Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Party Pooper

Party was a complete success. A tad overwhelming and exhausting por moi, but the birthday girl had a terrific time. We somehow lucked out, and found the largest Disney Princess bounce house this side of the Mississippi. I tipped the delivery guy extra, and encouraged him to come as late as possible to pick it up on Sunday. So, we got some extra jumping in.

Having the party guests come in costume was my favorite part. When each kid arrived, it was like the Toddler Academy Awards--- the party stopped and everyone oohed and ahhed. We had Batman, who refused to take off his mask for the entire party, we had Spiderman (complete with muscles), a glow-in-the-dark skeleton, Superman, an elephant, a little devil, a fairy princess, Jasmine, Ariel and a couple of witches. The pumpkin hunt was a big success, and the pinata was hilarious. Each kid got their turn to swack (a few walked off with the baseball bat) but the pumpkin pinata wouldn't budge. Finally, I picked up my Tinkerbell in one hand, and the bat in the other, and soon jolly ranchers and taffy pelted all of our surprised party guests.

After the party, Matt mentioned he wasn't feeling well. I chalked it up to after-party exhaustion, and it wasn't until he got the chills and a fever that we both realized he was sick. Very sick. I now have 3 children to take care of.... and my oldest child (because he refuses to stay home from work) calls me every 15 minutes. Each conversation goes like this:
sounds of grunting.
"You still feeling sick?""
more grunting.
"Did you take any Tylenol?"
"Did you call for anything else?"
"Just to complain."

Friday, October 26, 2007

For My Lucy...

Happy Birthday Little One.

Two years ago today, you joined our little family. Since that time, you have added such joy to each and every day. You have a quiet way about you most of the time, but the minute your Daddy walks in- all bets are off. You squeak, you scream and flirt incessantly with him. You are the ultimate Daddy's girl.

You're also madly in love with your big sister. When she's in trouble, and having a time out, you always sit there, right next to her. Fun doesn't start for you unless Annie is in the thick of it. You give her a hug, first thing every morning, You hold hands with her, "nuggle" in her bed before turning in and always ask where she is.

Which brings me to talking: last May, you had tubes put in your ears. Since that operation, you have talked nonstop! You amaze folks with your verbal skills-- and I like to think you got that little part of you from your Mom.

You are so affectionate. When we grocery shop, and you ride in the cart, you constantly grab on to my shirt and pull me in for a hug and kiss. You love to be picked up, and always rest your head on my shoulder. I still rock you before bed, and probably will until you're 45, because it's my favorite part of the day.

The older you get, the more hair you have and the more you resemble your Granny. You are artistic, and love to paint and color. Currently, your favorite colors are pink and purple, and you think every day of the week is Tuesday. You adore going to school, can be shy when folks first meet you and when you dance, you kind of throw your arms up and down and it kind of looks like you are having a seizure. You love it when we all call you "Little Roo" and when you're in your crib at night, you either sing "Deep in the Hundred Acre Woods" or "Happy Birthday" to yourself. I so hope you have a good time at your party, and I'm sorry your pumpkin cake looks more like an overgrown orange. Happy Birthday Tinkerbell- your Mommy loves you.

Thursday, October 25, 2007


We're having a little shindig Saturday. My little one is turning two, so we're throwing a small Halloween party, and having everyone come in costume. It wasn't much of a gig, until I sat down and added up how many people were coming. 45! 45 people! Including my mother-in-law, and dear friends flying in from Orlando. No pressure, people.

Plus, my almost 4 year old really, really wants to be Peter Pan. All the Peter Pan costumes are for boys (go figure) so yours truly,made a Peter Pan costume yesterday. This is the same person that almost flunked home economics, because the duffel bag I was supposed to sew resembled more of a corduroy lump. Somehow, I pulled it together. I sewed fabric leaves all over her old ballet skirt, and made her a little triangle hat out of green felt and some feathers. Made her a little green tunic too, complete with Joann Fabric sequin pins, and even Tim Gunn would approve. Lucy is Tinkerbell (thank you Disney.com!), Matt is Captain Hook and I ordered a beautiful smocked nightgown from Garnet HIll and am going as Wendy.

As for food- yesterday, I baked 36 Magnolia Bakery cupcakes. 12 of them are going to school tomorrow, and the other 24 will accompany the pumpkin shaped chocolate cake for the party. I ordered a large platter of nuggets from the beloved Chick-Fil-A, and will serve these up with some fruit salad, an orzo pasta salad and some sandwiches for the adults. (orange muffins studded with ham, montrachet goat cheese with roasted red peppers and capers, and shrimp salad).

In other news, we have now insisted that everyone wear pants to the dinner table. This declaration was met with protests, and one almost four year old grumbled, "I don't like this underwear business." Life can be hard.

Monday, October 22, 2007

A Case of the Grumpies

I hate Pottery Barn. That may make me un-American, but I loathe that store more than Democrats hate Bush. We got our winter catalogue in the mail yesterday, and while the glossy pages are filled with gorgeous rooms- there is always a sameness, a cookie-cutter feel to all of their stuff. It's like Americans don't even have to think of creating original, thoughtful homes that reflect their own personal styles- they just go to their local PB, Starbucks latte in hand, and schlep home their own Thomas bed. I always imagine these wacky San Francisco designers, smoking their little French cigarettes, surrounded by their apothecary jars- plotting which home accessory to inflict upon us next.

In other grumpy news, I've got sick kids home YET again. With a million errands to run, no milk in the house and a mother-in-law fast approaching, this virus has long worn out its welcome.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Cutting Class...

It was a break from routine today. Annie is still too sick to go to school, but not sick enough to be confined to the house. So, after dropping Lucy off at preschool this morning, my little Peter Pan and I spent the morning together. I took her to this local cafe that I like to hang out in when they are usually in school. It was 71 degrees this morning, and we sat outside and enjoyed hot chocolate and brioche. Annie fed some breakfast to the birds, and we compared pigeon imitations and shared a couple of giggles.

I must confess. I am really glad she played hooky today. One of the things that surprised me the most after having kids was how much I would actually like them. I knew I would love them... but I wasn't expecting to like them so much. I really like what kind of people they are, and when they are not whining or smearing poop everywhere, I really enjoy their company. I feel blessed that I get to share my life with these 2 little people.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Too Much Miles Davis...

"Mommy, I feel sick." Annie says.
Mommy looks up and asks, "What hurts you Annie McFannie?"
"My tummy." Annie replies.
"Hmmm... what does your tummy feel like?" Mommy asks.
Annie thinks for a minute and says, "It feels like jazz."


I heard from my little brother today. We made a pact that before he left, he could talk to me about ANYTHING, and that I would be here to listen. Today, I got a message from him. He is moving between 2 different locations, because of the specialized nature of his training. Two hours after he left one location, it got hit by rockets, and 2 soldiers were killed. 32 others were injured. One soldier that was killed was exactly where my brother was 2 hours earlier. He made me promise not to tell his wife, or my mother. Ay caramba. I think I'll have trouble sleeping tonight. I know he will.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Weather Forecast

We're home sick today. Lucy's fever finally broke last night, but her little body is limp and tired from this nasty virus. It's a good day to be home--- lots of rain and general gloom in the air. I've got a shepherd's pie ready for the oven, and am about to bake some pumpkin cookies with a brown butter frosting.

I love rainy days--- their coziness, staying in your jammies all day- but I don't like the tornado that occurs inside. My girls are talented- they can create a mess in less than a three second span. Most people long for peace and quiet, but in my house, quiet spells t-r-o-u-b-l-e. It usually involves a pilfered Sharpie marker or a fresh new bottle of hand soap. There are days, lots of them, when I feel like I will be swallowed by the mess. But then, just when I've reached my limit- my girls do something hilarious... like climbing on top of their rocking horses, buck naked, and yelling "Yeehaw!".

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Giddy Up.

Just got back from a birthday party, and my house is passed out from exhaustion. Our good friends hosted a "derby" party- since their kids are obsessed with horses. Instead of mint juleps, the adults drank mojitos, and the kids all got stick horses they used for some horse racing in the front yard.

Party highlights:
"You must wear underwear to bounce in the jumpee. It's a rule." Annie finally agreed.
After the pony pinata bit the dust, the kids screamed in horror because the body came crashing to the ground, and the pony head was left dangling from a rope on the tree.

Tomorrow's agenda? Hopefully Lucy kicks the fever she is now sporting, and we can make it to the pumpkin patch for our annual photo. (We miss you Ian! Won't be the same without you). I've also got to drop a down payment on a some new tap shoes for Annie and it's the last day for gymbucks- I don't know if I have enough fight left in me to battle the soccer moms.

Upcoming blog? Dealing with the Preschool Mafia.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Bribes and Baking

Today was a celebration. Annie has been earning "Good LIstening Days" at school--- this is a new game I created to encourage (ahem! bribe) good behavior. If her teacher tells me she had a good day when I pick her up, it counts as a "Good Listening Day." After ten of them, Annie gets a reward. She earned it on Monday. What tempts a 3.5 year old?

Lunch at Chick-Fil-A. It's this fast food restaraunt with awesome chicken nuggets, and it has one of those nasty playgrounds. She constantly asks me to take her there, and I refuse-- we don't need to eat crap, and we don't need to get sick. Today, I relented. We invited a couple of her friends to join us at a local park to get all good and sweaty, and then we all trekked over ot the Chick-Fil-A. The girls had lunch, they played, and then capped off the celebration with an ice cream cone. You would have thought it was Christmas morning.

In other news- we spent all afternoon making cupcakes for Lucy's teacher tomorrow. She's turning 22, and I bought the class gift- a nice gift certificate to Urban Outfitters so she can buy disposable clohting and a copy of "Everybody Poops." Anywhoo--- back to the cupcakes. I've been wanting to try this recipe for a while. It's an upscale version of a Hostess cupcake- you know, the one with the white squigglies on top? They are truly evil, folks. I highly recommend the effort

Here's the link to the Ny Times posting of the recipe:

Sorry this looks goofy, but I can't embed a link on a mac. Sigh.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Close Call

We went over to a friend's house for dinner tonight. Matt had to work late, so my girlfriend took pity on me and invited me and my girl posse over for some fun. We've been looking forward to it all afternoon, but in typical fashion of those-that-live-in-my-house, we had a hard time getting our act together. Clothes had to be changed multiple times, shoes debated, and when we thought we were in the free and clear, a massive poopie diaper slowed us down.

So, maybe I was hitting the gas pedal a bit too fast as I careened down a street that is NOTORIOUS for speed traps. Yes, there was a cop car driving the opposite direction, but I didn't think they would turn around and follow me. Especially after I hoofed it off the main street and tried to become obscure in a small side street. Didn't work. The cop found me. All of me, including my expired insurance card (damn!) and California drivers license (it's a personal thing--- I don't vote in Texas, I really don't feel like a Texan, and my drivers license picture is a remarkably decent one, and I loathe to give it up).

This cop was tough---- she had short hair, beefy sunglasses and a penetrating gaze. She meant business. So much so, that when she tried to say hello to my girls, she asked if Lucy would say hi to her and Lucy, with rounded eyes, slowly shook her head from side to side.

When she asked me if I knew why she had pulled me over, I looked her in the eye and said "Yes Officer, I'm really sorry- I was going too fast down Street XYZ." She said I was going 44, I was really going 41- but whatever. She asked where we were going. I told her we were late for dinner, and that a massive poopie diaper had slowed us down. She started to laugh, and then told me she was going to cut me a break. I couldn't believe it! I've got the touch with the lesbian police force. Work your talents, I always say.

The Clean Smell of Success...

My Roach-friend from last night will, regretfully, be unavailble for future nocturnal terrorizing. I was just in the shower, putting some conditioner on my hair- when I noticed the motherfucker hanging out in between the shower curtain and the liner. This time, I had the RAID close by- and with my 3 year old cheering me on, we sprayed the shit out of him and tossed him in the toilet. Take that, you post apocalyptic nuisance.


Hubby just got interview number two. It's in a state that I explicity told him I have no desire to live in. It's in a city that is known as bleak, in an area with the highest unemployment rates and number of meth labs in the entire country. However, on a positive note, I am not sure if Texas Treeroaches like to live there. That may be something.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Scream, Part IX

I'm trying really hard to be good to my teeth. After the marathon dental visits lately, I'm making sure to get a good floss in every night. So, there I was--- finishing up the ol' toothfloss, and I go to reach for my Sonicare toothbrush- when, just like out of a movie, I look up in the mirror, and see IT.

There, a few inches away from my head, clinging to the mirror, is a six inch Texas Tree Roach. I swear to you Dear Reader, this cretin waved its antennae at me. After the standard Scream, and Shriek-In-Horror that is becoming de rigueur around here, I scurry off to the garage to locate my last can of RAID. Only to return, and realize my intruder is gone. GONE. I cannot find him anywhere.

Holy roach spray, Batman. I'm not going to get a wink of sleep tonight, for fear I'll become one of those urban legends that has to go to the ER with a "buzzing in their ear" only to discover Mr. Tree Roach preferred my ear wax over my toothbrush. Fuck. I've got to go buy a new toothbrush tomorrow. And now I'll be quite grumpy when I do it.

Spare Me

No school today. It's an in-service day, so I've got my little anklebiters, and we've got big plans today. BIG plans, folks. We're meeting up with a whole gaggle of our preschool friends to go bowling. That's right-- because it's not hard enough to put ONE pair of shoes on my kids, I'm now going to let them wear nasty, infected bowling shoes. At least I can smoke a few ciggies and toss back a few Bud lights while I'm there. Just kidding. I'll let you all know how it goes.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Shopping Trip

I reveled in being a girl with girls today. It's still pretty hot, so as a treat today, I met one of my girlfriends (who also has 2 little girls) at our local mall extravaganza. We met at Nordstroms, and took our whole gang to their cafe for a lovely lunch. (except for the incident when someone-who-shall-remain anomymous threw their booster seat, but whatever). After lunch, we heard rumblings of a Lancome gift-with-purchase, so we trekked downstairs and before loading up on makeup, we detoured to the piano-man. Nordstroms always hires some good natured senior citizen to play Phantom of the Opera tunes while people drop some serious cash. I don't think he expects to be a toddler exhibit, but it wasn't just our kids fascinated by his playing. This geezer was a literal Pied Piper- he was surrounded by bewildered kids, absorbing every note of his "Music of the Night."

Then, it was off to the Lancome counter. We were helped by the nicest Irish makeup lady, and she took pity on us and loaded the kids up with free makeup bags filled with combs and little pots of pilfered lipgloss. Annie could not believe her luck, and has not let go of her leapord furry makeup bag since she got it in her grubby little hands. The kids had such fun at the counter, I asked if she would do Annie's birthday party in November- but she said it would be against store policy. (Rat bastards).

My kids weren't tuckerd out enough yet, so we then made our way over to Pottery Barn Kids, to inflict some damage on their kitchen display. I was only slightly embarrassed when Annie held up a toy iron and said, "Mommy? What is this?" Ummm.... yeah, not a lot of ironing goes on over here. We think wrinkles are our friend.

After tossing a couple of pennies in the fountain, it was time to head home. Both girls passed out in their carseats, still clutching their makeup bags. Sigh. A good day.