Thursday, December 10, 2009

twelve christmasses

You have no idea how much I want to add photos to this, but, as I'm sure I've mentioned (or more accurately bitched repeatedly about) my lap top stubbornly refuses to open windows and upload things like pictures or charts or snazzy little apps...oh no no no pictures, just my very own paint with words style
I am woefully unprepared for Christmas this year, having 1) just recently moved and 2) working like an absolute maniac. Don't get me wrong, our tree is up (thanks, JT) and even has the lights on it, all the kids trees are up..and the advent house is set up, we've even begun baking like keebler elves and eating our results. But, presents are not bought, Christmas card is not ordered, ornaments are not on tree, house is not ready for game night...and so on...oh holiday to do list, why dost thou mock me so???
But what I really want to talk about is the last ten to twelve years with my hubby. We've exchanged so many gifts I couldn't even begin to really start telling you, but I do want to share a story about our first married Christmas, (we had one prior to being married, I will heretofore refer to it as our engaged Christmas, during which i fell ill with some sort of toxic death flu and ended up passed out on his mom's couch snoring like a freight train ...welcome to the family!) I can't remember what I wanted, but I do remember that we opened one gift on Christmas eve and I was so exited, he handed me the gift and I ripped of the paper and shoulders dropped, it was Ray Romanos book, (bear in mind, the book had just came out in 2000 and so was a little more exiting, but, honestly..not much)
A little background..I love books.. and I love comedy, so thought my sweet, caring husband, what is better than a book by a comedian??? nothing, but from your newlywed husband? It might as well have been an iron for all the romance it conjured. I wasn't upset, I just wasn't amped up about it and well, Mr. Observant could tell, and so we did a lot of this
'I'm so sorry..'
'Don't be sorry..I really like it.'
'But you're not crazy about it.'
'It's great.'<------dead voice,
'I'm really sorry'
'It's fine, really'
I think you get the point.
He's really hit it out of the part with my gifts before, as a matter of fact on our engaged Christmas, he not only bought me this gorgeous butterfly necklace, he also bought me birthstone and diamond earrings...for the SAME CHRISTMAS, so you see my point right? The very next Christmas ...Ray Romano?
OK, I will leave poor Ray alone and say this..I still have that book, and almost every Christmas, we make some joke about someones gift being a's become part of the texture and fabric that makes our marriage work. The big thing being that both M and I have a great sense of humor about ourselves, we know we mess up and are not perfect, and well, when we do, it's sometimes funny.
I hope everyone gets just what they want this year!
Happy Christmas..
Ps..maybe you should expect new years cards this year...

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Day three of NaNoWriMO and more secrets bout me!!

So I'm hovering around five thousand words, which is AWESOME! I've decided to reward myself with a new hoodie if I make my 13, 000 by this weekend.....

My favorite childhood memory is picnicking with my family. We would go to Mt. Mitchell or to Hot Springs or to Chimney Rock and eat cold fried chicken (my Dad would fry it early and pack it in his tupperware lunch box) and mustardy potato salad and girl scout cookies an whatever else was packed. We would hike and sometimes fish or just hang out.

I suppose this is not a deep dark secret but it's fun to think about the things that were fun growing up, it seems so much that we do with our children costs so much money when really all they need is a little bit of time.
Have a great tuesday

Monday, November 2, 2009

NaNoWriMo or the girl next door.

I may have mentioned I'm a story collector, I harvest peoples stories and store them for later to dissect and antidote somehow in later writing.
Oh, I'm not always doing it, but a lot of the time, I'm totally stealing your funny stuff, but in honor of NOVEMBER, which is of course NaNoWriMo time, I'm going to lay it bare, each time I blog I'm going to come clean with a story about me, embarrassing, funny, real...whatever.
Because my medium is fiction I'm going to amp it up with some non fiction to balance it out!

My first antidote:
My kindergarten year I was so sick on Egg Hunt day that I had to lay in the nurses office and listen to the other kids hunt eggs. My mountain school was so small that the cot for sickies was in the teachers lounge, the eggs were hidden in the side fenced yard for the kindergarteners, my best friend for that year, April snuck in and brought me an egg filled with chocolate kisses, (a huge sacrifice!) which I threw up later that night. I will always remember wearing a pretty yellow dress that day and being so exited that I got sick!
some things just stick with you.....
more writing!
go NaNoWriMO's!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I'm fine.

In my line of work-that is, the service industry, I get asked every single day how I am...I say the same phrase almost without fail...I'm fine, thanks so much for asking.
and I am, fine that is. Physically (although I could still stand to drop a few pounds) I'm healthy, I eat well, I see well, and hear perfectly fine, all my fingers and toes work and most of the time my brain is engaged. I have a happy healthy family. We are in no physical pain. We have cars that work and fruits and veggies and a warm and caring extended family. We have what we need, and a good bit of what we want.
but sometimes, like right now, I'm not fine.
I lie.
I'm frustrated, I'm worried and I'm frightened.
I'm frustrated that I can't get as much done as I'd like, I'm worried that I won't get it all done before we move and I'm frightened that things could get worse.
I know when people say, How are you? Most often they are being polite and I adore all things mannerly and polite and to respond I'm fine is more polite than saying I'm so stressed out it feels like I'm swallowing sand sometimes.
but, once in awhile I mean it, I am fine. I am at peace, the very core of me, where I carry my assurance that everything is OK, is still and calm. I relish these moments, because I know, deep down, things are fine, that I'm good, that it will work out, and when I say I'm fine....
it will be true.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

What if Weekend

I have a million stories. I love stories. I think it may be what drives me to want to be a writer. I love hearing new stories, My brother, who is a police officer is a well of stories that constantly make me say, I just can't believe it. My Dad, when he tells a story, has this great boyish smile that makes the whole story better and you can't wait to be in on the joke. I love listening to family stories, work stories, church stories, funny stories, serious, heart wrenching stories. And sometimes I pull from my well of stories when I'm stuck or blocked or completely stalled as I have been for the last two weeks. I play the what if game. What if my character fell in love/fell out of love/watched a Disney movie?
I love to play this game in real life, it's a part of my love of a story. I make up stories about people in waiting rooms with me, what if they are on their way to buy a new car, a new dog? I play what if with my life as well, what if I didn't love my children more than my own skin? What if I hadn't met my husband when I did? What if I publish a book? What if I don't?
I play with M, but he tires of it far before I do, what if we won the lottery? What if we were handed everything, what if we didn't know the value of work, and appreciate all we had? What if I publish something to great reviews or to terrible reviews? What if something happens to one of us?
I play with my kids, although they get bored with one round and want a cupcake or a hug, what if we have to move again? What if we can't go on vacation or rent movies?
I love this game, but not only does it get exhausting trying to figure out all the possibilities, it's frustrating to figure out the 'right' thing.
Especially when you are stuck on a puzzle piece of a story. How do I get from point a to point b to the conclusion? Where is my character going and What if I get it all wrong?
I am playing what if this weekend for one of my characters and I wonder will she figure out she's a good guy? What if she doesn't? What if I don't connect the dots?
What if I get so frustrated with the story I press delete and start over?

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Blind Faith.

I grew up in church, but I'm a skeptic. I'm not saying I don't believe in God, because I do, I certainly do. I also believe that other religions believe what they believe for a reason as well. Almost every day I go to the YMCA, where you can grab a verse a day out of a basket when you check in. My children grab without fail and today Bradys verse was from Matthew, Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest. When I read it to my three year old, he patted my face and said, 'God will help when you are tired, Mommy'. I almost fainted. I am exhausted every single day, but lately I've been feeling a bit better ( I assumed because I was working out regularly) but maybe I wasn't giving credit where credit is due.
Maybe all it took for me to realize how God works every single day in my life is one sentence from my son.
Thank you Lord, for every single day we wake up healthy, with food to eat and clothes to wear and a place to live, Thank you for our jobs, our shoes, our love for each other and our oppurtunities. Thank you for every day my car starts and I have money for gas, thank you for the beautiful weather, birthday cakes and good cell service days. Thank you for friends, for art, for literature, for the energy to get through the day. And thank you most of all for the wisdom of children and the wonder of youth.
And right now, I feel a little less tired just thinking about it.

Friday, July 31, 2009

My life in corsets (ps this is my 100th post!)

So, Hey if you've never met me in real life, I'm voluptuous. I say this in my head the same way a person might say, hey, I have a communicable/venereal disease. I'm not ashamed of my body. OH nononono. I just feel like everyone else is. I feel like my boobs enter a room before I do. I feel like my butt knocks things over of it's own accord and my thighs(my least favorite and most zaftig body part) well, I could wax poetic all day, but I won't bore you.
I have said before and I'll say again, I love the things my body has done, I have three wonderful children(when they are sleeping...or medicated) and I have ran races and delivered a million trays of food and I can swim and bike and play soccer and volleyball.
Yet somehow, I always apologize for myself, when no apology is necessary.
I recently embarked on a new adventure(code word for torture) at work I like to call front of house managing(to those unfamiliar with the resturant industry this means 'complaint handler/jane of all trades)and I have to DRESS UP.
In my life before children, I kind of liked to dress up, granted this was almost eight years ago and long, flowy skirts were in, as were boy pants with suspenders, but I digress. Now, I hate to dress up. Because it means, well, it means some sort of body shaper is generally in order. blech.
I'm pretty honest.
I'm like a five on the angel to politician scale. But I'm not Oprah, I could not on live TV talking about all the business my spanx hold in.
But I will tell you this, I don't wear those suckers every day. Or even most days. I wear them when I do not want to see a muffin toppy roll over the tops of my pants and when the line of my outfit is compromised( which is almost always when I'm dressing up)
It occurs to me, even as I write this, that I've kind of always thought that I'm not exactly thin (but hey, what teenage girl doesn't)
I think however what I'm really trying to say is, that although I'm fine in my house when I'm chilling (as I so frequently chill) when I go out into the world, I still feel the need to suck it in.
I like me, and that guy I married is still a fan(bless his heart) so I've got what matters and yet..still with the funny underwear.

I believe what I see in the mirror (and believe me...although I spared myself only cursory glances in the mirror through my twenties, I've been examing pretty hard here lately botox diaries style) and I'm pretty OK. I mean, I've never been a cover girl, but I think I still got it( and by got it, I mean most of my teeth and decent eyelashes)

My point and remember when I was just (sweet martha already) going to get to it?is this, all women are beautiful, in some way, at some point and if we don't recognize it for ourselves it may not be recognized. Mass consumerism is always going to want us to buy into thinner is better, but if you take care of yourself and don't neglect your health, maybe we can just suck it up on our own and let the funny underwear stay at the bottom of the drawer.


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Take me to your leader

I've wasted a good deal of time this summer, as my Ma-maw would put it 'feelin' sorry fer myself '.
and it's true.
I've been mopey all summer. (and whiny, don't forget whiny, I'm really good with whiny)
I miss my friends, my life, I never thought I'd have to go back to work for this long. I hate that my husband is so unhappy and that our future is so unsettled. A fellow writer friend and I just recently had a discussion about whether true writers are taught or born and he said he was more of a mind that true writers, that is-writers that grab hold of you for four hundred some odd pages or so, are mentally unstable. They've suffered, been alcoholics, druggies, grown children of divorce or just plain malcontents.
To some extent I agree. If I had no pain (and really, who doesn't? at some point everyone's feelings are hurt, everyone suffers from that unsteady feeling that can teeter foward towards depression or backwards towards the decision to change what bothers you) I would have no writing. Not that I write about my pain very often, but it fuels the creativeness that keeps me moving forward. Writing is tough, it's a tough business, it's tough to break into and tough to stay in.
I think the funny stories I tell were once something that really bothered me, but I've broken it down, took it apart and realized if I take myself too seriously, I might always be sad. I just may miss the blessing of my small everydays. I would miss the tiny joys (reading a book with B before nap time, watching K grow up to be such a lovely young lady, listening to A talk to anyone, anytime) these are the real things, the constants and although it's hard to be thankful when I'm watching family and friends flounder and search and even my own husband worry and update his resume' and try to make any connection he can. But I am. I am thankful, I'm thankful I have a job, even when I loathe leaving my family and having no time for my friends or myself. I'm thankful my friends are patient with me, I'm thankful most of all for my ability to work with my pain, but not forget my joy.
I hope your summer is going better than mine even though things are looking up and if you are local, some friends are starting a semi-annual consignment sale for more info!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

still the one.

I have been promising writing excerpts for approximately a year and so I suppose I'd better make good, this is from my longest WIP (meaning I've been working on it the longest har har)my original project, The ditz gets it done, this is part of the first MURDER scene and I'd love any feed back you have.

Like everyone else I surged towards her, but stop dead when I catch sight of her mint green dress, a lovely summer weight shift, but completely ruined. It was covered in blood.

I fished my cell phone out of my tiny jeweled bag, and dialed 911.
"Las Vegas 911, what's your emergency?" and realized that I really didn’t know, so I kneel carefully in front of Miss Michigan, Samantha something or other, and speak softly, “Samantha, what happened?”
She looked at me with frightened eyes and whispered, “Miss Utah, Kuh kuh kuh karen Ingleton, she was stabbed, I think, there’s so much blood. I mean, I think she’s dead, there’s like blood everywhere.”
My throat closed,and I felt cotton-mouthed but I forced myself to ask what room and transfer the information to the woman on the phone who assured me help was on the way. I snapped my phone shut and wrapped my arm around Samantha and steered her out of the room. I stopped and asked one of the panicky looking security guards if there was a room where she could be alone, he pointed mutely to one of the other conference rooms. We ducked in quickly and left the chaos behind for a moment. The only sound in the dark room was our breathing and Samantha’s stuttered sobs. I absently patted her back while she tried to calm herself.

The sharp iron smell of the blood was still clinging to her and it turned my stomach. When Samantha finally calmed down, I stuck my head out the door, not sure what I was looking for. I stopped the first man who seemed to see me, “Hey, are the cops here yet?” I ask, and the man whips his head back at me, then opens his suit coat displaying a badge. I grin unsteadily, “I have the girls roomate in here, I thought I should get her away from the crowd. She found her” He just looks sharply at me without speaking and pushes past me into the dark conference room where Samantha was still trying to stop crying. He leans down and introduces himself to her, and speaks softly. She smiles shakily and takes the tissue he’s fished out of his pocket. She takes a deep breath.
I stood there, feeling like a sore thumb, trying to decide whether or not to go back to my room and pack my bags and go home, or see if I could lend a hand restoring calm to the mass of what surely by now was a group of hysterical girls. The decision was made for me when the officer swaggered back towards me, behind him Samantha was once again reaching a new level of screeching, he motioned his head towards the door, and we stepped outside. People were still clustered in bunches talking animatedly and some were crying. Marilyn and Grace were nowhere to be seen, but I’m sure they were somewhere having kittens together.

Hope everyone is having a great summer!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

My best friend girl..

I have the extreme misfortune (or the colossal luckiness) to have both a husband and a friend (I would say best friend but in the past year we've probably one spent a total of five hours together) who have the same birthday. On Sunday July 12, 2009 both my wonderful husband and my glorious friend will turn (HMM, should I not say their age? ) 31..oops I said it. As funny luck would have it, my husband actually knew my friend before I did and introduced me to her.

Most of you may even know her as well, she has a great blog of her own, two small children and a husband she adores, but that's not who I want to tell you about today. Because although she is a great lady (one of the best!) she was a fantastic girl.

We met when we were both 20 ( we were soooo 20, 20 has never been so good)and although a lot of our classmates and such were partying and having random encounters with faceless strangers, D and I were planning our weddings.

In the long along year 2000 we were both in school and planning weddings and (although we could have been twelve for all the fanciful ideas we had) we actually executed said weddings and proceeded to move into adjoining apartments.

By all accounts the first year of marriage is hard and although I would never speak for D, I know M and I had some doozy fights as well as some doozy make ups.

We carved pumpkins, exchanged Christmas presents, helped each other pick out our wedding albums while our husbands played Nintendo. We took trips, worked together and played together, got dressed up and went out on the town together (for the record I would love to put a photo or two in here but my scanner is kaput..maybe soon)

We started to plan our families, D and her husband bought a house and moved away from us ( and then we rented a house four doors down) then we moved apart.

We started our families and cried and grew massive bellies and burped together, got gorgeous haircuts and catastrophic ones (mostly me, D's hair is always stellar).

We took a trip to the beach and got screen printed shirts and read trashy novels and missed our husbands and watched some great and awful karaoke.

We've comforted and cried and we've had our moments of apartness.

Right now our lives are on different paths and we don't each other as often as we'd like, but I was standing next to someone yesterday with D's perfume, and tears came to my eyes.

I loved growing up with you, D, you've made me a better person, a better mother and a better wife. You inspire me so much. I hope you always know your true value and worth. Happy Birthday Babe.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

As easy as breathing

I realize I've been quiet on here for awhile, but I have been enjoying every one's summer posts and pictures and just as soon as I find a new camera that can take the beating I will hopefully have something along those lines to share, but although I could wax poetic for a good long time about cameras I'll save that for another day.

Today it's going to be about how easy (and hard) it is to have a good day.

I think I've mentioned that M and I are taking Mondays off together which has been great (although the girls have camp on this day, so it's busy and we haven't been able to do zoo, carowinds, tweetsie, picinic or any other superfun summer activity yet) because after our weekends (I usually log about 20-25 hours and M rises at 5 on Sunday mornings to be in Charlotte before anyone else in the entire city is awake) we need a day. But this week I somehow managed to have both Sunday and Monday off, which is like a mini-vacay for me (us).

M's family had us over for a laid-back swim and cookout.

It was the best day.

I mean it. Not even a hint o' sarcasm.

Our only contribution to the whole affair was ketchup and some chips and dip and showing up.

We swam, we hung out, we chatted. It really was fantastic. Even the morning before we went over was nice.

I can't get over how sometimes you can plan and plan and fix and decide and make, and things just don't work out, but then spur of the moment stuff can go super.

I hope everyone had some relaxing time during the holiday weekend, I certainly enjoyed my day today.

Have a great week all, hope to have some new and exiting stuff going on soon (links to new writings and such...)


Friday, June 12, 2009

Summer's HERE! Yay! and OH NO!

Technically, it's only day one of summer at my house.
Technically, I've only had one joy filled day with my revered offspring. I was so looking forward to a more laid back schedule (did I mention we have three birthday parties this weekend? plus I work approximately 25 hours every weekend??) so, birthday present shopping it is. But also..must accomplish some freelance writing, also, tentative house/job/school search in Las Vegas, also...OK, I think you get the point.
The thing is, I've been so exited about summer for weeks..sleeping IN! (No-one told my four year old she doesn't need to wake up Mommy and Daddy ten minutes before the alarm) the kids will amuse each other! (or abuse each other, either way...) Some time with my school age child! (ok, so we cuddled on the couch for about forty five minutes and chatted about being the biggest and then she disappeared into her room for 'alone time'? alone time? really?)I can work out every day! (or not)
I do this alot, I idealize how things will be, even though I know, deep down, it won't be that way at all, as a matter of fact, I will be lucky to make it a week without crazy screaming at the top of her lungs mommy...(GO TO YOUR ROOMS NOW!!!I DON'T WANT TO HEAR IT!)
I love parenting, I also love the school year. I envy my home school parent-friends right now, because (not only are they awesome, cuz they totally are) but they can wicked out a schedule in a way I never can without someone else dictating it to me i.e. Keegan is here at this time, Leesy is here at this time..and so on..
My point is, it will take me about six weeks to strike a good rhythm and by that point it will be time to start circuit training for school again. At least Mike and I have both taken Mondays off every week for some much needed family time, trips to the zoo, and carowinds (or three hour naps!) I will keep everyone posted about our possible moving status, we don't know much now, but hopefully will soon.
Can anyone help me out with your favorite birthday party (either planned or attended?) and can someone hook me up with a website/blog designer?
Happy summer!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Uncertain certainty

I think my favorite thing about summer (besides sleeping in, which shouldn't be trivialized) is swimming.
Not to be confused with wearing a bathing suit (see earlier post) I like swimming, but not so much liking the picking out of and actual wearing of bathing suit. I would prefer a bathing muumuu and barring that a bathing tent. And while we have lots of opportunities to swim, friends with pools, grandma's with pools, a backyard with a pool, a Y membership with a pool, I still don't quite manage it as much as I'd like.
It's a great workout and stress reliever and it makes me feel ten times better than say, just elipticaling(?) or walking/running (ok mostly walking) on the treadmill.
Which again comes back to the bathing suit thing (which I won't exhaust but lets just say, you can't swim actively with my current suit)
But mostly, I said all that just to say...I love summer.
Or, I usually love summer, right now it's more of a I love summer but
As in...I love summer, but it's a bummer not to know where we need to enroll Keegan.
I love summer, but it's a bummer not to be able to look at houses or make an offer on the one we're in.
I love summer, but it's a bummer that most of our vacations this summer will probably revolve around job interviews.
I love summer, but when the future is uncertain, it's clouds the whole sunny affair.
Please think about us as we wonder about the fall and where we will land.
I hope we know something soon.

Friday, May 29, 2009

A subject anywhere, sometimes you just know.

Dieting sucks. I'm just saying, it would be much easier if you could eat more food or if you could oh, i don't know exercise less. Then dieting would be loads of fun. You know what else would make dieting fun?


or Carbs.

or hey some chocolaty carby combination?

chocolate covered pretzels?

chocolate dipped pound cake (PS. this is a real thing, I discovered it at the Asheville Mall on Tuesday at a fantastic kiosk called, (believe it or not) chocolate covered..)
Dieting would be ideal if it involved more chocolate, carbs, and sugary treats.
I love sugary treats.

and to be honest, exercise isn't bad.
When I'm in shape, but sadly, each workout only serves to make me realize how far from where I once used to be workout wise, I mean I once ran for fun, miles and miles (oh, OK mile)

It's just the eating, or lack thereof, that bothers me.

Once I discover an all you can eat chocolate/carb diet, where only minimal exercise is necessary, then I should be good.
Because honestly, I'm struggling, I work with food every single day, good fattening food. And I'm in a rush, every single day, so what happens is, I get in a rush, and then I end up eating fattening not so good for me food in a rush. (Chocolate, carbs, sugary treats)
Now, I should go..cuz well, I'm hungry.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Love me, Love my technology

Never having been the most technologically advanced person, I am never happy to embrace a tiny machine that may or may not be smarter than me. I was reluctant to switch to digital camera from film camera, ask people who knew me, I was all, it's not like a regular camera, how can the quality be just as good? I'm a big whiny baby, I don't want to learn how to work something new, I just got the hang of my film camera.
Then my husband, who thinks he knows better than me, went and bought me a digital camera, and then I was all, where have you been all my life digital camera? I love you with your endless storage and ability to never print bad pictures of my enormous backside and chubby pregnant face.
So I was wrong, once.

But it couldn't happen more than once, right?


Along come the Blu-Ray disc, and while this is more my husbands area than mine, I still managed to resist the Blu-Ray/Plasma/high-def thing for a good while, I used the whole 'remember Laser Discs? this may not last either...blah, blah...'
Not buying it, again my husband the smartie, was like we need a new TV anyway and look at the pretty flatness...ooooo ahhhh..and while we're at it, let's get the blu-ray..look, you can get 'Twilight' on blu-ray (smart guy, that husband)
So, now I totally heart the flat screen and clear! so pretty! So flat!

And, well, I was wrong...twice...what are the odds?

But I couldn't possibly be wrong a third time.
Everyone I know has a blackberry (ok, like six people, but they include my brother and husband, so they count like double right?) and although I liked them when other people had them, when we went to renew our contract, I was like oooo look at the pretty phone, but it's so expensive and unnecessary, but sooo pretty.
Get it, says smartie husband.
No, says I..I'll just get...
Just get it. says husband rolling eyes and getting phone helpery person and pointing to blackberry storm...get this for my wife he says..and before he can even start going on about how he was right about the digital camera and then video camera and blu-ray disc player, blah..blah..
I got it.
And even though I hated it for about twenty minutes (I couldn't even figure out how to make a call, much less search the net) I soooo heart it now.
Long story short..although I often resist change, once I get comfortable with it, I dig it.
which i guess means long story short..I'm a dummy.
But at least my phone is smart.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Bad Parenting : The advanced courses

When my kids were teeny tiny (you know for about ten seconds after they were born) I made minor mistakes, not letting them cry it out was a big one. We were terrible about this with Keegan, our oldest. So terrible, in fact, that for about six months Mike or I slept with her on the couch. We took shifts, he would sleep first shift, then when she woke up to nurse, I would feed her then lay back down on the couch with her.
This ended around the time we wised up and realized that really nice crib set and actual crib were for something other than diaper storage and extra laundry basket space.
We were considerably smarter with babies two and three who arrived within sixteen months of each other and out of necessity, were a bit less spoiled.
But now that they are older I feel like it's big mistakes that I'm making.

Big Mistake One: Auto Pilot Mommy.
When I hear Mommy, Mommy, Mommy for the four hundred and twelfth time in an hour, I start to tune out and I hate that. I start to respond with MM-Hmm, yes, oh how nice. I also sometimes say yes to things I might otherwise veto early on. This can create a bad situation later on, But Mom said we could jump off the porch into the fountain and have hot fudge sundaes for dinner, and frankly I may have agreed, but as mother, ultimate power of changing my mind lies solely with me, so soccer and fish sticks it is.

Big Mistake Two: Pushover Mommy
I get so little time with my babies lately that whenever I spend time with them I indulge them almost everything they ask, and I have a horrible time saying no, even when it's obvious I should. I know this is almost as toxic as always saying no, but I feel so bad and I just want to not upset them, and well, it sucks, but it's true.

Big Mistake Three : Screaming Mommy
I recently read in one of my parenting mags, (I have a stack of at least twenty magazines that I haven't even cracked yet, so this advice may actually be over a year old) that screaming and loosing your temper is not good for your children's self esteem (who knew?) but at least once a week, I completely boil over. There is no excuse, ever, but you've been in a car with arguing toddlers before, right? he touched me, she touched me first, her foot is on my seat, i had that toy first, can I have a drink of your drink? I sometimes wish I had one of those limo privacy screens, then I could chose what I wanted to hear in the car.

Big Mistake Four (and Five, possibly)
The easy open snack.
Again, no excuse is reasonable, but I have three kids to get out the door in the morning, and although I include the banana in the easy open snack/breakfast food category, I still sometimes fail miserably at balanced breakfast 101.
Cereal without milk in a baggie for portability: check
knock-off brand nutra grain bars with box of raisins: check
Fruit snacks and cold bagel: check
nutritionally sound start to the day: fail
thank goodness my children take a vitamin.

As a Mom I take my children's mental and physical health seriously, that being said, I know that I'm never going to be perfect, and most of the time that's pretty funny. I hope that either I'm not alone in my crazy parenting mistakes, or at the very least you can the humor in such situations.

Sorry I've had a crazy month, but more on that later, I'm hoping to have an excerpt from some of my writing ready soon, so keep checking back !
Love *R

Friday, April 24, 2009

Rhianna and the NY Times: A love story.

Once upon a time there was a girl with beautiful long, flowing flake free, frizz free hair (what? it's a fairy tale, let me have my long flowing fantasy hair) and this girl was in LOVE with the NY Times: Sunday edition.

she was all like, NY times:Sunday edition, where have you been all my life, with your impossibly long ridiculously successful people wedding announcements and Art section that makes me want to hop the red eye to NY and mingle among the creative and broke.

and the NY Times:Sunday edition was like, I'm so glad you're willing to pay four hundred dollars for one Sunday edition and then lug me home(thus completing your weight lifting for the day)

and she was like , well, that is true, you are expensive and heavy...

and the NY Times:Sunday edition was like, BUT the book reviews you heart the book reviews, right? what would you do without your forty-five minute fantasy about seeing your book reviewed and or advertised among the lucky published?

and she was like, well, NY Times:Sunday edition, I'm not sure if you've heard of the Internet, but there are all sorts of free and random book reviews.

NY Times, Sunday edition scoffed...(yes scoffed, what of it?) Random? Free? Is this what you want to cuddle up with? Random and Free? How would you like your five dollar latte to be random and free? (free yes, random notsomuch) How would you like your cell phone service to be random and free. That's how you pick up viruses and diseases, you know.

Girl laughs maniacally, OH NY Times:Sunday edition, I didn't expect you to be so defensive and bitter.

and then NY Times:Sunday edition got mad....You're just like all the rest! Newspapers will be obsolete if you stop reading us, I'm begging you! Your children won't even know what is was like to hold and smell a newspaper.

Girl: I'm sorry, there are just easier and more time effective ways to get my news and entertainment...I'm sorry, you will always be my first.

NY Times:Sunday edition sniffles..There's a great review this week about the new Columbine book...only available in PRINT.

Girl..let's not prolong the inevitable NYT:SE...we had some good times and some bad (remember the paper cut?)

NYT:SE...that wasn't my was the advertising department.

Girl...I have to go..You were fun.

NYT:SE...What If we ran coupons again?

girl, swishing her long flowing flake and frizz free hair, too little too where can I can some wi-fi love?

To conclude, I used to be all, I heart you NY Times:Sunday edition, and now I'm like NY Times:Sunday edition? When did you gain all this weight? Where are my comics? Where are my coupons? Where oh where is the love?

Plus, is it not just easier to google the book reviews I want to see?
Next week..Rhianna and Google: An Affair to Remember.

Friday, April 17, 2009

And then I broke my leg...

**DISCLAIMER: No leg breaking actually occurred this is a gross exaggeration of some crazy things that happened on vacation...

So we're home.

Which is awesome, but also sucks, because it's means that we are at the farthest point from our next vacation.
But, again, is awesome, because it's so nice to be home when you've been away. The beds were terribly uncomfortable and the fridge at our first house sounded like Snoopy's airplane.
Oh? and also?
the hot tub? NOT so hot.
Really barely even tepid.

the managers of said property were more than happy to jet some maintenance men up the mountain to fix our problems for approximately three hours and seventeen minutes. When the refrigerator cranked back up and instead of Snoopy's airplane sounded a little more like rocket ship landing site.
Oh? and the hot tub?
Approximately seven thousand degrees.

So, we call, again....and they moved us. To a house with a working fridge and warm hot tub. And we were glad, because we paid for a house with both a fridge and hot tub, but we were already two days into our vacation. and a little peeved that we had to move.
But the second house was really nice, if also a little rundown (which, when compared to basically ghettofied, is fantastic)but in the grand scheme of things still kind of sucks when you shell out hard earned money for what you assume is a well-upkept rental.

and next time, when we go to Gatlinburg? We'll stay somewhere else, thanks.

We did have a great time, but I hate being those high maintenance people who demand stuff but sadly I can't sleep at a rocket launch site, and the hot tubby fun-ness is diminished a bit by skin falling off bone.
(and the pool table? one leg was broken and had been splinted back together, very nice!)

I hope everyone had a great Easter!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Hello life, it's me Rhianna, are you there?

Dear Life,
Remember all the fun things we used to do together? We used to sleep in and skip classes and get our nails done and see movies?
What happened? I still think about you all the time, I daydream about our weekend trips to the beach, about our late night dinners out, about our shopping for everything and nothing.
I can't believe you would just up and leave me because I got a job, I mean, I know I work long hours, and sometimes I'm only home for about five hours before I have to go back, but you could call, you could write, you could even send me a text message if you wanted. I'm here.
I would say I'll wait for you, but I have my pride and I would hate to think you've found someone else. I know you think my job is more important than you, but you know how it is to be an adult, I still want you, I just want other things, too.
I don't understand why we can't at least be friends and hang out once in awhile. I was good to you, right? You remember the good times?
Well, since I haven't heard from you in a bit, I'm going to assume you need your space.
But, call me when you can, I'll be here...leave a message if I'm sleeping.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Sleep, Interrupted

The truth, I've started a blog every day this week, and then I'm bored with reading it myself, so I'm cramming my whole week into one day, so sandwiched between No-worries Wednesday and Fat-free Friday, I will cover all the basics, 1.countdown to vacation 2. lack of much needed sleep and 3. whether or not I'm actually sticking to my diet/workout plan (oh, if only there were actually a plan)
Eight more days until vacation! Eight LONG LONG LONG days until we pack up the car and head off for the mountains, and although I'm exited (our first real vacation in over a year!) I'm also dreading the inevitable packing, unpacking and various sleep issues the kids will have. Not to mention the various upsets of exhausted children on vacation. But still, so EXITED, super exited. I just wish I could transport our whole house into the rental house and then back. Instead I have to try to figure out what the kids will want most and just well...start packing.
2. for some reason I can't seem to squeeze in more than three or four hours at a time. Just talking about it makes me tired.
3. Fat free Friday ( a whole day early!) I actually worked out three whole days (well, not the whole days, but you get the point) three workouts..and then I was so hungry I was like hello sugar cookie where have you been all my life, so I'm not sure if that's progress or a two steps forward three steps back type situation or what. But I'm working on it. So that's that. As far as writing life is concerned Bla........(loosely translated means when I have ten seconds to myself, I mostly just want to sleep.)
Otherwise, things are good...this is my last day off before I work the next seven or so..for vacation, I probably won't blog again until around Easter, but I hope everyone has a Hoppy Easter..

Friday, March 27, 2009

Like elevator music for your mouth.

So it's time to once again get serious about my health. Which means no more ice cream sandwiches for breakfast. No more McDonald's for lunch (even my go-to McDonald's diet item, the snack wrap has more calories than is strictly necessary for a meal). No more eating dinner at midnight, or nabbing fries from the kitchen at work. No more loading up my sweet potato with extra brown sugar and honey butter.
Which means no more of the food I LOVE. Because, honestly, the food I love?is all really fattening. And the food I loathe?makes me skinny and healthy.
It's hard to work in the restaurant industry, especially in a restaurant that serves the most unhealthy food in America (cheese fries, in case you're interested in expediting the clogging of your arteries).
Not that there aren't healthy options, our vegetables are fantastic (um, and swimming in butter)and our fish is flavorful and low fat, (and apparently good for things like brain power and muscle development) but when faced with options like chicken smothered in bacon, mushrooms and cheese or fish..grilled fish, I tend to choose the fat laden chicken. I know it's bad for me, I know, at my age (ouch) I need to be more choosy about what I'm stuffing my face with. I have heart health problems on both sides of my family and weight problems with the women. I need to get health serious and put down the melty cheese fork.
And I do like working out, I just wish it weren't such a pain in the neck to get the kids ready to go, then drop them off, then pick them up...blah blah..
I also have the double kick in the face of my husband 1)being naturally slim and 2)actually preferring grilled chicken to double bacon cheeseburgers. It would be so easy to hate him sometimes.
But alas, it's not about him, it's about me. About my lack of motivation to shed the last twenty (mmm or forty..five) pounds from childcarrying/childbearing and childnursing. About my preferring pizza to celery and fat free cream cheese.
All this to say, Fridays will now be fat-free Fridays, and I will divulge the ulgy truth about my current state of diet. I won't scare you with actual poundage/sizeage, but I will try to share good diet recipes (a rare animal indeed) and hope to motivate anyone who needs to get real (pardon the Dr. Philism) about their health.
So day one will actually be Monday, I always have to start on Monday's (part of my linear thinking for some reason), but I won't post til friday about how I did. I've already cut out a lot of caffeine (really tough, really really tough for me) switching from four (or six) diet dr. peppers to tea and flavored water.
Wish me luck.
Now where did I put those ice cream sandwiches?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

the blog will set you free

So I figure if I do one thing every day towards my writing future that's good right?
Progress, yes?
And of course I count blogging cuz, well blogging is technically writing and well, any writing is good writing?
It turns out, not so much. Not when you have not so arbitrary things like deadlines and self imposed goals and such (crap, total crap)
I like to blog (in theory, I like to write, but I also like things like sleeping and eating and really what is the priority?)
Blogging is like visiting my friends, letting them in on the things they've missed (hello friends, we've moved, I have a new tatoo on my foot and Twilight is the best movie ever even if my boyfriend kisses another girl in it. He HAS to, it's for his WORK, so I understand.)

and so whereas blogging is fun and easy, writing is sometimes hard and well, work like.
I want it so badly, but it's so much work sometimes.
I'm not sure if I'll get to make a living writing, so few people do, but I can't imagine it will be easier if that does happen.
Maybe if I think of writing like blogging I'll be OK, but somehow I don't think I can fool myself into thinking that. It would be a little like trying to tell myself broccoli is chocolate and well even though I like broccoli and chocolate, well, you obviously can't substitute one for the other. Neither can you mix them together (believe me, I've tried crazier things)
So, for now, I'll settle on my tried and true consequence and reward system, (coincidently the same one I employ for my children works for me)where I only get to blog if I write seriously.
And I guess, well, that will just have to work....for now.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Rhianna by the numbers

17-days until much needed, long anticipated vacation

3-number of times I've watched 'Twilight' in as many days

87-times I've considered changing Ailise or Keegan's name to Bella

88,312, 602-lurid vampire fantasies

3-amount of home-made sweets brought to us by new neighbors.

6-things I've attempted out of my comfort zone.

1-number of flat screens purchased.

1-butt expanding from fascination with flat screen and free sweets

412-number of times children warned that being sold to circus is imminent.

2-number of times I called the circus to see if this is an actual possibility

12-the minimum number of boxes left to unpack.

6-number of times I yawned while writing this

3-times I reminded Keegan to take her water bottle to soccer practice

1-number of water bottles forgotten

12-times I've sung our ridiculous birthday song at work in the last three days..Happy happy birthday, our birthday song is short..hey!

30-number of minutes it's taken me to write this post.

and now...
1-the times I'm saying I'm done.


Monday, March 23, 2009

There's a helicopter in the bathroom

We've moved, (but not unpacked) I've finally seen 'Twilight' and Keegan starts soccer today.
Life is a chaotic sort of normal. I say normal, but it's really kind of horrible sucky right now. Mike and I are both working five or six days a week, and so our kids, our friendships, and our lives are suffering. We're both exhausted and some days we only see each other in passing.
Our normalcy has become something very different from our year ago regular lives.
Like a lot of American families we are adjusting to new routines and sparser schedules.
I know on some levels we are far luckier than a lot of people.
We are struggling sure, but we both have jobs, we have a small savings and a vacation planned. Life is just, sometimes...really hard.
My days are long, and tiring, and I'm having to lay aside some of my dreams for now, for our family.
So when I got up this morning to find a helicopter in the bathroom I smiled. My kids are still normal kids, despite how I sometimes feel as if I never see them. They still go to bed on time (thanks, Dad)and feel as if the whole house is their toy box.
When I'm worried that it's too disruptive for me to work, or that they need me more and their Grandmother or Dad less, I think about helicopters in the bathroom, and how someday our normal normal will be back.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Watch this Space.

So, I've not exactly been superblogger so far this year(let's be honest, Dr. Phil style, when am I ever?) But, I actually have an excuse, WE ARE...da du da duh (that's a drumroll) MOVING! It's a big change and superdifficult with three kids, a job, a spot on the PTA, a new promotion, a book in progress, three meals a day to get on the table and a partridge in a pear tree, but that's how it goes.
We've had almost five years at this house, so I'm pretty nostalgic, what with bringing two new babies home there and celebrating milestone anniversaries and what-not, but I couldn't see us there for the long term so we needed to look elsewhere.
I'm sure everyone out there is aware of the ridiculously horrifying state of the economy, so we're not alone in our quest for the bigger better deal.
Pray for us, and keep us in your thoughts as we endure one of the suckiest things I can think of, realizing how much crap you actually have.
PS, I'm working on an article for a parenting mag and would love some antidotes about snowflake moments (the moments with your kids that go by too quickly but are so beautiful they hurt almost.) If someone has one to share I'd love to hear it.
Hope we'll be settled soon.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Dear Cedric Diggory,

Dear Cedric,
I like calling you Cedric, because well, that's how I first came to know your royal cuteness. This is not to detract from your overall appealling nature. (Which I just realized could be misread as appalling, but I digress)
Now, Cedric, as you know I am married to the cutest boy in the world (blantant phrase stealing from sweet potato queens), but that doesn't mean that I can't have celebrity crushes.
I know a lot of people will know you as Edward from Twilight, and that's fine, some people may even call you Robert (since you know, real name and all)but again, I prefer Cedric.
It seems, Cedric, that I'm not really getting to my point and that's not true at all, I'm just enjoying writing a fan letter, because well, I never really did that sort of thing when I was a teenager (may account for the general nuttiness now). So, you see, I do actually have a point.
Cedric, what I'm wondering is, does your hair always look like you just rolled out of bed, did you, in fact, just roll out of bed, or is it something that you take hours to perfect? and you wear lipstick?
I'm curious because, your lips always look all kissable and plump and well, this is not exactly the way boys lips generally look.
I'm just asking.
Please don't misunderstand, I like the messy hair, sexy lips look, it would just bother me if you were all contriving to look so mysterious and sexy.
In short, are you naturally all cute and stuff or do you try really hard?
Much love, Rhianna
PS. do you still have the teeth from the movie?
What? I'm just wondering!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

heavenly ham, holidays and hoopla

It's over.
The balloons are loosing helium, Dick Clark is back resting in his Malibu mansion, and the Christmas tree is dried up and droopy.
Yes, the holidays are officially over.
How do I know?
Two reasons,
1. I'm counting my money and these two pennies are very sad indeed and
2. my children are gearing up to open their very own Lawndale Toys R Us.

(oh, yeah, and I turned thirty, no more mention will be made of this, take note)
In no particular order I'm going to do what I do best and make a list of my favorite holiday moments and least favorite.
The best
1. My brother just about loosing his mind trying to get the Steve Miller Band live DVD/CD at our annual gift exchange. (the same could be said for my Mom, Dad, Seth's girlfriend Shannon and my sister Jessica, but Seth made the biggest a@# of himself..and therefore, made me laugh the hardest.)
2. The ham and ham glaze from Thanksgiving..(thanks for the recipe, if anyone wants a good glaze for their ham, I'll post some post holiday recipes next week)
3. Cheesecakes by Ashley (uh oh, is it a bad sign that two out of three are food?)
4. Having my Mom and my Dad healthy for the holidays this year.
5. New wine glasses, spending time with family and finally having a good book light.
6. Getting to bake with my friends, working has put a huge time crunch on my girl time and having a whole day with my buddies was awesome.
The worst
1. 'Hi, Mom, is three oh twelve too early to get up?'
2. Surprise you have to work Christmas Eve. PS, you have to close.
3. Surprise you have to work on New years Eve. PS, you have to close
4. Fixing your brakes will only cost the approximate same as buying a new refrigerator..MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Ok, That's it...I'm doing so far so good with my resolutions, I hope everyone can say the same.
I'd love to hear your best and worst holiday moments and check back often, I'm hoping to post twice a week this year!
Happy New Year!