Friday, July 29, 2011

A Four Year Degree

My Tazmanian Princes turns FOUR on Sunday.  While I certainly do not have anything close to a degree on parenting, I like to think I am almost done with my undergrad requirements. OK, so maybe at the very least, I have completed my 101 coursework. The course titles are as follows:

  • What's that cry, and is it serious?
  • The Nuk: Pay now or Pay Later
  • The Doctors Office: Picking a good Doctor with an even better waiting room.
  • How to Ro-Sham-Bo your way out of a diaper change.
  • The Diaper Bag: What you need in it, and where it should be at all times. (I actually have to retake this class.)
  • Cartoons: Evil Laissez Faire Parenting Device or Brilliant Spanish Lessons?
  • Solidarity in Numbers: Finding fellow parents with the same aged terrorists.
  • The Kid Friendly Home is NOT a Clean Home
  • Early Childhood Discipline: When all else fails, bring candy. (Pre-requisite:The Diaper Bag)
  • The Finer Things in Life: Saying goodbye to anything you paid good money for and investing in dirty, sticky, wide eyed savages.

I've learned a lot about raising babies in my very short four year stint, but I think I've learned more about myself.  If anyone would like to take a few Parenting classes, while I am not technically "certified" and the classes themselves would most likely focus on some sort of baked good, I am more than willing to teach the following:
  • When Drugs are better than Hugs: Labor, Depression and Severe PMS
  • It's OK to Cry
  • Play dates are for Mommies.
  • Get a Job or Stay at Home? Either way, you gonna WORK.
  • Your new body: Learning to love your belly button.
  • Loosen Up!: Stopping to watch The Wild Things Grow

So this weekend, I will lift up my cupcake with sprinkles and princess ornaments to toast my first teacher.

To Rylee.
May I be as willing to learn from you as I am to teach.
And in turn, may you be filled with the same joy you has given to us.

 Rylee - 1 month

Rylee - 1 year

Rylee - 2 years old

Rylee - 3 years old

And 4 year old pictures to come next week!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


I know my babies are growing up. It's what they do.
It doesn't surprise me.
We feed them a lot.

What surprises me are the little things they figure out how to do all on their own.
pull the covers up over themselves in the night
pour their own milk
a hundred other insignificant actions that prove they are in fact individuals who someday won't need me to take care of every little single thing.
Tuck them in
Make them breakfast
pick out their outfits


And I know I've said it before,
but there's really no stopping you once you can say your own name.

So here's to my Bear Cub. On her way in the world.


Monday, July 25, 2011

The horra

Because a lot of my daily tasks do not require so much brain power as they do sheer will power, I have a lot of time in my head to think about things. Sometimes these thoughts lead to some pretty good ideas. However, sometimes when the wheels get to turnin', very very bad ideas, cloaked in the cover of brilliance, come to fruition.

Here's how it came about this time.

Summer vacation starts in 9 days. (Woo Hoo) What won't I be doing whilst on vacation? Going to the YMCA. What's the single most important thing that happens at the YMCA? I shave my legs.  At the YMCA (as opposed to home) no one (so far) has come into my shower while I am shaving asking what I'm doing and wanting to take a blade to their own wee little peach fuzzy legs. At the YMCA I do not have to rush out of the shower because I heard a crash, or screaming or worse yet, no noise at all.

So as I was wondering around The Boutique last week day dreaming about days at the lake, I thought about having to shave everyday under the watchful eye of my offspring. Just as this thought occurred, I looked up and saw a waxing kit.  I have never had my legs waxed. Ever. But really, how hard could it be?

Here's how it went down.

2:20pm - Read directions twice. Nothing really tricky. Pictures included.

2:23pm - Warmed up wax in microwave

2:25pm - Spread wax onto thin / long section of left shin. Slight burning sensation from heat. Bearable.

2:26pm - Apply paper strip to wax. Smooth over. Totally confident. Everything looks like the pictures.

2:27pm - Pull off paper strip. The horra begins. Pulled too slowly. No hair on strip. Half the wax / skin gone.

2:28pm - Take deep breath. Re-apply hot wax / paper strip. Not as pleasant with raw / irritated skin.

2:29pm - Zip off paper fast.

2:29pm - Gasp for breath and feel words that would make a trucker proud rise up in my throat.

2:30pm - Look around corner to see Tazmanian watching whole scene and try to answer barrage of questions the easiest of which is "Is that a big band-aid?"

2:31pm - Look at "test area" on leg and see no noticeable hair removal. Pack up waxing kit and whisper a sweet vow to my armpits to never ever put them through that.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Grease Monkeys

Last night I stepped into the garage to find this:

Troy was putting on a bike care clinic.

Lesson One: The importance of seat height.

He gets like this around Tour De France time.

I was just thankful that he was willing to sit in our hotbox of a garage with the girls, so I could have 30 minutes to myself.

They would make really great road crew team members.

Lesson Two: Rubbin' Is Racin'

Lesson Three: It's time to put the camera down when the wee one has a pair of skizzors.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Kodak Moments

We need a new camera. I've been taking pictures with my cell phone and with the one on
my computer until we can decide on one we really like.

While seeing yourself as you take the picture is entertaining, the photo quality just isn't that great.

"Hey. That looks like me."

"Hey. That is ME"

"Hi Me!"

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


So, did you see the news coverage about the guy who "attacked" Rupert Murdoch during his hearing? Yes, a man named Jonnie Marbles (you can't make this stuff up) rushed after Rupert with a pie tin full of whip cream.

The news articles so far haven't really delved into Mr. Marbles motivation; and as he is still in jail, we don't really know what he was thinking. But if I were a reporter, and got the pleasure of the first interview, these are the questions I would have written on my note card:

1. Mr. Marbles, is that really your name? (I'd start off with the really probing questions first. Imagine eyebrows cocked.)
2. I read that you are a comedian.  Was your "weapon" of choice a prop from your routine?
3. Were you sitting around in your flat (I'd say flat instead of apartment because he's from across the pond) when you came up with your master plan? Or did you devise this plan after being paid in beer for a stand-up routine?
4. Do you normally handle your outrage with slapstick?

I think that's all I'd really ask him, but I'd wrap up my commentary on the subject with a few questions of my own for the public. What would our world be like if all "violence" committed on one another was handled with a pie to the face? That's the kind of world I want to live in. That's the kind of world where I would read the paper and turn on the news.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Today, I am doing everything in my power not to start packing for our vacation. We leave in two weeks. I did get to order some things from The Boutique today that are too big for our suitcases and had them shipped right to our family. Diapers, wipes, sunscreen in bulk. The Boutique is not charging us for shipping. Delta Airlines would charge 50 doll hairs for the luggage it takes to bring along. I am feeling quite thrifty.

It would be way more fun to pack than what's on my list of things that need to be taken care of today.
Which consists of stuff like this:

Cleaning a car door full of empty Capri Sun juice pouches.

(Even though it took me longer to take/upload the stinkin' picture, than it would for me to clean it out.)

Friday, July 15, 2011

The Boutique

I was at The Boutique today and saw a women with SIX kids. All of them calling her mommy. All of them eating a piece of fruit while she calmly told them to stop munching until they hit the check out line. All of them under 10 years old.

She looked well balanced. She looked sane. Sure, her hair wasn't brushed; but she wouldn't get any odd looks from me on that count. She looked calm. It was hard to see from my point of view, but it didn't look like her shoulders were tensed up and I did not see any signs of an eye twitch.

I almost stopped her to ask her who her doctor was. But then I didn't want to have to explain that I wasn't looking for an OB/GYN but rather the doctor who prescribed her "copers."  Seriously. No mother takes SIX children to The Boutique and walks around like it's a day in the park. 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Wailing Wall

Anybody out there familiar with The Wailing Wall?  I wasn't, until this week when a friend offered to take any prayer requests to this wall with her as she is going to Jerusalem in a few days.

If you are not familiar, and have to Wikipedia it like I did yesterday, then let me give you the jist of it. The wailing wall is a remnant of the ancient wall that surrounded the Temple Mount. It is said that whispering your prayers to the wall will get your prayers to God's ear faster since it is the holiest of holy places and the gate of heaven is near. Apparently, people also leave prayer notes in the cracks of the wall. 

Here's the thing. I'm not sure I really buy into it. I'm no biblical / religious / theological intellect, but I believe in God. And from what I've heard, I don't think He's going to push someone's prayer request to the bottom of His to-do list because they traveled all the way to this wall while someone else just had to jot down her prayer on a bathroom wall of the discount mart.

BUT here's the other thing...I'm gonna send one anyway.  From what I've read about prayer, you're supposed to do it earnestly and without ceasing. We're also supposed to carry one another's burdens and pray for one another like they are our own children. It is in this spirit that I am going to send a prayer for someone else halfway around the globe. It's a prayer I have been asking for years, that I am going to trust someone else to carry to God's ear.  Not because I think that this particular wall is any closer than what's in my very heart; but as an act of never ceasing to bring to God the burdens of those I love.

If the answer to my prayer is to keep on praying....then maybe I will just get out my sharpie and head over the The Boutique or the other discount mart and start my own little wailing wall...

or maybe I'll just blog about it. ;)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Betty Ford

I once owned a two door Ford Escape.
It was the Sport Edition. 
I named her Black Betty Ford. 
It was fitting.

Black Betty Ford did not affect as many human lives as Real Betty Ford,
but she did touch the lives of at least 4 deer,
a handful of squirrels
and at least one porcupine.

This is the day I bought her.

That's Wayne. He sold me the car. He gave me a free hat.

We had to take the back roads home since I didn't know how to drive a stick yet.

She wasn't a lady.
But she was the first car I ever purchased on my own.
So she was my first lady.

Black Betty Ford was totaled many moons ago
and now, so goes part of her namesake.
May they both rest in peace.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Taz's New Room

So, a few weeks ago, we re-did Rylee's bedroom.

Here's the only Before picture I could find.

It was the kind of room that nobody cared if you did this:

Here's the After shot

Our camera took one too many beatings and petered out right after taking this shot

My favorite part of the whole deal is that her bed pretty much fills the room; leaving less floor space to crud up with piles of toys. A win win for everyone involved.

And The Taz's reaction?
She started to sing Happy Birthday to herself.

Next Up is this pair of rocking chairs. Pink. White. Purple. I haven't decided.
But, it may not happen until November when the humidity drops under 50%.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Special Kind of Guy

Remember Benny?

This is the first time anyone has EVER seen his scalp.
24 hours later, you couldn't.

From this picture, you'd probably pass on the chance to have beers with this guy
Not me
He gets real sentimental and lovey
Even though he looks like he just got released
(Take your pick from where)
He'll stop talking about sports if you ask him to
And wax poetic
and whatnot.
He's a special kind of guy
my bubby

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


Sometime before the weekend, one of my girlfriends posted the following on facebook:

MSD "is declaring independence this weekend from my wicked Tetris addiction, people who don't give nearly as much as they take, my fear of writing fiction, my anxiety about not being gorgeous/sexy/smart/good enough, my hoarder-grade cookbook habit, my exercise aversion and my self-imposed sleep deprivation. From now on, I declare allegiance only to God, devoted friends and family, and --of course-- CLH."

The following day, she gave everyone fair warning that she would be inactivating her Facebook account as part of her newly declared independence.

This is what I was thinking about as I was holding Bear Cub and watching fireworks from our bathroom window last night. What would I like to declare independence from? Certainly not Facebook.

I'm not gonna lie. This last week has been extreeeeemely trying. And here's the kicker: nothing out of the ordinary happened. It was just another week of day in, day out, parenting. But I will tell you this, there is nothing more eye opening to ones own flaws than raising children.  I spent the week analyzing every time I had a melt down. What caused it, how could I better handle my own emotions, how were my reactions shaping my children.  After all that analyzing, a gal could go into a real tailspin wondering if she's kind enough, patient enough and most of all - compassionate.  It's no wonder I had myself eyeing up our health insurance web-site for doctors in our network who specialize in straight jackets (or at least one who isn't afraid to use their prescription pad).

This Fourth of July, I think I will declare my independence from being in control. I will try to be a good example, but I will not try to make my girls be nice. I will provide safe surroundings, but trust God will keep gators from growing opposable thumbs and the ability to break into our home.  And I will be grateful when towels get washed, even if it's with dark colored pants and fuzz gets all over them. And for this afternoon, I may not even try to control my need for mass amounts of chocolate.  Happy Independence Day my friends.