Friday, December 21, 2012

Hello Florida

 It's official. I am a Floridian now. Here's how I know.

1. I mowed the lawn today and loved all 23minutes of it. Today is December 21st - Winter Solstice.

2. I couldn't wait to get my driver's license so I could get the resident's discount on annual passes for Disney.

3. I threw away all of my socks that cover my ankles because they were just taking up space in my drawer.

4. I bought two swimsuits last week.

5. I can finally appreciate the holidays without snow.  And I can embrace the decor that comes along with a Warm Christmas:

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Best Christmastime Voicemail Ever

I pressed "play" on a voicemail from one of my favorites this morning. What you are about to read is a true story, and in my opinion the makings for National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation Part Deux.

"Rue? It's Roo.  Guess what I did.  I hung Christmas lights on the house. And you know what? The goats got ahold of them and tore them off the house, chewed up some of the bulbs and drug them across the yard. Now the lights don't even work. (giggling) But I don't even care, because those stupid goats were probably like "hey look at these pretty lights, I bet they are delicious" and then once they started munching on them they got a little zap, then tried to scurry off with them.   Hey, you know what? Goats are allowed in residential areas, so you should get one...but no, you'll need two because they're pack animals. Anyway, they're super sweet.  Love ya Rue. Talk to you later Rue. Merry Christmas Roo."

Suspected Christmas Light Vandal
AKA: Tom the Goat

Sunday, December 16, 2012

My prayer

Oh come, Lord. Reside in the hearts of the living victims of this week's massacre.  Dwell where the emptiness be too much. Stitch together the pieces of their hearts where Evil brutally ravaged them. Fill them with your love and let not the darkness win. Crush the fruits of evil so that hatred, and fear, anxiety and revenge not take over.  Sew their tender spirits with hope. And give them the comfort of peace for those children now in your arms.  Mend in us all the desire to wait on You, the dawn to this night. 

Friday, December 14, 2012

5 signs I'm no longer hip and / or cool

Disclaimer: It was never actually determined that I was, at one point in time, in fact, ever hip and / or cool.  But, should I have ever been delusional enough to think so, that bubble has been burst. Here is a list of proof:

1. I spent more time and money at JoAnn Fabrics last month than I did any and all social activities.  How do I know? Because the more you go there, the more coupons you get.

2. My most recent brush with fame was meeting the guy who plays Jesus at a place called "The Holy Land Experience".

3. My last four shoe purchases were sneakers. Oooh laa laa.

4. I could not pick The Situation out in a line-up, but can tell you the history of this book.

5.  I like to enter drawings on other blogs for kitchen appliances. Come on Pioneer Woman, when are you going to offer up an immersion blender?!

6. A bonus (because I said 5 signs, but let's face facts, there's lots more):


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Hello, Anybody There?

So last night, my leading man says "Your Father-In-Law says that your readers are wondering if you're ever going to write a new post."  To which I replied "well do I have a story for them, and it's even true."

The week of Thanksgiving, I was taking the girls to an indoor trampoline place. It was cold for Florida, about 40-something degrees.  The road I was driving was a major county road, and the incident which I am about to describe took place about 5 miles away from any residential areas. The time was 8:45am.

So, as I mentioned, I was driving, and there walking along side of the road, was a shirtless man, in flip flops and a kilt.

As you can imagine, my thoughts just spun out of control with questions. Was he coming from a party? Was he going TO a party? Is he from a colder climate, making 40 degree weather feel balmy? Is he really Irish or Scottish? Did his girlfriend just break up with him? Isn't he too old to be in a fraternity? Are there any other distinguishing attributes I should try to remember in case I see a story about him on the news? Is this a prank gone awry?

This small incident has kept me so occupied mentally, that I have forgotten to write on this blog. But, faithful readers - take heart, now that it's off my chest, I can get back to telling you about the really important stuff, like how Rylee keeps asking who she gets to be the boss of.   Stay tuned. More to come. Over and Out...but just for today.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Two Crazy Mommas

Sometimes when your man goes to Mexico for a week,
you come up with crazy plans to make the time go faster.  

Like planning a nice camping trip with your girlfriend. To be one with nature....
It doesn't sound crazy at all,
until you mention the part about taking 5 kids all 5 years old and younger.
During the planning part, we thought about roasting marshmallows and hot dogs.
We didn't think about the impromptu game of Whack-a-Mole with flaming palm branches.

During the planning stage, I thought about my days as a camp counselor, ending a long day with a quiet session of vespers. I thought of the times I shared my dreams and fears with campers and co-workers as we settled in for the night.
We shared our fears alright.
"Do you think that thing making noise outside the cabin is something we should worry about when we have to go to the bathroom?"
"How are we going to get these people to sleep?"

 We thought the whole thing might have been a bad idea as we tried to convince our
half sleeping, screaming, 3 year olds to pee in the very dark, very ominous woods.

But the morning came.

And hot chocolate and mini donuts by the fire erase all the doubts we had about coming here.

And we saw our wee little adventurers exploring.

and we thought,
maybe we aren't two crazy mommas after all.

10K Training Log: Week BlergcoughcoughBlerg

So. It's been a few weeks, right. It's not that I didn't want to keep you posted on how my training has progressed. But life happens. Things come up like...your partner in crime (read the other guy raising the children) had a week's hiatus in Mexico.  So let's just do a mini re-cap of what happened the last two weeks.

Week Two: Week two was very similar to week one. I ran 3 times and did a spin class. I ate really well all week. I resisted the urge to buy any Halloween candy. Then at the end of the week, my girlfriend had a Tastefully Simple party and before you know it, I was eating my weight in cream-based dips and cake and bread.  The next day, when the children weren't looking, I ate all the good chocolates out of their pumpkin buckets.

Week Three:  All bets were off.  When Troy departed for Mexico he left me a care package to help survive the week. There was a one pound bag of peanut M&M's in there. The children didn't even see the bag because it was gone two days after I opened them.  To end the week, my girlfriend and I took our children camping. Here I ate more than my fair share of s'more fixin's and 14 of the 16 chocolate donuts that were meant for breakfast.  I ran once during the week. It was brutal.

It is amazing that during the course of the two weeks of not tracking my food intake, and basically just eating whatever, I didn't gain any weight. This is a miracle. So, after saying a little prayer of Thanks, and having my better half home, I am back to grindstone.  (It is important to note that as I type this I am eating the last of the chocolate bars left over from s'mores.)

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Super (heroes) Happy Halloween

This year, we vow to Defend The Candy-less.

To Stand Firm Against Root Beer Barrels and Toothbrushes

To Protect Our Rights To Self Ration Our Own Loot 

To Use Our Sugar Induced High For Good
(and a little bit of evil)

To Only Jump On The Cruddy Furniture

We vow to apologize sincerely when we use our powers
against one another.

And we vow to share gross hard candies with less fortunate adults who are unable to trick or treat for themselves.

Monday, October 29, 2012

10k Training Log: Week One

Here it is Monday, and as promised, I am going to re-cap my first week of training.  First, let me start off by what I have learned.

1. Planning out meal and exercise plans don't do any good unless you actually follow those plans. This would seem like a no-brainer. You would think, right?

2. You shouldn't beat yourself up if you worked really hard all week just to blow it all on one day. You need to enjoy life along the way. So, if your girlfriend invites you to Epcot for the Food and Wine Festival, and you spend 8 solid hours eating and drinking yourself around the world, then enjoy it. But you do have to remember to get back on track right away.  Or, you could try moderation. I don't know how. But you could try.

3. Half the battle is just getting on your sneakers.

Now that we have that covered, let's get into the nitty gritty:

Monday:  Attitude is positive. Feeling confident about goals

Breakfast - Fruit Smoothie with a mini whole wheat bagel. Coffee with milk

AM Snack - Apple with peanut butter

Workout- 30 minute Spin Class

Lunch - Hummus and Lettuce Wrapped in Large Flour Tortilla. Water

PM Snack - Yogurt covered Raisins

Dinner - Brown Rice, Grilled Chicken, Broccoli

Bedtime Snack - 2 Cinnamon Graham Crackers

Tuesday:  Ready to take on the day. Resolve is strong.

Breakfast - Egg Beater Omelet with Ham and Veggies  + Coffee with milk

AM Snack - Almonds + Grapes

Workout- 2.5 mile Run

Lunch - Taco Salad

PM Snack - Chocolate Yogurt Covered Raisins

Dinner - Lasagna

Bedtime Snack - Small Cookie

Wednesday:  Over confident...accidentally bought naughty cereal.

Breakfast - Yogurt with a bowl of fruit + Coffee with milk

AM Snack - Apple + Cheese Stick

Workout- 30 minute spin class

Lunch - Ham Sandwich, Cheeze It's, Grapes

PM Snack - Hard to say - but I'm guessing it was covered in chocolate

Dinner - Chicken over pasta with a little bit of marinara

Bedtime Snack -  Dry cup of Naughty Cereal

Thursday:  This day is a little sketchy.

Breakfast - Chex cereal with cut up strawberries and bananas + Coffee with milk

AM Snack - Carmel Mini Rice Cakes

Workout-  Chasing Maggie. Didn't break a sweat.

Lunch -  Ham Sandwich

PM Snack - More of that delicious naughty cereal

Dinner - Frozen Pizza

Bedtime Snack -  I'm guessing it wasn't good.

Friday:  Attitude = What goals?

I started at Epcot's Food and Wine Festival "Around the World" in Mexico with an empanada and ended up in France with creme bruele. What happened in between wasn't pretty. There was fondue and German Beer and ginormous pretzels and sushi rolls and champagne and chocolates. There were Swedish meatballs and fancy coffee.  There was also a Beetles tribute band. Not that that has anything to do with anything. But it was fun, for the record. If you count walking very slowly from food booth to food booth as "exercise", then I got about 6 hours on the books.

Saturday: Resolve, determination and focus are out the window. Hard to believe I was thinking about donuts after all the junk I put in my face the day before.

Breakfast - French Toast with bananas + Coffee with milk

AM Snack - none

Workout-  does going to the grocery store count?

Lunch - Chocolate Protein Bar

PM Snack - Caramel Mini Rice Cakes

Dinner -  Fish, Asparagus, Mushroom Risotto

Bedtime Snack - Hard to say if I stayed awake for one.

Sunday:  Gaining some resolve back, but still thinking about donuts.

Breakfast - Yogurt with a side of cut up strawberries and bananas + Coffee with milk

AM Snack - Donut holes

Workout- 4 mile run

Lunch - Salad and Small soup

PM Snack - raisins

Dinner - Pork Roast, Mashed Potatoes, Cooked Carrots

Bedtime Snack - pound cake.

So, what does all that add up to as far as the scale is concerned? A one pound loss.  I'll take it. This isn't The Biggest Loser.  This is "slow and steady wins the race."  

The goal for next week is to run 3 times and to stay away from Epcot, and naughty cereal, and chocolate covered things.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

I should make pharmaceutical commercials

You beat yourself up a lot when you are a parent. The worst was when I would be holding my ground on an issue (no, you may not have gummy bears for dinner) and one of the girls would relentlessly hound, threaten, throw tantrums or manipulatively sweet talk me until I finally broke.  I would give in, then I would hold a grudge against them. I could picture my future and I was their doormat. Then I would feel guilty that I wasn't creating boundaries for them.

Now, thanks to Prozac, I can clearly see that I am just fostering in them the skills of persistence.  And now that I'm not spending all my time beating myself up, I use my time to be a problem solver - two of those gummy bears they're getting for dinner are actually vitamins!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

And I was runnning. (Said in my best Forest Gump voice)

Recently I have been thinking about approaching Forty Years Old.  I don't know when it started, but I think someone asked me how old I was and I responded with "32."  Only then I remembered that I had to give my actual age because I was speaking "on record" (could have been a doctor? I can't remember) and not just how old I feel.  So when I said 37 and 1/4, it kind of didn't feel right.

Forty is going to be here any minute and I want to mark it with some sort of ....victory?  So I got this crazy idea in my head that I should set some big goal.  A goal that would take me 2 3/4 years to reach. Since I just completed my first ever biathlon, (a very mini one = 5k plus a 400 yard swim) and could still walk the next day, I thought maybe, just maybe, I should shoot for doing a full fledged triathlon.

So there it is. My big plan. To go from on-the-verge-of-frumpy, late 30's, mother of two, to (insert super-hero-sounding Dun Dunna Na!) Athlete.

My first step is to complete a 10k.  I am signed up for one in the middle of February. In the process, I also need to drop about 14 pounds that I seemed to have gained in the last 10 months. (Curse you chocolate covered raisins and fig newton cookies!)   The only way I know how to go about this is to come up with a plan (courtesy of Hal Higdon and Weight Watchers) and then track my progress.

I am making this public as a means of keeping accountable. Also, to help anyone who might want to join me (cough cough, hint hint - Aida Urteaga). So, if you are interested in this sort of deal, then check in on Mondays. I will write about the past week's meal plan, exercise schedule and (gulp) weight loss progress. 

That being said, today's plan includes a short I'm off for now.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Stealth Napper

When our first born started staying awake through nap time, I had a serious panic attack. My mother said "maybe it's time to give up the nap."  As calmly as I could, I yelled at her "I NEED THE NAP. WE WILL NOT GIVE UP THE NAP. I CAN'T MAKE IT WITHOUT THE NAP"  We spent weeks on end fighting for two hours in the afternoon before she'd give in and take a nap. Then at bedtime, she had plenty of energy to fight me for another good two hours. Eventually, I saw the light and figured out that without the nap, I'd save on about four hours of futility, and at least bed time would be peaceful. I just had to be brave enough to figure out how to make it through the day without a break.

When our second was old enough to make it through the day, in good spirits, I had no problem giving up the nap. In fact, naps have become a source of fear.  Troy and I take turns reading and putting the girls to bed so we get one-on-one time with each of them every night.  You can tell whose night it is to read to Maggie around 3:30 in the afternoon. It's the parent frantically saying "Don't let her fall asleep!!"

If you walk out of the room for even a minute, and it gets quiet...well, it could be all over. Sure, you think your precious bear cub is playing nicely with some puzzles and she's not even near her favorite place on the couch, so you feel confident that you can go to the bathroom without her falling asleep. But you'd be wrong.

This is what they mean when they say "It's the quiet ones that you have to keep an eye on."

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Think Pink

Today I finished my first ever biathlon! It was a 5k run followed by a 400 yard swim. This is what a few of my friends would probably refer to as their Tuesday workout. But for me, today, it was so much more.

The race was a benefit for breast cancer research. I know a ton of women with breasts, so it's obviously a great cause to support.  Seriously though, I am grateful that I am not currently aware of anyone struggling with this type of cancer.   That being said, today as I started my run, I couldn't help but think of two women I do know fighting their own battles with different types of cancer.

As I settled into a nice steady pace, I began to think about these two women. The first I call a cousin, although we're not related. She's the mother of two young boys, wife to a loving man and the recent recipient of news that she has stage IV brain cancer.  The other woman, I haven't actually met. She married one of my college roommates three years ago, only to find out about a year later that she had stage IV lung cancer. She's never smoked in her life.

Since they were on my heart, I started to pray for them. I prayed for healing. I prayed for release from pain. I prayed for comforting of their fears. I prayed for physical support from those around them. I prayed for emotional support and encouragement. I prayed that they would find it easy to love. I prayed that bouts of discouragement be long overshadowed by pure joy.  I found myself rounding the corner to the finish line for the run, very aware of my own physical fatigue and pushed on to sprint the last bit, spurred on by the fight that my two lady friends, along with countless others, are waging against a serious enemy.

After the running portion of the race was finished, I headed to the pool. It was just a short wait before a lane had opened up. Anxious to get started, I didn't think about much the first couple of lengths but how to control my breathing. Soon, I started feeling lighter. Refreshed. My skin had cooled off and the weightlessness of the water gave me new energy. I wasn't the fastest kid in the pool, but as far as I knew, I was the youngest feeling person there.  I swam on with a childlike joy of being in water.

Again, I began to think of my friends; how the running portion of my race was like their fights. Pounding and hot and hard and at some points seemingly endless. And in my head I kept hearing this: Even youths grow tired and weary and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 41:30-31)

So, to my two friends, and all of those currently fighting, what I will keep praying is that you will get to the swim. Light, relieved of the worry, supported by your own bodies to move freely and easily through cleansing water only to be made new again.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Me Too

So I joined this Mothers Of Preschoolers group. On accounta I am one, and misery loves company I had heard some great things about it. Also, one of my newest favorite people said I could sit at her table. 

Anyway, today's topic was about getting connected with other moms. Sometimes it's not easy. You may find someone you totally adore, but your kid - who is normally a mellow, sweet love bug - always ends up punching her kid in the throat.  Now your new friend won't even answer your calls.  Or your kid begs and begs and begs you to call her favorite friend for a play date, but that kid's mom smells like patchouli, which would be totally cool if it didn't give you a migraine.

I've digressed.  So part of today's discussion was taking risks and sharing personal things about yourself a little at a time, until you meet someone that says Me Too. Then you know you've found a lady you can connect with.  I am all sorts of ready to share and make some new lady friends, but I may need to use a filter.  The discussion went a little like this:

Starter Question: Would you ever invite someone to your house, last minute, if you knew your house was dirty?

No, no, no.  We mostly agreed. Unless you know the person really well.  At this point I think that everyone and I are on the same page with what "Really Well" means and this is - that they've been over once when the house was clean (so they know I am capable of cleaning it) and are willing to accept a blanket "I'm sorry if you stick to anything" sort of apology from there on out.

Lady #1: My husband is really helpful with keeping things up. If things are getting out of control he'll get the rag and polish out and do some dusting.

(Some other ladies were nodding.)

Me: Uhm. Dusting? I've purchased one can of Pledge since we moved to Florida two years ago.

Rest of the table:  cricket noises, blank stares

Me: Really? No one's gonna "Me Too" to that?

Rest of the table: shaking their heads "no" and interjecting things like "oh no, I'm a freak about cleaning."

I almost got up and requested a new table, but then I overheard someone say "My daughter is only 4 and her sass has me terrified of the teenage years."  I sat back down because I had some things to add to this conversation. In fact, I had a lot to add.  I didn't even get to the part about the Taz, the fruit of my very loins, calling me Stepmother.

Anyway, I like this group of ladies and it's a safe place to share, network, commiserate, celebrate and eat. (These women really know how to put on a spread.)  But I do think it will be a while before I share things like "This morning I found two peanut butter M&M's in Maggie's car seat that didn't have hair on them, so I ate them."   That kind of information is best left to sharing with all 28 of you.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Costume Sneak Peak

The Taz came around the corner.
Her hip was popped, one arm dangling all too-cool-for-school style,
the other arm was "holding up the wall."

"Mom. I'm no ordinary woman."
And Bear Cub just sauntered up all quiet-like. Her super power is her stealth-ness.

They will make a great team, when the time comes.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Because, sometimes fresh air isn't enough

When you need your fresh air to be really fresh....
Part of me wanted to like the owner of this bike right away. But then he picked up a lizard and started chasing my Taz around the playground with it. Luckily, she's still "on love" with Jonah from the pool, so she wasn't immediately attracted to his mean-ness.

Monday, October 1, 2012


Ok, listen. In recent weeks I have been a little leery when my Tazmanian Princess has mentioned being "on love" with a boy named Ian. First of all, when I asked if he was funny, she said "no." Strike One.  Second, she came home last week with a note from the teacher that said she had a hard time following directions. Her response to my inquiry was this "Well, Ian was sticking his tongue out at me, it was really cute, but I had to push it back into his mouth, so that's when I got on the warning line."  Strike Two.

Now come to find out, this Ian is the same Ian that was in her pre-kindergarten class who was out of school last year, for over a week, because he broke his arm. AND, come to find out some more, Ian who "broke" his arm was really out because he found his grandpa's gun and SHOT himself in said arm. Strike Three.

You can imagine my relief when we were at the pool this weekend and Rylee started playing with a boy named Jonah. After ten minutes of water races The Taz whispers in my ear. "What's his name? I'm in love with him."   Ah Jonah, who lives in Pennsylvania and is only here for 3 more days and has never shot himself in the arm. You, sweet Jonah, have my approval.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Picture Day

As I was dropping children off at school today, I overheard another mother asking the teacher about the upcoming picture day. She asked if she could just make the choice of paying for the pictures after she had seen how they turned out. The teacher informed the woman that no, you had to pre-pay for the package you want, then if you are not satisfied you can sign up for re-takes. The woman went on to explain how her daughter hasn't been so "photogenic" lately. "Have you seen her in pictures lately? Her smile is so goofy."  To which, I wish the teacher would have replied "You know, I haven't even had the chance to go through the 179 pictures the room mom has taken, to see if your daughter's smile has in fact gotten "goofy" in the four weeks that I've known her. Why don't we skip having a math lesson next week, so I can spend my time on that for you." 

Isn't that what being a kid is about, being goofy? And aren't school pictures about marking how you progressively get goofier and goofier each year until you're a senior when you get to have a full color photo shoot to commemorate the very height of your goofy-ness?

I tried to find my senior picture but it's in that blue box.

So I guess I'll just have to re-enact it.
Only I think my hair was much much bigger. And by bigger, I mean wider AND taller.
Anyway, a child's beauty is in her innocence, in her lack of self - consciousness.  There will be way too much time, and much sooner than you'd like, for her to worry about how her hair looks and to practice a "natural" smile.  Let the camera capture each stage no matter how sweaty, messy, mismatched and goofy she is. She is a child. Let her be a child and take a picture of how she really is, not who you wish she was. Because some day all too soon, you'll wish you had that awkward, innocent goofy little girl sitting in your lap. And all you'll have is a picture of someone small trying too hard to be perfect. 

Monday, September 17, 2012


This past weekend, I received news that broke my heart. One of my favorites in this world died in a motorcycle accident.  Scrolling through his facebook page, you know that he was important to a lot of people.

You should be so lucky to get a nickname from him.
Poopearski (earski, or ear or ski for short)
Sweatpant Eagle Talon Tail
Tory Jean
Old Crusty Mouth
He was a lover AND a fighter
He was funny
He was stylish in his own right
He was a secret keeper
He had a mustache for every season
He was inappropriate
He was feisty
He was approachable
He was a presence
He was unpredictable
He was charming
He had a contagious laugh
He had a story for everything
He was wild
He was mellow
He was trouble
He was loyal
He was loved
And I know God Loved Clayton
because on the day that He took him
it was September - the most beautiful month in Minnesota
he had love in his house
he had the wind in his hair
and he didn't suffer
He is my friend
And he is loved.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

An Excerpt (from the book I haven't written yet)

She lay alone in bed, wrapped in memories and sorrow. Knowing all too soon the phone would be ringing with news that it had happened. I try to call her often, so she won't be afraid to answer. So we can talk about funny or mundane or serious things that fill up our days.

It may be silly now, but there was a time, a hundred years ago it seems, that she dreamt of being in bed all by herself.  She spent years growing up sandwiched between two sisters, under a pile of blankets and coats when it was cold.  One would say "Roll over, your ear stinks." Begrudgingly, she complied only to have the same sentiment echoed by the other sister once she was settled in. She couldn't help the smell of the home remedy for ear infections. And she couldn't help being the youngest of ten. Now, she'd give anything to be sandwiched between those girls again. Giggling, fighting, telling each other secrets.

When she picked up my phone call she said: "You know at the county fair, they have those ducks floating by that people shoot at?  That's how I feel. Which one of us is next?"  She's never considered herself frail. Far from it. And even though her frame is small, she has broad shoulders and the determination to wake up each morning and face the world and all it will pile on.  But I pray for mercy and grace in the eyes of the Lord, that He would lessen her sorrow.

The sorrow that comes with watching your family fight, suffer, struggle and finally succumb to death. One by one, she's watched her father, her mother, three brothers, two sisters, her companion, and the love of her life all go into battle with failing bodies.  When those phone calls come, the wounds of her broken heart rip at the seams where they were barely just mended. The toll keeps rising as the pit of grief reaches depths she didn't know her heart had.

I pray for mercy and grace. That she be covered in blankets of warm memories, so when darkness comes, her dreams are full of sisters dancing an Irish jig in the middle of a packed living room, laughing until one of them wets her pants; red faced and gasping for air just before the whole family breaks into a roaring chorus of glee.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

4 Hour Retirement

This morning after dropping the girls off to school, I decided that I should probably start training for this 5k fun run + 400 yard swim that I signed up for.   All the proceeds go to cancer research. As a bonus, I have a goal to work towards, instead of beating myself up for the 12 pounds I've gained since January.

Anyway, I finished up a short run with a quick swim in the pool. The place was quiet, except for a pair of retired ladies floating around wearing ginormous sun hats. I got to work right away thinking about the chores that also needed to be done before picking up the girls. After a few laps, my thoughts turned to those ladies. How nice it must be to be retired. To meet your best friend in the morning for iced coffee and a dip in the pool.

When I was done, I climbed out, slightly eavesdropping on the sun hat gals. I caught something about them trying to figure out a plan for people taking ownership of their roles. It occurred to me that they may have time to swim in the morning, but they still have work that needs to be done.

I started to peel my orange and felt lighter. I ate it as I took a leisurely stroll home. A slight breeze on my face, the sun on my shoulders and all the stress of the school morning sinking to the bottom of the pool.  I may have 30 more years until I can collect (hopefully) my social security checks, but for now, I will be satisfied with my 4 hours of retirement every Tuesday and Thursday morning.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

A bedtime conversation

The Kindergartner: "Mom, I have something that's gonna make you funny. It's gonna make you snort."

Me: "Oh really?"  (Steeling myself for a joke that involves a moose with underwear on it's head)

The Kid: "I'M ON LOVE WITH IAN!"  (that's not a typo. she said she's "on love")

Me: "Oh my. Is Ian in your class?"

The Kid: "Yes, I told my new friend today that I love him and then I told her to go tell him."

Me: "What's your new friends name?"

The Kid: "I don't know."

Me: "Well, what is special about Ian? Is he funny?"

The Kid: "No."

Me: "Is he smart?"

The Kid: "No."

Me: "Does he have a job or a 5 year plan?"

The Kid: "NO! He's haaaandsome like Prince Charming."

Me: "Well, he sounds like a nice boy."

The Kid: "Don't worry mom, I still love you more than Ian."

Me: "I'm not worried. God gave you such a big heart so you can love lots of people. Like me AND Dad AND Maggie AND Ian."

The Kid:  (now singing, lullaby style, as we snuggle in to fall asleep) "Moooom, I love you more than cereal. You are my mah ah ah om. I love you more than farts and elephants. I la la love you....."

I fell asleep with a warm, fuzzy feeling knowing that I am loved more than farts and elephants.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Gross Things

Being a mom can be a gross job.  Take yesterday for instance. My sweet Bear Cub pooped her pants FOUR TIMES. Yes. Four times.  Before I go into detail, I should mention that she has trouble "dealing the deuce" in a bathroom that she unfamiliar with. She prefers to test things out with a couple of pee sessions before she feels comfortable enough to bomb a bowl.

First up- our trip to the dentist office. Bear Cub was so nervous that I had to hold her in my lap while the assistant tried to count her teeth.  I thought maybe with all the clinging and she just tooted a little. I thought wrong. After that, we went to a play date at a friends house. She hasn't been there enough recently to get into her comfort zone, hence, number two #2. After the play date, we had to go to Target. I think she just figured since she's been doing it all day, why not just drop a load right there in the cart.  We finally returned home and I thought she'd be able to just relax and everything would work out fine for the rest of the night. 

She put on her swimsuit, but it was raining, so we told her to get dressed. Instead of taking off her swimsuit first, she just put clothes on over top. When the moment came, she was ready. She ran to the potty; happy to be home. Only she waited too long, and now she couldn't get her one piece swimsuit off fast enough. 

There were other fish to fry, so I just put the swimsuit in the Haz-mat bag with the other three outfits she wore that day. Then, I forgot about all of it. Until this morning, when I was potting some new herbs.  I'll spare you the train of thought that got me from A to B, but I am guessing you can do the math and figure out how I remembered that I had 3 pairs of panties and a swimsuit that I needed to get poop out of.

Every mother with this problem faces the question "In which sink do I wash out the poop filled panties?"  Of course, you could do it in the kitchen sink, but come tonight when you are rinsing off strawberries, all you'll smell (even if only in your head) is poo. Poo Poo Poo.  So you head to your bathroom, but then you remember that you'll want to put your toothbrush under that very faucet. And you're just going to think about little specks of feces that you might have missed when bleaching out the sink. 

This was about the time I got the bright idea to treat the panties just like we treat the girls when we get back from the beach - hose them off in the driveway.  It was a brilliant idea and I was feeling pretty smart about the whole thing. That is, until two nice ladies came strolling in front of our house. I saw myself through their eyes. A sweaty woman with crazy fuzzy hair popping out of a very unkempt pony tail, shirt pulled up over her mouth and nose, squatting next to a small laundry basket, holding the corner of a brown streaked pair of panties while she blasted the crotch of them with the garden hose. 

I could see what they were thinking, and it's the first time the thought entered my own head "Why doesn't she just throw them away?"    Hopefully they saw me potting herbs earlier and just think I'm some sort of hippie.  Anyhow, if I don't remember just to toss those suckers next time, hopefully I will at least remember to use the hose on the back of the house.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Back To The Grind

So after a glorious two week vacation in Northern Minnesota, and a long weekend back home just looking at one another and catching up on sleep, we are back to the grind.

School started today for My Taz.  Kindergarten. It's kind of a big deal, so I was on guard to get all mushy and weepy. But instead, I just got kind of sweaty. We rode our bikes. It was hot. Not even two blocks from our house, Rylee got nervous in the middle of the street and tipped over. She wasn't even moving. We were fully stopped and like one of those fainting llamas (or sheep or whatever) she just went right down.

I had to think fast and get our bodies and bikes out of the road. Then I had to give a real loving pep talk about not needing to turn around and get in the car. It went something like "No, you're not bleeding, so we're gonna get back on our horses and ride like the wind. Chin up, sister."  Even the coolest of mommas would have started to sweat a little. Also, it was 84 degrees already and I have an Irish Afro which is a lot like wearing a wool cap in the middle of summer.

Anyway, drop-off went successful, and all of the liquid in my body was pouring out my skin, so I had nothing left for tears. Also, there were mini donuts in the library. It was a very easy transition. For me, at least.

After that, I went to The Club with Bear Cub. We did a hot lap around the parking lot and couldn't find ONE single spot. Even the makeshift grassy area people use as overflow parking was full.  I was thinking that I had probably missed a note about a fundraiser or blood drive. I was about to give up and come back later, but then I remembered what the scale said this morning after TWO solid weeks on vacation.

Anyway, I strolled on into The Club and was baffled by the seemingly emptiness of it all. But then the music started. Latin Music. And a chorus of WHOOT WOOT's coming from the gym. There they were, Mommas from all across the city were having a dance party. A celebratory Zumba class to mark the beginning of the school year. I watched from a distance as women shook their hips a little sassier, with bigger smiles and just a little extra flip of their hair.  I raised my water bottle to toast my "co-workers" as we all put our backs to the grind of summer.

Happy First Day of School To Me. And You. And I guess To My Taz.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Out of Office

Seriously is out of the office until August 16th. We will have limited access to internet, but will be checking in from time to time.  Should you need immediate assistance with quippy anecdotes about raising funny people, please call Zorbaz on Gull in Nisswa, Minnesota. They should be able to find me.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Mini Van Family Stickers

You know those stickers people put on the back of their cars of stick people, the ones that are supposed to represent their family. Yeah, I don't get it.  When we moved to Florida, every other car had one on their back window.   Then I noticed that they were mainly on mini-vans and huge SUV's. Then it hit me....OHHHhhhh, maybe they want us to know that they have to drive a mini-van or this pretentious gas guzzling beast to cart around the 5 stick figure people, stick dog and stick cat as indicated by the sticker.  Why not just get a bumper sticker (like everyone else that's ashamed of their car) that says "My other car is a Porsche."  Or take the route of my girlfriend, The Gypsy Hausfrau, who just exudes so much sexy that you don't even notice that she's driving a mini-van.

I saw one a few months ago of Momma stick figure and a baby. No other adult type stick figure. No dog (it was a Mini-Cooper). I couldn't help but wonder if she: A) Just thought it was cute, B) Didn't care what her family looked like, her car was going to have the same marks of motherhood as all the others in the PTA parking lot or C) She was advertising that she was available for dates. 

Sometimes they do give me the giggles. Like this one:

This makes you wonder if the dad in this family is only the dad of the baby? And perhaps under his sticker used to be a faded dad with maybe a hockey stick.  Or maybe golfer Dad found out that the twin boy and girl weren't his, so he threw out the Mom, the kids AND their stinkin' dog. But he had to kept the mini-van because the baby's car seat doesn't fit in "The Porsche."

Who knows. I'm probably wrong about the whole thing. I'm just a gal that spends too much time over thinking window stickers in an effort to tune out the fighting and screaming and whining that's going on inside my own car.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Independent Study Finds Mommas Depressed in June

I conducted a recent study and found that the majority of Stay At Home Mothers Of Pre-schoolers are depressed the first few weeks of summer. (In the interest of full disclosure, I should mention that the study included myself, and 5 of my girlfriends.)

(One Third of My Study Participants)

You would think that it would be liberating, not having a schedule. All spring you imagine a summer of floating on inner tubes with fruit infused water in the ever-so-cleverly-placed cup holder. You dream of spending the day in either your pajamas or your swimsuits. Why is it then, three days into summer we find ourselves curled up in our closets eating the secret stash of chocolates (read: semi-sweet baking squares you forgot about from Christmas) wearing foam tiaras over unkempt hair.

Is it the realization that we must plan thirteen activities a day to keep the shin-kickers from wrecking our homes (read: dryers full of this week's recycling)?  Is it that our babies are too young to do the really cool camps? Doing the math in our heads that it will still be TWO MORE YEARS before we can drop them off for 3 hours of arts and crafts? Or is it that there really is no difference between summer and the rest of the year?  Even if there are days spent in our swimsuits, there will be no lazy, partial nap, floating around with fruity drinks. There will be the breaking up of fights and sweating and packing half the house for a two hour outing. There will be whining and crying and unhappy campers. 

However; a silver lining was discovered in this study. Once those mommas remembered that there is strength in numbers, they set up play dates. They started sharing ideas for activities. ( "Hey meet us at the library to see Ronald McDonald." )  The weight of the job seemed to lessen. It lessened so much that they found themselves with anxiety over sending their children off to kindergarten in just five short weeks. (And by "anxiety" I mean "joyful anticipation") Will there be time to get the inflatable water slide back out? What about the group trip to the beach? When are we going to fit in the mermaid show?  Summer started slipping away so fast the study participants forgot they were in a funk at all.

So summer may not look like this:

But hey -

We're still...

Monday, July 9, 2012

The Rendering Truck

When my brother was small, he had a pet bird. That bird's name was Pete. That bird flew away (or so we were told).  Ben was so sad, that my parents got him a second bird. His name?  Re-Pete.

You can imagine how funny I thought it was when I saw a rendering truck with the name Re-Pete's Pets on the back of it.  I knew you wouldn't believe me - so I took a picture:


I phoned My Mudda last night to see if she saw the picture of the truck. And she totally 'fessed up that Pete had actually "fallen off his swing" and was found feet and beak up one fateful morning.
I knew it.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Dry Towels

I have dreams about dry towels. A big fluffy folded stack of towels that don't smell like they sat in the washing maching for 6 days before they got switched over to a dryer that never completely gets things all the way dry.

You probably dream about this too.
That is, if have small people who dream they are fish.







And twice on Sunday

We haven't had dry towels in our house since April. 

Friday, June 29, 2012


You know the line from that song "summer time and the livin' is easy...."  Yeah. A Stay At Home Mother of Two Preschoolers did NOT write those lyrics.

What we haven't done in our three short weeks:

been able to find the floor in Maggie's room
brushed our hair
figured out how to make it to swim class on time
figured out how to keep the swimsuits from smelling like wet farts
gone to the science museum
done a short daily "school lesson" to keep from losing all our smarts

It's not like we've been laying around watching t.v. all summer (cough cough). There have been bouts of serious activity. Such as practicing our criminal investigation skills.

Our first case study involved a decapitated mermaid

We found our suspect and after some intense interogation methods (read:waterboarding)
we got our confession

I wanted to wrap this up nicely, but I hear an aerosol can spraying which means one of two things:
We are going to have to repaint our sweet little rental, or the floor will be properly greased to bake cookies on.  Gotta run.