September 20, 2007

Cooler Weather and How 'Personal Growth' Is Not Always A Good Thing

Brrrr…it sure is a bit on the chilly side this morning!

While the TV was on yesterday, a certain commercial kept catching my eye. I’m sure we’ve all seen it. It’s the Suave commercial that begins with the pretty woman. A few clips later she’s wearing an engagement ring, then a wedding dress, and then she’s pointing at her belly. It shows her pregnancy progressing in little clips. She seems to be smiling about everything until she’s in the hospital gown to deliver. Then, she has a baby, another pregnancy, and whole lot of bad hair days. She looks tired and is in a giant bunny costume toward the end. Obviously, this is a commercial for hair products. And it is pretty realistic, if you ask me.

However, the point of the commercial is that she ‘finds herself’ again in a ninety-nine cent can of mousse. I think that may be where the realism ends. It’s not the products that keep us at our best; it’s the time we actually spend on ourselves. One could spend $100.00 on a can of mousse but they still have to take the time to use it. My life as a mother is not short on hair products. As a matter of fact, I have acquired quite the collection of hair products over the years; I just have no time to use them. Frankly, I think I’d have a better chance of ‘finding myself’ with a pedicure and a stiff drink!

I won’t go so far as to say that I’ve let myself go, but the standards I’ve set for myself have definitely shifted. I actually tend to use Suave on a regular basis. Not because I think it’s the best, but because I can’t see myself spending much more than a dollar on a can of hairspray or some shampoo. There are, after all, four other people to think about in this house!

I have three girls to keep in shoes. Anyone who has girls knows just what I’m talking about!

My quest for organization is still in progress. Life has a way of getting in the way of what we want to or should get done. But, this will be a lifestyle change and not a quick fix. I’ve got to work on disciplining myself before I can expect very much from my kids. David, well…he’s another story. In many ways, he is my most difficult child to raise. I would feel so accomplished as a wife and mother if I could just get my husband to throw his dirty clothes in the laundry basket and not just on the floor in front of it. When it comes to my laundry, almost doesn’t count!

And when it comes to taking care of me, my next quest is to get back into shape. The pounds I fought so hard to get off last year are slowly creeping back on. I need to get back into the Weight Watchers program. I have been a member of Weight Watchers four or five times now. It works as long as you’re actually doing the work. I have gone astray from the teachings of the Weight Watchers gurus as of lately. As satisfying as food is, it’s even more satisfying to feel like I have control of things. Also, I put on a pair of jeans for the first time yesterday and they don’t have as much ‘room for growth’ as they did the last time I wore them! Who am I kidding? I can barely breathe in them!

I guess I’ve done all the growing that those pants will allow!

So, my winter clothes will not be very forgiving. Here I am. I am not buying myself new pants because I couldn’t turn down seconds on lasagna. Through portion control and exercise, I am hoping to shrink a bit.

Does anyone else have a tried-and-true method for losing weight? Anyone want to join me on my quest? I’m not looking for any miracles or anything. Don’t get me wrong; a miracle would be fantastic. But, miracles seem to be in short supply as of lately and I would much rather they show up in something like a cure for cancer rather than the state of my ass. My ass is my own problem.

For today, 1YO has a cold. I will probably spend most of the day trying to get her to eat anything and wishing I could eat it too.

September 19, 2007

Wanted: Cheap, Locking Storage Containers

I'd like you to meet 'Team Make-A-Mess'
I've pretty much decided that I should really just lock all the toys up in order to keep things in order. Seriously, I would love to just put a padlock or something on a storage container and not unlock it until the other toys are put away. I'm just not disciplined enough to follow my kids around all day to hold them accountable for everything they take out. They help themselves to baby dolls, Barbies, Legos, etc. and it all gets mixed together. Then, it's too overwhelming for any child to sort through.

Does anyone know of any large locking containers? I should also tell you that I am cheap. Therefore, these containers should be cheap too!

I was able to get rid of quite a few toys yesterday. The burden is gradually being lifted from me. I can even breathe a little better now. The house is still in total chaos, but there seems to be fewer things to sort through.

What is that? Is that a light at the end of the tunnel? I think it is!!!

September 16, 2007

Spring Cleaning: Better Late Than Never?

This is a small portion of my living room in its current state.
I am in the process of trying to thin out the excessive amount of toys we seem to have accumulated over the years. This is way easier said than done, especially since I am a disorganized procrastinator who may very well have a bit of ADD. Needless to say, I don’t keep after my kids to pick up their toys as much as I should. For that matter, I don’t go through their toys and donate/discard the things that I should very often either.

Most people with kids have inevitably attempted to have a ‘toy basket’ in their grown-up living room at some point. What begins as a small basket that coordinates well with the d├ęcor and is filled with a few choice toys can turn to inevitable chaos in the blink of an eye. I don’t know why I keep trying to have a toy basket in the living room. It always ends the same way. During the night, the toys breed with each other and turn into a volcano that slowly erupts and begins to try to take over the rest of the room. A basket for toys seemed like such a great idea...

The road to hell (and my cluttered house) is paved with good intentions.

Let’s go back to the day when I had one child. I was a single parent in a small apartment with two bedrooms. She had a bed, a toy box with a shelf, and a couple of dressers. I had no idea how simple the majority of my life was at the time. I called the shots and we acquired and tossed everything on my terms. Every couple of weeks I would sort through her toy box and make sure everything was the way it should be. I would discard the broken toys (which were rare) and make sure everything was in its rightful place. I had complete control.

Let’s fast forward to today: I have three daughters and a husband now. Since I don’t tend to get rid of much, we still actually own a good majority of my oldest daughter’s toys. Factor in all the birthdays, holidays, and ‘just because’ things and it brings us to the chaos that I live in today. I have a knot in my stomach just thinking about it.

I’m also a little sentimental. I blame my mother for that. What’s new there, huh? (Hi mom!!!) She still has many of the toys that I played with as a child and loves to randomly send them home with my children.

Because we don’t have enough chaos going on around here.

She is constantly pointing out the fact that they head straight to my old room the minute they get to her house and are occupied for long periods with my old My Little Ponies and Barbie Dolls. Wait. Most of the Barbie Dolls have already made their way to my house! My kids have many of the Barbie Dolls that I played with as a kid. Many of the Barbie Dolls that I played with belonged to my aunts, older cousins, etc. I’m telling you, this woman gets rid of NOTHING.

When it’s too overwhelming to clean my house as well as I’d like because it’s too complicated to organize, it’s time to downsize. If my youngest isn’t able to play with every single toy that belonged to my oldest (or even myself) the world will not end. These are things, not people. Toys. I’m starting to think that fast food is a bad idea not because of its health risks but because of the clutter the kid’s meal toys bring home. What a waste! And who has the time or energy to argue with a child about why you need to get rid of said toys? I pick my battles and I am about to pick a new one very soon.


I need to break the cycle here and now. I need to allow the children to choose their most precious belongings and get rid of the rest. I have been calling our local DAV (almost) weekly and sneaking a few of their things in. I have gotten rid of a lot of clothes and even a few small appliances that I don’t use and take up too much space in my kitchen. My kitchen has very little space for stuff. Counter space, cabinet space…whoever designed this house really does have a sense of humor! I just need to teach my kids that things are not memories. Memories and people are important. This stuff is just stuff. (As long as we’re not talking about MY STUFF.)

Hee hee hee…

Speaking of my kitchen, I received an awesome birthday gift from my parents. (See, not everything they do makes my life more difficult!) They got me a Food Saver. I have wanted one for years but could never really justify spending the money on one. Now, I own one. Hooray for me!!! I have had a really good time trying to see exactly how many things I can vacuum seal. I even cut the top off a Ziploc bag and then sealed it shut.

Yeah, I need to get out more!

While my food storage needs are met even more than ever before, my appliance storage needs are becoming even greater. I now have one more appliance to find space for. It’s totally worth the grueling thought process, however. I just either need a better way of organizing or a bigger house!

And I’m beginning to wonder which one is actually more plausible….

Does anyone have any suggestions or tips that they can share? I’m always on the lookout for new tricks to use around the house.

You should see my collection of books on organizing. When I can find them all…

September 15, 2007

Baby Steps and Small Victories

I think she really might be a little proud of herself...

The day has come and gone and 4YO finally played in her first official soccer game.

‘Played,’ however, might be too strong of a word. She showed up on time, in uniform, and she stood exactly where the coaches told her to stand. And that was what she did; she stood. For the whole game. For her parents, however, that was pretty huge.

There was no crying. There was no running to us. There was no longing looks or sadness while watching her family sitting safely on the sideline. There was, however, a look in her eyes that told me she was praying to God that that crowd of children and that ball never so much as came near her.

And they didn’t, for the most part.

(Yeah, I know we’re not supposed to keep score and all, but we totally creamed ‘em!!!)

As a matter of fact, the only goal the other team scored was actually scored by one of our own players. He was just so eager to kick the ball at SOME GOAL…

Maybe I almost made it too easy for her. I kept giving her little talks throughout the day about how exciting her first soccer game would be. I told her she didn’t have to score or win anything: She just had to try. She had to stay out there and do what the coach told her to do. That she did. Now, I know that they actually do want the kids to stay in their own general area to play their actual position. But, they also want them to help when the ball does come their way.

Well, she got it half right, I suppose.

As I was scrolling through the hundreds of pictures I took of that game (don’t doubt me, it really was hundreds) it’s like they tell a story. I have five or six shots of her team chasing the ball, kicking the ball. I have some good pictures of when they all got there at the same time and tumbled over one another to make one giant pile of cuteness. Then, in between those five or six shots, I have a picture of my 4YO. She’s standing in the field, exactly where the coach placed her. Sometimes, she looks like she’s working on a hangnail or something. Then, I get five or six (or twelve) more shots of the action. Then I took a few more pictures of 4YO as she kept that patch of grass from blowing away.

After the game, the parents all formed the ‘tunnel’ for the children to run through. Kids really look forward to things like that. Well, all kids except for my kid. She wanted nothing to do with that tunnel of strangers or most of the kids that they slapped hands with from the other team. They were, after all, strangers. As they got their granola bars and juice boxes and sat down to listen to their coach, something happened. I’m not sure what it was, but as the majority of the people packed up their chairs and headed out my 4YO decided she wanted to play. Soccer. She wanted to play soccer! She and the few of her teammates that remained started running up and down the field. Playing soccer and loving every minute of it. One of the coaches even said something like, “Where was that kid during the game?” She was there the whole time, but she was hiding I guess.

We are holding the ‘kitty bribery attempt’ over her head for as long as we can. That might even have been what kept her out there. Who knows? I’m just glad she stayed out there and now we have an actual place to begin and know what we need to work on. It was very entertaining for the parents, though. Do you think that’s why they start soccer so young? Nobody wins or loses and they don’t run the right direction all the time. Pure bliss for ‘camcorder-toting parents’ such as ourselves.

Now, I’m not trying to raise the next ‘Mia Hamm’ or anything. I’m just trying to raise a child that isn’t afraid of other children. When I think about it that way, her first game was definitely a victory.

September 13, 2007

Sugar and Spice? Snips and Snails?

Water Break
What exactly makes boys and girls so different? While there are obvious exceptions to this rule, so many boys and girls follow the paths we pretty much expect them to.

I have three girls. Therefore, I have no idea what makes boys ‘tick.’ 4YO is getting to the point where she doesn’t want much to do with boys. I can only assume it’s because she has only sisters. But, isn’t her daddy a boy? While he’s not an actual boy, he certainly fits the bill in most ways! 4YO is perfectly comfortable with David. She isn’t the princess that one would imagine her to be when she’s playing with her daddy. They play rough, almost like a boy and his father would. There is wrestling, tossing, and a lot of hanging upside down involved when David plays with his girls. They love every minute of it, too.

So, what would cause 4YO to not want to play with boys? She is on her first soccer team and half of its members are boys. They are all under six years of age and all over the place. Well, the boys are anyway. My daughter and one other girl (who happens to be the actual coach’s daughter) are the ones who will, presumably, be looking for clovers in the grass during their first official game. They make up their own sort of team. Usually, one of them cracks under the pressure of an actual scrimmage and melts down right there on the field. While the assistant coach is trying to calm the first one down, the second one has her own meltdown on the other side of the field. The other two girls on the team have both played soccer before and pretty much just hang out and watch the boys. The four boys never even seem to notice the girls are not there and just keep playing. After all, that’s what they’re there for, right?

The thing of it is that 4YO actually seemed to like soccer. At first. She finally got to the point where she would go out on the field with her coaches and teammates and pay close attention to the directions from. She would stretch and dribble the ball down the field like she’d been doing it forever. She was slow, but only because she is cautious and attentive to details. She likes to follow the rules and do things the right way. In so many ways, I am not worried about her starting kindergarten. But, I still have my share of worries.

She just seems to crumble under the pressure of competition. This isn’t even really actual pressure she’s under but she doesn’t see it that way. During Tuesday’s scrimmage, the coaches decided to make my child a goalie. That seemed like a great idea at the time. Getting her out of the actual hustle and bustle of the crowd of children surrounding the ball seemed like it would be a nice change of pace for her. That is, until that group of kids started heading in her direction. She then proceeded to lose her cool before they even got close to her. 4YO was a sobbing mess by the time the ball got to the goal and the assistant coach jumped in her place to block it. The coach's daughter then proceeded to run to the sideline and have her own little tantrum. Just like clockwork. They make a great team, don't they?

During one of the first scrimmages, however, 4YO ended up getting knocked down. It was a complete accident. When you have 6 young children all running and kicking toward the same object someone is bound to be kicked or tripped in the process. But why did it have to be mine? She scares so easily and she was just warming up to the fact that she would be playing with boys and now, because a boy was the one who tripped her, we are back to square one again.

Don’t get me wrong because I know my child will be knocked down here and there throughout her life. That’s okay. That’s how she will grow and learn. But, how will she get past her own demons and get through this season?

We’ve resorted to bribery.

As much as David dislikes cats, he has agreed to get her one IF she plays in every game this season. He just wants to see her try. We already have one cat and she is basically waiting for him to die so she can get a new one. She has been talking about the cat she gets “when Shadow dies” for months now. For now I will be Googling pictures of cats on the internet and looking at books, just to keep her motivated. She has talked about getting a while, fluffy cat and naming her ‘EMBOLEA.’ Don’t ask. I think she heard the name ‘Emily’ and decided to put her own spin on it.

So, please keep your fingers crossed. Tomorrow is her first official soccer game and I’m feeling the perfect combination of excitement and dread. This feeling is oddly familiar to me since I’ve become a mother. In the meantime, I’d better Google ‘cat pictures’ and get some printed out…just in case. If you see a woman at a soccer game dangling a picture of a cat on the sidelines, it's probably me.

September 12, 2007

Vacation Ponderings

David is on vacation this week.
As of today, we are discussing the cast and character changes on Day of Our Lives. I'm getting him up to speed.
This is just one of those days where I can't, for the life of me, comprehend and acknowledge my children and their concerns in a timely manner. My head is just somewhere else, I guess. I will go crazy if I can't get some quiet time soon! My children are probably suffering the most because my mind is just bouncing around like a rubber ball. They can be standing right in front of me asking for something and my mind will bounce to the TV, another voice, or even just the shopping list running in the back of my head and I won't have a clue as to what they just said.
On the bright side, I have relaxed quite a bit these last few days and the headaches are gone...for now. It actually takes a conscious effort to not get caught up in my own downward spiral of turmoil.
What's worse is I should really be focusing on them today. 1YO is on this new kick of taking her diaper off and pooping in the floor. As soon as she has completed her task, she turns around and points and says, "EEEEEWWWW!!!!" as if that's the most disgusting thing she's ever seen. If it's possible, I think she may actually be more grossed out by her own excrement than we are.
So, 1YO does not want to wear her diaper. We put underwear on her. She likes those but still will not use the toilet. I don't have huge expectations of her doing this just yet, but she needs to have something on her backside to catch the mess! She wears the panties until she pees in them. Lucky for us, she keeps it on the tile. Then, she is fully able to take her wet panties off, throw them in the hamper, and then run 'nekkid and free' until I can catch her and do it all over again.
Unless she's willing to work with me on this I have got to find a way to keep that diaper on her.
Just where did I leave that duct tape, anyway?

September 10, 2007

It's Mad Click Monday!

It is 'Mad Click Monday' over at Jo's page. You should head over there and help support the bloggers that could use it!

Have a great week!

September 9, 2007

A Dash of Reality

I cried myself to sleep last night.

Now, this isn’t actually a bad thing, really. Yesterday was a pretty good day. My new hair color was looking even better in the light of day and I was adjusting to it. It was BIL’s birthday and we all went out for a terrific steak dinner. I like me a good, rare steak! Friday’s soccer game and last night’s football were both canceled due to the poor air quality. The weekend was ours for the taking.

I guess I’m just tired. I’ve been having so many headaches lately. While I haven’t been to a doctor for these particular episodes, I think I have it narrowed down to a couple of things: Stress and TMJ.

I’ve pretty much always had TMJ. I’ve come to the conclusion that most of my childhood headaches (that weren’t migraine-related) were due to all the gum chewing of my early years. I chewed a lot of gum and had a lot of headaches. I guess it doesn’t take a genius to figure that one out, eh? My TMJ hasn’t really bothered me since I last worked. I even have a splint I can wear at night but I haven’t worn it in years. When I’m stressed, I seem to clench my jaw when I sleep or something. I can’t even stop it from happening, as I’m not conscious when I do it. It leads to a tired jaw and a yucky headache, though. I should probably take this problem to my dentist, huh?

My schedule has been pretty crazy as of lately. I think the pressure is getting to me in ways I didn’t expect. My headaches are becoming more and more frequent because I always seem to be on edge. I could see a doctor and get on some good pain relievers/muscle relaxers to make me more comfortable. But would that change my situation? Probably not.

I guess I just need to find a good release for it all. I am just another over-extended and under-appreciated mom. This is not exactly front-page news.

So, I was just thinking about the chaos of my days and how so little of my life feels like I have any control over it. I am at the beckon call of the world. (Not really….it just seems that way sometimes!) As I lay there in bed I let all of those things sort of well up inside of me. I guess they just needed to come out because I sobbed quietly into my own pillow like I hadn't in years. My jaw was tired and the pain spread from my forehead, over the top of my head, down my neck and across my shoulders. (These are the days when I wish the man I married was actually willing to give massages!) I thought of getting up and taking something for the pain, but I was too tired to move. I fell asleep almost instantly.

This morning I woke up headache-free. I popped up, cleaned the kitchen and got some laundry going. A couple of cups of coffee later and I feel like a new woman. It’s time to get the ibuprofen monkey off my back and get to the root of my discomfort: My hectic schedule.

It’s time to downsize.

For today, I am watching Wild Hogs with my family and laughing my butt off. I’ll just worry about the rest tomorrow.

September 8, 2007

Hair Color and More Things To Blame On My Parents

Caramel my @$$!!!

Women, why do we do this to ourselves? While shopping in Target yesterday, I longingly looked up and down the aisle of hair coloring products. That is, I stole the occasional glance in between bouts of chasing my toddler back and forth and trying to keep her from climbing out of the cart.

Thinking of coloring your hair? Try to give yourself time to think about it when you have as few distractions as possible. In other words, try to leave the kids at home! I swear, with as many compliments as I get about “HOW CUTE!” she is I have had ZERO offers to actually purchase her.

As I chase her back and forth, I often hear, “She is so CUTE!!!"

“Thanks! I’ll sell her REEEEEAL CHEAP!”

Yet, they always just keep walking. Hmmm…

Anyhow, I made a joke to the woman standing near me that I really should stay out of this aisle. She had no children with her. She was not distracted. Yet, she bought no hair color. She had the time and presence of mind to make the right decision and she did. She did not choose to color her own hair on this particular day.

Unfortunately, I did not enter this aisle equipped with the same presence of mind. I needed to see my looks improve. Today. And for less than $8.00. (The ‘Cheapmommy’ wins every time!)

Now, this really isn’t a horrible and traumatic experience like I’m making it out to be. In the end, I chose the ‘safe route’ and went with something called ‘Caramel.’ However, my hair is not Caramel now. It’s sort of a strawberry blonde base with beige highlights.

Beige highlights? How on earth did that happen?

It could be worse. At least they are not pink.

Picture it: SICILY, 1924.
(Sorry, Golden Girls flashback! I think I’m better now.)

Actually, it was September of 2005. Almost two years ago today. I was five months pregnant with my third child. I was about to turn 30. I was about to be the maid of honor in the wedding of one of my oldest and dearest friends. I was about to go insane from the dark, dingy roots that were slowly taking over my head.

I spoke with the nurse at my five-month checkup and told her my dilemma. She said that hair color isn’t really proven to harm the baby, but you never know. Apparently, a lot of women color their hair while pregnant. Since I was past the first trimester, I probably wouldn't really be putting the baby in harm’s way. However, if I wanted to be on the safe side I could just use a level 2 product (which does not contain ammonia) and make sure I am in a really well ventilated area.

Hey! I could do that!!!

I was so eager to purchase my new hair color that I couldn’t wait for a good selection. I wanted to color my hair today. In the place where I live, there is a little grocery store about ten minutes away from me. When I say the store is little, I mean it’s little. They had, like five colors to choose from. Two of them were actually Level 2 products. One of the colors was really dark and I wasn’t looking for anything too drastic. I just wanted to roots and tips to match a little better until I wasn’t pregnant anymore.

The other option was called ‘Medium Auburn Brown.’ Now, let me first tell you that my hair is actually naturally blonde. As of lately it’s been more of a ‘dishwater blonde’ but it is blonde nonetheless.

Sometimes, I still wonder what my parents were thinking when they decided to breed. My natural hair color and skin tone don’t look very well together when I leave it up to nature. Seeing my fair skin and freckles makes me believe that I look good in hair with reddish hues. Without chemical intervention, I just look really tired. Given the time, I’m pretty sure I could find reasons to blame my parents for anything. And I’m sure my children will do the same for me.

Oops! My attention span is nil these days! So, I had wanted to go darker so that my roots wouldn’t need touching up and I could, hopefully, go the rest of my pregnancy without chemical intervention. (Did I mention I know nothing about how hair color works?) I chose to listen to the optimistic side of myself, as well as the impatient side and the ignorant side. Those aren’t very helpful dynamics, let me tell you.

My hair, in is natural state, is a dishwater blonde. I have light blonde highlights. I figured a little ‘auburn’ could do me some good. It shouldn’t be too overwhelming, considering that its’ mixed with ‘medium brown.’ In fact, it looks quiet lovely on the box…

Famous. Last. Words.

My hair grabbed all of the auburn and none of the brown. I looked like Claire Danes when she starred in ‘My So-Called Life!” I just needed some combat boots and an old flannel shirt to BE her. To top it off, my lighter tips started to rear their ugly heads after a few days and turned pink. PINK? Yes, pink.

Did I mention that the dresses we were supposed to wear in the wedding were red?

Red dress?

Black shoes?

Bright red hair with pink highlights?

I ended up going to a ‘professional.’ I’m going to use that word lightly because she turned my hair burgundy. BURGUNDY? That is so not what I asked for!

I was in the wedding with my burgundy hair and everything was fine. It was better than bright red so I was no longer in danger of my hair blending in with my tent. (Oops! I meant to say ‘bridesmaid’s dress!’ Remember, it was a maternity bridesmaid’s dress.)

After a few months, I was able to color it again with a Level 2 ash blonde. That toned it down quite a bit and 1YO could be born to a mother whose hair color might have even been found in nature. It was strawberry blonde by then and looked okay.

This brings me back to yesterday. I was once again blinded by the allure of the hair color aisle. No matter what happens, it could have been worse, right?

It has been worse. Sometimes I feel like I’m my own ‘before’ picture and very rarely an ‘after.’ Which is probably why I keep ending up in that stupid aisle. At least now I won't settle for just a few to choose from. That is, until I'm desperate and impulsive again.

After all, it's just hair right?

September 7, 2007

People and All the Ways They Can Suck!

Warning: This little ranting session may go all over the place. I hope you can keep up.

My daughter had a cheer performance yesterday. Once again, I am disgusted by the human race. Now, I know that ‘cheer parents’ can be a bit…um….errr….overwhelming, to say the least. Do you know what’s worse than them? Trashy cheer parents.

Let me start by saying that I don’t think I’m ‘better’ than other people. I just get a little stressed out in an environment with tattoo-covered mothers and their Mohawk-donning toddlers running amuck and they’re all screaming horrible things and threatening and ….

Let’s just say that I might as well have been on the set of the Jerry Springer Show.

(Please note: I do not have anything against tattoos or the people who have them. I don’t have a tattoo because the one thing I truly know about myself is that I change my mind about things way too easily and would hate it in a week. I have seen some tattoos that I actually think are really cute. I think it’s all in how they are done.)

It might also be the fact that the woman with the most visible tattoos looked most likely to throw a chair at another woman who tried to take one she was ‘saving’ for someone. At that point, I was afraid to leave my seat.

Then, the program started late. That happens, being as I am late more often than not to things. I cannot hold tardiness against too many other people. However, the tension was mounting amongst the natives and it was about to get ugly by the time it all finally got going. By the time my own daughter’s squad was performing, I was able to get two pictures of them. Yes, just two. Why, you ask? Because that was the moment that a large group of people decided to stand up in front of me and block my entire view. I don’t know if they were coming or going, but I wasn’t about to be the one to say something to them. There were quite a few of them and they were bigger than me!

I chalked it up to the fact that people, in general, SUCK and that I’ve seen that particular dance numerous times already. Well, there was that…and the fact that I’m a big wimp!

Then, there are a couple of large fires in this great state of California. One in the North, one in the South. (More or less!) So, I live somewhere in the middle of all that, known as the valley. We always have more than our share of crap in the air due to the fact that we are lower and it all seems to roll down to us. Plus, we don’t have all those ‘coastal breezes’ that a lot of our state seems to get and so we just seem to get stuck with all this crap in our air.

Enter: The fires.

Now, the fires that are hundreds of miles away from us in either direction are causing smoke that we can actually see in the air in our own backyards. You can smell the fire too. Apparently, people all over the valley are reporting fires that are not there because it seriously smells like something is burning nearby. The local news anchors are actually telling people to make sure they see a fire before they report one. Yeah, it’s that bad.

To top it off, these last few days have been glorious as far as the weather goes. We have been able to open our windows and enjoy the cool air that comes in. That’s always amazing to me after a heat wave…almost feels like free air conditioning because cool breezes such as those simply cannot be found in nature. Not in August, not where we live. We now have our doors and windows shut tightly and are running the air conditioner to try to make the air we breathe as clean as possible, given the circumstances. So, they are now thinking about canceling children’s sporting events due to the bad air quality. 4YO is supposed to have her first soccer game tonight. If the air is this bad, we don’t want to be in it. 11YO is supposed to cheer at a football game tomorrow.

Am I a bad mother for wanting it all to be canceled so we can just stay home and do nothing instead? Actually, we don’t have to do nothing; I’m just burnt-out on all of this same stuff that has me running every day.

I swear, most days I don’t know whether to scratch my watch or wind my butt!

I’m not sure that 4YO would exactly be heartbroken about no soccer game either. She loves soccer practice and the shin guards don’t even seem to bother her. However, any sense of actual competition and she is OUTTA THERE!!! She was knocked off her feet by another little boy at yesterday’s practice and wants nothing to do with that sort of activity now. It was an accident, of course. When you get 6 4and 5-year olds all running toward the same ball, someone is going to get knocked down. My mom had to take her to practice since I had to be at the cheer thing with 11YO. She told me that, from the look in 4YO’s eyes, if she ever gets really good at soccer she is going to take that little boy down.

Is it wrong for me to hope that she will be motivated about soccer, even if that motivation stems from revenge?

We will be on the lookout for ‘soccer movies’ that have kids and girls and boys and maybe even dogs playing soccer. Yes, there is a movie called ‘Soccer Dog’ and we need to own it. I just know that 4YO hasn’t been really exposed to competitive sports too much and could use as much positive exposure as possible. I might even try to take her to the soccer games of some of our neighbors and maybe organize some scrimmages in the yard.

I woke up this morning to the news. They were talking about the woman who was not being prosecuted for leaving her two-year-old in the car all day to die. I have really mixed feelings about this. I can only speak for myself when I say I have taken chances with my kids. Nothing too extreme, but everything is a safety risk with kids. Who hasn’t been so distracted that they looked away too long or left their kids in the car in their driveway to run back into the house and get one more thing? Life is crazy and we get distracted. Fortunately, kids have a pretty big margin for error most of the time. I do think of being more attentive when I walk by and see the ballpoint pen marks on our leather couch. That’s just another example of getting distracted and looking away too long. We, as parents, cannot possibly monitor their every move.

I am a busy mom, like so many others. I am also easily distracted by bright, shiny things. (Okay, so it’s mostly my computer but you get the point, right?) Maybe my kids are different, but I cannot imagine the frame of mind I would have to be in to forget my child is in the car. My kids would never let me forget they were there. She left a little early, too early to drop her toddler off at daycare. She ran to a donut shop to get donuts for her coworkers. She left the child in the car while inside the donut shop. She was known for leaving her little one in the car for a few minutes here and there.

Was it really so common, though, that she could forget the child was in there? I could be standing next to my car with my little ones inside and the thought in the front of my mind is always, “My kids are in the car.” How many times would I have to do that very thing in order for it to be so commonplace that I forget the kids are even there? She went straight to work from the donut shop, parked her car and went inside. For the whole day.

I guess I agree that she has suffered enough by losing her daughter. Based on her reaction to it, I’m pretty sure she will never leave her other child in the car again. Ever. I’m really on the fence as to whether or not I agree with this. I guess I don’t know what I think. She will pay for this for the rest of her life. But a child died because her mother forgot about her.

Part of me wants to slap the crap out of her and part of me wants to hug her and tell her it could happen to anybody. Does that make sense?

I have lot to do today and there is, apparently, not enough oxygen in the air to move at any great speeds. (That’s what they said on the news, anyway.) I must mention a great blogger/writer/mommy/wife and expert on just about anything that catches her attention. Her name is Jessie and you can find her blog HERE. It's called "I Am David's Doll" and she is constantly blowing me away with her honesty and brilliance. She has even written a real book, like a grownup and everything! It's called 'Eat Your Colors' and the more I read about it the more I think I need to own a copy of it! birthday is coming up...could it justify a little online shopping adventure? We could all learn a lot from reading Jessie's blog and her book just may answer a lot the questions I have about feeding my own kids.
Wow, I really did go all over the place today. Anyhow, I feel better now. Thanks for reading!

September 6, 2007

Okay! I get it!

Why, yes my name is Leann. I am aware of that. At this very moment, all three of my Google Ads are for Leann Rimes things!!! What the heck?


I would like to make an appeal to the GOOGLE GODS and ask that they bring back the 'SlackerMom Test' or SOMETHING!!!

Like the picture of my Monster Toddler? She actually still has a complete outline of her bathing suit on her little body. And that is with SPF 50 sunblock!
Ooohh! That's a good one! Google! Advertise me some SUNBLOCK, will ya?

September 5, 2007


I really don’t like passing mirrors at the very beginning of my day. I especially don’t like it when I haven’t yet had my coffee and the first thought that comes to mind is, “My ass is HUGE.”

NOT a good way to start a day!

I don’t actually consider myself to be much of a reality TV fan. I mean I watched ‘Survivor’ the first season. I watched the first season of ‘Big Brother’ also. After that, reality television was everywhere and it all became a little stale to me.

That being said, I still watch the occasional reality TV show. ‘The Biggest Loser’ is one that gets me every time. However, I don’t watch every episode faithfully. All of those programs are best when viewed at the beginning and the end. The middle is just a bunch of yelling and drama that I, frankly, could do without. The new season is just about to start and I’m actually looking forward to it. I sat down to watch last night’s preview episode with the best of intentions. I started thinking that David and I should try to follow our own plan along with the show. We could both stand to lose about 30 pounds each and that wouldn’t be too hard if we supported each other and went grocery shopping together and…

Then reality really sank in and I ate a half a tub of seafood salad mix on top of a whole package of club crackers. Yeah, maybe next year.

Then, there’s ‘The Singing Bee.’ I like any show that I have the potential to do well at. I can remember lyrics to songs fairly well and yet have absolutely no talent for actual singing. I don’t think I’m alone here either. I mean, what woman in her late 20’s, early 30’s with a head full of highlights doesn’t know the words to ‘Baby Got Back?’ If you ask me, they go together like ‘peas and carrots.’

Sorry, Forrest Gump was on a couple of weeks ago and I am still quoting him whenever I can squeeze it in. It’s a sickness, I know.

Another show that gets my attention is ‘Last Comic Standing.’ Who doesn’t love to laugh? The best comics say what everyone else is thinking and we laugh at what we identify with.

I still think that reality TV could do more. Want to really get my attention? Then combine the factors of The Biggest Loser, The Singing Bee, and Last Comic Standing. The players would be put on a diet and exercise regimen while reciting to lyrics to all the ‘Abba’ songs ever written (or any other group that has plagued so many of us for decades!) and talking about it in a stand-up routine. Or something like that.

All I know is we need some new ‘flavor’ of television in this house. The good shows are few and far between and if David makes me watch one more MSNBC special about prison…..