Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Random Thoughts

--I love Thai food. The whole family went to Thai last week and even though we made the poor servers overload with stress (Cubby wanted to serve himself from their bowls) the food was so GOOD. My favorite is.......all of it. I love the Tom Kum Ka soup (coconut milk, lemongrass, broccoli and cabbage--the perfect combo of sweet, sour and hot) the most. I want to be marinated in a vat of it when I am buried. I also want a gallon of it waiting for me when I have this baby. Not kidding.

--I have a new testimony of "lowering the bar and being awesome" (a la, Oh Judy, CJane and many, many others). I find that it is MUCH happier to be surprised at how GREAT I am than being guilty at not doing enough. I have very low expectations for my kids and myself and each night go to bed thinking "WAY TO GO!!! You are AWESOME". Seriously. NPR did a program on this recently, and said how people who have realistic expectations say that they are happier. Makes sense to me. My expectations this week? 1) children fed, not off the floor 2) house kept "clean-ish". That means clean enough that all garbage gets thrown away, but I don't have to bend over more than necessary. I'll just tip my ladies really well this week 3) Don't have a baby 4) Get dressed in something clean. See how easy it is!! I really am awesome.

--I don't have many clothes that fit me now. I have stayed about the same size on the bottom (pretty much, it just all redistributed itself). I lost a lot of weight during the hell that was last summer and now, at 9 months pregnant, weigh about the same. I gained more than I should have this pregnancy, but since I am eating whatever I want, it is a fair trade. This week, though, my shirts are JUST a bit too short. I am constantly doing the "pull, pull, tuck, tuck" thing. It kind of drives me crazy, but I am too lazy to buy new clothes. Am I the only one that does this? Can I tough it out for a few more weeks? Will I just have to wear the last two shirts for the next month. Maybe. What can you do? ;-)

--I might be obsessed with food (shocker). I had another Reuben for lunch today. Heaven. I slather it with horseradish and cranberry mustard. Enough said. I had one waiting for me when I had Lauren. My favorite is from a place called Max's. We stopped there on the way home from the hospital when Lu was born. It was each kids first "outing". They changed their menu recently, so the food isn't as good as it was, but it is still my first choice. Lucky for me, our new house is just a few blocks from another Max's. And a Thai place. The really important stuff (I hear the schools are good too).

--My whole family is pretty much in bed by 7:00 pm. Really. I wish that I could totally blame it on my husband's early schedule, but my kids play hard and all I can think about is sleep. I assume that this is a pregnancy thing. I also have stopped checking my phone messages. I might check the missed calls log, but don't count on it. I know this is terrible, but if you want me, e mail me. This is all part of project Lowering The Bar.

--I watched the Oscars, but got bored after the 37th red dress. The best part was when a very impaired Gary Bussey kissed Jennifer Garner on the neck during her interview with Ryan Seacrest. She had NO idea who he was, and to be fair, he did look like a homeless guy wandering the carpet. That Gary is always good for a laugh. He then tried to be best friends with Ryan and Ryan played it off pretty well. Good times. I didn't see any of the movies so I assume that the people who won deserved it. If they didn't, I don't really care.

--Thanks to the raves on Rarely Home Mom, I started watching The Biggest Looser. Now I am obsessed with it. Pretty much that and the Animal channel (along with my boyfriends) take up my TV time. Tonight one of the trainers, Jillian, was dealing with one of the girls who didn't want to keep going with her workout and she said "Do one more or I am going to rip your arm out of the socket and beat you over the head with it". Now THAT is a good motivator. I am going to have to remember that one.
--I have decided that along with not checking my messages, I am not going to do links on my blog for awhile. You know the trick where you make the word the link? It takes too much time (I have to go back and find the website that explains it, and then I might actually have to engage my brain.......). Sorry to my 12 readers for the inconvenience, but not sorry enough to do it.

--I have also decided that I am not going to make my daughter do her homework for the next two weeks until we move. Nor will I go to the parent/teacher conference this week (sorry mom and all you other teachers). I am not impressed with her teacher, and since I have very low expectations you can assume that she is REALLY something else. She is pretty much a worksheet teacher, and does not do any creative classroom things that I can see. She is sarcastic to my daughter and I have had words with her in the past about her attitude towards my girl (who is the sweetest thing, but still 7, so I am sure has her share of sass. Guess what? Don't teach 2nd grade if you don't like the age). Even though we go to a public school, this school gets A LOT of money from the parents. Each CLASS has a yearly fundraising goal of $1.5 million. Yes, million. The tickets to the yearly fundraiser "hoedown" are $250 per person, not including the food tickets. People donate and auction off things like trips to Mexico in private jets, stays in guest houses in Europe or Asia, vintage wine, lunch with the President, etc, etc. Not really my peer group. They also pride themselves on paying their teachers more, giving more, having small class room ratios etc, etc. So, frankly, I expect more from her teachers than a regular, overworked, trying her hardest w/ too many kids in the class teacher. Too bad. I also think that sarcasm has no place in the classroom. I also don't like passive/aggressive. So, I will take it out in my own passive/aggressive way by not having her do her homework. I realize that she will still need to know the info from the worksheets, but frankly I think she has too many anyway.

--This baby is going to show up soon. I keep trying to ignore it but it seems like it is still going to happen. I have one outfit, I will find the carseat in the move and the hospital will give us diapers. She can sleep in a laundry basket in the closet for the first little while like all the rest of my kids did. So, in theory, we are ready.

--I really am not as ambivalent about children and my life as it might seem. Just logical and content. Things are going really well here. Derek is working hard, we are about to move into our house, I just conned one of my sisters into helping me unpack (thanks Nie), I have good friends, good family and occasionally (like today) my kids go for more than an hour without fighting. What more does one need? Besides more Thai food, of course.
Welcome to my mind. Do you wish that I would go back to pictures (and can anyone tell me why the formatting on Blogger is so LAME? It doesn't want me to keep spaces between my paragraphs).

Saturday, February 23, 2008


I am sorry I have been absent, but here are a few pictures to tide you over. We had a family trip to SeaWorld and Disneyland in January. We met up with two of my sisters and their kids. It was fun to see all the kids together, hopped up on sugar, being crazy.....

The kids loved the stingrays this time. We spent a LOT of time here....

After the Shamu show (which the kids were only semi interested in, but one of my niece's loved and kept shouting "Shampoo!! Shampoo!!) Jacob took great delight in feeding the seagulls his extra popcorn. For a few minutes we thought some of them might carry him away... he loved it.
D with Jacob and my niece Rapunzel. The had a good time picking up the starfish and then throwing them back. Poor starfish. Cubby and L are only a few weeks apart in age, Norah and Tank are just a few weeks apart too, we love to steal thunder in our family (our kids are younger and showed up w/ short notice..there is a new family joke that when someone has a baby, it means we are going to adopt again... ).

It is not fair for such a small girl to have SUCH beautiful, long hair. Lucky Rapunzel (unlucky mamma that has to brush it!!)

Tank and Norah (2 weeks apart) running around by the penguin exhibit. Penguins smell. Really, really smell. Ick.

D helping Norah practice walking. So close. We are SOOO close (and this is the point where she usually throws herself on the ground and screams bloody murder b/c she does NOT want to practice walking). Stubborn little lady.

Norah wasn't quite as enamoured with the starfish as the rest of the kids.

Baby Bird... she is Rapunzel's baby sister. She is the happiest baby EVER!

Here are my sister Nie's kids. Tank is in the back and in the front is The Monkey Man. They are the dynamic duo. One sister has two girls, the other has two boys. We are all about symmetry in our family....

Aunt Nie brings the good stuff. Nothing like suckers to keep everyone happy. We might have gone through her entire, huge Ziploc bag...... oops.

Just to clarify, I know it looks like Tank has just returned from an Ultimate Fighting match (that he lost), but really he just loves to fall down; down stairs, off chairs, etc, etc. The poor boy was sporting several goose eggs. I know Nie thinks that everyone will think she did this to her kids, but they do a great job whacking up themselves (and for them, it is all in a day's adventure, they have no consideration for their poor mamma!!!).

The end of the day it got REALLY cold and foggy. We loaded the kids up on peanut butter and funnel cake and prepared ourselves for two fun filled days at the Happiest Place on Earth......

Saturday, February 16, 2008


Holy Cow!! It was so fun to house shop and day dream about our house. Finding my dream home was just the icing on the cake. We are so excited to move in. Today it hit me. I have to MOVE. That means packing things in boxes (the easy part for me) and UNPACKING them on the other side (not my favorite part, in fact, there are a few boxes that I never unpacked from the summer--score!). That means work. I also just realized that I am going to have a baby. I have been ignoring that for the last 6 months, not because of her extra 21st chromosome, but because I DON"T HAVE TIME FOR ANOTHER CHILD. Strangely, she is coming anyway. In 5 weeks.


Since my sweet husband (who is on the mend, btw) took the kids away, I was planning on doing lots of pre moving stuff. I was even going to clean the cars and organize the garage. Instead, I have eaten 3 Ruben sandwiches (my favorite, don't forget the cranberry mustard), watched the Animal Planet Channel almost non-stop (WHY? I hate animals.... something is wrong with me..) and pretty much have not moved off the couch except to fetch the occasional diaper for Norah. It is a good thing that my husband does not read my blog because I feel guilty for not being more productive. Not guilty enough to get off my rear and DO something.....

I finally got my hands on some pictures of the house. I didn't want to post the link because it has the price on it and that is tacky (although, I did send the link to a few friends and didn't realize that it wasn't just the PICTURES... sorry). I am going to give you a walking tour that might be a bit too involved for the average reader, but since most of my family will likely never see it in real life, this is the next best thing. This is also for you AJ... but I fully expect YOU to see it in real life someday. The rest of you are invited too, come visit San Francisco and stay for dinner!

I am very excited to get settled. I think that I am the only person on the planet that isn't on the Mid Century Modern bandwagon. I really do love the style and have often been envious about some of the homes and designs of my friends (and we have some families in our ward that have refurbished some Eichlers that would take your breath away). I am an Arts and Crafts girl. MCM just isn't my thing. It isn't how I live. The very first piece of furniture that I bought was Arts and Crafts (sometimes called Mission style). In fact, ALL my furniture is. Arts and Crafts style was a backlash of the very ornate Victorian style. Instead of being fussy and swirly, it is simple, dark woods, natural, straight lines, exposed beams (thanks to my sister Jen for giving me some good background). It is just very clean and simple. It feels very calm and the symmetry appeals to me. The best part about our new house is that the architecture is decoration enough. A few family pictures and we are set...

So, here is is!

Welcome to my home, come on up to my front porch!!

This is just inside the front door. This was the original porch of the house but now it is a really large entry way. There are glass "windows" on all the sides. One shows the outside (the one you see here) the other shows you a view into the front room, the other, into the dining room. So, even though it is dark wood, it feels very light and open. Also, the lot is very narrow, but this is the only place in the house where you can see the neighbor's house...

Just to the right of where this picture ends (by the crosses and the heart chest) is the open entryway. There are built in shelves in the left corner and that awesome fireplace (which will not be used for a LONG time. It needs to be completely upgraded inside and out). It is a smallish room, but since this is a dedicated "front room" that won't have a TV or anything child related it doesn't really matter. It is still a light and happy space.

When I saw this picture on the web listing I actually gasped. This is on the other side of that glass wall in the entryway. This space is the same size as the front room, but it means we have a dedicated dining room (something we have never had before). On the left wall (you can't see it) is some really interesting, but beautiful, built in drawers and cupboards. They are original to the house and will give us some great storage. You can't really see it, but at the top of the room where the wood meets the (original) wall paper there is a little ledge with some wonderful detail work. Can't you just see candles all around the room? Sigh.

This is the kitchen. The little window on the top left of the photo (by the fridge) is a little open window into the dining room. The kitchen was updated in 2005. AND it is dark wood. It even has an island that the kids can eat at (on my wish list) and a kitchen desk (something I have learned I can't live without). It is unusual to have a large kitchen in these old houses. Most have galley kitchens. The original owners knocked down some walls and made it a large space. Smart move and one of the reasons we knew we wanted it. It seems that around here you either get tiny dark rooms, or totally open floor plans. This was a nice middle ground (and one we preferred anyway).

This is the other view of the kitchen. It was taken from where the fridge it. On the left of the door that goes outside (so, behind that red chair) is the house access to the studio apartment. There is no picture of it, but it is up a flight of stairs. There is also outside access to the studio. The garage is on that side of the house and has been halfway turned into a playroom. That is a project we will finish in a few years. Until then it will be an exercise/storage room. There is a full bath and kitchen in the studio and a half bath and laundry room downstairs at the back of the garage.

This is the little family room area just off the kitchen. This is idea because it is a small-ish space and it is close to the kitchen (where I tend to spend my time). The kids can be close by, but not right on top of me. Just to the right (you can see it in the previous picture) is the staircase. There is a little nook under the stairs that will just fit the toy shelves and play kitchen. Add a TV and comfy couch and we have a perfect play room/tv room. It is out of the way (and therefore doesn't have to be clean whenever the doorbell rings) and easy to clean up. Perfect. There is not a picture of it, but on the other side of the stairs is one bedroom. It will be Lauren's room.

This is the downstairs bathroom. It is right next to Lu's room. It was also updated in 2005, so everything is new.

At the top of the staircase is this large hallway. I love that it is big enough to put a comfy chair and bookshelf for a nice reading space, or a desk for a homework station. It is having these extra, usable spaces that make this a good house for us. Not really a "room" but space we can use. There is no picture, but there is a bathroom and a laundry room just on the other side of that red chair.... and upstairs laundry was also something that I have dreamed about.

This is the other upstairs bedroom. It is just big enough for a bed, a crib and a dresser. There is a big closet at the foot of the bed. This is all that Cubby and No need. It is also right next to the master bedroom, so the babies are really close by. Eventually, we will turn this into the little girl's rooms and put Cubby in the finished garage room. For now, I need to know what the little tornado is up to.

This is the master bedroom. Small-ish but perfect. It is big enough to fit a bed, a dresser, a chair and enough breathing room to not feel cramped, but not big enough for a weight bench and exercise bike. :-) I love that it is bright and airy. There is another window across from the bed (not pictured).

Here is the master bath. Another thing on my wish list (you know, the list of things that would make you pass out if you got it, but not something you expect...). There is a HUGE tub and a great shower. It is also updated and feels clean. We have always had old bathrooms. It seems that no matter how clean they are, they don't FEEL clean when they are old. It is a pretty small space, but perfect for us.

This was what put us over the top on this house (besides the studio apt). We knew we needed a place for full time help to live. That means that the fourth bedroom was gone. We weren't sure if there was a space to put the baby. This is the closet in the master bedroom. It is the size of the garage. They knocked a hole in the wall (and made a secret door that is behind a bookcase, very Scooby Doo). The first half is a huge closet with TONS of shelves. The second half is what will become the baby's nursery. There is plenty of room for a crib, a rocking chair, a changing table/dresser and a great window. We aren't sure if it is insulated, but since we OWN this house and don't have stupid home owners rules, we can put a window air unit if we need to. This becomes our 4th bedroom. It is quiet and private and means I can take care of baby in the night and not have to move to the couch (Derek gets a pass on night baby care since he works at 4:00 am..... ). Pretty slick, huh?

Finally, this is the whole reason we needed a bigger place. My poor Cubby needs a place to run around. The yard isn't very big, but it is big enough to have a sandbox, a play structure and room to hit a ball. We were kind of bummed that the deck takes up about half of the yard space and considered taking it out. When the engineers report came back, they told us that the yard doesn't have great drainage (all of our town is on a gentle upward slope and we are at the bottom. We needed to be sure that all the runoff didn't empty into our foundation) and that the problem area is under the deck. It needs to be taken up, have proper pipes put in and replaced. Sweet. We just won't replace it all the way. Problem solved. The other plus to this property is that because of the slope of the land, the property behind us sits on a terraced lot (so that no one has a slanted back yard). This means that the fence behind us is about 12 feet tall. The one on the left side of this picture is about 8 feet. The other side is the side of the garage/studio. All of this translates into 1) not seeing the neighbors and 2) a Cubby proof yard. I am sure he will figure out a way to escape from it somehow, but it might take us awhile.

So that is it!! Our new house. It feels like a great fresh start. A new school for the kids, a new town for us, closer to work for dad (and a MUCH shorter commute), a new congregation, a neighborhood with yards and trees and sidewalks and kids. I am very sad to leave our community here after 10 great years, but excited about getting to know the new one. Besides, we are only about 15 miles away. I will still be down here all the time for doctors appointments and play dates. So it isn't REALLY goodbye.

Friday, February 15, 2008


I hope everyone had a great Valentines Day. I sure did.

My husband gave me the best Valentines gift ever!!! It just so happened that he has been out of town for the previous week, leaving me with the kids (pictures of the mass destruction to follow). His family was going to Utah to ski for the long weekend, so he took the big kids. Away. ALL OF THE LONG WEEKEND. This might not be as significant to you as it is for me, but I have to say that this has been bliss. I can actually hear the silence. I haven't said a negative word in hours. I can do what I want, when ever I want (and so far that has meant sleeping a lot). I cleaned the kitchen and did the laundry and picked up the toys... AND IT IS STILL DONE!!!!
It is just me and Miss Norah and we are having a ball. I so rarely get quiet time with her, it has been really fun to work with her on her therapies as well as just chill out with her. She actually does better (and eats better) when things aren't so crazy. It has taught me the value of getting this girl away from the chaos every so often and giving her quiet time with us (and re-enforcing that getting lots of help this year is a GOOD thing). I watched all my TV boyfriends (and some of yours), went to bed at 8:30 (even bypassing a girls night out, that is how crazy I am). My ladies are here and I don't have to go to McDonalds. I get to blog instead. Sigh. This is the good life.

Of course I miss my kids. I miss their little faces and their sweet words (those do occasionally pop out). I don't miss the markers on the wall, the mustard on the floor, the squabbles, the referee-ing, the constant messes, the diapers, the baths, the fighting, the whining, arguing about what Lu is NOT allowed to wear to school (tank tops and sparkly tights... NO), making bacon 3 times a day because that is all Cub will eat right now, car seats, Yo Gabba, etc, etc. This might sound terrible, but I just needed a vacation from my kids. Things are about to get pretty nuts around here and I can't imagine that there will be a time that I can do this again.

Even though I didn't NEED a vacation from the husband, it is nice not to have ANYONE to answer to. Do you know what makes it even better? He is SO sick (I just found out that he might have pneumonia). So, while he is dealing with the squabbles, the ski clothes, the diapers, and hacking up his lungs, I get to go to the mall and eat tortilla soup.
Love doesn't have to be passion and roses and chocolates (although those are nice too). Sometimes love is getting the H$&% out of dodge.
Ah, Love.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

My new TV boyfriend....

I have one (or two). Do you? I also have a movie star boyfriend. My husband has movie star girlfriends. It is something that we laugh about. It is funny how the girls that I think are really pretty are not the ones he does, and vice versa. All the guys that he thinks girls would like remind me of child molesters (and they will remain nameless on this blog...the stars, not the child molesters... if I knew any I would let you know...).

AnyHOOOO, back to my new TV boyfriend. Ladies and gentlemen, I introduce you to Dr. Drew.

I know, I know. You have seen him on MTV and on (horror) The Tyra Banks show and other MTV Generation type places. I thought the same thing: "Dr. Drew, you are a sell out, what can you do for me?" Well, he has brought us the little nugget called Celebrity Rehab. I had no desire to watch this show. I didn't need to see a show that was all about watching the train wreck similar to what we are watching with Britney Spears on a daily basis (seriously, how is it possible to NOT know what she is doing? It is everywhere). A friend told me that she watched it and it was surprisingly real, interesting and touching. With the writers strike and all, I decided to try it. I recorded it and watched it one night while folding one trillion loads of laundry (it really was one trillion). It was gripping. It was sad. I was ENTHRALLED. I was impressed with the process. Dr. Drew has a nice combo of being empathetic and compassionate, but still tough and realistic.

The "celebrities" are in varying stages of denial and readiness to be sober. I have been in front of my fair share of therapists. I have been in situations with myself and loved ones where change needs to happen and sometimes we are ready and sometimes we are not. It is a process and frankly, I saw a lot of real reactions there. I know that much of it is in the editing, but it was great. So, if you are looking for a pretty decent show, try this one. It isn't the run of the mill celebrity rehab show. But, remember that I feed my kids McDonalds and read US Weekly and People. If you are holy, you might want to skip it. Plus, tell me that he isn't a handsome silver haired man with wicked guns. I think of Dr. Drew as the icing on the cake....

Escape to Chimp Eden's Eugene Cussons aka "The new Crocodile Hunter"

The other show that I am strangely obsessed with is the new Animal Planet show "Escape to Chimp Eden". Again, I know. I am not an animal person, at ALL. I have always had a soft spot for chimps though. I recorded this one on a whim and loved it. He is the new Steve Irwin. This crazy guy lives in South Africa and goes around Africa saving and rehabilitating chimps. He is a lot like the crocodile hunter in the sense that he is a guy with an accent that is INSANE, but you can see that he feels strongly about what he does. It is also slightly more interesting to watch him wrestle with the chimps than crocs for some reason. It's another one to check out, and this coming from me... the non animal person.

A few other shows that I have been watching (and to be honest, haven't really noticed the writers strike because I haven't been watching network shows) are No Reservations with Anthony Bourdain. You might have seen him as a judge on Top Chef or read one of his books. His shows are on the Travel Channel. He goes to different cities and countries and checks out the local cuisine and customs and filters it all for you through his 51 year old, New Yorker, slightly alcoholic eyes. It is a riot and always interesting. There is also a really great blog on the Travel Channel site about this show too. Some of you are already fans, so you can back me up on this one.

Last, I love the other Travel Channel show called Bizarre Eats with Andrew Zimmerman. He goes to other countries and shows you all the things that they eat that would make most of us gag here in our peanut butter and fast food world. It is strangely compelling and off putting at the same time. I can say that I get a new appreciation for other cultures and foods, even if I never want to eat Nigerian hot pot made with singed cow skin. You don't have to pay too much attention and you might get the added benefit of your kids seeing it and being just a tiny bit more grateful for the meal they are getting.

So there you have it. This is the TV that I watch when I have a minute. I actually end up watching most of this stuff in the middle of the night. I am in that phase of pregnancy where I am up a lot at night and I catch up on all my shows then. I have a feeling that this will continue when I have a little one wanting to eat at night.

What other shows am I missing? What are you watching? Inspire me.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

We are at McDonalds, so it must be Friday....

Real men wear tutu's. Two of them.

So, today is Friday.

Fridays are one of the very few "scheduled" days at my house. In my dream world I would do laundry on a specific day, and grocery shop on other specific days, but I tend to be more of a fly by the seat of my pants kind of mom. Fridays are the exception. That is because the cleaning ladies come on Friday. My kids call them the "ladies". I call them the "magical fairies that come to make the whole world a better place and keep my toilets clean".

I like my title better.

The ladies show up at 8:30 sharp. I am their first stop. Usually I try and have the dishes done and all the rooms picked up. We usually get this done. This leaves them to do the deep cleaning. They have a rotating system, one week they deep clean the kitchen (fridge, oven, baseboards, etc), the next week it is bathrooms, the next it is bedrooms and furniture (seriously, does anyone ever vacuum their furniture? Or under it? My ladies do!!!), etc. It is worth every single penny. What I love the best about it is that it starts the clock over each week. I am pretty good about keeping it up in between visits, but there are times when it all goes to pot and I still get to start the weekend with a tidy house.

I use an agency for the service, but get the same ladies each time. They don't speak any English (they do say "Hi Jacob") and I speak no Spanish, but they are the highlight of my week. They always look at all my kids and my growing belly and I think they feel kind of sorry for me. How do I know? Well, the times that I don't get everything picked up they actually put the toys in the proper bins instead of just putting it on the first available surface (which they should TOTALLY do, as I am in charge of picking up, not them). They are great.

The only problem with having the ladies come over so early is that my kids like to "help". The kind of help that isn't much help at all. We try to leave, but finding places to go at 8:00 am isn't as easy as you would think. The answer was, of course, McDonalds. Where else can you eat a delicious sausage sandwich, drink Diet Coke and let your kids exhaust themselves? There is one not too far from me that has a great playground. Lots of tubes and slides for the big kids and a toddler area for Nori. Lots of tables where I can keep an eye on the kids and write out my to do lists and meal plans (or read US Weekly, whatever). Lauren doesn't start school until 10:30 (I know, gag). So we get to have a good long play date, a "healthy" breakfast and leave our ladies in peace.

So go ahead and add this to my list of mother of the year. Yes, my children eat at McDonalds once a week. Even the baby. I could make excuses but I won't. I know that my children eat a balance of healthy and junk. That is the life I choose. Bravo to all you parents that only feed their children organic, healthy things. I love that, in theory. In reality, I buy Trader Joe's cheesy poufs (and they disappear SO fast in my house), chocolate, McDonalds and more than twice this week dinner has consisted of Shrek Chicken Noodle Soup and peaches. Ok, more than three times. I don't spend much time on mom guilt. I am doing the best I can. It seems to be good enough. There is always room for improvement (like yesterday when I was "yelling mom"). But, I choose to give myself a break.

I was worried that I would miss my ladies with this move. I asked them if they worked in the town we are moving to (just about 15 miles north). They told me that they would come work for me on the weekend, not through the agency, because they like us. It turns out that more than half of the money I am paying doesn't go to them. I can pay the same amount of money for a bigger place, still have a weekend slot and THEY make more money. Everyone wins. Rosa has three kids in Mexico and Ana has two kids here (amazing how much I can learn when neither of us speaks the same language...). I think that is a fair deal...I might be trying to justify poaching them a TINY bit, but they are doing it on their time off, so it isn't that big of a deal.

Happy Monday!! I know that most of you guys are still buried in snow. We are holding steady at 70 degrees. It is a good day.

Goals today: Keep Jacob out of the makeup. Have ONE conversation w/ my 7 year old where she doesn't cry, feed Norah at least one bottle of baby food and one piece of cheese, take a nap.

Again, lower the bar and you can get it ALL done... ;-)

Wednesday, February 06, 2008



We finally have a day without rain! I can't believe it. It is still cold (California cold, not real world cold) and so we have been OUTSIDE. Hurrah.I wrote that "to do" list because I thought it was the most random and eclectic list of things to do in one day, not because it was a particularly busy day... it was actually a great day and I got most things done. I did not, however, stay away from the pie. It was GOOOOOOOD.I did end up getting Cubby's sutures out a few nights ago. It was, uhm, an experience. The only time I could get was 6:00 pm.... so I knew I had to ditch 2/3 of the kids. I dropped the girls off at the fabulous Suzi's house. When I showed up, her house was quiet and clean, the kids had their jammies on (her kids, not mine), the table was set and candles lit with a lovely fire in the fireplace. It was such a good example of peace and calm. It reminds me that it really makes a difference on how the house feels when you do a little bit of prep. I need to work on that. As Suzi pulled a fresh batch of chocolate chip cookies out she sent me on my way as the children ran into the play room and started to play, WITH EACH OTHER. That is the magic of Suzi's house.

We raced to the doctor and Jacob was fine, all smiles and silly words. He had a pen and paper and pretended to take my order for food for a long time. I checked in and told the nurse that I was going to need some help and that there was NO WAY I could hold him down. My exact words were "he is freakishly strong". She laughed and sent me into a room. The doctor came, looked at him and decided to put some of that numbing stuff on him. Again I said "he is really strong, we are going to need at least two other people to hold him down.... or a Valium, he, he". She did the sympathetic head tilt thing and looked at me with an "oh, you moms are so funny, but I am the doctor and I know what I am doing" expression. I gave her my best "seriously, this kid is freakishly strong, you will just have to see" expression and we were off.

The SECOND Cubby saw the scissors (that is what they hold the needle with when putting them in, so that was his trauma trigger) he started to struggle. We wrapped him up in a sheet to restrain him, I held his body and the male nurse held his head. After struggling for about 5 minutes and not getting a single stitch out, she called for more help. I told her that I didn't think it would be enough.... another woman nurse showed up and held his lower body. Another 10 minutes (and still no stitches out) and she called for another nurse to come and hold his head. Two male nurses held his head; two of us held his body and it still took about 20 minutes to get them all out.

After it was over, Jacob was FINE, as in singing and laughing fine. The doctor said "wow, that was harder than I thought it would be" and I just looked at her with my least offensive "are you kidding me? I am his MOTHER. I know this kid and I told you so at least three times" look. I am too pregnant to use actual words you see. The best part was that the sheet was drenched from all his struggles and his skin was RED. If you can imagine how much it takes for my boy with skin the color of strong coffee to look red, you get an idea of how hard he was working. She did suggest that next time (and we all know that there will be a next time) they use dissolvable stitches.

No kidding.

Off to the park today. I am going to get some pictures of the house and give all the details on a post I am working on. I am trying to figure out how to get pictures off the "realtor’s tour" website with out showing the price..... Otherwise, I will just take pictures while it is empty. Have a good day. See, I am blogging more. I can follow through on a few things...

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

To Do List Today...

1. Call following doctors and make appts for Norah: neruologist, dermatologist, audiologist and early intervention center. Force feed her in between (she gained 1 pound last month...hurrah, a pound that I EARNED with blood, sweat and tears).

2. Make coffin for/ plan burial service for Sleepy, the hermit crab. Poor Sleepy lasted just a few weeks. Gulp. My daughter does NOT handle death of pets well. Maybe that is why we shouldn't have let her have any more.

3. Take Jacob to the doctor so we can get his stitches out. Prepare to be verbally abused (he kept calling the doctor "stupid, you are so stupid" when he got them in. That is the ultimate swear in our house) and kicked. This kid is freakishly strong.

4. Get glitter glue off Jacob's face and hair before I take him in.

5. Wash brush and comb Norah's hair. Braid.

6. Buy a house and try and figure out WHY this was a good idea when I am seconds from delivering a baby. Get mortgage loan papers to realtor. Confirm last two inspections and review and sign counter offer. We decided to start "looking" 9 days ago.... more on this story later....

7. Two loads of laundry. This MUST be done because we are all running around either half naked (Jacob), in our worst and least favorite maternity shirt (me) or dress-ups (the girls).

8. Try NOT to eat the entire Key Lime Pie in my fridge that is for a friend. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can..

There you have it. That is seriously my to do list today. Any ideas how to get glitter glue off a small boy? A nice scripture for Sleepy the Hermit Crab? Key Lime Pie? Anyone?

P.S. Spell check wouldn't work on this post and I am too lazy to retype this on Word and make sure I spelled everything right. If I show my uneducated spelling roots here, oh well. My teacher mother will be horrified, but I am too tired. Did I mention that my children are vampires and don't sleep at night? ;-)