children also. They are both girls so I was unprepared for this. I wanted a boy really bad and I got one. Boy oh boy!