May 31, 2010

for the love of everything CBC '10

It was awesome.

I'm glad I didn't stick my original plan of hiding behind my bangs in the back of classes.  I had so much more fun meeting everyone.  And I didn't even pee my pants nor hyperventilate when I read at the community keynote.  (Although I did sweat profusely and probably changed facial colors a few times.)

And best of all, now I feel like I have real live friends.  Which brings my friend count up to like FIVE.  Wow.  I'm feeling really popular.

And I would say more but Husband keeps interrupting me.  About every two seconds.  Here, let me tell you about it:

scene: Husband in shower.  Me sitting on bed, trying to type a post on the laptop which rests happily on our ironing board ('cause we're all about fancy furniture here in the Bastow household.)

Husband: Melissa!!!!

Me: (ignore)

Husband: MELLLLLISSSA!!

Me: What?

Husband (still in shower): Can you get me a screw driver, a wrench and a plastic bag?

Me: Sure, and I want a hula hoop, a spotted pony and some purple M&Ms.

Husband: Seriously.

So I get the tools.

Husband: That's a wrench.

Me: Yes.

Husband: I asked for pliers.

Me: No, you asked for a wrench.

Husband: No, I want pliers, you know the thing with handles that pinches things and...

Me: I KNOW WHAT PLIERS ARE.

So I get pliers.  Then I sit back down to type.

Husband: MELISSSSSSA!!

Me:  Grrrrr, what?

Husband: I need a flat head screwdriver.

Silly me, I've never showered with tools before and therefore didn't know that a flat head is required.

And that's why I can't type any more about CBC right now.  Except, just know that it was seriously awesome.

May 25, 2010

ack, woah, AHHHHHHH, pfffffft

I'm kind of freaking out.  Ok, I'm really freaking out.  REALLY FREAKING OUT.

You know this:
It's in two days. 

Wait, scratch that.  Since it starts with the Girls Night Out on thursday, it's in less than two days.  (Except that I don't get to go to Girls Night since I'll still probably be traveling, BUT STILL it's soon. SOOOOOOOOOOOOON.)

My original CBC plan was: "Wear camoflauge-ish clothing, hang head so bangs stay in eyes, don't make eye contact even if bangs are weirdly cooperating, sit in back of classes, maybe no one will notice you're there."

THEN, my mom and I (mostly my mom) decided to snag the very last vendor's table for Green Jello with Carrots. (By the way, we're having our one year birthday celebration, and you can read about it on our blog, 'cause you get deals, AND if you're reading this small print then I know you're my real friend so I'll also give you 40% off your whole order of downloadable stuff if you enter this code: IKNOWYOU when you check out.  See reading small print and being my friend pays off - something I never thought possible!)

Standing behind a vendor's table, trying to get people's attention called for a new plan.  It was: "Try to make mom do all the talking, slink off to classes when possible, sit in back of room with bangs over eyes, maybe wear real shoes instead of flip flops."

BUT...

Today Mombabe asked if I would read one of my favorite posts at the keynote on saturday night. 

At least I think she did. 

Because sometimes I wonder if I've made up my entire life like in that movie "A Beautiful Mind."  And then I have to wander around the house poking everyone to make sure they're real.  My theory is, if they answer "yes" when I say, "does this hurt?" then it has to be real.  Except that I'm sure if I've made up my life, I would make the imaginary children scream as much as possible, just so I think it's real.

So someone tell me now if my life is all in my head.  It's kind of crucial, because I'm seriously freaking out.  And if Mombabe didn't really email and ask me to read, then I should probably stop breathing into a paper bag and check myself in somewhere.

For now, we're just going to pretend that I'm sane.  (Which is what crazy people do until they realize that they've been crazy for decades.)  And you've gotta help me decide on my favorite post.  If I read the post that had the most comments, I would be telling everyone, into a microphone, about how I don't want to poop at Walmart.  And that's really not going to happen.

The only other posts where I have lots of comments (because you are all so supportive) are about my horrible parenting and dislike of motherhood.  I'm not reading one of those either.  It's supposed to be something funny.

So, your assignment right now is to read through my archive.  Yes, all of it.  And tell me which post you think I should read.  And keep in mind I only have a few days to decide.  So hop to it.

Meanwhile, I'm going to keep freaking out.

May 23, 2010

martian bugs

Have I ever mentioned my love of Hulu?  I love Hulu.

The other evening I'm watching Hulu, but I've run out of Ghost Hunter shows and episodes of House.  Which is a pretty big tragedy.  Because without some kind of Hulu viewing paired with crocheting of newly purchased yarn, I'm almost certain I'd go insane.  (My love of yarn is like psycho-therapy.  Plus I came up with this super cute and awesome -in my opinion- pattern for girls dresses/shirts that I want to start selling on Etsy...seeing as my Etsy store has always been sooooo successful.)

So I started digging through Hulu listings, looking for something interesting.  And did you know you can watch really old episodes of Outer Limits?  Ok, not REALLY old ones, but from when they re-introduced the show in the 90's (which, to me, seems like a loooooooooooooooooong time ago.  I was still stupid and optimistic in the 90's...and the hairstyles make me want to gag.)

I watched the first episode of Outer Limits which was about these giant, intelligent, fanged bugs from Mars.  This crazy scientist man -with a hideous ponytail- was raising them in his barn.  Just as they were attacking his family and setting up basecamp in his basement, I had to pause the show so I could compare the shirt I was currently crocheting with the one I made previously. 

The finished shirt was sitting on my bed.  And I always watch Hulu in my closed bedroom (otherwise it wouldn't be therapeutic at all, it would just be constantly interrupted by small children in a very non-sanity-preserving way.) 

The big alien bugs, and their horrible 90's CGI, were sort of creeping me out because I have this severe hatred for all things creepy and crawly.  So when I picked up that shirt off of my bed, WHERE I SLEEP, and saw the abnormally massive, had to be like an inch long, ant crawling on it I had no choice but to fling the shirt across the room and scream for Husband like a little girl.

That ant was huge.  And those alien bugs sort of looked like ants.  And now all I can think about is big bugs every time I get in bed. 

Luckily I have a brave husband who can kill giant bugs with ease and effectiveness.  Which is mostly why I married him.  I had a pretty thorough bug killing test that was administered to all potential mates back when I met Husband.  It was the third most important thing on my list of 'future husband qualities'.  (It came right after "avid church goer" and "must not have third eyeball growing out of forehead.")

Except that he refuses to stay awake all night to make sure no giant bugs crawl on me while I sleep.  Which I think is kind of rude.

On  a completely different note - since my massive wake-up call/shelf shattering incident, I have tried really super extra way hard to be over the top nice to my children.  And Opie's behavior has been remarkably better.  He's still Opie, but it's amazing the difference it's causing. 

Who knew that being nice to your kids would make them behave better?  It's shocking!!  I'm sure no one has ever written a book about that.  I think I'll write my own book about it.  I'm going to call it "If You Don't Scream at Your Kids, They Won't Scream Back."  And inside that's all it will say.  Maybe I'll repeat it a few times.  But it's a pretty simple concept, so I don't think I would really need to go into detail. 

And you know, I'm really surprised no one has ever thought of being nice to their kids before.  It's so revolutionary.  I must be brilliant - otherwise how would I have come up with it only 6 years after becoming a parent?!

Sidenote number two: I did something cool to my head yesterday.  I took a picture.  It's still on the camera.  So you'll probably see it when I am being non-sunday lazy (I mean, resting on the day of rest) and get it uploaded.  And just so you know it doesn't involve the color purple....although it almost did.

May 21, 2010

God is speaking to me

Right now He's saying, "Honestly, go make dinner already!"  But I feel like if I don't get this all typed and OUT THERE, I will not be able to cook vegetables to perfection (which never happens anyway, but I'll be extra distracted, so they'll be extra grody.)

Once, after Monkey was born, my visiting teacher came by for a chat.  I asked her how she was doing and she said:

"Have you ever felt like you have taken on too many things, and you feel like you're failing at every single one?"

I nodded my head and tried to sympathize and it's always stuck with me.  Because at the time I was in no way in a happy place (remember the Monkey post) but I really hadn't ever felt like that.

NOW I DO.  Boy do I ever.

My life has been so stressful, and getting more and more stressful as the years progress, that I feel like I'm drowning.  I used to think that if I could keep my nose just above the water that I'd be ok.  But I've been a good few feet under the surface for awhile.

So it's no wonder that God has been trying to send me a wake up call.  But seeing as our Heavenly Father knows us individually, and knows our limits and abilities, He has been sending me the call in pieces.  He undoubtedly knows that if He sent the message all at the same time I would be sitting in a padded cell somewhere, completely overwhelmed.

The first part of the call came when I realized the kids were happier without toys and tv and bikes.  I had gotten into the really horrible habit of plugging my kids into whatever would keep their attention away from me as long as possible.  And I would get aggravated when they were at my feet whining for something every few minutes.  So God said, "See Melissa, unplugged kids are HAPPY kids."

I had to mull over that one for a few days.

Then, remember when I said that I wanted to declutter and reorganize my house?  That was from God too.  (Thoughts of cleaning don't originate from my brain all by themselves.)  So far I've only gotten my bedroom and the hall closet done.  But I already feel so much better.  Non-clutter is calming, which is what we need here.  I can't wait to get the rest of the house finished.

The last piece fell into place yesterday.  And when I say "fell" I mean it literally.

Opie is a difficult child.  I think I've more than mentioned that before.  If you're a long time reader, you'll know that his blogname used to be Screamer.  And I only changed it because Husband thought it was detrimental to his psychee to refer to him that way.  (Which it probably is.)

Yesterday was going really horribly already.  And with the steady current of stress running through me, I don't think I helped much.  Opie was banished to his room for beating up on the little kids.  This happens a lot.  Banishing Opie for some alone time is the only strategy that seems to work for him.  But he gets very angry in there.  And he kicks things, and hits stuff, and throws books, and breaks things that get in his way.  I try to stop him from doing this - - but stopping Opie is almost impossible.  The kid has as much will as a 40 ton boulder at the top of Mt Everest.

One screaming event led to another, and before I could prepare myself, the shelf in his room came crashing to the floor.  Keep in mind that this is a sturdy shelf.  We bought it when Two Bits was quite small and has been hanging on a wall in our house since and has never gotten close to falling before.  But crashing it came.

Luckily Opie was moving in a direction AWAY from the crashing shelf.  That couldn't have been a coincidence (God's hand is in all things, without doubt.)  Picture frames shattered into a million tiny glass pieces.  Heads popped off of the antique toy that was Husband's late grandpa's.  The dresser underneath the shelf was thoroughly scratched, the humidifier on top of the dresser was demolished.  The wall suffered irreparably (we really don't think we'll get the deposit back on this place.)   Basically chaos happened when that shelf fell.

And I lost it.  LOST IT.  More than I've ever lost it in my entire life.  I think our neighbors heard....from two blocks away.

Opie was promptly deposited in the time out chair where he screamed, "I HATE MOMMY!!!"  I don't like anyone in this house!!"  I HATE IT HERE!!!!" until he was hoarse.  I spent 40 minutes extracting glass shards from the carpet.  Then Opie and I had words.  And I told him he was not allowed around anyone in our family until he could learn to be less of a jerk.  (I called my 5 year old a jerk.)

Then I had a complete emotional break down.  For about 2 hours.

Since then, I've been thinking, and praying - conversing with God.

I've taken on too much and I'm completely failing at everything.

I'm not sure if my wake up call is over, or if it has more parts.  But I know that things are really going to change around here.  PRIORITIES are going to happen.  For months I've been praying, "Help me make more money.  Help my kids behave.  Help me lose weight.  Help me like church again.   Help me be sane.  Me me me me me me me me me."  I was asking and expecting without doing the required amount of work.  I thought I was trying.  But I wasn't even close.

So now I'm awake.  (And dinner is going to be finished really late.)  And I'm just glad that God sends wake up calls.  And I'm ready to do what it takes now.

I'm ready to be happy again.

May 20, 2010

my secret double life

I think everyone should be allowed to have a secret double life where rules don't apply and you can be whatever you want.  No matter what.  In fact, we shouldn't be allowed, it should just be a requirement for life.

I planned out my whole secret double life the other day. 

I want to be a seriously hot rocker chick. 

A good rocker chick though, with major stage appeal.  Not just some girl who stands in front of people with a mic stand swinging her hips around.  I would be the best rocker chick the world has ever seen.  And I'd also be the lead guitarist in my band.  Because I want to be able to rip a mean solo on my Les Paul.  (Not that I really have a Les Paul guitar.  I do own a couple of guitars, an accordion and a piano; and our Guitar Hero guitar says it's a Les Paul, so that should count for something.)

Of course in this secret double life I would be horribly attractive.  Skinny, and probably wearing something pleather (not real leather though, because I'm also a member of PETA in my secret double life.)  But I would still want to look like me.  Except a much more attractive version of me.  That way I could entice every male within a 50 foot radius.  And I would lead them all on, in super sexy rocker chick style.  After they follow me around awhile like slobbering little puppies, one of them would be bound to make a move on me.  Then I'd tell them that I am very happily married.  They'd be crushed and lay in bed eating ice cream for a couple months to get over it.

My band would play serious hard rock.  And my bassist would be awesome (he would be able to play almost as good as me, but not quite.)  Except our lyrics wouldn't be about the regular hard rock stuff like drugs and satan.  And it would never have swear words in it either.  Instead our songs would be about cantaloupe, flannel pajamas and abnormally large coat buttons.  Our dirtiest song would probably be about a dark chocolate Dove bar. 

No one would even care that I'm melodically screaming the line: "I'm tossing and turning in my flannel pjs, remembering I'm using our warm flannel sheets.  It's dangerous DANGEROUS when you try to pair flannel! Soon all that's free is my two little feets."  Because we would be rocking so hard everyone would just get dizzy from all the head banging.  Plus it would be a nice change from the usual.  And my kids could come to all my concerts - if they knew about my secret double life that is.  Which they wouldn't.  Because if there's one way to ruin a secret double life, it would be to invite your regular life along.

The best part about my secret double life would be being on stage.  And loving it.  And being able to sing and move in a way that looked natural.  I would own that stage.  Because in my regular life I don't even like it when people try to look at me through their car window when we're both stopped at a traffic light.  And it's a wonder I can walk upright with my coordination.  And the only people who get to hear me sing are my kids at bedtime and the car stereo when I'm all alone.  (A few weeks ago I sang a Weezer song in the kitchen, which was pretty brave of me.)

You know what I was doing when I planned this whole secret double life of mine?  I was BUYING YARN.  Like a little old lady.  The saddest part about it was that I was really excited to buy that yarn.  And oooooh, look a new color of blue in my favorite brand!  My secret double life self shudders inside just thinking about it.

(In effort to be less boring, I think I might come to CBC with black hair.  I've been wanting black hair again for like 3 years now.  And I was even thinking about streaking purple into it.  That's not boring, right?  Or is it just stupid?)

May 18, 2010

two years ago

Number Four turned 2 today.  Which is mildly insane, considering I just had her yesterday.  Somehow two years passed within a day.  I'm not sure how it happened, but I'm pretty sure I didn't get more than a night's sleep since she was born.

Not that she's a horrible sleeper.  Just that I don't get much sleep.

So, in honor of the anniversary of Number Four's birth, I am now going to tell you her story.  Before we really knew her, of course.  Because that's how the story begins...

Monkey was six months old when Two Bits started telling me that I had her sister in my tummy.  And I would say, "No honey, I'm just fat.  There is no baby in there."  But she insisted.  Her sister was on the way.

It was two months later that I told Husband I was going to the community center gym to workout with my cousin.  Instead we went to Walmart and bought a pregnancy test.  Then we went to the community center bathrooms and I conducted the pee on a stick test.

We tried not to freak out too loudly when it was positive.  But I'm pretty sure the whole building knew I was pregnant.

I told Husband a few days later by putting the pregnancy test inside of a toilet paper tube, which I wrapped in black paper.  The outside said: "Trick or Treat?" because it was around Halloween time.  He was hoping it was a trick.  But no.

I managed to keep the pregnancy quiet for awhile.  Which is pretty stinking shocking, since I'm really horrible at keeping secrets.  For Christmas we always send out a DVD  with photo-montages instead of a card.  That year after the last montage a bunch of little rabbits started popping up all over the screen.  Because by that point I felt like I was living the reproduction cycle of a rabbit.  And that's how we told our families.  They were mostly happy.  I think.

It wasn't a big surprise to find out a few weeks later that Number Four was a girl.  After all, we had been told months before her conception that she was on her way.  But I remember waiting for the Dr in the exam room that day.  I told Husband that since this baby was God's plan, He better send us a small dark haired girl or I was going to be pretty ticked off.

I got my wish, but only after I spent the rest of my pregnancy in bed.  I was having major premature labor pains (Terbutaline, oh how I hate thee.)  My blood pressure went crazy.  I had too much amniotic fluid.  I was borderline diabetic.  I had to surrender my children to their grandmothers and my sister who all took turns living with us for a week.  I spent a few days in the antepartum unit at the hospital.  Near the end I couldn't even lift my head without my blood pressure spiking.  And then my contractions kept me awake by consistently happening every 12 minutes for 4 days straight (and they were ugly ones too, just not "real labor" since they never got any closer.)

It was a sunday evening that I went to the hospital and told them to either drug the pain away or stop the contractions.  Two shots of Terbutaline, some percocet, and 7 minutes later the contractions were back.  And still ugly.  And my blood pressure was jumping.  So the Dr decided it was time.


For some reason this c-section really freaked me out.  The nurse wanted to smack me, I'm sure.  Thank goodness the anesthesiologist put morphine in with the spinal block. 

I got to kiss her before she went to the NICU.  And then my Dr took about 5 years to put me back together (we're not really going to get into the damage that is my stomach - it's too scary.)

She was in the NICU for two weeks.  She was 5 weeks early.  7 pounds 2 ounces.  She was little, considering the size of my other kids.  She had dark hair.  She acted like a preemie.  After the oxygen and IV and phototherapy lights were all gone I still couldn't take her home.  I couldn't make her eat.  She would get too tired.  She would stop breathing.  I wanted to cry every time they put her meals into the feeding tube.  I wanted to scream, "She's my fourth baby, I know how to nurse!!!"  I wanted to show the nurses pictures of the fatty chunksters that nursing turned my other babies into.  I wanted to take her home.

Eventually she gained 1/2 an ounce in one day, tipping her to 6 1/2 pounds, and I made the Dr let us go.  But she still had a touch of bradycardia so we had to keep her hooked to a monitor until she was 3 months old.  And when that thing goes off in the middle of Sacrament Meeting MAN is it loud.  Not to mention people look at you differently when they see wires coming out of your baby's clothes.  It's like everyone expected her to explode at any time.  (Going to church was a little difficult anyway, so I didn't do it often, and blamed it on germs - which is a pretty good reason.)

For awhile during Number Four's first year I thought maybe she was Chinese.  Not that she really was, but look at this:
I was almost convinced that she was conceived when a Chinese man dressed up like my husband and spent the night.  (But she looks much less Chinese now....and very much more like me.  Not that looking Chinese would have been a bad thing - in fact, when she gets older I'm sure she'll be cursing the resemblance to my face.  The chipmunk cheeked/double chin combo I have going on isn't anything to be desired.)

Our little Number Four has had some trials.  They've all been pretty standard for one of our kids.  But even with the her Reactive Airway Disease thrown in, she's been a breeze compared to what we've gone through with Monkey. 


And now she's two.  TWO.  That used to sound old to me.  Now I would like to define a two year old as a slightly more independent yet still chubbily cuddly baby.  Because she's still a baby.  My little brown haired baby girl.


I have more pictures of her and my other kids on my photography blog.  I had this awesome plan to take pictures in an orchard.  In my mind is was glorious, with a canopy of colored blossoms.  So when I saw the severely pruned, almost blossom-less orchards I was really quite disappointed.  But took pictures anyway.

May 13, 2010

monkey eyes

Monkey's eye surgery went well today.  The Dr sliced off, and then re-attached, a muscle.  Sounds gruesome, right?  It kind of is, if you think about it.  But we're really glad we have a good Dr with natural eyeball muscle slicing abilities.  'Cause she's great.

I do have to say that he handled this whole eye surgery business much better when he was one.  Now that he's all smart and talky he just keeps yelling, "My eye hurts!!!!"  And then kicks his legs around.  But having had surgery on my eye a few months ago I am VERY MUCH MORE sympathetic towards him.  Because after my surgery I wanted to do the same thing - instead I just whined a lot.

He refused to open his eyes for dinner tonight.  Even though we made pancakes especially for him.  He just sat in his chair blindly jabbing his plate with his round-tipped fork, hoping he could snag a piece of pancake.  It was pretty successful until the end when only a few scattered pieces were left.  So Two Bits would spear them and hand Monkey the fork.  She's such a good sister.

I think the highlight of the whole day was right before the surgery.  Not only because Monkey was pain-free and happy then.  But because they gave him something to drink that really helped him "relax."  I love how they use the word "relax" when they should really say, "And now we're going to get your 3 year old TOTALLY HIGH."

Once it started kicking in he began slumping really low.  He refused to lay down, so he was basically folded onto his own lap.  And he got intensely interested in his hands.  Like they were the coolest things he had ever seen.  So I helped him explore his fingers while he intermittently giggled. 

Then the Dr came over to his bedside and said, "Hey Monkey, are you ready?!"  And he slowly looked up at her from his slumped, hand discovering, position with big puckered duck lips.  It was definitely one of those "it was funnier in person" things, but it had us all cracking up.  Then we told him they were taking him in a rocket ship to the moon and that we loved him and would see him later.  And that's when the fun stopped. 

But he's a tough kid, and he's doing pretty good.  And I don't mind listening to him yell, "My eye hurts!!!" over and over while I massage his legs and hold ice packs to his face.  Because I know - it really hurts.  Plus I kind of love the kid, so giving him extra attention doesn't seem too hard.

May 12, 2010

serious stuff

I've decided we need to seriously declutter our house.  For the past few months I feel like I've been living in chaos.  Like my life is completely out of my hands, and I'm just running to catch up with it.  And as I sit here looking around, it's no wonder I feel so out of control all the time - we live in CLUTTER HEAVEN.

This is going to take a lot of work.  With time that I don't really have.  A large portion of the chaos in my life is that I have about 2 billion things to do, and each day I have deadlines.  Usually I'm so caught up in one deadline that I almost miss the next.  But I really think it would be worth the time (and major effort, and multiple trips to DI) to get my house more organized, with a whole lot LESS STUFF.

LESS STUFF.

Just those words make me feel better.  But I need to keep the momentum going once I start, so I should probably hang signs in every room of the house.  The signs will just say "less stuff."  And then I won't want to quit and go back to chaos, right?  Hopefully.

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


Monkey is having eye surgery on thursday morning (we like having expensive eye issues in this family.)  This will be his second.  He had his first surgery a little over two years ago.  And it's pretty likely that this won't be his last.

Poor little Monkey.  His eyes have caused problems since birth.  I asked the Dr what she thought happened.  She said it's probably that the nerve attached to the top muscle of his right eye never developed.  So she has to relax the top muscle of his good eye so that he can use them together better.  Right now when he uses both eyes he has to tilt his head really far to see straight.  And before his first surgery his right eye was always low and his left eye was completely crossed.

This surgery will make it so he can't look all the way up without moving his head.  And we already know that he won't have regular depth perception.  And I'm pretty sure the nerve to his bottom eyelid on that same eye is having some of the same issues.  It's always been droopy, but lately it's gotten droopier.  It makes me wonder if in the next few years he'll need some kind of plastic surgery on it....or something?  I don't know what they do with droopy bottom eyelids.

I wish I could fix all his problems.  Which I guess is what the surgery is supposed to do.  But it seems like a really horrible way to do it.  It would be so much easier if I had magical powers.

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

I was going to write a Mother's Day post about how I always feel disappointed because I never get anything, and no one brings me breakfast in bed like in tv commercials.  But after I grabbed a bowl of cheerios and headed back to bed, feeling ugh-ish about the whole holiday, my mom sent me a text message.

I went to high school with a girl named Jenni Bennion.  She wasn't a close friend, but we had a lot of the same friends so sometimes we went to the same parties or ate lunch in the same group.  I remember her being really nice.  She played the main girl in the musical that year - The Music Man.  I went to every performance, so I got to see her doing a really great job, multiple times.

I didn't see her after high school until one day in Beehive Clothing.  It was a few months before I got married.  Jenni was pregnant with her first baby.  I remember that she told me how she wanted to have all of her kids 18 months apart.  I remember this because, at the time I thought she was out of her mind, and then I ended up having 4 kids in 5 years.  She did have 4 kids, but not every 18 months.  And she lived in my Mom's ward.

Jenni died a few days before Mother's Day.

I don't know details.  My mom said she didn't come to church often, because she was sick.  Something that involved memory loss, major headaches, and other brain related problems.  My mom isn't a very gossipy woman, so that's all she knew.  But the details aren't really important anyway.

What's really important is that her 4 kids lost their mother, and there I was feeling sorry for myself as I ate Cheerios in bed listening to my own kids giggle over their Trix in the kitchen.

How stupid I am.

I'm so lucky.  And blessed.  And happy to be a mother, and alive.

May 7, 2010

Cinco de Mayo

In the spirit of "let's find any excuse to take an evening off" Husband and I decided we should celebrate Cinco de Mayo.  Sadly, I don't really know much about the holiday.  Mexican independence?  I should probably find out for sure.  Because right now I think I know more about Dia de los Muertos.....which really isn't that much either.

Every time we decide to have an evening off we're pretty limited.  We have these really little people living here, and for some reason they require constant attention.  So instead of leaving the house for a magical Mexican evening we had a "Date Night In." 

I'm sure it's not a new concept.  Basically, one of us grabs some food (that isn't a Happy Meal) and we rent a movie from Redbox.  Then we sit on our couch and ignore any and all whining from the sleeping kids' bedrooms.

I had to run a few errands that evening anyway, so I was the one who picked up dinner.  I was planning on Mexican food.  On the Border chicken chimichangas with sour cream sauce are the best, and totally non-fattening, I swear.  But then I remembered how much Husband likes Panda Garden.  Which is not Cinco de Mayo-ish at all - unless the Chinese celebrate Mexican holidays.

But it turns out that getting food from Panda Garden was ok, because when I got there the front counter chick and the grill dude kept conversing, really loudly, in Spanish.

I almost told them to have a happy Cinco de Mayo, but instead I just kept my mouth shut as I left with my orange chicken and egg rolls.

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

My kids won't clean.  As in, NEVER EVER E-V-E-R.  It's excruciatingly frustrating.

I started taking things away.  TV, video games, movies, Netflix (yeah, my kids know what Netflix is...) playing with friends, going outside, BREATHING.  Nothing would motivate them to clean.

So a few days ago we took every single toy, shoved them all in the toy room, and shut the door.  They're officially grounded from everything.  (And the toy room is a certified disaster.)

You would think this would phase them, right?  Or at least affect them in some way?  NOPE.  They can't have tv, games, friends or toys and they're happy as clams.  In fact, they've been more compliant and cheerful since everything became off limits.  They play together all day using annoying things like blankets and their imaginations.

It makes me seriously think about getting rid of everything.  Maybe we'd all be a lot happier?  And at least I would never have to nag them to clean up their stuff if it was all imaginary.

May 4, 2010

social ineptitude

Sometimes I really feel bad that I don't have friends.  But then I actually leave my house and hang out with real live people and realize how horribly underdeveloped my social skills are.  Which is most likely the cause of this 'having no friends' thing.

So next time you hear me say, "Poor me, I have no friends."  You can just say, "That's because you're a social idiot."  Except that you probably won't ever hear me say that.  Because that would mean I'm having an actual conversation with you.  And I should probably just stop trying to socialize before the ineptitude gets worse.

Except that I'm still planning on going to CBC.  I just pre-registered for classes.  Which is really kind of stupid, if you think about it.  Seeing as I don't really fit into any kind of social situation comfortably and I'll be attending an entire conference.  Yeah, I'll be the one in the back of the room, doodling on a notepad while I talk to my feet.....or the wall......or not at all.  And I'm still planning on the ponytails and flip flops.