Friday, September 28, 2007

Five Things

Pin It 1. I had to edit out the "before" picture in my last post. Every time I pulled my blog up, there was my big old smiley face staring back at me and it was freaking me out a little.

2. Yesterday was our 11th anniversary. My mom babysat so we could go out to dinner, and when we got back, Carter was throwing up. We spent a very romantic anniversary night with our three year old sprawled between us. My husband, who reads as many blogs if not more than I do, (but will not comment, because that would not be manly) looked at me meaningfully and said, "The Hotfessional posted a really nice note to her husband on HER blog." Sorry honey. Here you go: Happy Anniversary, you sexy, sexy beast.

3. Abby is better. Completely over the croup. Of course, now Carter has it. He started sounding suspiciously frog-like yesterday afternoon, and last night around 9PM he got feverish and started wheezing and throwing up phlegm. We spent most of the night in either the steamy bathroom or outside in the cool night air, trying to help him breathe. He woke up ready for the day at 5:45 AM. Today is gonna be AWESOME. I'm sure this post will reflect how amusing I find the whole situation (which is to say - NOT), and how delightfully energetic and creative I feel at this moment.


4. This is me:

This is Abby:

Discuss.


(Abby, I apologize in advance for your short, short legs. Your father tried to give you more of a genetic advantage, he really did.)

5. I bought a pregnancy test, since I am still tearing up over everything. Yesterday I read Horton Hears a Who to my son, which I've read a BILLION times, and it made me cry, (because, you know, a person's a person, no matter how small). I'm fairly sure this is not a normal response. I took the test. It was broken - the control line did not appear. I am not amused. I AM NOT AMUSED.

Edited to Add: We just got back from the ER where Carter had a breathing treatment and steriods after his lips started turning blue from lack of oxygen. I have a feeling we'll be back there tonight. If you can spare a prayer or good thoughts for a miserable croupy kid tonight, we'll take 'em...

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Please, no, anything but that...

Pin It I think I must be hormonal. Today I burst into tears four times, and I’m not really a weeper. (My mom just read that sentence and shreaked with laughter, I'm sure. I mean I'm not really a weeper ANYMORE, Mom. Not anymore.)

The first time was after seeing the horrifying chop and color job the hack stylist I went to this afternoon gave me. I went to her because I could not wait any longer for an appointment with my regular stylist, Taylor. (Taylor, I will never stray again, I swear. I have learned my lesson in the most painful way possible.) My hair is now a very odd shade of light brown, and the cut is NOT BECOMING, and I feel like the frumpiest frump that ever frumped. I find this wildly ironic, since just YESTERDAY I commented on a hair related post over at
MMW, leaving advice about how to get a good haircut. The universe is punishing me for my hubris, obviously.

My old haircut:

My new haircut:

The second time was on the way home from Walgreens. I have an overactive imagination and always have, something I've alluded to in other posts. I tend to daydream a lot. I mean, I think I mostly have my mental health, but I know that I do an extraordinary amount of daydreaming. Sometimes when I’m feeling hormonal and I have errands to run alone, I’ll turn my IPOD to the “melancholy” playlist and let my imagination run wild, because it's cathartic to cry now and then, and I figure it's better to have an imaginary reason to cry than to come home and pick a fight with my husband over nothing. I’ll come home all teary eyed and will hug him and kiss him tenderly and tell him somberly how very much I love him, and he’ll just sigh, “You imagined I died again, didn’t you?” And I will lie, "No, no, I just love you so much. No particular reason. But, uh, hold me." (My husband spends a lot of time rolling his eyes.)

Today I started imagining what would happen if there was a fire in the house and my husband went back inside to get the dog but was tragically crushed by a beam, and the dog got out but my husband died. And then I imagined that I spoke at his funeral and told the world how much I loved him, and what a wonderful man he was, and how it was so unfair that he was taken from us at such a young age.

This had the three pronged effect of 1) making me sob all the way home as I gave the pretend eulogy, 2) making me love my husband even more passionately than before because he not only was an amazing, wonderful, fantastic man, but also he gave his life for a dog, and how selfless is that, and 3) giving me yet another reason to hate the dog. As if I needed another reason.


Behold, the evil creature who killed my husband. Er, in my imagination:



I did not want my husband to know about this particular episode of CRAZY, so I wiped away all of the tears before I went inside. (I can picture you all right now, nervously edging away from the crazy lady, clicking on other links to get away as quickly as possible.)

The third time I cried was when I tucked my son into bed and he made me kneel down next to him so that he could stroke my face and hug me and try to force me to lie down with him until he fell asleep. “You stay right here with me Mom. Carter love you real nice Momma.” It was so funny, and so cute, and I suddenly realized he is getting old way too fast and I can’t stop it from happening, and soon he will be a teenager and he will hate me, because all teenagers hate me instinctively. So I sat and cried on his bed after he fell asleep, then wandered around the house feeling melancholy and sniffling.

The fourth time I cried was after my husband left to go work out. I sat on the couch and worked on my laptop and watched the Biggest Loser. They did a challenge about tempting foods, which made me hungry, so I ate the rest of the bag of candy corns I had hidden in a drawer (in case of emergency). Then I cried again, because, seriously, what kind of loser eats candy while watching a weight loss show, while her husband is off working out? That would be ME.

Good heavens, I hope this is PMS and not pregnancy.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

"Just pretend that you married me, and um..."

Pin It According to Abby, the best thing about having a little brother is the fact that you can force him to pretend to be Prince Charming whenever you want.

Exhibit A:

video

Abby has croup today, by the way, and is absolutely miserable. I hate it when my kids are sick. I'm praying they don't all come down with it.

Ghetto Pinata

Pin It Carter turned three last Monday. Now, I love a birthday party as much as the next mom, (which is to say, not all that much) and we've thrown a few super extravaganzas in our day, including a cowgirl party with an actual pony, and two princess parties complete with yards of tulle. But let's be honest. He's THREE. In five days he won't remember any of it. I could snip some pictures out of a pottery barn kids catalog, paste them in his baby book, tell him it was the bash of the century and he'd never know the difference. So I wasn't all that worried about throwing him a party. We planned to just have cake and ice cream as a family and maybe give him a few nerf balls to chase around.

Of course, on Sunday night when I broke the news to him, that there would be no friends, but it would be me and Daddy and his sisters, and didn't that sound fun, and he could have a train cake and WHOOOOOPEEEEE - he made this face:



His dreams - shattered. The big, huge tears of bitter sadness and disappointment started to roll down his face. "Why, Mama, why? Why no frienz for Carter?" I caved. (I can't take the bitter tears of disappointment.) On Monday morning I started calling around to see if any of the moms in the neighborhood had any interest in getting rid of their 2-3 year old sons for an hour or so, and the response we got mostly was along the lines of "You want my three year old? To come over on short notice? And I will then possibly be alone in my house for an hour? Hmmmm, let me think about it, why - YES! OF COURSE! DO YOU WANT HIM TO COME OVER RIGHT NOW? AND STAY ALL DAY?" And so we had a guest list.

An hour before the party I realized, well, we should probably have something for them to do, because there was a limit to how long they would be entertained by Wicket the wonder puppy and the aforementioned nerf balls. We didn't want to run back to the store, so my husband and I came up with a few artfully handcrafted diversions. For example, this pinata:

Party planning tip:

How to make a pinata, if you are extremely lazy:

  • Get a paper bag
  • Cut out a picture of something
  • Glue it on the front
  • Get a piece of yarn
  • Tell your kid it's a pinata

Entertainment for the party under control, we strung up some crepe paper and called it good. When the kids all arrived, we had them play go fish over the stairwell, using a metal rod with a piece of yarn attached, and a paperclip dangling from the end. I attached tootsie rolls to the paper clip each time. Each time when they pulled it up, they were amazed because, HEY LOOK, A TOOTSIE ROLL, as though it had not just happened 10 previous times. When they tired of this, we moved on to the next candy oriented event, the pinata.

It was windy outside and we had nothing to hang the pinata from, so my husband offered to stand there and hold it while the kids took whacks at it with a metal stick. I thought that was fairly brave, considering what crappy aim these kids all had. (He's a stud, what can I say?) It took them three tries each to break open the paper bag. My daughter was openly mocking them for lack of upper body strength, and we had to make her stand in the corner. The pinata was also full of tootsie rolls and once again they were AMAZED and SURPRISED and DELIGHTED by the appearance of the candy. Two year olds really aren't that bright, quite frankly.


Next we had cake and ice cream. These kids were on a sugar HIGH. Between the steady flow of tootsie rolls, the frosting and the ice cream, they were all positively whacked out on sugar. This was RIGHT before dinner. Their parents, I'm sure, thought fondly of me that night as their kids all crashed back down to earth.


On the phone I must have said 14 times, PLEASE don't worry about a present, I know this is short notice, you're doing me a favor just by letting them come, it's just ice cream and cake, not a real party, please, please, please don't bring a present. Every single kid brought a present. Of course, you know if it had been the other way around, I would have been the loser who took the mom at her word and sent my kid with no gift.


Carter opened the presents and they all played for a bit, then it was over. Carter said it was "AWESOME." That's all that matters. I would post a bunch of sentimental stuff here about what an amazing, lovable kid he is, but I will just sum it up like this in a way that all mothers can appreciate: HE IS NOW FULLY POTTY TRAINED. (Sniff.)

Happy Birthday, Carter - we love you, little guy...

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Interview

Pin It I went on a job interview yesterday. Not because I want a job. It was a “just in case” interview. Just in case things don’t turn out well with the business in the next month, I’ll have a job.

I haven’t been on a job interview in years, but I actually like interviewing. I know that’s odd. But hey, how many situations do you find yourself in where a bunch of people basically want you to sit and brag about yourself and your stellar abilities, while they nod and smile appreciatively? Not a lot! (Holding court with my children doesn’t count and besides, my kids aren’t all that impressed when I tell them I can create Flash tutorials in Macromedia Captivate or step tables in Dreamweaver. Losers.)

I had a phone interview last week, and yesterday at 3 in the afternoon was the live-and-in-person version, so I had to get dressed in actual – work clothes - (shudder) before driving into the Salt Lake valley.

I found the massive office complex, found the huge glass building, and the security guard buzzed me through to the lobby after asking a few questions. I signed in and waited for someone with appropriate clearance to come down to get me. The “security guard,” a slacker looking guy who was 19 years old max, handed me a “security badge” which was really just a sticker that said, “Hi, My Name Is” with my name written on it. I looked at him and started laughing, and he smiled at me sheepishly. "We’re out of badges.” I was still laughing when the very nice assistant, Brandi, came to get me.

We went buzzing and beeping through several checkpoints. I have no idea what they are doing in this building, but apparently it is TOP SECRET and EXTREMELY CONFIDENTIAL and for AUTHORIZED PERSONNEL ONLY. Brandi led me through a series of identical antiseptic corridors until we arrived at the reception area, where they offered me fudge and soda. I wanted to ask if that was an actual employee benefit, or just something they teased the new applicants with, but then they asked me to come on back to the conference room. We turned the corner, and they took me inside, into the department of training and technical writing.

What I saw was hellish. A gigantic gray warehouse of a room with row after row after row of gray cubicles. I wanted to run screaming from the room. It looked almost exactly like
this. But I couldn’t just take off. There was the whole, getting to brag thing, and the not wanting them to think I was a nutcase thing, so I proceeded into the conference room.

The people were friendly. They liked the portfolio of technical writing samples I’d emailed to them. They were happy with my technical skills. They liked my attitude. They liked my references.
They lobbed a few softball questions at me, and I smacked them out of the park. (I should teach a class on BSing your way through an interview, because seriously, I ROCK at interviews.) Then they were done. They wanted to know what questions I had. What were MY concerns? What could they do for me? How much money would I need?

I looked at the cubicles and named a figure I realized would be way too high for the Utah market, thinking that would be the deal breaker and I would not have to worry about turning down the position – I’d be free as a bird. “No problem," smiled the interviewer, "That’s right in our range.” I immediately cursed myself for not naming a much higher number.

I told them the drive from my house had taken almost an hour, and I didn’t think I would be able to justify that kind of commute. “No problem,” the interviewer said, “because we’re moving to a new building on 106th South in a few months.” 106th South is about 15 minutes from my house.

“Well,” I stuttered, “the thing is, I’ve been working from home for the last seven years, and I’m not sure that I could –“

“Oh, you can work from home 4 days a week. If you want. We’re flexible. We don’t have enough cubicles anyway.”

They then assured me that they felt that all of their technical writers were “artists” (and o.k., I almost started laughing, because technical writing is not art – it’s procedure and process and a whole lot of boring stuff, but not ART) and that the job moved quickly and was often stressful but that the year end bonus usually made up for it.

I am trapped. TRAPPED. They are hiring four technical writers - four. And they loved me. I could feel the employer love coming off of them in waves. What are the odds they won’t make an offer? They said they would make offers next week, and then there will be fingerprinting, so I figure I have about a week to commit some type of felony so that I will not have the option to take the job. Because taking the job would break my heart.

I KNOW I shouldn’t be complaining. I know how obnoxious this sounds. Free fudge, working from home, doing something I like doing, getting paid – shut up, right? I know one of my sisters in particular is probably wanting to knock me over the head with a frying pan at this moment, if she’s reading. It sounds like it would be an amazing job - so how much of a spoiled brat could I be?


But, but, but –you see the real problem with this job, right? I mean, besides having to get dressed one day a week? (Apparently, in what I feel is a major flaw in their employee satisfaction program, they do NOT allow pajama pants and slippers in the office. I KNOW!!! Crazy.)

The real problem is that it would mean the death of the business and everything we’ve worked for. And I’m not ready for that yet. I’m not ready to give up yet. If I take this job, it's over.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Competition

Pin It Carter (screaming): I only love Mommy. Not you Dad! ONLY! MOMMY!


Abby: (scowls at Carter, hugs Daddy) I love you Dad. And Mom. I love Dad and Mom.

Sarah (smiling serenely, beatifically): I love everyone. In the WORLD.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Not so very good

Pin It My sister-in-law Jamie was upset that she only got a 68% on this quiz. Feel better Jamie! Because while you may be only "mostly good," it turns out that I'm "not exactly evil."

Bwa-ha-ha.


My favorite part is this:

Right now you are on track to being: A petty criminal


You Are 40% Good

You try to do the right thing, but only when it works out in your favor anyway. You're not exactly evil or without ethics, but you could be going down a pretty dark path. You probably have good intentions. You've just gotten comfortable with acting the way you do.

Knowing the difference between good and bad is half the battle. Acting like a good person is the hard part. You are also probably: A bit jaded and cynical about life's rules.

Right now you are on track to being: A petty criminal

To be a better person: Help a friend in need, without being asked


Late Night, Partially Coherentish Rambling

Pin It So - uh, we are approaching ground zero with our business. It's all gonna take off this month and soar, or it's gonna implode in a really spectacular way. We have five billion things "just about" to happen. Big clients and small clients and software clients and consulting clients and hopefully not imaginary clients. Of course, along with that we have about five billions bills that really are due, no almost about it. As of right now we're in a huge hole and shoveling hard, but tonight it seems possible that in a week (or two or three or possibly four) we might have actual PAYING software clients. P-a-y-i-n-g. (Of course, the fact that I just dared to write that means that the Man Upstairs is now going to teach me a VERY IMPORTANT LESSON involving chickens and eggs and hatching.)

When I finished a web demo the other day and the lady said, "I'd like to buy it, how do I pay?" I started laughing, because honestly, what a ridiculous thing to say. We've been living in the land of "things are starting to take off" for about two years now - two years of repeatedly gearing up and having things break down - so we've become very cynical and skeptical about the concept of payment. "You want to PAY me for the software? A-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha. Right. Tell me another pretty, pretty story. Hey. Why are you backing away from me? And so slowly?" The nice lady who is our first official software leaseholder is a very tiny client, but it's a step. It's symbolic. That's what I'm telling myself, anyway.

We have so many positive things "almost" happening. But "almost" is sucky. I'd rather not have it happen at all than have it "almost" happen, over and over and over again. We could probably afford to last long enough for all of the "almost" stuff to "actually" happen - - if it would just start, you know, raining money. (Why doesn't it rain money? It SHOULD. Shouldn't it?) We're not quite sure if we should dare to feel hopeful, or if we should be reading up on bankruptcy law.

So we're working on the business, soliciting clients, trying to keep things afloat, and also at the same time, we are both looking for other work, just in case. My husband has been interviewing and I've been trying to get back in the swing of my freelancing ways - pimping myself out as an instructional designer and technical writer and ghostwriter and whatever other freelance jobs I can con my way into. I'm starting to get assignments trickling in now, which is a positive thing.

After a few really stressful weeks, all of a sudden this week we have not only our first real client and her shiny stack of quarters, but a few other people buzzing around talking about leasing, and asking to review contracts, and wanting to hire Diana to consult for actual dollars. I'm starting to feel hopeful that all of these things could possibly maybe eventually result in a business that will someday (please for the love of all that is holy) operate in the black, which is such a strange concept that I'm not quite sure what to even think about it. The workload caused by clients, on top of the freelancing jobs I've committed to, on top of the continual testing and maintenance on the software, on top of trying to be a decent mother and a half-way decent wife - is about to finally push me over the edge of normal, past the border of mildly eccentric, and right on into The Crazy.

Last Thursday I was so busy, so horribly busy and anxious, that I worked all day long, spent a couple of hours with my poor husband and kids (who are starting to refer to me as the "crazy lady who lives upstairs and occasionally gives us otter pops"), then ate dinner, put the kids to bed, and went right back upstairs to the office. I realized at about 3:30 AM that I wasn't going to be able to fit in time for sleep, and just went with it. I didn't go to sleep until about 1:30 Saturday morning.

Last night I got two hours of sleep - from 5:30AM - 7:30 AM. I got Sarah ready for school, got Abby and Carter dressed and brushed and kissed, then went upstairs and worked all day long, all afternoon, stopped for dinner and bedtime and now it's 2:22 in the morning.

Oh - hey! Question for you?? What else would any perfectly sane, sleep deprived, overworked, over committed person do at 2:22 in the morning? Did you say blog? Ding-ding-ding! Right you are! I guess after a long day of structured writing - procedures and contracts and instructions and - stuff, the opportunity to use run-on sentences and flaunt the rules of grammar is very appealing. Or quite possibly I've lost my mind. Or maybe I just don't require sleep anymore. (That'd be aweseome.)

Right at this moment, I'm feeling all philosophical and sentimental about everything (probably because my mind is so sleep deprived and foggy right now that our "situation" feels completely disconnected from any kind of reality - it's more like an inspirational story I'm telling myself to pass the time). No matter what happens with us, with our business, with work - I feel amazed by what we've (almost) accomplished. If it all goes south, I'll still be excited about what I've learned technically, and happy about what I've learned we're capable of - me and my husband and my sister and everyone who has helped us along the way.

I'm so exhausted right now that I'm not even sure this is all coherent, but there is no way I'm gonna go back and read it - my pillow is calling me, so I'm gonna take my chances and hit post. See ya tomorrow. (Unless the blood clot gets me first. Did you know I stood up only three times today? My leg - it's pulsing. I just don't know if it's imaginary pulsing or real pulsing.) Er, I mean, good night. For real.

Monday, September 10, 2007

HOW IT WAS THAT MY SON CAME TO BE WEARING UNDERWEAR AND NOT A PULL-UP AT THE GROCERY STORE THIS MORNING, CAUSING AN “INCIDENT”

Pin It Sarah, five minutes before she is supposed to be out the door.

“Why don’t you wear this shirt, Sarah?”

Sarah: (rolls eyes)

“It’s cute.”

“I just wore it.”

“On the first day of school. Two weeks ago.”

“Moooooom.” (The tone here is clearly, Mom, you are SO LAME.)

“How about this then, you haven’t worn this?”

“Mom. That shirt is for babies.”

She is six.

- - - - - - - - -

Abby, ten minutes before pre-school:

Abby: “I don’t want those! Pants are ugly! Princesses don’t wear pants.” Throws herself on the floor, sobbing.

Me: “How about this skirt, with this shirt?”

Abby: “I don’t want a shirt!”

Me: “You have to wear a shirt.”

Abby: (weeps)

- - - - - - - - - -

Carter, two minutes before taking Abby to preschool:

Me: “Let’s put on this pull-up.”

Carter: “I not wear pull-up, I a big boy.”

Me: “You have to go to the store with Dad, so you need to wear this pull-up.”

Carter: “I NOT A BABY, I A BIG BOY. I NOT WEAR A PULL-UP MOMMY.”

Carter: “I A BIG BOY.”

Me: -- - - - - - -

Me: “Whatever…. Uh, honey - he's ready to go!”



Um...... Sorry honey.


Are other children like this, or is it just mine?

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Deep Thoughts

Pin It I'm shallow. You may already be aware of this, but as I am not prone to self-analysis, it was news to me. It's actually something I realized when I was reading last month's Self magazine.

The fact that I read Self Magazine at all is probably your first clue. Why does she read Self magazine, my relatives are wondering? She's out of shape, doesn't watch what she eats, and is clearly not interested in fashion. Why? For the same reason that I read Runner's World. Because it comes in the mail. And it comes in the mail because of those people who sell magazine subscriptions door to door.
I'm a goner as soon as I see them on the porch with their little tablet and list of magazines. I'm already inclined to buy something because I can't imagine a crappier job in the world than selling magazines door-to-door for $10 a pop.

"You look like a successful woman," the girl on the doorstep says to me. I look down at my three year old Old Navy shirt with a stain in the middle of it, and my rather unfortunate sweat pants. I do? "I'm out here trying to better myself, trying to make some money so that I can stay off drugs and away from the influence of gangs. That's something you would like to help with, isn't it?"

"Sure."

"Great. Now, ma'am," she pulls out her wallet and shows me a picture of a little preemie in an incubator. The picture looks about one thousand years old. No way is this her baby. In fact, it may be a doll. Is that a doll?
(sample fake baby)


"This is my son. I'm out here working for him, to try to give him a good life. That's something you can support, right?"

Even though logically, I know this is probably a fake baby, I can't resist the allure of the teeny tiny fingers and toes. "Yes."

She pulls out the list of hideously overpriced magazines, and I look for something I'm not already subscribed to. I blindly select something. "Inventor's Weekly. Great. I'll take it."

"Now, ma'am, I only make about $5 if you purchase a year's subscription, but if you purchase a 16 year subscription, I could buy a pack of diapers for my son."

"Great, where do I sign?" I sign the papers, give her a check, and watch her go, happy to know that I'm helping her to keep her tiny fake baby in diapers.

So yeah, we get a lot of magazines.

Ahem. Er, where was I? Oh. Right. So, anyway Self Magazine had an article about accepting your shallowness, and I started thinking about it and realized that yes, I am quite shallow.


I don't think a lot about my feelings really, or my relationships, or fulfillment or anything like that. Those are things that just ARE. And I'm grateful for them, but I don't feel the need to analyze them. Feelings, to me, are something you have, not something you put a lot of thought into. When I'm happy I'm happy, and when I'm not, I'm probably either tired, stressed, hungry, or ticked off. I kind of think being shallow is a good thing. Shallow people are happier, I think. More content. But you're not supposed to be o.k. with being shallow.

I do have some cultural evidence of my culturally shallow nature:
  • I do not like vampire fiction
  • I don't like oldies.
  • I think Tori Amos and Sarah McLaughlin need to snap out of it.
  • I could care less about symbolism.
  • I like reality television.
  • I don't get depressed.
  • I think A Knight's Tale is the stupidest, most horrifying movie ever made (All of my "deep" friends like this movie. I don't know if this means they are deep or just disturbed.)
  • I hate 80s music. The 80s are over. Move on.
  • I do not want to suffer for my art. Not that I have art. I'm just saying. If I had art, I wouldn't want to suffer for it. I'd totally sell out and be happy. In fact, if my blog ever became mildly popular, I would throw ads up so fast it would make your head spin, and not only would I not feel bad about it, I would put up posts begging you to click on the links so that I could feed my tiny fake baby.
  • I think Persuasion is the most boring of the Jane Austen books because there is not enough flirting.
  • Goths annoy me.
All of these items, I'm pretty sure, are proof that at least from a cultural perspective, I'm terribly shallow. I'm all about the fluff. Want more evidence? Look at the list itself! All totally shallow stuff. I'm sure there are a ton of deeper, more thoughtful, more relevant indicators of shallowness that I could list, but I do not want to be bothered to think about what they might be. So my actual list of shallowness indicators is, in and of itself an indicator of my shallowness (AND laziness)! Mind blowing, right? No?

You only think that because you're not shallow.

Monday, September 03, 2007

The Longest Day

Pin It
The Saturday before last, we were all up, dressed, and out the door of a perfectly clean house by 8:45 AM. If you don't appreciate the magnitude of that statement, you obviously do not have children. At our house, this doesn't happen on a regular basis. Sarah usually has to be up and out of the house for school by 7:50, but the rest of us? Not so much. At our house, we celebrate events like "everyone got dressed before noon" and "mom took a shower AND blew her hair dry on the same day." So for all of us to be up, and dressed, and ready to go, WITH A CLEAN HOUSE, before noon, was an achievement on the scale of climbing Mt. Everest.

The house wouldn't normally be clean by 8:45 on a Saturday morning, (or 9:45, or 10:45, or - well, you get the idea) but we had a showing scheduled for later in the day. (After all of our effort though, I don't think they actually came, because the realtor didn't leave a card. People? LEAVE A CARD if you come through. Come on. Real Estate 101. Do I have to teach you everything? Honestly.)

We were off to Abby's first soccer game of the season. The team of four year olds had been to exactly one practice prior to game day. The practice was primarily focused on trying to get them to understand that they could not use their hands to pick up the ball, and could not use their shin guards as helmets, so we weren't expecting too much at the game itself. That was probably a good thing.

When we arrived, Abby announced that it was too hot, and she didn't want to play. After some very skillful parenting (i.e., promising her ice cream later), she finally consented to get on the field. She stood there daydreaming and singing to herself until the ball went by her. "Abby, get the ball, kick the ball!" She must have heard us, because she snapped out of it and actually started kicking the ball - in the wrong direction. But the members of her team didn't care - they thought it was awesome that someone on their team was kicking the ball, and they helped her kick it all the way across the field and into the other team's goal. Everyone cheered anyway.



The game was hilarious. Almost every goal was unintentional. Many times they didn't actually hit it into the goal, but into some area of the end zone around the goal. But they THOUGHT they'd scored a goal, so they'd kick it across the end zone but not between the cones and then cheer wildly for themelves. The crowd would laugh, then clap anyway. There were multiple toddler pile-ups. One person would fall down and they'd all go over.


Abby got angry at one point when someone had the nerve to actually KICK THE BALL AWAY from her and she ran off the field crying that he was a mean boy. One little girl made it all the way across the field, toward the RIGHT goal, kicked it, just barely missed, saw the other children coming, thought fast, picked it up and threw it in, then jumped up and down cheering, congratulating herself for her quick thinking.

After the game, we went to an ice cream party at the park put on by our church. Not much to say about that. Ice cream, heat, assorted toppings and brand new soccer uniforms. You do the math.

Sarah's game was next. This was Sarah's first year of soccer. Now, Sarah's not normally super boisterous - she's a very polite, well mannered little girl, so we weren't sure how she would do in a game that requires you to be a little aggressive. She was a little timid at first, kind of trotting along after the other kids. I think she was trying to be nice - she didn't want to rudely take the ball away from the other children. "Excuse me, may I please kick the ball, if it's not too much trouble?"



After the first quarter, or period, or - whatever it's called - she started getting more intense. (I think she heard the cheers the other kids were getting for scoring goals and wanted a little of that for herself.) She started really getting in there and kicking. Look at her totally athletic stance.


She scored a couple of goals. The league they play in is a non-competition league, meaning that they don't officially keep score, but really, they totally KICKED THE OTHER TEAM'S BUTT. GO SHARKS!


Sarah's birthday party was that afternoon, so we went home to start preparations for her backyard water extravaganza. We invited 16 little girls to attend, thinking that half of them would probably show. They ALL came. Gulp.

We played water balloon toss, egg relay, water obstacle course, sponge tag, and a lot of other watery, wet games. My husband painstakingly filled almost one hundred water balloons, and I could only imagine what he was thinking when they disappeared in about fifteen seconds. They had a blast.



Sarah asked for a butterfly cake. I'm a terrible cake maker, but managed to put this poor, misshapen butterfly together.

By the end of the day we were absolutely exhausted. The kids went to bed at 6, and my husband and I were in bed by 7 and didn't move till the next morning.

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This is my big six year old girl on her first day of first grade:


At the risk of sounding like I'm eighty-three, can I just say that I can't believe she's already six? I remember when we brought her home from the hospital. I was so confident when we were discharged. I mean, I'm the second oldest of nine children, and if there's one thing I know - it's babies. This was going to be a piece of cake. Motherhood would be an absolute snap.

Fast forward three days. It's 3 AM. I'm practically delirious after 72 hours of sleep deprivation. She won't nurse. She won't sleep unless we're holding her. I remember looking at my husband and crying, saying, "What are we supposed to do with her?" Good times.

I'm glad we made it through. She is the sweetest, dearest kid. She loves to read, and sing, and dance. Nothing makes her happier than a hug and an "I love you." She is careful with people's feelings, careful about making sure never to hurt someone. She loves to help, loves to use her imagination and more than anything else, loves to make other people happy. She's a loving, tender hearted little person and a truly kind soul. I'm proud to be her mom. I'm blessed to be her mom. We love you, Sarah. Happy Birthday.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Resurfacing

Pin It I am back. My links are gone, (stupid Blogger), but hopefully I will have everything restored in a day or so. And I went from about 50 visits per day to, um, 2. Guess that's what happens when you don't blog for a month, go private, then change your mind. Duh. I do really like blogging, so I'm going to make an effort to actually, um, blog.

Is this thing on? Hello? Hello? Sigh.

Sarah started first grade last week and she LOVES it. LOVES it. Loves getting to eat in the cafeteria, loves her teacher, loves her school. She told me that school is great because she is very, very smart. She turned six a day or two after school started, and on her birthday, all of the kids in her class made little cards for her. She got one from a little boy in her class that said, "Sarah, you are so pritee." (It's starting already. Eeek.)

Abby is happy to have her gone, because it means she gets to play with all of the toys by herself. Especially the Troy and Gabrielle Barbies that Sarah got for her birthday. The Troy and Gabrielle Barbies that sing songs from High School Musical. Abby loves High School Musical. She's only seen it once, which I think is more than enough for a four year old, but she listens to the soundtrack on my IPOD all the time. (Shut up, I downloaded it for her, not for me. I would never sing What I've Been Looking For - the Sharpay version - when I'm alone. Even if it is catchy. Don't look at me like that.) She starts pre-school next week.

Carter is celebrating his impending three year old birthday next month and he is taking advantage of the last month to really work the heck out of the whole terrible two thing. The kid really thinks he's in charge. He does not recognize our authority. If my husband tries to put a shirt on him he yells, "NO, MOMMY DO IT!" If I get him a cup of water he yells, "No, I GET IT! I DO IT!" He's a little tyrant. The past few days he's been in time-out every other freaking minute. He's too young for pre-school, so I am considering some type of child labor camp option. Is it wrong to be sick of your child? He knows how to work the eyelashes though, and he probably wouldn't behave this way if I hadn't been as horribly inconsistent with him as I have been. He's had me wrapped around his finger FOREVER. When he's good, he's very, very good, and sweet, and cuddly, and snuggly, and adorable, and funny, and wonderful. But when he's bad... Well, that's more like a normal day. (I kid, I kid. Sort of.)

My husband is awesome, as always. He's getting ready to go back to work. My kids are going to F-R-E-A-K out on that day. They don't understand the whole concept of people GOING to work, in an actual office. He was making some preliminary plans to embark on a life of crime and bank robbery in order to continue to stay home (after reading about the brilliant criminals in Provo who planned to rob a credit union and then HOP INTO THE RIVER WITH INNERTUBES, HOPING TO FLOAT AWAY QUICKLY, but who were, oh so surprisingly, apprehended - he figured he could come up with something better than THAT at least), but finally decided that he'd actually rather be a cop. Or an assassin. One of those. (Honestly, he would much rather be an assassin, but the long-term prospects aren't that great. Plus, no benefits.) So he goes down to Vegas to test for Metro next week. I hate the idea of moving back to LV, hate it, hate it, hate it, but he has supported my goals, and now it's my turn to support his. Although he's not actually all that happy about possibly moving back to LV either. Who knows what will actually happen.

We put our house on the market here. Our house has been for sale, then not for sale, then for sale, then not for sale. And now, for sale. The neighbors don't even ask anymore. Clearly, we are insane. My friends ask what is going on, and I just shrug. I told one of them that I could tell her what was going on, except that it would be different tomorrow, so really, kind of pointless. Whatever happens, we'll be fine. We have each other, and really, the rest is just location. And if it's Las Vegas, it's a location that SUCKS, but what can you do.

Still, I will rant. I hate Vegas. They talk about the beauty of the desert, but Vegas isn't even a desert, it's just dirt. Brown, dirt, concrete, asphault, stucco, and tile. Plus porno billboards (bonus!). Now that you can't plant grass, it's like living on the surface of the moon. I mean no disrespect to anyone who lives there and likes it, (Do people like that still exist?) but I grew up there - lived there from the time I was six weeks old until I moved three years ago, so I earned my hatred fair and square. Bah. BAH, I say.

Anyway, that's the latest. So, uh, how are you?