Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Survival of the Fattest

Annie's favorite book has been The Very Hungry Caterpiller by Eric Carle. Today, we found 3 caterpillars devouring my herb garden. Unlike Eric Carle's caterpillar, ours do not like to eat salami, or lollypops, or chocolate cake. Our caterpillars (named Charlotte, Annie and Mommy by my 3 year old) like to eat dill and parsley. I haven't really spent a lot of time with caterpillars, so it was an interesting way to burn the nap hour while Lucy slept. Caterpillars are furry (or,as Annie says they "wear sweaters"). They have cute faces, and they can eat a ton. We were almost ready to film our own Planet Earth this afternoon. Now if I could only catch the damn possum that's eating all of my red peppers and tomatoes, I'd be a happy woman.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

No Reservations

I am in love with Anthony Bourdain. Former chef of Les Halles, he now hosts a traveling foodie show on the travel channel- called No Reservations. His books will make you laugh out loud- especially Kitchen Confidential. But what do I love the most about him?

He was born in New Jersey--- so he has this arrogant, east coast asshole thing working for him. His cookbook, which inspires one to want to make their own veal demi glace and actually extract the marrow out of the bones (insane amount of work) also uses the word fuck quite a bit in introducing recipes. This makes me giggle with glee.

I love watching him explore different parts of the world, and usually manage to get stinking drunk before the episode is over. He has a wonderful sense of wit- and irony. So, when he is the guest of honor at a Malaysian party, and is told he must kill the pig (it's an honor?), or a Vietnamese cafe owner trots out a cocktail of a cobra's beating heart- it's handled with a touch of absurdity and cultural respect at the same time. Plus, he has this whole sexy, former heroin addict thing working for him--- something about a chef in a Ramones t-shirt that gets me going....

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Memorial Day

Yesterday, my little brother graduated from college. I'm very proud of him, and even though it took him longer than most- he used the time to really find out who he was, and what he wanted to do.

After 9-11, he joined the army reserves. He loves his country, and wanted to do something in a time where most people felt helpless. This act turned into a year of specialized training, and we have felt lucky that he had been spared from being deployed in this nonsensical mess Bush has created.

Yesterday, on his gradution day, that luck ran out. Billy is deploying to Iraq this July. He loves the army, and is excited to put his training into use, but also doesn't want to leave his wife, or his family behind. It puts a new perspective on the whole war for me, and I have an even harder time listening to the evening news. So, on this Memorial Day- please give a thought to the service men and women that sacrifice so much- and their families that support them. Please also pray that my mother never gets George W. in a dark alley by himself.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Oh God, It's Friday.

Today was my turn to host our playgroup. Every Friday, a group of us get together with the kids, and have dinner. We take turns hosting- so you go six or seven weeks without having to cook your kids dinner on Friday night, and if your hubby is lucky- he can go grab a beer (or in my case, work late).

However, any ease you may feel in not cooking for six or seven weeks is completely obliterated when it is your turn to host. I had 13 kids here today, folks. 13 little ones in my 1700 square foot home. I had pee pee on my living floor, every sippy cup in creation tossed to the winds of neverneverland and every drop of milk hijacked from the fridge. My playroom looks like a lifesized version of the bottom of my purse. My kids are pumped up on sugar, and I feel like a deflated balloon. Thank God it's my turn to do this to someone else next Friday.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Desperate Housewives

We don't have any pets right now. With the move to Texas, and having 2 kids under 2 (ok, Annie turned 2 one month after Lucy was born, but still...) we just couldn't deal with any more accountability, feeding, or frankly- poop. It's the first time in my entire life that I don't have a little four legged creature, and it's weird. What's even more strange is that my 2 little kids are absolutely OBSESSED with dogs and cats. We actually keep milk bones in the pantry for the pooch that lives across the street.

Matt has promised to buy a dog for us after we are settled next year. Annie and I have picked out his name- we shall christen him Walter. (big, big fans of Walter the Farting Dog in this house...) But thinking of pets reminds me of the last days of our last cat- Missy. It sounds like a Desperate Housewives episode gone wrong.

Missy was living out her days in the garage, because she had a nasty case of fleas and my Annie developed a flea allergy that she has since grown out of. It sounds worse than it was--- I spoiled her with lots of canned food, and dedicated petting time (probably more than when she lived with us inside) but it still felt crummy. Lucy was 3 months old, and I decided to take her to music class with my friend Katie. We were going to walk, so I had bundled both kids in the double stroller, and was taking them out back so I could say hi to Missy on our way out. I called her name, and usually she would come bounding out to greet me. Not this morning. I heard her crying, and found her laying on her side, barely able to lift her head. Things didn't look good.

My friend Katie, who is fighting Irish from Boston, and also a well versed ICU nurse--- looked at Missy and then shook her head. If I remember correctly, she mentioned something about her farm days (farms? in Boston?) and said Missy wasn't going to last the day. I needed to take Missy to the vet, but Katie had just had a baby, and was not in the position to suddenly take care of my high maintenance 2 year old, my 3 month old and her newborn. Katie said she would make Missy comfortable, and to call the vet and schedule an appointment for when Annie took a nap. Then, she'd watch the kids while I took the cat in. In shock, I nodded my head- and then Katie asked where the medicine cabinet was. This is when Marc Cherry took over scripting the afternoon.

Katie found some left over sleeping pills the doctor prescribed (they made you feel like a cotton ball slowly being pulled apart), some Vicodin left over from my kidney stone days and I don't know what else. She crushed the pills into powder while we sang little songs to our kids, and then popped the concoction into a syringe and Missy lapped it up like milk. We laid her down in her bed, and then went to Music Class. Although we were late, we got there just in time to sing:

"Two Little Kitty Cats lying in the sun
One jumps up and says I'd like to run...."

Katie shoots me a look from across the room and I start to laugh and cry at the same time. We leave music class, and I load the kids in the car, dreading what I have ahead of me. I pop the key into the ignition, but my steering wheel is stuck. Really stuck. I jiggle. I wiggle. I try as hard as I can to get the damn thing going- but no luck. Katie is now waiting for me in front of my house, and my cell phone is (notoriously) out of batteries. I have 2 kids in the backseat that think this is pretty funny and a drugged up cat at home waiting to meet the grim reaper. I get the stroller out of the back and load the kids up- preparing to ditch the car and walk home- when the creepiest, Deliverance impersonating, Appalachian hill billy walks out of the florist shop on the corner. I must have looked pretty pathetic, because after I asked for his help, he got in my car, and was able to unlock the steering wheel and show me his disdain for dental work in less than five minutes. (curse you, upper arm strength!)

I ended the day saying goodbye to the little cat that had kept me company for 13 years. She definitely wasn't in any pain when I got her to the vet--- and the doctor was kind enough to say we had eased her suffering, and that her number was definitely up. Still, after reading this--- I'm thinking maybe little Walter might want to wait for awhile....

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Every Party Has a Pooper

My cousin Tara just sent me her blog, and it was so laugh-out-loud funny, touching and all around inspiring, I'm wanting to write again. Hopefully this new location will omit all of the pedophiles and Texas state prisoners that started calling me collect. (Thank you myspace!)

My Annie is now obsessed with time. What day is it Mommy? Where did yesterday go? What are we doing today? What comes after Tuesday? What do we do on Wednesdays? When it was May first, I thought she would be excited at the change in the calendar. She asked, in a very concerned voice "but where did April go?"

Want to hear about our May? I don't remember a month filled with so much angst. It started off with Matt's medical boards. He had to take his national board exams in Chicago the first week of May. My Matt is a natural born test taker. Five years ago, he could have polished off half a bottle of Cabo Wabo tequila and successfully passed the LSATs. Now, I'm not so sure. Things started to get grim when his study group began taking "practice exams" every Sunday. Sunday night, Matt would tell me that he failed his exam. Hardy har har, I guffawed out loud. Then I realized he was serious. Every spare moment (and he doesn't really have much of em' folks) was spent studying for this test. Yes, of course he passed- but he is also now sporting some sexy salt & pepper in his head of hair.

After boards, Matt flew west to attend the wedding of a dear friend. Yours truly stayed home and watched the kids. (We didn't feel bringing a 3.5 year old and an 18 month old was quite the wedding gift this darling couple was looking for). He came home on Monday, and on Wednesday- my little Lucy had surgery to put tubes in her ears. Then, that weekend my in-laws arrived for a visit (thank God! I actually got to read 2 whole novels while they were here- sublime bliss). After that, Matt hit the road again- this time to DC to present a paper at a conference. I stayed home and took the girls to see Shrek3 for some quiet time.

So Dear Reader, I am pooped, Matt is definitely pooped, Annie still requires a pull up to poop in and Lucy now proudly announces when she is pooping. Here's to a quiet June.