Wednesday, December 16, 2009

But you said you were going to do the Christmas cards this year

I have a confession. I am one of those obnoxious people who love Christmas, Christmas movies, lights, big overblown Christmas mornings, I sing to all the horrible music, all of my family traditions are to be upheld every year. As in, stomp stomp, we WILL drink hot chocolate and put up the tree as a family and you WILL enjoy it and it WILL look like a Norman Rockwell painting or else. That being said, when people are randomly crabby this time of year I get blown out of proportion crabby. Like when people are nasty in line, not holding a door open for a mom with three kids climbing all over her but instead bumping into her and then rush out the door because they are very very busy and must get to the sale and buy the useless piece of plastic from our communist friends in China before they are all gone...and for the love of the good baby Jesus do not get me started on the post office. (Let's just say when I am presented with an opportunity to be a smart ass, I take full advantage of it.) I just want to yell (yes I know yelling is not really in the spirit of Christmas) and say "Damn it people, its Christmas, try and be nice for one bloody month, it won't kill you...remember a couple weeks ago when you sat around declaring how thankful you were for everything" but I don't because that would be rude.

There are a few things that I don't really love about Christmas, that being cookie exchanges because while I will eat your cookies no problem, I do not enjoy baking so I try not to participate in that barrel of fun.

The other being Christmas cards. Lord, the pressure of The Christmas Card drives me up the wall. Is the card too religious, is it too pc, is is too humorous, should I just send a picture card, write a Christmas letter...? I've had complaints about all of these types of cards. I used to write letters but got complaints about them because snarky and smart ass do not translate too well into Christmas letters. My favorite was when I bought a bunch of Hanna Andersen jammies and dressed up the family (dog included) took a picture and mailed it out. But while the husband and I still have the pajamas the kids have out grown theirs and a whole other person is around now and Hanna Andersen is a tad on the pricey I don't see that happening again. We'll see if the very generic card even gets out this year since the husband sent me a "list of people to send cards to if you happen to find the time in between all the bon bon eating and blogging for people HE works with." You know I can be childish when demands are placed upon me to do things I loathe...

Then what do you do with them after Christmas? Do you throw them out, save the pictures, the letters, what do you do with them? I have never quite figured it out. Mr. Pack Rat Husband would love to start a box labeled Christmas cards 2009 do not throw out ever or the IRS will come after you. I however keep most around until February shoved somewhere inconspicuous and then out they go. Sorry people, shows like Hoarders give me anxiety just watching them. My mom has a Christmas card basket that she saves all the cards in...its ready to burst although she hasn't sent out cards since 2004 so I'm not sure how many she actually receives anymore. Any ideas anyone??

Oh and can someone please tell me how to keep my tree and poinsetta alive...and yes I am watering them! And if my special little 12 days of Christmas elf reads my blog: thank you this is keeping me quite amused.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Breathin' in and out's a blessing can't you see

My Thanksgiving holiday was filled with blessings. I was so happy to have my husband home, I got news that a dear friend is coming to visit, families that were once not speaking showed great grace on Thursday, and finally at long last my itinerary to London arrived! And yet...Friday morning my husband received horrible news that the orphanage he just returned from was attacked Thursday morning, two girls were raped, the woman who resides with the children at night was beaten severely, supplies were stolen. We were both quite shaken. My husband responded first with a clenched jaw and left the room, later when we where discussing it he was just incredibly pissed. I can't imagine how he and the people who were literally just with those children are feeling. I am quite aware that things like this happen in the US too, but to have just returned from Kenya joyously sharing over 500 minutes of video (I'm not even lying) with family, hundreds of pictures, and just beginning to be able to speak about what was witnessed while there and then read an email about what happened...

When I even let my mind wander to what the kids at HOREC are feeling makes me want to vomit, honest to God the feeling that I need to run to the bathroom is so very strong I am sure if I did actually hang my head of the the toilet I would vomit. I am posting what my husband's contact and now good friend Jennifer who works with HOREC wrote of the tragedy. The husband spoke about insane security measures (steel doors on bedrooms, night watchmen, bars on all windows) that are taken by households in Kenya he stayed in Jennifer's private home so he witnessed first hand and apparently its not just expats that go these measures. I must add that police carry AK-47s but guns are illegal otherwise, as is mace and tasers. Here is what happened:

With terrible grief and heartache I must share terrible news concerning HOREC. On Thursday morning around 1 a.m. approximately 15 thugs broke into the orphanage. They were on a rampage coming from two neighbors’ homes that they had ransacked, beat and cut the people. All the people survived with multiple wounds. HOREC staff and children knew nothing of the havoc going on down the road until they too became victims. The men must have been watching the property because they waited until the night guard went into his house (just a short distance away from the dorm) to escape the rain. They quietly approached the dorm, cut the electricity supply, broke the lock to the front gate and made their way to the corridor of the bathrooms. Between the bathrooms and the girls' room the wall does not go all the way to the roof. Two of the thugs found the space and climbed over the wall landing in the girl’s bedroom. They then got the door open so that the rest could join. With flashlights shining directly in the kid’s eyes that were awake they told the children if they screamed they would be killed. They were carrying axes and machetes. Some of the men cut through the boxes of supplies, some were yelling at the staff to hand over money and cell phones, and others dragged two of the girls to the storage room and raped them. One of the girls is 14 years of age and the other is 10. Both have come from sexually abusive backgrounds. The housemother was being beaten mercilessly as some of the children were climbing under beds to hide. Miraculously some of the kids slept through the whole ordeal. Then, as fast as they had come they left. Their whirlwind was like a hurricane that ripped through bodies, hearts and minds leaving a shattered mess.

It wasn’t until they left that the housemother found a cell phone they had hidden and frantically called Christine. Everyone was praying it was a nightmare from which they would awake. Christine, her husband and the police arrived to find the chaos of screaming children. Both the girls were taken to Nairobi Women’s Hospital and treated then sent back home. One feels helpless at the situation. Questions go through our minds and frustration feels like a heavy weight. I know nothing can be done about what happened but I also know that we can take some action to help prevent the same situation in the future.

Christine and I have made an urgent priority list:
1. We want a counselor to come to the site and counsel not only the two girls but all the children. It will be awhile before they can peacefully sleep through the night but we would like to provide as much comfort as possible. Hiring a counselor will cost $200 for a month.
2. Hiring a security company- The company installs “panic” buttons in the dorm so that if one is pressed, the signal goes straight to the security team and they are sent to the property within minutes. As the orphanage sits about half a mile off the main road and does not have many neighbors it is in a vulnerable area. Having a professional security team (this is a common practice as insecurity is high in Nairobi) gives one a small piece of mind that there will be trained professionals coming to your aid if need be. A security company contract costs $100 per month. Perhaps you want to cover the orphanage for one month of the year or half a month. Whatever you can do will be a big help! I know it is not a sure fire way to keep thieves away but it will give Christine, the staff and the children at least a little piece of mind that there is a way to call for help.

Christine requests prayers for the home and for all involved. The ten-year-old said she recognized the man’s face that raped her. It is someone that she had seen walking by the orphanage. We are praying for justice, protection and healing. If you would like to help with HOREC please send ITHM an earmarked check. We are proceeding with installing the system within one week as well as installing security lights on the outside of the dorm, repairing the broken locks, etc.

Thank you for your love, concern, prayers and support.
Jennifer and Johnny

23223 S. Warmstone Way
Katy, TX 77494

Or you can can send a donation to:

Global Hope
PO Box 1052
Broomfield, CO 80038-1052

write HOREC in the memo

I know this organization personally. This is who my husband went to Kenya with. All proceeds will go to directly to the kids, not to overhead.

We have also learned that the littlest boy Danny who is three was extremely traumatized by the event and was taken to the hospital because he stopped eating. Just keep these people in you thoughts and if you would like to help in any way let me know, we are working on what to do next as far as security goes.

Edited to add: I've received a lot of hits on this post in the last couple of days. I'm very touched by people's generosity. Even if you are not inclined to donate money simply by passing this information along to others can do a lot. Everyone has gifts, some reading will send donations, others may be moved to go to Kenya themselves, others may simply take a moment and put a an extra dime into the salvation army's collection. Simply by passing along information on how to help others is doing good, you never know who or how people will help. Thank you.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Hey I see someone looked at this blog in Nairobi, that's odd. (And may I suggest ways to help locally)

12 Nov09:40:46MSIE 6.0Windows XP1024x768NairobiNairobi ( [Label IP Address]
No referring link

The stat counter picture above makes me happy, technology is such a strange thing and just seems even more strange to me this week than ever before. I would have put the pretty stat counter map up on my page but am not so technically inclined to do so. I miss him. He had quite the day delivering care packages to an extremely impoverished area on the outskirts of Kenya. My mother in law raises chickens and my husband stated that his mom's chicken coop was nicer than what these people were living in. No electricity or bathrooms. Everyone was so incredibly grateful and wanted to pray and I really think you learn a lot about a person when you listen to their prayers. These people were praying for beds for their kids. I can't begin to even wrap my brain around that. The area they went to is called Spring Valley, nine years ago 418 children died from malnutrition, but now there are some very kind people making real differences in lives there, they have started a school, give medical treatment and food to these people.

We have poverty here in the US, not to this extent but we need to make a difference here too. Things that used to just disgust me on a moral level this week are pissing me off to new levels. I tend to get high blood pressure when I hear people go on about how certain members of our society deserve what they get, and of course we need to bail out those rich F#$ks on Wall Street because they make our economy so great, yadda yadda yadda and I could really go on a rant here but I won't. I will instead post two links that are in my community (and possibly in yours) that could need help and are doing great things:

Habitat for Humanity they also have a "Bridges out of Poverty Training" where you learn to mentor someone as they change their life and overcome poverty. I just finished the course and start mentoring in January, I can't wait.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Happy Veteran's Day

Dear Husband, Mom, Manny, the Manny's wife to be, Rockin' Sister in Law, Mother in Law, Father in Law, Tabitha, David, Grandpa, Charlie, Mark, Steve, and many, many others especially those in Iraq and Afghanistan:

Thank you for serving you all are wonderful people who I am blessed to know.



American Cemetery in Normandy

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Is this Heaven? No it's America.

"When people are locked down by the threat of death they control the only thing they have. They choose to be happy and love life."

That sentence came at the end of a rant that was part of an email to me by the husband this morning. The rant was quite moving honestly. For someone that is not experiencing such an in your face this is how much the world exists life changing experience it is hard to really even imagine the magnitude of the poverty in Africa. And to think when Mr. Man goes to the displaced persons camp later in the trip he will see even more heart ripping out of your chest sights. Disclosure: I believe in God and that God has given us each a purpose and certain gifts. I also really believe we are called to do things in our lifetime and wholeheartedly believe I was NOT called to be on this trip. I would come back broken. My calling for this trip was to remain here, to have my own mirror put up in front of my face, to encourage my husband on his life change through writing him nightly. And perhaps even to write this drivel for you all to read. My husband was called to build buildings, swing sets, bunk beds without power tools, to deliver a generator to Christine (the woman who runs the orphanage) so they may pump water out of their new well. Imagine if you were given a generator, what would you do with it? Would it sit in your garage, basement, under a tarp next to your house? She cried she was so happy to receive a generator...the kids have running water now. He went to be shaken to his core.

I was also surprised by a phone call from him today. I asked him what it was like there. He said "this place is great." He said a lot more than that, but I what I took from the conversation and following email was that he is seeing such happiness in people created by things that we here take for granted. They are so grateful knowing that people they have never met care that much for them. Humans are meant to be compassionate. The husband is working with Kenyans on the building projects and loves learning the Kenyan way of doing things and sharing how Americans do things. Which brings me to where I completely lost it today, honestly, a few times, or really
everytime I think of what my husband said. He had a conversation with a local man in which the man stated that he knew he was going to Heaven and that he was sure it was like America in Heaven because he had seen pictures of America and all that we have. Feeling a tad verklempt talk amongst yourselves....

We have so so much here. And why? Why are we not happy? Why is the house never big enough, the clothes never trendy enough, the flat screen, um, flat enough? I was not supposed to go to Kenya but I am supposed to be happy with what I have and do unto others...

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Cancer the Crab with a Kenyan update

I don't check my horoscope or really put much thought into astrology. However if you read about traits of Cancers (why that name, I mean really?) I pretty much fit it perfectly. I am a big mushy mess on the inside who compensates by having a nice hard outer shell with mean pincers. Unfortunately, this results in me bottling things up and then having a quarterly tantrum. I don't cry in public, my husband and mom have seen me cry in recent years but I can only think of one time that I did in front of friends as an adult. I didn't cry at my wedding and I didn't cry when my kids were surgically removed from me, but I am an extremely emotional person. This blog allows me to write out thoughts that I would never say to people in person, I am pretty shy at first and then I will disclose stuff and then pretty soon it is impossible to shut me up. I believe this last part is because I crave adult interaction and when I get it I blab and blab and blab. I forget while writing sometimes that this gets posted on Facebook and then I worry that people I know in real life will think I am either: nuts, a bitch, ungrateful, snobby, and/or (of course) a socialist. But hey this is pretty much who I am. Then the husband left for Kenya and my stupid shell got cracked or something...

This trip is so emotional for me and I have yet to really figure out why. I am not there experiencing anything, just my normal day to day routine, and yet I feel like I am experiencing so much of it. This is causing my usual state of trying to NOT be emotional at all costs to be turned on its head. I am happy and thankful and nervous and so incredibly proud of the person I married all at the same time. The normal hard shell of resentment is just gone and I feel quite exposed.

The nice thing about him being there is that even though he is in a place of such poverty for a $1 an hour he can write me an email to tell me about his day. Maybe that is why I feel apart of his trip. He's a private person and I'm not sure he would be into me sharing his emotions but I just have to share this:

"I have realized that 3 year olds can listen and not run around like crazy people, I also know that 7 year olds can take care of babies and you can be happy with nothing its just a choice."

He has been there for two days and just being around these kids he has seen things that we here try our hardest to block from view or somehow try to tell ourselves the people in that situation deserve what they get. When I read his sentence I started laughing and got choked up at the same time. I know so many grown adults that are so selfish and irresponsible there is no way on God's green Earth I would let them watch a baby, and yet in Kenya a 7 year can because she knows nothing else. The mere thought of a three year old listening sounds impossible but he seems convinced and that last part about happiness, well that's what choked me up.

This weekend he got to play with the kids, I guess soccer (or football as the rest of the world calls it) and then today they took the kids swimming at the hotel, all 27 of them. These kids have never swam before. I distinctly remember NOT wanting to take my kids swimming because it seemed like such as hassle. My foot is starting to taste awfully good. Tomorrow he starts work on the kitchen and playground and I most likely will get choked up again, share some thoughts with whomever is still reading this and then salt and pepper my foot before shoving it in my mouth.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

We are blessed so we may be a blessing...

The husband is leaving for Nairobi in two days to help out an AIDS orphanage. The children's parents have all died from AIDS and some of the kids have HIV. Our room is filled with donated items that he will be cramming into his suitcases to bring over to the kids. His trip is weighing heavily on my mind. I at first was feeling the usual resentment that I get when he works late or is out of town too long on business. But in the past couple of days I feel fear and anxiety and complete amazement. My husband can piss me off like no other but I love him like no other as well. I am not fearful of my two weeks with the kids we will have fun, I have family near by and our new dear Manny is here in case the bogey man shows up...but....but I am still nervous for his safety and quite frankly it will be emotional there and I wish I could be there to share that with him. This man does amaze me, just when I think that I have got him pegged and I know him so very well he does something like this. Neither one of us understand why he is going and we were discussing how strange it is that you never really know why you do things until AFTER you have done them.

The past couple of days have been pretty stressful for me. Things that I always take for granted I am noticing and am feeling so very blessed to have them. When I heard some women today complaining about grocery shopping and buying food for their families I wanted to wring their little necks and scream what the F*%K ladies! I too have complained many a time about this "chore." My husband is going to Kenya to help people who truly have nothing, and while he is the one leaving I have just had a very large mirror put right in front of my face and I am rather disgusted at what I see.

I was also informed by my dear husband last night that he will be spending part of his time in a displaced persons camp. My heart leapt into my throat. Seriously?!? He and his friend decided not to go on a post helping out the orphanage safari (picture safari PETA calm down) and to instead purchase and deliver solar powered cooking equipment to this camp. He really does amaze me.

Here are two pictures taken by his contact person in Kenya of the camp:

Oh and here is a special message for all of the people who are convinced that the government and big pharma are trying to kill you with their vaccines and antibiotics: Send your vaccines and antibiotics and that poisonous (snort) Tamiflu to these people! They WILL appreciate them, they are badly needed here, unlike you they do not have the luxury of sanitary water, fruit, veggies (organic or otherwise) vitamins and if they were to get sick from something as *laughable* as the flu (seasonal or H1N1) they would most likely die. But you can keep your Latisse prescription because that is just there anything Brooke Shields won't endorse?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

This blog post has an NC-17 rating in my opinion, you've been warned

"We are going to have a substitute today Mommy."

"Oh yeah? How come?"

"My teacher is going to the dentist. The substitute is pretty."

"Why is she pretty?'

"She has long blonde hair like baby girl."

Baby girl turned around to smile. So I asked her what she thought was pretty, to which she stated that Hello Kitty was pretty.

This idea of pretty or beauty has been on my mind quite a bit lately. I think it started because I am making an honest effort to beautify my appearance everyday. This involves things that I thought I had a knack for but clearly I do not. I still can't figure out eye make up for the life of me. How do you people keep this stuff on all day? I put on make up and, no lie, ten minutes later it is gone. I also am wondering about beauty and society and such, not for my own insecureness, but because of baby girl. I have seen two videos this week regarding this subject matter. One is from Dove and shows what is done to "make" someone beautiful. Hair, make up, then computer imaging. The other was from the strip pole world championships. Don't worry everyone was fully clothed and while I am not a frequenter of strip clubs I have seen this advertised as a way for the suburban mom crowd to get into shape. So I am adding stripper to the ongoing list of roles that are now put out by society for women. I am only guessing now, but based on what the internets and cable tells me, it seems as though I am to wear nothing but high heels and pearls while I cook gourmet meals and cookies all day, somehow go to work naked to please the glass ceiling with my happy hour cocktail in hand, stay at home to watch the kids while exercising with the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, have fake nails, highlights, fake D cups, a brazilian, Botox, laser hair removal, lip plumpers, and wait for it... I was just informed this evening LVR. (Or to those of you not in the know a Laser Vaginal Rejuvenation.) I so wish I was lying, but I am not.

Since I am not one to watch Dr. 90210, The Doctors, Oprah (hey spellcheck doesn't know Oprah that's weird) and Dr. Oz I was not in the Vajayjay loop. I even have a OBGYN for a mom and STILL did not know that this was a, um, thing to do. Now granted, I am sure there are post-childbirth cases out there that may need surgical intervention (don't know for sure I have an abdominal scar from my birthing of people), however, this is being advertised as "Your Most Personal Makeover."

This little makeover is performed at your local vaginal rejuvenation center. Seriously people that's all I need my daughter feeling insecure about as a young woman, her butt, thighs, chest, but her labia??? Apparently this place can make that particular body part more symmetrical. Not to mention the 87% success rate for their g-spot amplification and "designer" vaginoplasty, not just your run of the mill vaginoplasty, but DESIGNER. What the hell is a vaginoplasty?

I am really at a loss here, honestly. I can't believe my daughter is going to come of age and all this nonsense will be beating her down. This ad was posted in local magazine it is full of laser centers, some anti aging hormonal nonsense, lose inches by laser, it goes on and on...all geared to women, not a single man in the before and after pictures. The other side of this ad was for your good old fashion family run local pumpkin patch it wasn't like I was hanging out with a Maxim or anything. I want my daughter to be a secure woman, not a plastic doll with no brain and full of ideas about how not even her girly parts are off limits to plastic surgery. I try to show her a good example even at her young age, that one must eat healthy, exercise, voice her opinions, we encourage education and hard work in our family. But I too am insecure about my looks despite what some may think, I really do care about how I look. I want her to feel proud of herself and feel the power of her body and not worried about trying to look like a porn star at 16, 25, 30, 45, or 60. I'm not Catholic but she may end up in a Convent. And I didn't see one single ad for the penile enlargement spa, I guess there is Viagra for that matter.

click on the picture to see all my snarky comments and gory details (not sure this works on FB feeder)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Is Ambien compatible with nursing?

You've all heard the saying if you don't have anything nice to say don't say anything at all. Well as you have noticed I have not said anything for a good month. Because, really, who wants to hear what has been running through my mind. Nothing pleasant, inspiring, happy, grateful, instead of lot of poor little me. It was getting obnoxious even to me. I really have not a whole lot to complain about, I am well provided for, got my dream house this year, finally went shopping, I am going to London, the husband is going to Kenya. But the poor old me just kept returning. I am well aware it is primarily due to lack of sleep.

My kids are on top of me needing something all day long. We entered some other dimension this year with the boy starting state mandated school. I am not in charge of the schedule. He has homework, books to read, egg cartons to fill with stuff, letters to write over and over. Then there is the football which is an entirely different blog. Big fat baby is working on some upper teeth and it must be pretty painful because he howls quite a lot. Baby girl has become one of the most stubborn people on planet Earth. She now just laughs at me when she is put in a time out. Or when I get mad at her and scream...yes I am now screaming. I feel like I deserve the best mommy in the world award.

And then night falls. And our nighttime routine begins. The baby goes down first. Then the big kids get baths, jammies, stories, teeth brushing. Then we say prayers, usually multiple times because everyone wants everyone in THEIR room while prayers are said. (Then I feel guilty because I am annoyed at the whole praying thing.) The boy goes to bed. Baby girl becomes more demanding than Mariah Carey! I want water. There is a booger on my finger. Will you sleep in here all night? How about a little bit? Hold my hand (with the booger now smeared). Leave my light on! So the husband runs off to do whatever (until last night it was to watch baseball) and I sit with baby girl and hold her hand until she falls asleep. Because she will scream and scream chasing me around the house demanding all sorts of heinous things like food and water if I don't. Finally she gets to sleep....and big fat baby wakes up and wants food. So I feed him. After he is down again I make a mad rush to pick up the house because if I wake up to a mess I go nuclear, I'm not even kidding. Then I get ready for bed and lay down. Husband wanders in and turns on t.v. to watch the weather babe and Conan (even though he was watching t.v. downstairs, yes ladies men are strange creatures). I let out a large exasperated sigh put the pillow over my head and fall asleep. For an hour and then I am awoken to find baby girl fussing in my face once again about the booger. I turn off Conan because the husband is now snoring. I take baby girl back to bed screaming. Lay down in her bed to get her to sleep. Then big fat baby wakes up. He's not really hunger he just thinks he is, but his teeth actually hurt so I give him Tylenol, which I realize I should have done way earlier. Then I put him down. He get back up 20 minutes later. We do this dance for about an hour and a half. Then baby girl decides that she will sleep with mommy and daddy and brings all her own bedding. Last night we had added fun because the the boy who usually sleeps through everything was up as well. His legs hurts, his knee hurts, I'm going to sleep with you. Then at 5:45 am big fat baby wakes up and the boy declares that oops I wet your bed mom and baby girl starts fussing because she was woken up from her beauty sleep. Sometimes the dog and the cat want their needs met in the middle of then night as well. It never ends. All of this makes me very tired and look like shit. I try my best but lately it just doesn't even matter. I have little patience and am over caffeinated. Plus I am working on a very serious conundrum: is it better to have an audience of three while going to the bathroom or to deal with the chaos that occurs if I shut the door?

Then some nights (about once every two weeks) everyone sleeps and all is well in my little world. This is why I never write anymore I am tired, and I live with the fear that it will all be taken away from me and my problems really aren't even problems because if someone is going to keep me up for nights on end I am happy it is my family. Simply because they are mine.

(I typed this in 15 minutes and was only sat on once and yelled for may be a good day.)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Beefeaters, the Tower Bridge, Harrods, and Hugh Grant?

I am supposed to be doing a few other things besides folding two loads of laundry, making the boys bed up with his new bedspread and pillows his great grandma made him, preparing for tonight's billing paying and budgeting party I am having with the CPA husband. It is going to be a hoot! But you know what I am blogging with wine glass in hand to you kind souls...all six of you who read this drivel.

I have a problem about not doing things that I want to do and then feeling resentment about it. I am not sure if all moms do this or just the crowd that I run with. I am pretty sure that my mom just always did what she wanted to...and still does. But I noticed last week that I don't own lipstick. I noticed this because I needed to kiss a paper cut out of my hand and send it to school with baby girl. I used chapstick. I also noticed my hair hadn't been cut since February and the grays were up there multiplying and sneering. I realized that I have not bought clothes for myself with out a gift card (given to me by my concerned mother) for 4 years. FOUR YEARS!!!!! Outlet mall in St. Augustine, FL thank you kindly. My clothes are hand me downs of said concerned mother or gifts of said concerned mother. I WANT NEW CLOTHES. It is not that we can't afford new clothes, or that my husband won't let me shop or any such nonsense. It is that I don't take the time. I don't take the time to purchase lipstick, cut my hair, I only go to the gym when the two older kids are at school and the baby will nap there (and there are less kids there so he won't get sick).

The husband does not have this problem. When he is tired mid day on a random Saturday you can find him snoozing in front of some sports program. When on business trip does he sit in his hotel room brooding over the fact that he is not with his family and that his poor wife is at home alone tragically with three kids none of which will sleep and all appear to have gobs of wax in their ears for none will listen? Nope. He is out to dinner, drinks, baseball games, checking out local tri-clubs that have Olympic athletes who coach them. When he needs new clothes he buys them, his hair is neatly groomed complete with product. He has been like this since I met him. I used to be like this too. I really don't think that it is selfish. A year ago I did. But today I don't. People are nicer to one another when they take a little time for themselves.

This past month I realized why suburban moms are grouchy and overweight. All we do is drive our families to THEIR lives and purchase things for THEIR lives and not our own. We are constantly in the car, or preparing to be in the car or just returning from being in the car...all the car time was spent driving people to school and activities. I think school and activities are important. So I will drive my kids. I have an iPhone so I can keep myself somewhat amused while waiting for said kids to enjoys their lives. But yet, I am a do-er. I am a person that needs to DO things. I need to move. I need something to look forward to. I need to day dream about it, how much fun it will be and what I will wear. I know I should be above the what I should wear thing but I am not. I think about it. But yet, I hardly ever go out and then when I do I feel terribly guilty about it. My trip to LA this year was so much fun. On a whim, in a very un Jennie-like fashion I left the baby so I could go out and eat with friends, just as adults. It was awesome. I love my kids but adult time is very good. I figured he was fine, he was with someone who watches my friend's son all the time. It was the first time I left him with a non relative babysitter where I was not in the building running on a treadmill. I had so much fun in fact I said to my self, Self what the hell are you doing? Are you just a chauffeur to everyone else's fun? Are you not worth it? Do you not deserve fun too? This is YOUR life as well, the martyr thing is getting a bit old.

I pondered this thought for a while. Then the lipstick and hair thing happened. I thought enough is enough. I got my hair cut. (Grays are still there but I am working on that.) On Saturday I went shopping by myself. The kids stayed with their OTHER parent, he is not a babysitter. I learned that jean shopping while necessary, is never fun, kids in tow or not. Then while Mr. Man was snoozing in front of baseball I up and left for yoga. (I did wait 45 minutes into the nap and did tell him I was leaving, the other people that live here were asleep as well.)

And then the coolest thing ever happened. While I was checking my email a friend emailed that she had a slamming deal on tickets/hotel to London in January because her brother is a travel agent. Do I and another friend want to come? LONDON??? I sat and thought about it for 20 minutes. It was such a deal that it was so hard to pass up based on money alone. Oh I could be all altruistic and say that I shouldn't because we just bought a house and the economy is bad and are there savings and student loan bills and all that. Yes I could Suze Orman, but I didn't and I am not going too. All these thoughts were running in my head, what about the kids will they be OK with the husband? Will he mind? Will they be scared for life? On and on it went, until I let the husband read the email. All he said was "bye."

REALLY??? I can go? You don't mind?

Nope not at all.

The I started squealing and jumping up and down. It was obnoxious but I was and am just so excited. Six nights in London with friends. Do what I want when I want. Its going to be such a whirl wind there will be no sleeping in or succumbing to the jet lag (I never sleep now anyway so I can handle that.)As you all know I love Europe. Do I feel selfish. Yep, but this is my life too and when opportunities like this come up I am no longer going to pass them up because someone may get a cold while I am gone, or eat too much candy, or sleep in their clothes the whole time. The husband is their parent, not their babysitting he can hang. (Plus he is going on his own life changing trip in November that I will blog is an awesome one for sure.) Now I am dreaming of fish and chips, hard cider on tap, tubes, beautiful black cabs, train stations, dreary weather, Earl Grey, museums, Cathedrals, plays in the West End, Harrods, not really Hugh Grant but perhaps Chris Martin. And not to mention what I will wear. I put my check in the mail today and lifted up the little flag thing. It felt good knowing that I was doing this for myself, being spontaneous once again, trusting my husband...I think I am making progress.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Herman the Worm

Ever curious about how moss reproduces? Perhaps horses in Mongolia would tickle your fancy. Need to know which tube to take from Heathrow to the heart of London. Google it, right? Most people would. But for completely useless knowledge my husband asks me. Completely useless information lodges itself into my brain clogging it. Like what were you doing the night of May 19th 1994? What were you wearing? Ok I can't say for sure what I was doing on that exact day but I remember 1994 like it was yesterday. And 1998, 1986, 2002 and so on. It's like I push the play button in my head and everything comes streaming in.

The husband and I were discussing this fact about me last night. It drives him nuts. I will drag up the most mundane crap and rehash it. He remembers almost nothing of it and pretends to listen politely. He even forgets big crap, like when I was admitted to the hospital for three days with food poisoning in 2000. I asked him how he could forget that? Well we weren't married then was his answer. But, I stated, we were living together and you took me to the E.R. how can you for get that? You visited me and brought me underwear and a brush! Nothing! He remembers nothing! That lack of memory would drive me insane. I daydream a lot. I tell myself stories all day long. Sometimes they are completely fictional, and I think man if I could just write this down I'd have the next great novel. But then someone needs a diaper change. So while diaper changing I start remembering something. Anything. It really doesn't matter, always random, usually amusing. The boy loves to hear stories about when mommy was younger. "And then what happened Mommy?" "What were you doing when you heard this song Mommy? How old were you and did you like it." (The last question occurs during "classic alternative" listening hour.)

But my memory failed me today. Baby girl started preschool this week. She is absolutely adorable about going. She loves it. She has the same teacher the boy did when he was three. He looked like such a big kid when he was in her class (granted he was most likely the size of a five year old then). I loved taking him and seeing him all excited to play with his friends and tell me how he played with trucks and cars and playing outside was his favorite part. He would bring home some half assed painting. No I am not being mean, the kid doesn't like to paint, draw, mess with play dough or any other crafty activity. For one, he doesn't like slimy things touching his hands and two, he's a boy and can't sit still. But I always got the biggest kick out of him coming home singing Herman the Worm. It took the husband and I a few weeks to figure out what he was saying. He was in speech therapy at the time and was making improvements but the word "yo yo" sounded nothing like how "yo yo" usually sounds. Eventually we understood and would sing with him. Then I got pregnant with big fat baby and the summer came and I guess Herman the Worm went back underground. The next year at preschool he actually learned how to read and write and even a tad bit of math so there was not a lot of time for Herman the Worm.

When I went to pick up baby girl today her class was sitting on the circle time rug and it was so darn cute. They are all wide eyed staring intently, focusing on sitting criss-cross applesauce and were all singing Herman the Worm. Baby girl was singing really loud and could see me out in the hall and kept checking to see if I was paying attention. All the memories of the boy and this song came flooding back. How could I have forgotten about this. It was so wonderful listening to him sing and mispronounce all the words. Baby girl singing and making the chomping noises was mommy heart melting. Why does my brain know that the Piccadilly Line is the one to take and that Mongolian horses have really fat necks and then the whole moss reproduction thing...there is a reason why moss grows in wet climates and that my brain tells me I was wearing a plaid skirt, black sweater, doc martens and was stopping around obnoxiously with friends in October 1994 like it was yesterday? And yet, my kids singing is such a fleeting memory. Sometimes it feels like life sped up after I had kids and has gone into hyperspeed in the past couple of years. I still remember plenty from our day to day activities, and Lord do I remember when the husband does something stupid. Hopefully by the time that big fay baby rolls up to preschool I will remember that small people singing about worms is hilarious and something to hang on to.

*For those reading who are saying who the frak is Herman the Worm here are the lyrics*

I was sitting on the front porch
chewing on my bubble gum (chomp, chomp, chomp, chomp)
Playing with my yo-yo (up and down with hands)
Zing zing (continue yo-yo motion)

When along came Herman the worm yeah (worm motion with hands)
and he was.....
1 inch (verse 1 ) (measure with hands)
And I said "Herman what happened?"
And Herman said "Duuuuuhhhh, I swallowed

*repeat beginning
When along came Herman the worm yeah (worm motion with hands)
and he was.....
6 inches (verse 2)
And I said "Herman what happened?"
And Herman said "Duuuuuhhhh, I swallowed a...truck

*repeat beginning
When along came Herman the worm yeah (worm motion with hands)
and he was....
2 feet (verse 4)
And I said "Herman what happened?"
And Herman said "Duuuuuhhhh, I swallowed a...train

Oh Herman!!!

And Herman just crawled away like this

*repeat beginning
When along came Herman the worm yeah (worm motion with hands)
and he was.....this big (1 inch)

And I said "Herman what happened?"

And Herman said"uuuhhh, I burped!"
Oh Herman!!!!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

such a sweet little thing...

This is my darling baby girl. She is cleaning her kitchen. You know monkey see monkey do. She was scrubbing the heck out of it really. It was so adorable that I took a picture. And then I turned around to see what she had done to my kitchen in order to clean hers....

I've spared you the river running along the floor from my my sink over to hers.

Friday, August 28, 2009

kindergarten already

The boy started kindergarten a little more than a week ago. I remember my first day of kindergarten. I told him as much. I remember my own mom saying that very phrase to me. I went on to tell the boy how awful my teacher was and I was sure that his teacher was no where near that awful, that in fact, she was quite wonderful. He stopped me mid-sentence, "I know mom you don't need to tell me again." Alrighty then. We got out of the mom mobile and I just kept going on with my story.

me: "Grandma and Grandpa wanted to take my picture and I didn't want them to. We are going to take your picture but don't worry your parents are no where near as lame as grandma and grandpa so we won't embarrass you or anything."

The husband: "Really Jennie? Really? He's going to repeat this."

me: "Well it was true I didn't want them to take my picture there were big kids around and it was soooooo embarrassing. Oh, look here we are at your room."
The husband pulls out the video camera and starts to film. I nervously glance around. Are we the lame parents? The older grades have already started school and are at recess. I don't need anyone making fun of the five year olds because we are filming the kids' every move. It appears that all the parents have two to three forms of precious moments capturing devices: video camera, camera, iPhone (you know for the instant upload to facebook). At least I fit right in. The boy happily poses for his pictures. Not just one but many. As do all the other kids in his class.

the boy and the husband moments before the start of school

The teacher opens the door and the kids go racing in. The parents are saying nervous goodbyes and then the teacher says, "Oh, you all can come in too." Whew! we thought we were going to have to leave them here...alone. So we go into the class room and its big with little tables and hooks for backpacks, all in all a typical kindergarten classroom. The teacher read us ALL a story. The adults were trying to hold it together. Then we said a quick goodbye. I went to the car and blubbered for a little bit. Not really sure why. So here ends the sappy kid goes to school for the first time blog. Now onto my thoughts...

Later in the week we had back to school night. This was three days into the year and I had pretty much gotten used to the idea that the boy was now in school and my life and schedule are now dictated by this fact. This maybe is why some people homeschool; the mere annoyance of not being in charge of your child's schedule. You know I can no longer fly off to Rome mid October if my heart desires because someone has to learn about the letter Q that week. Back to back to school night. Since we moved to Mayberry I have learned that everyone is convinced around here that if their child doesn't get into the right kindergarten/elementary school they are doomed to be a chimney sweep apprentice forever. No Harvard for went to the WRONG white suburban middle class grade school. I may or may not have gotten caught up in that type of thinking. The gym of the school was PACKED. As in standing room only to hear the principal speak about how great Mayberry's school was and how wonderful the custodians and lunch ladies are. And then when it was time to go meet the dear children's teachers the principal DISMISSED us. You know, like, he gave us a brief little run down of how to exit the gym and to do it orderly and then dismissed us from left to right. The husband looked at me and pointed out that we were adults and perhaps could leave the gym orderly on our own accord. I laughed and pointed out that he used to be in the military and so should be used to pointlessness. But I felt the same way. I remember in that moment why school so utterly annoyed me growing up. Being bossed around. At that moment when I was being instructed on how to leave the gym in an orderly fashion a very immature desire rose up in me, "I could just get up and walk out and leave at my leisure and NOT when the principal dismisses me. That'll show these Mayberry squares. Then I'll start wearing my Doc Martens that are buried in a box somewhere, or if the Vans store would ever start selling the purple fuzzy chukka boots (once I convince the Vans salesclerk to stop calling me ma'am) I'll go buy some of those. It was as if the 90s came sat on my lap. Where are those baggy jeans of mine? Where is that pink or black hair dye? HOW DO I HAVE A KID IN KINDERGARTEN? That was really what this was about. Maybe if I think immature thoughts about how incredibly stupid catch phrases like Respect and Responsibility are I won't be old enough for this. My kid won't be in school. He'll still be a small boy who loves his mom more than anything. He won't refuse to kiss me in public or hug me in front of his friends like he did on the second day of school. He'll want to hold my hand simply because I am mom. I handled preschool well. It was preschool. I saw it as a break. It was adorable. It was sweet. Public school is where kids go and learn naughty things. I am not naive. My kid will learn naughty things. Thank God for big fat baby. Because if he weren't a baby during all of this starting school emotional upheaval I am pretty sure I would force my husband to have sex with me to procreate. You know to make more people, namely babies and not kindergartners, and not just for the hell of it. But instead I am consoling myself with the very lame OnDemand Comcast music: Classic Alternative. Classic. The music of my youth is now considered Classic.

Its been so long I almost forgot my password

Back in June I went a little nuts, actually I think it was May but hey who's keeping track. Anyway after deciding that enough was enough and I was just merely bored and needed a project to keep my mind busy I though what better a project than selling a house. Mine in particular. So I brazenly asked the husband (or really announced) "Let's put the house on the market for X amount and see what happens." He said sure. So, I called in reinforcements and we staged the house. And it sold in two weeks, we were averaging 3-4 showings a day it certainly gave me a project. Try keeping a very small house with three tiny kids in it clean, and not just clean but show clean. We got asking price. I am pretty sure the staging did it. Staging is like Disney World, lots of distraction to keep you looking in the right direction and to keep all thoughts away from the actual square footage of the house. I found my dream home, got a slamming deal on it, moved in two weeks early and the Jennie household lived happily ever after.

Well we moved in anyway. I am in a much better mood that I usually am. I am attributing it to either:

A. The husband is slipping Vitamin P into my coffee every morning and I am none the wiser.
B. I am truly thankful for what I have and am simply exuding happiness.
C. I am a spoiled brat and having a larger house makes me giddy.

I wish I could say it was B, but I am pretty sure it is C. Awful huh? Either way, I absolutely love my new house and can't find a thing wrong with it. Plus it is situated right smack dab in Mayberry so there's that too.

My new Mayberry (or perhaps Stepford) house comes with a new Manny. As a wise woman once said, "your like the halfway house for divorced relatives." I have a new Manny. This manny has outside employment which is a real shame in the manny department but at least he's employed. I was joking that when I am done with him he'll be running marathons, in the Air Force and voting for Obama in 2012. I plan on piping NPR into his room to help with the brainwashing. Perhaps I have said too much...We love you new Manny. (and don't get all jealous old Manny we love you too.)

Monday, August 3, 2009

Sweet girl

And honey you should know
That I could never go on without you
Green eyes....

Happy Birthday 3rd sweet girl!

I love you

(thanks Coldplay for the words)

Friday, July 24, 2009

You can called me spoiled if you want to, I don't mind

(I have been quite busy with three kids and selling and purchasing a house hence the infrequent blogging.)

I turned 30 on Monday. My husband took me and the baby to L.A. for a long weekend. I visited a friend from high school who now lives out there with her family. We had such a good time, picked up like no time had passed. Granted we are in very much the same place in our lives kids, husbands, staying at home but we have still have similar tastes and personalities. Her husband (whom I've never met before) was quite awesome as well. Plus the two husbands got along as did the babies which just makes things all the more easier.

But speaking of awesome, let's discuss my husband! He is truly a wonderful man. He has his moments like all of us to be sure, but last weekend he spoiled me like no other. He even hung out in the American Girl Doll store for a good hour. He held his tongue like a real man too and didn't fuss once. Let's just say that he spoiled me rotten last weekend.

We left the kids with their Texas Grandma (or rather flew her here) which they thought was a real treat because they don't get to see her as much as they would like. I left her with two wild children (one of whom had an ear infection) and two rather neurotic pets. She survived the weekend, the woman even cleaned out my refrigerator. You rock lady!

I had a check list of things that I wanted to do while in L.A. I have learned that if you really want to do certain things you need to take care of them yourself and let others know what you want. I am done trying to drop hints and be subtle, that only leads to resentment. People are not mind readers. When I say what I want and do things that make me happy the whole family is generally happier because mommy is not a crab. So anyway back to the checklist.

It went something like this:

1. Eat and In N Out (this place is the absolute best, we pulled right out of the Avis lot and into In N Out, I snarfed my burger down like a hog.)

2. Go to Disneyland (the husband got two passes for half price at a silent auction last spring. Being at Disneyland without the older two was a little bittersweet. I really missed them while I was there and wanted to show them everything. But big fat baby was rather happy at the undivided attention and this merely wet my appetite for a long Disney World family vacation I am saving my pennies for as we speak. We had a great time and went on a lot of roller coasters while baby swapping which the older kids would not have put up with well. I also wanted to eat at Blue Bayou which is Cajun food and a restaurant that I had eaten at as a kid while visiting Disneyland. It is in the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. Disneyland Paris has one as well that I ate at on my 20th birthday so I found it to be fitting, it was good, but a tad on the pricey side for lunch.)

3. Go to the beach (I haven't been to the Pacific in five years. It is much colder than the Atlantic and I always forget about the kelp but the waves are so much fun to play in so I didn't even notice the temperature. Playing in waves makes you feel like a kid such a great feeling, we brought along some Jack Johnson to listen too, it was a wonderful time and even had me contemplating a move to adventure for later in life I suppose.)

4. Eat lots of sushi (so up until this point what I call sushi eating other real sushi eaters laugh at. It involved California and Philly rolls and some ebi. That's it. However we went to Iroha Sushi in Studio City it is a small sushi restaurant near our friend's place it is behind a Asian ceramics and weaving store and has a great courtyard with lots of bamboo that we ate in. I came in saying I don't like tuna and came out saying that was the best stuff ever. I tried all kinds of crazy stuff, best of which was the Albacore Tataki. It is lightly seared tuna with guacamole and crispy onions sprinkled on top and has this amazing sauce on top. I was practically licking the plate. I tried Saki too, which I have never had before. Um, apparently Jennie likes Saki. At one point I declared that I needed a steak to eat but I am pretty sure it was the Saki talking. We had so much fun eating and laughing. I haven't had that much fun at dinner for a very long time. It helped that the kids were both back at our friends' house with a babysitter.

5. Go to American Girl Doll store to buy baby girl her birthday present. (This place is insane and some very smart people thought this concept up. However I will play into the marketing because they are not slutty like nasty Bratz dolls and are about girls through different historical time in America. They come with books as well that I am sure we will read together when she is a little older. Pictures to come when she opens her present.)

6. Eat a cupcake at Sprinkles. (I kept hearing about Sprinkles cupcakes and how heavenly they are so I thought what better to try then on my birthday. So we rolled up to Rodeo in the oh so swanky Dodge Avenger and stopped at Sprinkles. Sprinkles is actually on Little Santa Monica, but is a block down from Rodeo. I had the Key Lime cupcake, the husband had a chocolate something or other and my dear friend had the banana whose cake part is apparently banana bread. We all deemed it rather yummy while pricey at $3.25 a cupcake, perfect for a birthday. We brought some home for the kids.

So that was my checklist and I got to do each and everyone of them. The husband really outdid himself. I had such a great time. Our friends were so hospitable and made us such a yummy breakfast and took us to a place called Loteria for lunch. It is located at the Farmer's Market in the Grove shopping area. I love California Mexican, unlike the Tex Mex style they serve around here, California Mexican food is more like Central and Southern Mexican food. So tasty. I hope that we could repay them when they come to Colorado.

Here is the song my husband played for me on my birthday. Thanks love, you are wonderful and I had such a great weekend with you.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Fun in Texas sun

We've been having such a great time in Texas: visiting family,
swimming, feeding wild African animals, feeding the trained chickens
picking tons of veggies, gourmet food shopping sprees, and bright and
early in the morning old fashioned bubbles!

Saturday, June 27, 2009


The Jennie household is in Texas! It was wicked hot today. The husband
and I stupidly ran three miles in the heat, we were thinking, "pshaw
we are from altitude we can hang." Um, no it sucked. The kids made
better use of their time.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Eight Trips Around the Sun

                                           Eight years ago today I was busy doing this.

                                                     I laughed the whole way down the aisle. 

                                                           You, on the other hand, cried. 

Then they let us kiss in public. I don't remember much of this part. Except for a crane flying over the lake. I was trying not to pass out. 

                    Then we kissed so much we upset the birds. Have I told you I don't like birds? 

Then someone gave us  cake to eat. It was really damn good. Even a year later it was good. 

                                                                My dad got jiggy with it. 

                                                                    As did your mother.

At the end of the night we were still dancing when everyone else was leaving. Still smiling. So totally in love. Unaware of the drunk couple making out behind us. 

I am still totally in love with you. There is no person on this Earth I would rather take this journey with. Happy Anniversary. I miss you. 

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

part two

I am not a practical person. I do not like logical things. Things that are logical confuse me and I do not like to feel confused or stupid, so I just tend to ignore such things, like math. And yet I still am the one who is the bill payer in the family. AHEM! There are no bounced checks, we don't run out of money so I figure all is well. Anything past that in the finance department and sorry, but no can do. This impracticality annoys me at times. Why can't I just like one thing, get another degree, and work and be happy. Why am I such a dreamer? Why did I change my major at least five times in college? I work hard at things don't get me wrong, perhaps I have problems with commitment. Or am easily attracted to shiny objects. 

The husband bought me a couple of books for Mother's Day, one was Dooce's book which was like reading about myself and the other was 10-10-10 by Suzy Welch. This book is about decision making in life, or more aptly how to make good decisions with your life. There is a method called 10-10-10, in which you basically map out your decision based on how you think it will affect you in 10 minutes, 10 months, and 10 years. Or at least that is what the first four chapters talk about. I am having a hard time reading it. Too much logic involved. So I picked up Eat Pray Love instead and it is much more me. So very beautiful, or at least her time in Italy is. I love this book, I want to marry it. It is so pretty and wonderful. Now granted the poor women was pretty depressed at the beginning and rightfully so but then ah Dios mio the Italian food and descriptions. This book got me to thinking about doing things that I want to do, RIGHT NOW! And, more importantly, how to make them happen. I really have begun to think about who I am. Kind of opposite to 10-10-10 because currently I seem to be focusing on the first 10, as in immediately. Like, I want a peanut butter and Nutella sandwich who cares what 10 months of these things will bring to my hips. But I am starting to go a little further out in my thinking. 

I like school. I am an A whore. I love getting As. I was always terrible pissed when I got a B. Not in high school, I could have cared less then, but in college. The husband and I have this on going discussion about the purpose of education, or namely college. He believes it is so people can learn skills to get a job; such as you need the basic skills of your degree but you also need to learn all the networking and other such b.s. required to land a job these days. He's probably right if your goal post college is to work and be paid for it. I, however, just love school for the sake of learning. I am a big nerd.

I also love beautiful things. I am a huge romantic too. I love flowers but shot myself in the foot once with a nasty comment and so I rarely receive them anymore. I love the idea of holding hands, strolling along some Parisian street all twitterpated. I listen to Bocelli because he just sounds so beautiful. I like pretty smelly things in my house, I like to look at pictures of beautiful countrysides, lavender fields, you know all kinds of girlie crap. But not blingy. Not so into the bling. 

So what have we covered here, that Jennie is not at all practical, she's a big nerd, and likes pretty things. Where am I going with this. That I am going to start focusing my energy and doing things that I like (not harmful to the family things mind you) but things such as: I am going to take a couple of classes. Not to be practical and learn how to invest our money to make millions. Nope not for me. I am going to take some writing classes. One on travel and the other just basic creative writing. I really want to take a French class too. Now you may be asking yourself, um didn't she get some Chinese language computer course that was all pricey. Yes. Yes I did. I do not like it. Not because it is hard, there are parts of Chinese that are very hard, like character writing, but the language itself is rather simple. I just don't like Chinese. It does not move me. I have no desire to go to China, plus I don't like the way it sounds coming from my mouth. I do however want to return to France. I also LOVE the way French sounds, all nasally and stuck up. It is fun to say things in French. I don't care that it is in no way practical, it is pretty and I love to learn. See we are covering things that Jennie likes. 

So just to be logical about it: here is my little 10-10-10  discussion on the matter:

Should Jennie learn French and take some writing classes?

First 10- we can afford it, it will get me out of the house, challenge my brain

Second 10- I may have met other people that can lead me in the direction that I want to go with my writing , good networking skillz perhaps. I will have learned something new which will starve off Alzheimer's later in life, I will say sweet nothings to the husband in French and then write about it with the new found writing skills

Third 10- Since we will own a villa in the South of France by this time and I will be surrounded by lavender fields conversing fluently with the locals, while I sip wine, eat my tasty chocolate filled croissant and finish editing my forth book which, naturally, will wind up on the New York Times best seller list...and I will get to meet Oprah, then of course this is a good decision.

See I told you I am impractical and not at all logical.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Daaaad, Mom's rambling on the computer AGAIN! part one

(I am trying something new here for a bit. I love to write this is the only reason for this blog. I am going to be writing one very long narrative and see where it takes me, continue reading if you like I am not sure how long I will keep it up but its mainly for me so if you get bored and don't want to read I won't mind and there are only about six of you that actually read this crap anyway)

The husband travels a lot. Somehow I think is a cruel joke the universe has played on me. Like when you're trying to lose weight and people keep bringing you free pies, key lime, chocolate mousse, rhubarb strawberry all of your favorites but you can't eat them because you are on Weight Watchers so you watch them eat them instead. Then you bite into a carrot just to be sociable. You see, I love to travel. Since having kids it has gotten more difficult because we are now buying four plane tickets and there is all the luggage, car seats, minivan rentals. Not quite the same as a backpack, Lonely Planet book, and a baguette with fromagge. That will be my life again, someday. Unfortunately I get to watch my husband go places. Granted, it is usually to places I have no interest in going like Ohio or Michigan. Sometimes he goes cool places like California or New York, then I pout. And yet with my wanderlust I seem to have developed an afraid of flying thingy over the past couple of years. Not quite sure what that is about, I think it is the lack of control issue. Anyhoo...

While I was living my bohemian life in Europe I became a nanny for a few months right before we returned to the States. The kids were pretty cute. Twin babies and a three year old boy. I was apparently this family's Mary Poppins because they didn't want me to move back and when they went to Egypt on vacation they took me with them, and then paid me too. It was in February 2001. I remember laying on the beach next to the Red Sea thinking to myself "Self, you have got the sweetest life ever. Two weeks ago you were skiing in Switzerland and now look at you tanning in Egypt. You must have been a very good person in your past life."  Then a few months later I was married, living in Las Vegas, quickly realizing that a pre-med degree was not for me, nor was Vegas, then came the job which completely resembled The Office (I was Pam, always nice.) You know with all the gender discrimination that sexual harrassment that comes with working these days, not to mention bitchy strippers turned mortgage brokers who hadn't yet learned that throwing tantrums is generally not acceptable behavior in adults. Then came pregnancy one, two, and three, the move to Colorado, the overworked traveling husband, and an aging yet still very naughty dog and her sidekick the cat. Suburbia. Where my life's worry is whether or not my kid will get opened enrolled in school next year or am I just going to have to move. 

I have been trying to return to that beach or at least that mindset for the past eight years.  Its not like my life is hard. Especially now. Three kids is time consuming and there is very little sleep or personal time,  but it is no way hard. The husband's travels pay him well, my kids are healthy, my marriage is way stronger now than a year ago...not much to complain about right? Yet, I still have my good friend anxiety with me. Its more like a mean dog than a friend. You see anxiety or worry is there because we were supposed to stay alive in harsh conditions eons ago like a dog is supposed to be man's best friend. But then life got way more easy and yet this primordal anxiety fills people up over stupid crap like laundry.  Man's best friend turned bad. So this postpartum anxiety is now like a bad dog chained to a tree that if you get too close it will growl and bark and you. But at least this time it is tied to a tree as opposed to baby girl's postpartum fun fest where the dog was chasing me all over the backyard and the fence was too high to jump. I am not sure why we even keep this dumb old mean dog around. I guess I am afraid they will put it to sleep at the pound, so there he is attached to the tree.  

Even though I am having  all this fun with suburbian anxiety, kids, traveling husbands I frequently let my mind wander back to this beach next to the Red Sea. But last weekend a glimmer of hope reemerged in my mind. It stated "hey there dummy you get to play in both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans this summer... and not only that, but you are going to both DISNEYLAND and DISNEY WORLD in one summer! Wake up stupid. Your life is pretty damn good." Then it kicked the dog tied to the tree. I smiled and loaded the family up in the truckster  and went to the Rockies game. 

~more later, hopefully tomorrow~

Thursday, May 28, 2009

He'd be a "Tiny Mite"

When the boy was about 5 months old we were in the grocery store and a
couple of firemen said "Shanahan is going to be looking for him." We
had just moved to Denver. I was confused. The only Shanahan I knew
used to play for the St. Louis Blues. But then I figured out they were
talking about (the now fired and replaced with some pip squek of a
coach) Mike Shanahan of the Broncos. In other words "lady, that is one
BIG baby." The boy has kept up this larger than average size for the
past five years. He's five but looks about seven. He looks even bigger
next to me because I'm short. But today while we were enjoying our
nice suburban outing the boy was fawned over by a pee wee tackle
football coach. You would have thought we were in Odessa, Texas. He
thought the boy would make a great defensive end. This was lost on me,
but I felt the need to share this information with the husband who
nearly crapped himself with joy. You see the husband played Texas
football and has been dreaming of this moment since we saw a little
hot dog on the ultrasound. Within twenty minutes the husband had
filled out the assistant coach form and had looked up prices for
helmets, pads, and whatever else one needs to play football. I was
content to deal with a pot smoking skiier in high school because the
boy can ski pretty darn well already, but football?? Usually this just
makes me think of O' Bannon in Dazed and Confused, i.e. a jackass. But
we'll let the husband have his moment. I asked the boy if he wants to
play. "Yeah! Or maybe boxing Mom."

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Rooster come home

This week has been really long. It is one of those weeks with too much
drama, very little napping, no patience, and way too much peeing in
public. I feel like I am drowning. I can't even fold the laundry
without getting distracted. Too many time outs, too many tears, too
much yelling. I know this is not an easiest job and it is what I
believe I should be doing now. I just wish when I look at them after
they fall asleep that I didn't feel so guilty. Another day wasted with
timeouts, yelling, and tears.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Handy Manny where are you

I am in the midst of house destruction. I am trying to prepare for the
6 grandparents coming this weekend. I am a type A person. I want
everything to perfect. Including getting this paint out of my hair.

Sent from my iPhone

Friday, May 15, 2009

Some tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, olive oil and some balsamic

 I've been thinking a lot lately that it was now ten years ago (today actually) that I left for Europe. I hadn't met the husband, that was a about a month off. Funny now looking back and remembering what was about to come, who I would meet, how my life was going to completely change and yet not know any of it. I was just happy to leave Missouri, shlepp my bags through customs in Atlanta and land in Germany. I still want to do that. Almost daily. Except I want to with my family, not by myself. I can't help it, it is the gypsy in me. That summer for Memorial Day I went to Mont St. Michael and Normandy. It was one of the most incredible sights. There are still huge craters from where bombs exploded. We saw the American Cemetery. It was so humbling. The husband went to Normandy too a few weeks after I did. We still hadn't met.    Pointe du Hoc 

   American Cemetery

          Mont. St. Michael

When I think that a decade has passed I just can't fathom it. Living there was so life changing for me. I miss how slowly life flows in Europe. I can sit all day and day dream about living there. 

One of favorite things to do is to eat outside. Sidewalk cafes. Just linger. This is challenging with children, but the boy likes novel things and would probably put up with it for a while. Yet, sidewalk cafes, al fresco dining where one can linger are bit difficult to find here. There are a couple of streets in Boulder and downtown Denver that afford you this luxury. They let you know it too. It seems pretentious and trendy here. Not relaxing but uptight, who can be more organic and granola than the next cafe.

While on the Normandy trip my family and I ate at a restaurant in Caen. Most eating establishments on the continent will throw out some tables and chairs near their front door. Usually just plastic nothing special. So naturally we ate outside. It was wonderful. I think I may have dumped my wine on the table. Or perhaps it was the Manny. But it was still great. Unlike the previous evenings tangle with mussels for the first time. Um, thanks but no thanks. Later the Manny and I joined in on some sort of outdoor festival going on that night.  I was proud I got use the one French phrase I know: 
non, je ne parle pas Français. 

There is something about lingering over conversation with family or friends outside with wine or iceless soda if you prefer. You are never rushed. Eating out is so one can enjoy them self, not to shove over salted three portion sizes too large food in you as fast as you can with sports and *flare* blaring all around and then hurried with the check. Plus my favorite Caprese salad is a staple throughout Europe. The husband and my first date was a simple margarita sitting outside in a square in Luxembourg. I have noticed traveling about most places have plazas or squares. In Cuernavaca it was called the Zocolo. In Germany it was the fußägnger zone. I know that Pearl Street in Boulder is a small version of this. As is the microscopic Writers Square or 16th St. Mall in Denver. Oh sure we have our pre-fab pedestrian malls near us that have the exact same chain stores and restaurants that are everywhere in strip mall America that "pretend" to be a plaza /square/promenade. They are generally named: Theoverpricedchainstorerestaurants at the PlazaSquarePromenade. I am not looking for anything fancy, nothing commercial or trendy, just relaxing and outside that serves a Caprese salad. Perhaps I am too picky. Perhaps I am too nostalgic.