Saturday, May 30, 2009

I forgot to add...

What I neglected to mention in the last post is how much the girls both enjoyed the feeling of peanut butter on their hands.

Annie was the only one with sap all over herself but Ashley saw the peanut butter coming forth from the pantry and her eyes lit up.

"Can I have peanut butter on a spoon!?!?" she wanted to know.

When she found out I was only putting it on hands of people who were sappy (ha!) she changed her mind and informed me she was, in fact, sap covered as well.

Both of them had to be drug to the bathroom sink and have their hands washed for them to get the peanut butter off. Apparently it's more fun than Play-Doh.

Annie was so happy about the whole thing she ended up flapping and clapping her peanut butter into little globs of wall decorations. And ceiling. And shower curtain. And mirror... you get it.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Dad would say "Go put on some long pants"

Growing up we had trees in our backyard. Lots of trees. Lots and lots of trees. Which also meant we had issues with sap. I knew that butter would get sap off hands from a fairly young age.

Living in an apartment you miss out on several goodies.

Last weekend I pulled a ton of pokey weeds from our backyard area and around the "flower bed" between us and the racist card people. (I can't call them neighbors since they are anti-neighborly). Towards the end I employed Aiden to help me with the dead bushes that were in there and the larger pokey weeds. He has leather gloves and I had cotton girly gloves so I figured it's fair.

When we were done we borrowed the wheelbarrow from the shed and filled it up. That's when I realized my kids have never done yardwork.

Huh. That NEVER would have been the case in my childhood. Clearly I am providing a dis-service to them.

Of course I let them help load the wheelbarrow and take it to the dumpster with us.

This tree sap thing, it's another thing they have never experienced before. Annie was trying to climb trees at the park on Saturday but that was an oak tree. No sap. Tonight she tried to climb a pine tree. Sap. Barbie also tried to climb the tree but she suffered much less for it all.

When we get a house (10,000 years from now) I'll have to make up for lost time.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


The warm weather brings out a lot of clothing not seen since 9 months ago. This if fun, for the most part.

I know I wear tank tops and thus expose you people to the fat that is my upper arms. But at least I shave all the appropriate areas to wear capris and tank tops. You are welcome.

Today, I saw the strangest thing.

First, it was just a really run down new-ish blue minivan from Idaho (oh, the first problem).

It finally parked and this person took a really long time getting all of their stuff together to exit the vehicle.

Having finally emerged I was able to note it was a man in his mid to late thirties carrying one of those GIGANTIC plastic soda mugs, a laptop bag (sans laptop), and a take out bag from Ivars. I think it was Ivars anyway, I couldn't really see it.

The man was wearing a self made tank top... you know, where they rip off the sleeves themselves so their old t-shirts which are full of holes can live another season? The holes are never in the sleeves though.

I was waiting for Aiden and the kids to come pick me up so I watched this man walk past me. Then I noticed it; he was smuggling squirrels in the back of his shirt!

Or was it a chinchilla?

Maybe it was a black lab. But they have short hair, don't they?

Whatever it was, it was covered in long, black, THICK hair that came up out of the back of his shirt like a really confused pompadour.

I'm still not sure what he was smuggling but I can assure you it was dead as it was not moving at all.

How he wasn't being tickled by his own back hair (if that's really what it was) is beyond me.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Also works for words that rhyme with 'witch'... I guess

While sitting at the gas station yesterday the kids were driving me nuts. I can't remember what the talking was all about, just that there was a lot of it. And it was going nowhere fast.

"Look!" I said, "A limo!"

As a kid this would have been enough for me to be distracted.

It still works.

After we all managed to see the limo, which pulled up right next to us, Alex explained, "Or a limousine."

Well, yeah.

Annie wanted to know the difference.

It didn't matter what I said, she decided a limousine was two limos long. or two limos put together.

Finally I got through to her; "you know how your friend is named Addison but people call her Addie? It's the same thing with limo and limousine."

"Oooohhh... what?"

"Like sometimes we say 'honey' but sometimes we say 'hun'? To call people it, not about the food." I have to be very specific sometimes.

She was positive she understood me now.

"Oh, so like, if a man has a dog and names it Honey and then he says "c'mere, Honey" then his wife and his dog would both come?"


Ashley and Alex just wanted to know who would name their dog Honey.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Lots of pictures

Aiden took the kids and the camera outside and got some fun pictures. I was in class and I'm glad I wasn't there or some of these shots would have been done very differently.

First, Love is in the air...



Then Ashley was pacing a bird trying to give it a graham goldfish cracker. She walked slowly with her arm out towards it. The bird kept just 2 fence posts ahead of her walking. This is her still convinced she could get that bird...

...and giving up.

Today we went to a birthday party at the park. It was early enough that the really hot weather hadn't hit yet and we had so much fun! Thanks for the invitation, Christa!

Alex and his *friend*...

The tree we hung out under. I thought it was a good picture and was just goofing around.
My climbing monkey, Ashley.

And a climbing monkey, Alex.
Annie kept trying to climb but had little success. Maybe she's too chicken,
Or maybe it's the over-the-handle-bars-face-dive she did yesterday making her nervous.
She was sad until this lady came by with her dogs.

Ashley got in on it, too.
Alex spent a lot of time in the tree.

Annie got whiny so I had her pick "flowers" (it's a fight in our house that they are weeds so we don't bring them inside but they are very much flowers to Ashley who cannot think of anything so great as free YELLOW flowers she's allowed to pick and bring to Mom as much as she wants!).

After that we were hot so we ran a few errands which included buying a mister from ACE. Best $12 I ever spent. I thought about it last year but didn't get one. Oh, man! I'm so glad we did it.

The kids spent the rest of the day in the pools with Amy's kids, in the sprinkler, and playing water guns. And the grown ups? We sat in chairs and enjoyed the mist.

Music to my ears


Annie had her kindergarten program last Wednesday night. It was so much fun! The first graders sang first and did a good job. Then the kids we were there to see got up.

Our section of the front rows was full of the four of us to watch her, our landlord's husband with 2 of their kids (one in the show and one at the doctor's with Mom), and Amy, James, and two of their kids (TWO of theirs in the show!).

It was our own little Northwood Manor cheering section.

Annie had been practicing all the songs at home and in the car and everywhere we went so she knew all the words and we could hear her above the rest of them at some times.

Good job, Annie! It was great and you were beautiful!!

They'll Probably Be On The News Someday

Nvts...for you Pictures, Images and Photos

I'm taking two classes this summer; one is not ever going to be mentioned on here and the other is Parent Child Relations.

Last semester I had to take a class about how kids develop from conception to age 8. Alex is turning 9 next month so I kind of felt like I was cheating by being in the class. How many issues of Parents magazine have I read? How many hours have I dealt with it exactly? Yeah...

So I kind of feel that way this semester, too. I have, despite all evidence to the contrary, read a lot of research (even before the great Major change) on parenting and the long term effects it can have on the kids.

But I LOVE going to this class. There are only 20 or so people, including the teacher, in the room. Of those, 3 of us are parents and one is a boy. The professor is one I have had before and she knows I am not quiet in discussion based classes. And she knows I have kids. She asks my input as much as I offer it without her asking.

In short, the people in my class know I a LOT about what kind of parenting I do. I'm honest about it, for the sake of the class... it's like therapy.

For example, yesterday we were talking about 2-5 year olds and that included tantrums. Our teacher explained how you should redirect a tantrum thrower so they will forget their fit and be done.

I said we had moved on to applaud Ashley's tantrums. "Good Job!!! Oh, look, she kicked the wall!!" All with extreme pleasure and clapping.

It startles them, shocks them, whatever in to stopping the fit. They aren't getting their reaction they were after so they give up. Eventually.

I throw in my juicy nuggets of future helpfulness anytime I can.

Some of the girls told me yesterday they are going to be calling me in a few year with "how did you handle this situation?!?"

Maybe they should wait and see how my kids turn out, first.

Friday, May 22, 2009


We've had our warm weather start to hit. It's still nice because the breeze is still going. It's stagnate August that gets to me.

In the last week we have had BBQ'd hamburgers, hotdogs, and/or chicken 6 times for lunch or dinner. Or both.

Corn on the cob is less than 4 for a buck


The kids are staying out later, bedtime's pushed back, and the bikes are once again racing around the parking lot while their riders listen for parents to yell "CAR" so they'll pull over.

I love it.

Three more months of awesomeness!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

What it's like

We went to Applebee's for dinner last night (Wednesday night is "kids eat for 99 cents night"!). The girls had to go potty so we let them walk each other back to the bathroom.

While they were gone our food arrived. Alex took a big dunk of ketchup on his grilled cheese sandwich and bit in.
Then he started making strange noises.

After several attempts to guess what was wrong (it was a really big bite) he decided to fingerspell it ASL style.


"It's kinky?" I asked.


the laughter ensued.


Aiden guessed it, CANKER in his mouth. OH!

Then I went to check on the girls since it had been a long time since they left us to go potty.

I walked in to bathroom and heard them talking to each other.

There was a large, old, disabled woman trying to get herself into one of the stalls.
I knocked on the handicap stall door (where I take them if we all go together, I totally understand why they went in there) and asked how it was going.

Annie informed me that she couldn't reach the toilet paper and Ashley, who was walking around in there) couldn't get it to give her any.

I made her unlock the door and I went in to help.

While they were unlocking the door the old lady came back out of the stall she was trying to get into and asked if they were finally done yet.

I apologized and said it would just be a minute.

Annie ended up having to finish her business in another stall which only took a second but I was embarrassed that this old woman had to wait for my kids so she could do her own business.

I helped Ashley wash her hands and then Annie emerged ready to do the same. This old woman had moved about 3 inches from the counter (not for spite, just because she was that slow and sore). Annie started washing her hands and I asked the old woman if she needed a hand and apologized once again.

She informed me that she can do it on her own but she's just sore from waiting so long to use the handicapped stall.

I apologized once again, again and went back to our table.

I suppose she thinks I should teach my kids NOT to go in that stall but this is the first time this has happened in all my years of taking kids potty. I am not about to change this habit of theirs. Frankly, Ashley still needs a little help once in awhile and Annie is able to help her.

Am I wrong?

After we got home we took the kids out to ride bikes (except the one who behaved poorly and got an earlier flight to bed). At one point I listened to Alex asking his friend, Jared, how he spits. Apparently Jared and made some comment about Alex's style (which I didn't know he had or was doing...). They were riding around the corner I was stationed at so I only heard the beginning of the answer but I giggled to myself about the things boys ask peer advice for. They are SO unlike girls.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

They keep threatening to move. Follow through!!

At what point does the racism card stop being okay to play? Like, when is it OVER played? Because I'm pretty sure my neighbors are there.

Our property owners got rid of one of the dumpsters in our parking lot in an effort to save money. Unfortunately it was the one closest to us. (also unfortunate is the part where they did it right before half the complex moved out).

So we have this admittedly bad habit of putting a bag of garbage outside the front door to take to the dumpster when it's morning or has stopped raining (last night with thunder and lightening). But it's never food garbage. It's like cat box scooped stuff. Mmmmm, good morning!

Our neighbor, who employed this practice daily until she decided to complain about our occasional bag, is now calling our landlord every time she sees it. Which is like twice, I think. But still.

At this point I would also like to explain that they have a car which does not run and has not moved since October. In one of the front and center to our building parking spaces.

UH OH Pictures, Images and Photos

So our landlord, who is so caught in the middle and who I am NOT complaining about because she's in no better a place than us, calls us (well, texts now) to let us know our neighbor has complained about the bag of cat poop. But she can't harass them to move their piece of sh*t car because then they go screaming to her boss about racial profiling/discrimination/harassment.

The best part is that we end up getting the shaft since we're white, like our landlord enough to not be little kids about the whole thing (Aiden's totally the one who keeps us in line. I want to bitch!), and are NOT the squeaky wheel.


Monday, May 18, 2009

Things you should know if you move here

One of my professors said they got ticketed for parking their car on their own lawn. At the house they own, not rent. And the officer said, "In Pullman, we don't park on lawns".


I was looking for something else tonight and came across a "Resident's Guide to Pullman" or some such thing.

I started reading.

At first it's really helpful. Phone numbers of the phone company, garbage people, library, etc. All the things you'd ever want to know. Even the fire chief's direct office line. Wow.

Then there is the "summaries of some state and local regulations". This is where it got funny.

Funny because they have to put it on the freakin' page welcoming you to our town.

Which ones do they summarize? Ones about alcohol consumption, nuisance parties, noise restrictions, and fireworks for starters.

There's even a section which specifies that you MAY NOT place indoor furniture out of doors with the intent to leave it there. No couches on the porch for us! Even in privately owned homes. Clearly it was a problem at some point for them to feel the need to address it in city code.

Then, there it was; the parking regulations. It goes through the specifics on how long, in hours, you can leave a vehicle parked on the side of a city street. It discusses the short (read: NO) notice given for snow removal and de-icing.

Tucked in at the end of the paragraph was this. "Pullman City Code, Chapter 12.10.092, also prohibits parking vehicles on front lawns."

But I was not done. Because neither were they.

Here's a section we all need to know (if we're renting): Helpful tips for renters.

Yes, you should get renter's insurance. Yes, you are required to keep your smoke alarms in working order (including the battery). No, you should NOT try to save money and shut off your heat over Christmas Break while you go home to Mom and Dad.

But the best section was the "Safe Housing Checklist".


Because it includes informational nuggets like:

  • Electrical boxes should have covers over the wires.

  • If you use an outdoor electrical outlet or switch it should not spark or shock you.

  • The support walls and posts should be plumb and straight.

  • A door should separate the kitchen from the toilet room. (I'm serious)

but my personal favorite is:

  • All apartments are required to have a door opening into a hallway or the outside.

I don't know what happened to make that be part of the checklist but I'm interested to know how those people got IN that place to find out it was a problem to NOT have a door to a hallway or the outside.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

"Graduation" Day

Ashley had preschool graduation on Friday. Unfortunately, we got our wires crossed and arrived an hour late thinking we were on time. So we missed the little ceremony but still got pictures of Ashley with her teacher and in her cap!

There was an hour break between the ceremony and lunch where they had face painting, water tables, a cop car, all the playgrounds open, tons of stuff for the kids to do. But NOTHING for the parents to do but follow their kids around and try to keep track of them amidst all the other kids (4 classes participated) and their siblings and parents. It was crazy!

Last year we let Alex skip school to come see Annie's. We'll let him and Annie skip next year to come see Ashley actually graduate to kindergarden. For this year, we just had the girls with us. We convinced Ashley to have lunch at McDonald's instead of waiting for overheated rubbery hotdogs. Our sense of adventure has waned.

Anyway, some pictures from the day:

This is her with Miss Alyssa, her teacher.

In her "graduation" cap.Annie getting her face painted. The girls got stuck waiting for a friend to finish messing with the boards.THIS is the acclaimed CJ of many a twinkle in Ashley's eye. She's got good taste, huh?HE is less than thrilled about all the PDA. (Maybe they HAVEN'T been kissing!)

This is my new desktop background. I LOVE it!


This weekend I have a test, 4 chapters to read, 3 REALLY long, boring scientific sounding sociology articles to read, a website to review, and a 2 page paper to write.
Oh, and a 30 minute discussion group to prepare for my class on Thursday. On ANOTHER really long article.

I had big plans for myself yesterday. But it turns out that being at school and having so much homework every single night (seriously, 2 chapters and at least 1 article every night!) is exhausting. Especially since I have to keep a dictionary by my side and read the articles out loud so I can HOPE to understand what they are saying.

Anyway, I took my test yesterday morning (online) and then prepared to settle in with my highlighter and one of the articles.

But the kids were playing outside. Surely I can read this outside and watch them. And get enough out of it to write a response.

But Alex had a birthday party to go to and we had to get a present.

So I took him to Shopko and had an hour of date with my 8 year old. He's some of the best company one could hope for so I was in NO hurry to get back to my article.

We got home and I put the gift bag together. Okay, back to responsible-ness.

But I bought a People and hadn't finished it. (or really started it)

So People and I went outside to watch the kids.

Then Reader's Digest made an appearance.

Then we had to get the boy to the party so we packed everyone in the van. We dropped him off and took the girls to Wal-Mart of some odds and ends. Then to some store in Pullman, then to ANOTHER store in Pullman, then back to the park to get the kid.

Now it's dinner time. But we have to go back to Wal-Mart. So we went to Sella's (if you ever come visit us, make sure we eat at Sella's. It's SO good).

Back to Wal-Mart, home, let the kids ride bikes for an hour until bedtime.

Wow! I got a sunburn. (minor)

And I'm so sleeeeepyyyyy.

And my article has not yet highlighted itself.

But I had a fantastic sunshiney day with the kids, outside, having fun, drinking lemon juice water (YUM!) and driving those same 8 miles again and again.

What a great freakin' day.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Fiddle Dee Ha Ha

Annie and Ashley have fallen in love with "Take Me Out To The Ballgame".

They sing it in the car.

They sing it in the shower.

They sing it in their beds after we've yelled at them to shut up and go to sleep.

Always the singing it. ALWAYS at the top of their lungs.

Today we were driving and Annie decided to mix it up a bit. It was like listening to a Little People CD only not.

She worked her way through "Take Me Out To The Ballgame", "The Wheels On The Bus", and some other songs. Then she got to the one about meeting a bear. I don't know what it's called.

Annie did the singing and Ashley did the echo. At one point we got to "he sized up me" and Ashley echoed with "he sliced up me". And then to complete the thought: "I sized up him"..."I sliced up him".

I don't know what they sang after that because we were laughing so hard.

Annie also has a book from her school library right now called "'Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving". At one point Farmer McNugget says something about the turkeys being 'filthy beasts' who will be hacked up into Thanksgiving Feasts.

So today is a day I will hide all the knives and just rock in the corner until all the cutting danger is over.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

In which I whine and celebrate

Since Summer Session started I have been at school from noon to five every single day. And I am tired.
Add that to Aiden having so many apartments to clean between the two complexes and the girls being home all morning, we're all exhausted.

Except the kids.
But you know it's bad when we're too tired to go get groceries.
My brain is so mush that I keep having things happen that I mean to blog about but I cannot remember them longer than 2 minutes. Which is sad because in those 2 minutes I have mentally written blogs about the happenings.
On a different note, final grades for spring came out today. I got me a 4.0! Yay!!
I was so mad about the speech class I was in I actually sent an email to the dean of the department who sent it on to the guy that oversees the class who ensured me it will be dealt with.

I am not normally a complainer who will do more than just whine to anyone who will listen but it was SO bad. The entire semester included a grand total of ZERO teaching. And we got out 40 minutes early every time. Which left just enough time of class for us to do some pointless impromptu speech on topics like "should Micheal Phelps be fired from his endorsements with your ficticious company or should we hire him because of his pot smoking?".

In other fun news, Annie got her staple out yesterday. We got there early (for a lot of stupid reasons) and had to wait about half an hour (still got in early, though!). She was so patient and brave; she colored a picture for Dr. Mike's nurse, Janel, who she decided was "a good person", kept watching the desk for Janel to come back so she could give it to her, went back to the nurse's station to give it to her (with permission), read me a book, colored me a picture, looked at the fish tank, and was awesome.
When we got back to the room she was sure the finger painted (and then mass produced... meaning NOT original work) calander was painted by Janel (obviously good kid work, awful adult work... like I had done it or something). Because "she's a good painter, I think".
I don't know WHY she is in love with Janel, Wants to marry Janel, have Janel's babies, but I like that she's recognizing people other than sorority looking girls as good looking and/or nice. This is a big change from the norm and Janel is NOT sorority looking at all. (although she is also my favorite nurse there)

This is NOT what they use.

Janel showed Annie the tool to take out the staple, Annie was brave.

Janel went to get Dr. Mike, Annie was brave.

Dr. Mike came in the room, Annie was NOT brave.

We both reminded her that she was brave up until now. Dr. Mike said "I did not lie when the staple when in. I told you it would pinch. I am not going to lie now. It WILL NOT HURT."

It was great. He counted "1,2,3" and it popped right out. He showed it to her, talked about what it looked like in her head, how the whole thing worked.

There was no threat or suspicioun of murder on this trip; she said "Thanks, Dr. Mike!" and bounced out of the office.

I'm so glad we have such a great doctor for the kids. And if anyone is asking, I highly recommend the use of a pediatrician for kids (vs going to the grown up doctors). They are just better prepared and make it less scary and maybe even a little fun or interesting.

When my kids graduate medical school, I will be sending thank you notes to all our pediatricians along the way.

And the nurses.

Especially Janel.

Because she's a good person.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

What did you say in the last 24 hours?

Get up now Get up now Get up out of bed

Wash your face Brush your teeth Comb your sleepy head Here's your clothes And your shoes

Hear the words I said Get up now Get up and make your bed Are you hot? Are you cold? Are you wearing that?

Where's your books and your lunch and your homework at?

Grab your coat and your gloves and your scarf and hat

Don't forget you got to feed the cat

Eat your breakfast

The experts tell us it's the most important meal of all

Take your vitamins so you will grow up one day to be big and tall

Please remember the orthodontist will be seeing you at three today?

Don't forget your piano lesson is this afternoon

So you must play

Don't shovel

Chew slowly

But hurry

The bus is here

Be careful

Come back here

Did you wash behind your ears?

Play outside Don't play rough Would you just play fair?

Be polite Make a friend Don't forget to share

Work it out Wait your turn Never take a dare

Get along Don't make me come down there

Clean your room Fold your clothes Put your stuff away

Make your bed Do it now Do we have all day?

Were you born in a barn? Would you like some hay

Can you even hear a word I say?

Answer the phone

Get Off the phone

Don't sit so close

Turn it down

No texting at the table

No more computer time tonight

Your iPod's my iPod if you don't listen up

Where you going and with whom and what time do you think you're coming home?

Saying thank you, please, excuse me

Makes you welcome everywhere you roam

You'll appreciate my wisdom

Someday when you're older and you're grown

Can't wait 'til you have a couple little children of your own

You'll thank me for the counsel I gave you so willingly

But right nowI thank you NOT to roll your eyes at me

Close your mouth when you chew

Would appreciate

Take a bite

Maybe two

Of the stuff you hate

Use your fork

Do not you burp

Or I'll set you straight

Eat the food I put upon your plate

Get an A,

Get the door

Don't get smart with me

Get a Grip

Get in here I'll count to 3

Get a job

Get a life

Get a PhD

Get a dose of...I don't care who started it

You're grounded until your 36

Get your story straight

And tell the truth for once for heaven's sake

And if all your friends jumped off a cliff

Would you jump too?

If I've said it once, I've said at least a thousand times before that

You're too old to act this way

It must be your father's DNA

Look at me when I am talking

Stand up straight when you walk

A place for everything

And everything must be in place

Stop crying or I'll give you something real to cry about

Oh! Brush your teeth

Wash your face

Get your PJs on

Get in bed

Get a hug

Say a prayer with Mom

Don't forget I love you


And tomorrow we will do this all again because a mom's work never ends

You don't need the reason why

Because Because Because Because

I said so I said so I said so I said so

I'm the MomThe momThe momThe momThe mom

Words by Anita Renfroe Copyright 2007 Bluebonnet Hills Music/BMI

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Music to drive by

Normally if we have to do a long-ish drive we put a DVD on for the kids and go. Today we made them sit and look out the windows while I played DJ up front. I should burn a CD of "songs my kids love to rock to". Here are some of their favorites:

Hooked on a Feelin' by Blue Swede

Coconut by Harry Nilsson

Fool For Love by Sandy Rogers

Boot Scootin' Boogie by Brooks and Dunn

The Lion Sleeps Tonight by The Tokens

Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend from the Moulin Rouge Sountrack

(sorry the speaking is French, it's the best copy I could find)(and NO, I don't let them watch the movie)

All That Jazz from the Chicago Soundtrack

The intro is cut off this video.. which is wrong because it's Annie's favorite. She gets to the first blast of the brass section and goes nuts with dancing. And No, they don't know what it's all about. Nor have they seen the movie. Sheesh!


Dancin' Queen by Abba

And today we introduced them to MMMBOP by Hanson.

Sadly, I cannot put the video in here because I couldn't find a good copy that would let me. (keep all those comments to yourself about how there IS no good copy of that song).

They could not believe it was a BOY singing it.

There Are No Words

I've been thinking over the last few days how best to mark this Mother's Day. I wish desperately that my muse were hanging around and I could write a poem. Or that my laptop were working so I could compile a video. Or that I had more than 5 bucks in my pocket today and could do something fabulous for my girl, the mother of our 3 beautiful children.

So, I'm sitting here trying to draft some clever, amazing blog about this woman I love so dearly. After all, she is the world's greatest mom. She has always said in our relationship and marriage that she loves me 4th best, because her kids will always come first. I can't think of any sweeter thing she could say to me and I certainly wouldn't have it any other way.

Since my wit and humor abandoned me last night while I tossed and turned, and since I am flat broke, without a laptop, and without a muse all I have is this brief blog. I think, perhaps, the following photos could describe my wife's amazing relationship with her children better than I ever could anyway.

ps-Be sure to send some love to the mom in your life that you're so proud of!

Saturday, May 09, 2009

it's not EBOLA, either.

According to the divorce paperwork, it is my year to have the kids for Mother's Day weekend.

Because I am nice, I let Brandon get them for the weekend so his mom's 'thing' would go well.

And Annie has fifth disease. Let me quickly explain: fifth disease is basically a cold with a rash. This makes everyone ask what is wrong with her. In fact, Annie hasn't even had a freakin' cold; just the rash. Her doctor (and the 9 zillion websites I looked at) said kids are only contagious while they are incubating this virus. Once the rash shows up, no more problem (except the questions start).

Fifth disease is caused by human parovirus B19. This is known to cause a small risk (10%) of miscarriage in women who are in their first trimester. Like Morgan.

Yeah. Here we go:

Because I am dumb I called Brandon (at noon) to let him know everything was fine, the pediatrician said there's no potential problem, Annie and Morgan are both good to go.

At 4, as we were halfway to Spokane, Brandon called and said he can't believe I didn't tell him about this before (um, does TUESDAY not count as "before"!?!) and that if anything happens to the baby that he is going to 'destroy' me.

I informed him I had checked everything on our end and that I refuse to accept responsibility for the baby in his girlfriend's uterus.

"because you refuse responsibility for anything," he said,"but that's okay."

I hung up.

It went on like this:
I had called Annie's doctor, got the all clear.
Morgan called her ob/gyn, got the red flag.
Morgan called Annie's doctor, got the all clear.
Morgan decided let's still see the kids and I'll wash my hands a lot.
Brandon called Morgan's ob/gyn, got the red flag, told them what Annie's doctor said and got "well, it all depends on how much risk you want to take". THEN (and only then if I got my facts right) he told the ob/gyn that she has already had the rash for 5 days.

Y'know how if you call the ER and want advice as to whether to come in or not and they will NEVER tell you you're fine? Because they don't want to be wrong and end up being sued?
OB/GYNs do the same thing! If they had said "well, yeah, you're being a dumbass and really this is NOTHING to worry about" and then something did happen, Brandon would totally sue them. So they can't say that.

And I get that maybe the other two are in the 4-14 day incubation period. EXCEPT, they were at Brandon and Morgan's 2 weeks ago (strangely fits in the incubation period, huh?). So she's already been exposed by Annie from then.

Anyway, while we took the kids to Laura's (his mom), let her make them dinner, Brandon decided the whole thing was off. They were not going to see Annie or the other two, and he could not come down to get see them while leaving her in Spokane. If he had come to see them, he might carry the noncontagious virus back to Morgan.

I feel like Rachel to his Ross in this clip: In case you don't know/remember, Ross was scaring the girls through the whole episode trying to get them to learn the art of "unagi".

I sarcastically pointed out that they better not stay at Laura's house because the kids were in the house for 1 hour and maybe that's enough for the danger to strike. She'd better not hug Morgan or Brandon, just in case. "you're right. Thanks for thinking of it," was his reply. OMG, it's missing my sarcasm!

So they drove to Laura's, dropped off presents, and left. But they wouldn't come by her house unless we took the kids somewhere else while they did their exchange of stuff.

And long story short, the kids are at Laura's house for the weekend their dad screwed up.

**** In case you want to know Brandon's version of what fifth disease is, his mom was on the phone with a friend trying to get more info so she could try to convince Brandon his was stupid about it. Her friend asked what is fifth disease and Laura said it's something like a cross between small pox and the measles.

WTF?!?! Apparently this is what you get as 'knowledge' when you listen to Rational Brandon's version of life.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

I just don't know sometimes

Aiden is a fan of records. As in LPs. My kids sort of know what they are although we don't play them all that often so they are sketchy on the details. Mostly they know a record is for music.

Occasionally Annie will come running down the hall and ask if she can play the record.

Um, no.

"But you always let me," she'll protest.

Really? I always let you play the records? No, I don't. And so Aiden doesn't get mad at me, please stop saying I do. Some of those are expensive!

Finally we remember she means "keyboard". Oh...!

Well, no. Normally, yes. But this "record" conversation has given me a headache that will be made worse by you playing the keyboard demo song over and over and over again. (It's one of those songs you played in Jr. High band.. Mac the Knife or some such thing.)(not Mac the Knife but I can't think of it right now)

Another word she cannot get right? For anything?


As in, Mom, my bear has a hole in it. Can you knit it?

Um, I don't knit. Do you mean SEW?

There are some very old women who talk like this. Trust me, I met all of them through my years in customer service. They all manage to use the wrong words for the important piece of the sentence. It's always in the neighborhood of the word they meant but just off enough that it's really confusing.

Like, did you see that episode of FRIENDS where Joey writes his recommendation letter for Monica and Chandler? He gets intimate with a thesaurus.

At least she's pretty.

It makes me uncomfortable. You know what I mean, uncomfortable?

This post, found by linking to this and that and then voila!, makes me laugh.

In the comments there is some person who wrote 'heh'. Which reminds me how much I cringe at that word.

I think there's a lot of people out there who confuse a lot of words. Fine.

But EVERY SINGLE TIME I read 'heh', I get the willies.

Why? Because someone I know likes to write emails and put 'heh heh heh' in them. And while I love that person, I cannot help but imagine some creepy Chi-Mo (child molester, in case you don't know) with that 1970s special haircut from Mastercuts and the Rockford Files mustache and maybe some leather pants... making his plan, observing kids, being creepy in some way. And he always laughs "heh heh heh" with that gravely voice. And maybe he smears ear wax on his mustache (in case it's handle bars and not 1970s bushy).

Hee hee hee, fine.

Heh heh heh? Creeeeeeepy.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

'Tis but a flesh wound. A gaping, bleeding flesh wound

Annie got invited to play at a friend's house this afternoon.

Our friend Amy, mom of 4 boys, ages 6 and under, brought her back an hour later. In her wagon. With a lot of crying all the way from her house to ours.

With apologies running out of her mouth she told us Annie had been playing with the boys and some rope thing they had set up. As Annie went swinging around she whacked her head into some wood thing. "And she has a head wound right... here" Amy told me.

Since Annie tends to play it up, I was expecting a small scratch-ish thing.

I was unprepared. I should have known better since Amy is a mom of four boys and normally tells kids to shake it off.

I tried to see the wound but I got as far as the matting of bloody hair with more blood pouring out (we've all seen head wounds) and went for my purse.

I called the pediatrician's office and they said we could come right in.

We sat in the waiting room for only a couple of minutes and were taken to the exam room set up for emergencies. It's also the place they store samples so there's a fridge. It's also the place they sterilize stuff, so there's all that equipment. It's also the place their full sharps containers go, so there was 2 of those HUGE containers, full to the top, sitting on the counter.

That did not put Annie at ease.

The nurse had to wash the whole area. This left a good amount of bloody gauze and bloody water. Luckily, the owie is on the back of her head so she could not see all of this.

Doctor Mike, I loooove Dr. Mike!, came in and took a look. He told us it was definitely 'gaping' but not so much that we had to do anything about it. So we had two choices: leave it alone since the scar that would result will hide under hair all her life, or staple it shut.

Telling a kindergartner that you are going to staple them shut is NOT the way to calm their worries.

She started screaming before we even got done talking about it.

After some discussion, we decided to go ahead and staple her head.

And the screaming was cranked up a notch.

Dr. Mike got the stuff he'd need (from that cupboard right in the very room we were in, to Annie's horror), and got in place.

He told us it would just feel like a little pinch and that even kids who need 5 of them are often left asking if that's it when he's done.

I think that's what he said anyway. I couldn't really hear over the Annie wailing.

She does have a flair for the dramatic. When she stopped full out screaming in screech tones, she moved on to "HE'S GONNA KILL ME! DR. MIKE'S GONNA KILL ME!!"

The staple went in. Annie had been taking a breath as it happened and it took her a couple of beats to realize it was over. 'IT'S POKING MY BRAIN!!" She was sure of it.

When the whole thing was over she took her sweet time calming down. As we got up to leave we said thank you to Dr. Mike.

I told Annie to say thank you also.

"Thanks for not killing me, Dr. Mike," she muttered.

We get to go back in a week to have it taken out, that one little staple.

Annie's sure they said one year and not one week.

(Next Wednesday will be so much fun!)

On the way home, she was not crying but not happy, either. We could have bought her a puppy and she would not have smiled, a fine and pleasant misery it was.

When we got home and collected Alex and Ashley from Amy's house (yep! the Amy who was in the beginning of this story) Annie informed them "they had a choice between number one and number two. And they chose number two: staple my head".

They were both sufficiently impressed and curious about the whole thing.

Really, I feel awful for her. She was just at the doctor's yesterday to get diagnosed with fifth disease. While it's not harmful or even quarantine worthy, all the kids in her class, the teacher, and the school nurse would not stop asking about it.

She has informed me she will NOT be telling anyone about the staple in her head.

A Teapot and A Goofball!

Today Ashley's teacher, Alyssa, came for a visit. She was telling us how much she loves it when Ashley sings her funny version of the Little Teapot song. I was blindly nodding along but Aiden must have had a confused look on his face.

Hadn't we heard it? No.

So after Alyssa left, I got Ashley to sing it for me. Then I got her to sing it again and again and again until this was the best version of the video I could get.

I love how she had to check her spout. This was the fifth time she had sung it, in a row. It must get tricky!

In case you can't understand her, she says:

I'm a little teapot, short and round

here is my handle, here is my spout

when I get all steamed up, hear me shout

tip me over and pour me out.

I'm a little teapot, short and round

here is my handle, here is my...

Oh no! I'm a sugar bowl!

Then she mooned us.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

How the REST was Won

In the beginning there were the mothers. (The fathers were also there but they often had to go out and do some hunting and gathering so the mothers were left alone with the screaming things they earned their title with.)

The mothers carried the screaming things and learned to appease them with rocking, singing, food, diaper changes, and by never EVER putting them down. Even for a second.

The mothers forgot that bathrooms had doors. Except that one time when they, in sleep deprived zombie mode, closed it. The pounding and crying which ensued was enough to remind the mothers never to do that again.

The mothers got up in the middle of the night for more appeasing attempts. They lost sleep and energy. Their huts were completely disorganized as were their thoughts (if they had any at all)(which they might have if they had gotten some sleep).

The mothers sat up listening for sounds of breathing on the screaming things' monitor and worried over every sniffle, sneeze, and cough. They were on a first name basis with the witch doctor who specialized in screaming things and they had the number on their speed dial.

Through all this, and more, the mothers loved the screaming things and called them babies.

And the babies loved the mothers.

As time marched forward many things changed. Banks realized the stay at home mothers did not want to have to unload all the accouterments just to make a deposit.

Viola! Drive thru banking!

Some mothers were not about to deal with washing all those diapers.

Two solutions: diaper service and Pampers (Oh, God Bless Pampers!).

The mothers even banded together and demanded (and got) portable battery operated swings.

Little tricks were learned and the mothers shared these hard won insights with each other. Being the mother became a little bit easier.

One thing, however did not change and that was the fierce love the mothers carried for each of their babies. (They are still babies even if the 'baby' in question is 45).

The mommies knew this was their calling. They knew they were put on this earth solely to love those little screaming babies as much as they could.

But they just wanted 1 hour so they could take a nap.

Not really much to ask for.

So someone decided the mothers should get that nap.

Once a year.

And after many millennium of sleep deprivation, the mothers got their nap day; we call it Mother's Day.

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms I know and love.

And especially to my mom. She is the mother of all mothers. She is my hero, my best friend, and my mom.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Maybe If She Had a Fan Going

Last night I couldn't fall asleep so I decided to dazzle Aiden with my extensive knowledge of useless trivia.

"Did you know," I asked him,"that there is a whole line of study done on what colors mean to people?"

I was actually kind of surprised that he didn't know.

So I went on: "White means purity, yellow is friendship, red is sexy. Think of that famous Marilyn Monroe picture. It's all red lips, yellow hair, and white dress. People like her because she's sexy, pure, and friendly."

I know people like her for more than that, but it's all contrived. Every stupid thing every celebrity wears, colors of dental office walls, everything is predicated on what the color says. .

Today we had to run to Wal-Mart. We noticed that it must be "trailer park, geriatric, and young businessmen with no secretaries" day.

On the way out, I spotted a very old woman heading in. She was wearing a denim skirt, a white gramma blouse (yes, that's the only way to describe it, no I don't say "blouse" unless I must). Over all of it she had on a bright red cardigan.

"See?!" I told Aiden "You look at her and all you can think is sexy. It's the red sweater".

"Oh yeah" he replied. "Sexy is the ONLY word that came to mind."

Still, it's a real study.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

... and then I had an aneurysm

We took the kids to the museum on campus this morning. There's a lot of animals and some skeletons and stuff (and it's free!). The girls had both been before but it was new for Alex. And since he's very science minded, he loved it.

We got done and went to Pizza Hut for lunch. (I love it when we can save up Book It certificates and eat for the cost of drinks!)

When we got home I took the kiddos outside for some running around time.

And then I noticed the wind. And how cold it was. There was another mommy out before us and since she was still out, I couldn't wimp out that quickly.

And then the rain started. And we both wimped out.

One of the neighbor kids wanted to come play which brought us to 4 kids and 1 adult (Aiden was resting his painful shoulder).

I decided the girls and I could play Sorry! while the boys played in Alex's room. But the boys wanted to play, too. So Ashley and I were on a team.

If you'll remember, Sorry!, when played with multiple kids (especially mine!) goes on FOR-EV-ER.

And since it was an hour and a half into one game before Brady decided he'd had enough and suddenly had to go home, I was starting to be bothered by my eye twitch that had started.

Here's the thing: Alex is a constant source of humming, singing, whistling, and general noise. And he was playing with his Bakugan he'd brought to the table. So his focus was somewhere else.

Annie was humming, singing, whistling, and standing next to her chair while she tipped it up and back to the floor over and over again.

Ashley, who has spent the most time with Aiden, wouldn't stop cleaning up the stack of discarded cards. Unfortunately, she's 4 so she kept fixing the one stack and knocking over the other one. And moving them further and further apart. Plus, we were on a team so I could help her strategize. This meant I had to convince her yes we could use that card (after the first unusable Sorry! card is played, we lose focus) and which guy we should use it with.

Brady also had a Bakugan with him (which he broke and Alex spent half the game fixing between turns). But the part that would drive me nuts was the part where he'd reach for his card before the turn before him was done (or really even started). And the part where he'd pick up his card and hold it, then set it on the table in front of him, take his turn, and have to be reminded EVERY SINGLE TIME to put his card back in the discard pile.

Ho-ly cow. That's all I have to say.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Annie's Inner Smart-Ass Rides Again

Alex had a school musical thing a couple of weeks ago. One of the songs was about how everyone is different but that is what makes us special.

Tonight I sang a song with the kids and then they all decided to take center stage and sing one by themselves for the rest of us.

Alex went first. He decided to sing the song about differences (this is why I brought it up, y'know).

The verses are something about "I don't look like you, you don't look like me" and then "I don't talk like you, you don't talk like me" and finally "I don't WALK like you, you don't walk like me".

As Annie and I lay on the couch with her head snuggled up under my chin it was a very sweet moment in the living room.

Until Annie muttered "I waddle".

I started laughing so of course Alex wanted to know why. We told him and then Annie felt the need to defend her comedy by assuring us she does not, in fact, waddle.

I think it was because he was using sign language for the key words in the song (ala elementary school production style). The sign for walk could easily look like waddle.
I think it was just a great excuse for Annie's inner Smart Ass to saddle up and ride again.

Pigs Don't Fly, But Their Flu Does

As the world is dealing with Swine Flu, we've been celebrating the fact that we don't get a lot of travelers through Pullman.

The problem is I forgot all about graduation.

WSU, it turns out, did not.

They have issued two emails today. The first one was this page.

The other was a reminder about that page.

So while I'm happy for all these people who get to be done with school, and I'm happy their parents can come to the ceremony, I'm NOT happy to realize we're about to be infiltrated with Swine Flu potential carriers.

So much for being safely off the beaten path.

***If you follow the link, be sure to note that you can follow the school on Twitter. Seriously.