Monday, December 7, 2009

A Very Bad Idea
(my first one this week...)

I woke up this morning, bright and early and saw that it had snowed during the night. This is where things went horribly wrong.

I decided it would be a GREAT idea to get all my kids up and ready before 7:30, dress them in Santa hats and head out into the virgin snow to take the dreaded CHRISTMAS picture (did I mention that it's Monday morning??). If you are a mom, you will get immediately that evidently my synapses were not making proper contact this morning. The incredible part of this story is that I actually did get all my kids up, coiffed and dressed. We loaded into the van (because I have to borrow my neighbors trees anytime I want ambiance) and that's when it all started to disintegrate. I had made my plan while imagining fantasy Stepford children, pouring liberal amounts of bleach on what my reality actually is...whiny kids who have no tolerance for cold or inconvenience. Bribery worked on the older two, but my toddler isn't so corruptible yet. As soon as I got a shot ready, he'd step out of it or turn around or make his Oscar the grouch face. Meanwhile kids number one and two are screeching through clenched teeth, "Mom! Take the dang picture!" My optimism faded and I asked myself what the heck I was doing outside in the cold, on a Monday morning taking pictures of my kids (who historically speaking, compare this sort of activity with Chinese water torture). By the time we were done (two seconds later), all kids were upset, one was crying and I had pulled a muscle in my back.

Next Monday I'm hitting snooze, throwing back a Valium and sleeping for an extra two hours.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!
Here are my Halloween pictures!

Black Belt!

Geisha Girlie

Sweet Bee...

On Halloween night, three neighborhood boys showed up with their bodies covered in peeling pink paint. Matching pig snouts and white wings completed their costumes. "The three pigs?" I asked. "Swine flu," they answered. Ah...

This, I am convinced, is how the swine flu infected my unsuspecting household. The very next day my oldest had a temperature of 103 and was laying about in atypical malaise. We even went to the hospital and had the sucky snot test to confirm that he was, indeed, H1N1 positive (called such because it wouldn't be p.c. to insult pigs). So for the next two weeks I had two kids and one spouse come down with the disease that has caused such a media frenzy. Ya know what? We all survived. But that's why you are seeing my Halloween pictures after Thanksgiving.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Mental Health Moment (warning: this post contains profanity)...

I've been insanely busy for the past month and a half. I think of things I'd like to blog about but something else more important comes up. Not more fun, just more book reports, nasty colds and the stomach flu. I keep waiting for my life to "get back to normal" but then I realize, this is the new normal!

damn it...

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Colors of Summer


In the heat of the day, in the cool of the pool...
nothing like it!


Or any other color popsicle! You gotta love a popsicle in the hands of a two year old. He's oblivious as the juice dribbles down his chin and both arms. You get in on the action when he wraps both arms around your leg for a sticky hug.

Red, White and Blue

These colors fly high all through the month of July. Around here they mean parades, hot dogs, cousins and fireworks.

And my FAVORITE color today????
the big yellow school bus
that just drove past my house

Saturday, August 8, 2009

This was my mother's day gift this year (the sunflower...not the boy. I got him years ago). My son gave it to me early in May. It sat on the windowsill in the kitchen growing steadily for a few weeks. When we decided it was strong enough, we planted it outside. Holy growth spurt Batman! It went from 10 inches to five feet in a thirty day span. Do ya ever wonder what kind of steroids God puts in seeds that causes this kind of reaction? After seeing how quickly this monstrosity shot up I find myself thanking heaven for the disparity in the growth cycle of young plants and young children.
(yes, I know he needs a haircut...the boy, not the sunflower)

Happy Summer!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Our Zoo membership expired on June 30th. So, wanting to squeeze as much value out of that little piece of paper as possible we loaded up, grabbed the cousins and went...on the hottest day of summer so far.

Our Navigator...
Wild animals...beware

Cousins, and buds!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Why I don't Comment on Your Blog...

This morning, I had just finished printing out the chore chart for my oldest before Cubs when I realized I had 2 minutes and 45 seconds of free time. I decided to catch up on my favorite blogs. This is what happened next:

J: Mom...what are you doing?
Me (distracted): Leaving a comment on a blog.
J: A what?
Me: A blog.
J (patronizing): Mom...that's not how you spell 'both.'
Me: That's good because I'm trying to spell 'booth!'
J: Who is that to? What are you saying? Who is that a picture of? Why are you doing that? Do you even know who that is?
Long Mommy pause (the one where you weigh the conseqences of child endangerment)
Me (resigned): Ya know, I think I'll do this when you are unconcious.

Monday, June 29, 2009

How Far Would you Go for Good
Cheese Fries?
A favorite hang out in High School, it's where you find
truly great cheese fries--no equal, anywhere
(and believe me...I've looked)
I just returned from a trip long over due--back to my hometown in Missouri. It was WONDERFUL. Ok. It was wonderful for me. I dragged my sister-in-law along and all my shouted enthusiasm was somewhat lost on her:

“Look! That’s my High School.”
“There’s my old house!”
“I made out in that parking lot!”
“I learned to roller skate there!”(ok…that one was a lie. I never learned to roller skate. I learned to fall down.)

Mmm-mm. You can take the girl out of Missouri but you can’t take the Missouri out of the girl. Going back home I felt like I met pieces of myself. Pieces not lost, but maybe forgotten. There are some really lovely things about the Midwest. The pace is slower, the people are completely genuine. LJ remarked on how kind and polite everyone was. Family friends took time out of their busy day to talk to me. I went to church and was treated like a lost treasure. My heart expanded two sizes just seeing some of these people again.

Here are some highlights...

Outside the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art home to my favorite painting in the
world, Mrs. Cecil Wade by John Singer-Sargent
Exterior and Interior shots of Union Station in Kansas City,
one of the most sublime places on the planet
We stayed in downtown Kansas City, two blocks from the Power
and Light District

The J.C. Nichols fountain at the entrance to the
Country Club Plaza...great shopping, great eats...beautiful!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

We're only two weeks in, but here is what our summer is like so far...

J-man just finished baseball season. He had machine pitch this year. Initially he came home disgruntled at how few hits he was getting, letting me know he preferred coach pitch. But he ended strong. He got on base each time he was at bat and frequently scored for his team. Fielding was a different story but he was as good/bad as any of the other kids. This summer he is starting to read the Harry Potter books...has already finished book one. He just returned from a camping trip with his dad where he shot a BB gun for the first time. Oh joy.

This Little Miss is the poster child of summer. If she is concious, she wants to be on the go. It's difficult to keep up with her. She is always on the trampoline, begging to play in the water or wandering off with her friends. In between she is showing a slight interest in cooking. She gets involved with whatever I'm doing in the kitchen until something better comes along. Her hair lightens in the sunshine and so does her mood. The first word she utters when she wakes is "play." It's unfortunate for her that mine is "chores."

Junior Bacon turned two last week. Currently, he's all about trucks. This is where there is a distinct advantage in having an older son. Suddenly, that obsolete fire truck that has been gathering dust is cleaned off and a fabulous distraction on a rainy afternoon. Little man's vocabulary has taken off lately ushering in the stage where I stand between my son and the rest of the world and...translate. "Truck" sounds like "duck" and the most essential word, "chocolate" comes out "cha-kit." It's a good thing I speak toddler, because a handfull of chocolate chips is a great negotiating tool during a melt-down.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

If My Life Had a Soundtrack...
I couldn't live without music. It's an essential thread that weaves it's way through my life adding texture, tying my past to the future.

The right song will transport you back in time, turn an average moment into something deeper, take you to the dreamscapes of your imagination. Kind of like hallucinogenic drugs without the health concerns.

I got to thinking about this the other day when a song came on the radio and I was sucked back through the vortex of time. So, I sat down and started to compose a list of songs that immediately called up other memories. Musical snapshots...

Rubber Ducky You're the One (Ernie): Maybe it was his nasally voice, maybe it was the duck itself...whatever the appeal, I can still sing every single word.

A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes (Cinderella): I listened to this one over and over and over again on my white plastic record player---the beginning of my indoctrination at the hands of Walt Disney. The song induced a crack like addiction to handsome princes and happily ever after. It took me decades to learn that these things are, actually, very hard to come by.

Dancing Queen (Abba): I collapsed into a blushing heap of humiliation when my dad walked in on me singing this one into my air mike, shaking my hips and wowing my imaginary audience.

The Reflex (Duran Duran): Staying up late for Friday Night Videos. Crushing hard on Simon Le Bon (a transfer of affection after Nick Rhodes went and married some woman who wore as much makeup as he did).

Take On Me (Ah-Ha): Riding in the back of Dean’s mustang with Jenny while Dean and Jared did 360’s in the icy parking lot of Carlton’s Shipping Company. Those guys were so cool…and totally hot!

Barbados (The Models): Jenny and I washing her little white Subaru (christened Fred) trying to erase the dent we got by being in exactly the wrong place at exactly the wrong time. It didn't work...

Just Like Heaven (The Cure): Tom. The rest -- you don’t need to know…

Possession (Sarah Mclachlan): That boy with the funny last name I was crazy about. Great kisser, but he was dating two other girls at the same time.

Thorn In My Side (Eurythmics): Ford standing outside the sliding glass door of my apartment yelling up to my neighbor…asking her out. Yes, we were dating. Genius.
Interstate Love Song (Stone Temple Pilots): I. Can. Run. One. More. Mile. Yes. I. Can.

A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes (Cinderella): Watching with my daughter on a rainy Sunday afternoon. Let the brainwashing begin…

From Van Morrison to The Cure. From Sugarland to Muse to Classical Guitar…what’s on your playlist?

Monday, April 27, 2009


If there was one word my husband would have tattooed across my forehead (backwards so I could read it when I'm brushing my teeth morning and night), that word would be R-E-L-A-X.

I was reflecting on this fact this afternoon as I was running errands with my 22 month old in tow. I had Muse blaring at decibles that the Parents Advisory Council would frown upon, not to mention the questionable content of the lyrics. But as I glanced back at my cherub, his feet tapping and hands clapping with a HUGE grin on his face (baby likes Muse!) I flashed back to when my oldest was the same age. We listened to A LOT of Mozart, because the experts said it would make him smart (it worked by the way...the downside is he is now smarter than me!). If I was tired of Eine Kleine Nachtmusik, I'd settle for the classical radio station. When that was a snooze...classical guitar. It was a stretch, just coming in under my stringent standards. I didn't want to corrupt the kid. My-oh-my. If I could travel through time and have a chat with that anal first time mom...

I think I'm coming along with the whole letting go thing. I can't magically wave a wand over the world and make it perfect for my kids, but maybe if they see me moving more comfortably through life, they will too!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

We are "vacationing" in Arizona right now. Vacationing is in quotes because I'm on my own with the three kids. More accurately I should say, they are vacationing and I am just trying to keep up. My vacation will come the day after we get back and they are in school. Ahhhh...

So the other day we were driving back from the Arizona Museum of Natural History. My oldest, out of the relative quiet of the back seat asks, "Mom, where are the terrorists in Arizona?" My brother and I exchanged a questioning look.
"Terrorists? Honey...there are no terrorists in Arizona."
"Ya-huh! That billboard back there said, 'Terrorist Information.'" My brother and I started to laugh. We had just driven past the Gilbert City municipal buildings. I responded, "No honey, not's tourist information." I tried to explain the difference between the two words, just to erase that worried wrinkle in his brow.

One carries a camera and is victim of over priced cotten candy at a baseball game (12 bucks) ...the other carries an oozie.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

and OUT like a lion...

Add "snow" to your list of four letter words, the really naughty ones that would have gotten your mouth washed out with soap as a kid. We've had snow for nearly four days in a row...and I would like to point out that,'s SPRING. Hello! So far the only evidence of Spring is the part of our fence that is now in the neighbor's yard. Around here, it ain't Spring until gale force winds blow and we make a call to our insurance agent. I thought this latest destruction might be a good omen, the wind ushering in warmer temperatures and a reprieve for the neighbor's daffodils. No go.

Today I woke up to snow,again. I'm so glad the door to my room was closed because I used some blue language to express my appreciation to Mother Nature for the April Fool's joke. By noon the snow had passed...along with the urge to pick up car pool in my thermal underwear and take hot chocolate intravenously.

Oh, and another bonus to the unseasonally cold temperatures...
I would have posted much, much earlier but the weather messes with the internet connection, taking me back to 1995 when "online" refered to an alternate method of drying laundry.

Warmer days are ahead...warmer days are ahead...say it with me now...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Gone With the Wind

Vivien Leigh (Scarlett O'Hara) was British. From the moment she read GWTW she was convinced she was meant to play Scarlett O'Hara. The movie's producer, David O. Selznick conducted a country wide talent search to find the perfect Scarlett. Filming had already begun when Leigh came to the set with her lover, Laurence Olivier and their U.S. film agent...who just happend to be Selznick's brother...David O. took one look at Vivien and, as they say, the rest is history.

Clark Gable (Rhett Butler) did NOT want the part. He had done another period drama which had been a dismal failure. He came off looking like a fop. He also felt that the book was so popular, that everyone would have a preconceived idea of what Rhett should be. He didn't think he could live up to everyone's expectations. In the end, the money sealed the deal. Gable was trying to obtain a divorce from his second wife so he could marry Carole Lombard. The money went to pay off his wife.

Olivia de Havilland (Melanie Hamilton) was under contract to Warner Brothers studios. GWTW was to be released by MGM, a competitor. Olivia wanted the part of Melanie but her studio boss, Jack Warner, refused to lend her to Selznick. Warner told her that the part of Melanie was beneath her and that she should try for Scarlett. Olivia made a lunch appointment with Jack Warner's wife and the two of them double teamed him until he relented.

Leslie Howard (Ashley Wilkes) was also British. He didn't want to play Ashley. He felt he was too old. At the beginning of filming he was 45 and Ashley was supposed to be in his early twenties. Selznick bribed him by offering him a part in a film that he was interested in.

This picture was taken on set during the filming of GWTW. David O. Selznick had a copy sent to Margaret Mitchell. When her husband, John Marsh, saw the photo he quipped that Olivia de Havilland looked like his wife did while she was writing the book.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

In like a Lion...

One thing about living in the intermountain west...Mother Nature kind of jerks you around this time of year. The grey gloom of January and February is broken in March by tantalizing previews of springtime splendor. Even the crocus (which my dad always called "hopeful" flowers) are fooled into creeping tenatively out of their hibernation to explore the open air. But current weather conditions are enough to send anyone back into a dormant state. We got more snow yesterday and temperatures have dropped. You come to expect this kind of yo-yoing around here. I'm sure it won't be the last snowfall before Mother Nature makes the switch in seasons. But that's ok with me because before you know it...I'll be complaining about the heat!

Guess the trampoline set-up was a bit premature

Saturday, February 21, 2009

This blog entry could very well be titled "stupid stuff that I care about...but nobody else does," but since it's my blog, I'm ok with that.

This month's book club pick is MINE!! and it's Gone With the Wind. My all-time-super-duper-absolutely-most-favoritist-book-ever-written pick. It was the first real book I read (I was 10). By the time I graduated high school I'd read it eleven times. My obsession started with the movie. I still love the movie, but the book! The book is so much more. To see the movie and not read the book is like eating cheesecake without caramel sauce. It's like visiting Paris without seeing the Louvre.

My devotion to GWTW has been profound. When I was leaving home for school, I took my GWTW movie poster with me. Seeing this my dad said, "I bet cha by the time your first child is born, Gone With the Wind won't be as important to you." I took the bet, but made it for only five bucks because, although I denied it at the time, in my heart I knew he was right.

Authoress Margaret Mitchell at the Reminton portable typewriter she used to write her book

Who Knew? Who Cares? ME!

Margaret Mitchell...

...took 10 years to write Gone With the Wind. She started in 1926, it was published in 1936

...was a journalist, which was considered a "man's profession" in the early part of the last century

... knowledge of the Civil War was based on the oral history she received from her mother, grandmother and Civil War veterans who were frequently invited to her Grandmother's home for Sunday dinner

... was 10 years old before she found out the South lost the Civil War

...kept her manuscript a secret, covering it with towels when friends stopped by. Sometimes friends sat on the novel (unknowingly) because the apartment she shared with her husband was so small

...named her heroine Pansy O'Hara originally

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Familyfest 2009
We have successfully survived another family reunion. Due to budget restraints, which we will blame on our new President, we all headed to a family cabin and lots of snow. Some of the highlights included: spinning out and getting good and stuck in said snow, internal bleeding, five BLUE stitches and plenty of shared viruses. There was gaming galore, excellent food and good conversation. We sledded, skied and parked our fanny’s in front of the theater screen to relax. Special thanks to Matt and Moo for fulfilling my life long dream of becoming Jon Bon Jovi, ala Rock Band (an experience which previously would have required a transgender operation, massive amounts of plastic surgery…and hair extensions). My rendition of Living on a Prayer caused alarm in my children and prompted my sister-in-law to ask, “Who is strangling a chicken??”
Family Birthday Party

Kissin' Cousins

Snow Time!

Oh what fun it is to ride...

Monday, February 9, 2009

Me and Dad 1969

How do I blog this?

My Dad has been gone for six years now and I have to say that I am profoundly grateful for the brain’s ability to store memory. For the past few years it’s acted like a rolodex of the very best moments with him. I can rifle through, pull out a choice experience, close my eyes and relive it again. So even though my goofy, cynical, wise, and at times irreverent Father is no longer with me physically he’s never really that far away. My Mom says she likes to think of him as with her, just in another room. So, he’s around. Out of sight but never out of mind. Love you Dad. Always.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Things Keeping Me up at Night

1) Child #1, child #2, child #3. They take turns with their cold-weather ailments, nightmares and stall tactics, making a full nights sleep a distant memory...uh, when exactly do I get to sleep again?? Anyone? Anyone??

2) That weird clink-clank sound that happens every night at 2:30 a.m. I suspect the duct work but haven't completely ruled out the supernatural...

3) Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice, Persuasion, Sense and Sensibility...I'm going through a major bonnet phase

4) My bladder. The very second I find the sweet spot in my bed, all warm and cozy under my down comforter! Nature calls--grrrr

5) The nagging thought that after my husband burns down our home when his ethanol still explodes...I will have to live with my mother!

6) How do I raise my boys to become responsible, hardworking, honest, sensitive, non-perverted men, when popular culture preaches the exact opposite?

7) The fear of falling asleep and having that dream...the one where I'm pregnant again and I don't know who the father is. Actually...I kind of like that dream.

8) When my kids are all in school and I FINALLY decide to rejoin the work force...will anyone want me? Will I be able to speak in complete sentences? Will I know how to get along with grown-ups? What if the interview is over lunch and I reach over and cut up the interviewer's meat? Maybe I should forget the whole idea and stay home and dust...

9) What's with the injustice of aging? I sacrificed a lot of my youth having kids and taking care of my family. Why is my reward a slow metabolism, extra padding and sagging...everything?

10) My sister-in-law's phone calls which bring up so many questions that I'm thinking about our conversation until 2:00 a.m., 3:00 a.m., 4:00 a.m....

Monday, January 19, 2009

I keep having "uh-oh" moments...which surely must be kissin' cousins of "ah-ha" moments. There are four and a half years between my second child and my caboose (aka the last child) and in those four and half years I have forgotten a lot. I forgot that once a toddler discovers they can do something, they think they can do anything and will be really, REALLY vocal if you try to stop them (from climbing on the counter, from climbing the fridge shelves, from climbing into the dryer, from playing in the toilet). I forgot how preferable naked is to a toddler. I forgot just how messy a messy diaper can be when the naked toddler wrestles out of your grasp to remain naked. I forgot that the toddler way of announcing, "I am done with dinner," is by flinging what's left of dinner in a 180 degree radius. I forgot that the toddler way of saying, "This tastes funny," is by violently spitting it out.

Of course I forgot some other things too. I forgot how irresistable toddler smiles are and how I'd gladly do the chicken dance just to coax one to the surface. I forgot how warm and wonderful a toddler feels when they tuck their little bodies into yours, making you feel like the most loved person in the universe. I forgot how expressive their faces are...those darling faces that light up in triumph at every new achievement. I forgot their utter joy when you come to pick them up after nursery...when they open their arms wide and fling themselves into yours. I forgot that I'd be asking my toddler to say "amen" over and over and over again just to hear him say, "um-em." And I forgot that the very best moments of my life could come from just sitting still with my toddler while reading a book, watching a movie or sharing a nap.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Life in the fast lane

We started the year out on a sore note. Sore throat that is. Katie was down on New Year's Day with strep and it's been circling through the house ever since. So, no profound thoughts here today. I'm just trying to keep my sanity as I tend tired, sick, cranky children and keep up with the rest of my life (without the benefit of sleep).

Does anyone know if there is a union for stay-at-home moms? The hours and responsibilities are unreasonable!