Momaical is a humorous look at trying not to raise a flock of assholes. Cursing & copious coffee involved.

Momaical: [mom-mahy-uh-kuhl] = (Hybrid of Mom and Maniacal.)

8.30.2012

Crying On The First Day of Kindergarten Is For Suckers

I sent my baby off to kindergarten yesterday.  For weeks I was warned how emotionally draining this was going to be for me.  And how I would probably cry because it was going to be so hard.  I wasn't sure what to expect; Lena has been in some form of daycare/school since she was 8 weeks old and I returned to work.   She went to transitional kindergarten last year because she was too young for "real" kindergarten but too smart (aka bored = chatterbox) for only a few days a week preschool.  It didn't seem like I was sending my child off to "real school" last year, more like a really large play date.  So, we prepared for this big day: new backpack/lunch box/thermos, new outfits, new haircut.   Lena couldn't wait to start at her new school and her enthusiasm was contagious.

The morning of she came bouncing into our room to wake us up announcing that the BIG DAY HAD ARRIVED.  We were all up and scrambling around in anticipation.  The house was a flurry of eggs, clothes, teeth brushing, preparation and pictures.   We got to the school early.  Sign in here.  Name tag there. Volunteer?  Donations?  Suddenly the teachers took over and we minions followed along for the official tour. We brought our precious packages to their new home-away-from-home and after the big introduction, we left them.    

And...nothing.  No tears.  No emotional outbursts.  Just proud of my big, grown up girl.  And part of me felt so guilty.  This is supposed to be the big moment when mom's hearts break because their baby bird is starting to fly the nest.  What is wrong with me???? Am I just a heartless Cuckoo bird, drop kicking a baby out of my nest?   Emmeline and I followed the mecca to the auditorium for the PTA portion of our morning. Before I knew it we were heading back to the room to pick up our kids (as they had an abbreviated first day and were only in the class for an hour).

Today we completed the morning routine like veterans.  Emmeline and I held Lena's tiny hands into the school yard, unpacked her backpack and walked into the playground together.  We all hugged her goodbye.  And, then she ran off to play - a flash of turquoise against asphalt.  I watched my baby girl absorbed into the amoeba that is the playground.  And, that's when it all hit me. 

My baby is part of a bigger picture now.  She's a teeny, tiny kindergartner at a large school.  I can't even find her on the play structure amongst all the other tiny people.  Is she going to be ok?  Will they like her?  Will she stand up for those who can't (much like the praying mantis episode I wrote about here: http://www.craftymom101.com/2012/08/guest-post-from-tracy-winslow-little.html)Will her teachers like her and understand her sassiness?  Will they cater to her high intelligence or will they ignore her because their time is focused on those who are on a slower learning curve? Oh. My. God.  What have I done?

Emmeline was crying for two reasons: "me no want to yeave me sissy" and she didn't want to "yeave da pwaygwond."  She was so sad because her closest friend was heading off to adventures bigger than she was able to be a part of at this point in her two-year-old world.  And we trudged away, leaving our big girl with a quiet dirge following us out the gate.  I guess crying on the first day of kindergarten is for suckers.  Crying on the SECOND day - that's what the cool kids are doing these days, right? Anyone?  Anyone?

We walk around to get in the car and all of a sudden a burst of blue protozoa flies out of the amoeba.  Lena comes running back to the fence. Oh my God.  My baby hates it too.  She's running back for me.   What are my choices now????

"Oh, here Mommy.  I forgot to take my sunglasses off and it would be wicked bad if they got broken.  Through the fence high five Emmeline.  I love you Mommy!  Off to make some more new friends." and she skips toward her destiny. 

There goes my Lena.  She's going to be just fine.  Everyone warned me about day one - which I aced like a champ.   It was day two that was killer.  Now to go fix my mascara before I get labeled as "that weird new goth mom in Burberry." 

8.27.2012

Gynecology Gone Wild


The yearly trip to the gynecologist is a necessary evil.  Going to the gynecologist with two children in tow descends the entire experience to a whole new level of hell. 

Coupled with my lack of childcare options available to me, was my sleep deprived insanity logic into deciding to bring them along:


It's a 5 minute appointment.  How bad could it be, really?  I'll just set them up with something to watch on my phone.  They won't even notice what's going on.  Oooh!  Look!  There's a bird in my yard!  Did I flip the laundry yet?  I like chocolate. 

So, the girls and I walk in to the appointment, armed with iPhones, toys and enough snacks to feed Latvia and Lithuania.  The nurse took care of the preliminaries and the girls were immersed in some show about giant squid.  She hands me my pink paper nightmare to put on - open in the front for optimal awkward.  I quietly disrobe and am not even on the table before the doctor walks in.  I count my blessings that she is so fast in arriving in the room because I am staring at a Molotov cocktail sitting next to a flame thrower.  I am positive the swath of destruction left behind us in the waiting room had nothing to do with the expediting of my appointment.  

The first 37 seconds went smoothly.  I am sending "pay no attention to the woman beneath the paper curtain" subliminal messages to my kids.  I think I am almost home free. I am a foolish, foolish woman. 

Lena: "Mommy!  Why is she poking you in the pee pee?"

Emmeline: "Hey! Stweaker!  You nakey! Hahahahahahahahaha!!!!"

Lena: "Mommy.  Seriously.  She is STABBING YOU IN THE PEE PEE.  Do I have to do that at my back to school doctor’s appointment?"

The gynecologist speeds up the exam as I flounder through an explanation that this is an appointment to make sure I am around for many, many more years of abject humiliation from my children.  

Emmeline decides it is the perfect time for a cabaret. "You is nakey awound!  Mommy - Mommy is nakey!"  However, the audience of three is not quite the draw she is looking for.  So she opens up the door to the exam room and yells down the hallway. "Nakey!  Nakey!  My mommy is poked in da bunners!"  

AND I CAN'T GET UP TO CLOSE THE DOOR BECAUSE THE DOCTOR’S ARM IS SO FAR UP MY HOO-HA THAT SHE MAY BE CHECKING MY TONSILS.
 
Lena: "Is her whole arm in your pee pee?"

Emmeline: "Awm in da pee pee! My mommy is nakey and stweaking with her bunners!"   

Lena: "Mommy, you might want to know that Emmeline is running down the hallway."

Is it possible to die of embarrassment? Because I'm pretty sure I came close.   The doctor quickly finishes and I run down to the lobby, "nakey" except for my paper shift.  Emmeline ran right to a brand new young dad in the waiting room.  I grab my toddler with the one hand that is not holding together my only source of vestment. I look him right in the eye and say: "Congratulations on your new baby.  Parenthood is awesome."  

Then with my pink paper gown flapping in the wind, I head back to the room to gather what little is left of my dignity.  Which is less than the material clutched between my fingers.  

Here's the picture from when I was a guest blogger on Rants From Mommyland!  Eek!


8.26.2012

Happiness Is Hard

There's something incredibly empowering about deciding to take control of your life.  I'm not talking about packing your things and disappearing in the middle of the night for some wild mid-life crisis escapade.  I'm talking about making a conscious decision to change your life for the better. 

Everyone has their own personal albatross.  Whether it's weight, a bad job, a crummy relationship or toxic people  - everyone has something they are battling.  Even the people who seem like they have it all going for them (they are usually the ones that are hiding the most). It's easy to bitch and feel sorry for yourself.  It's human nature to blame others for your failings. That's why so many people do it: because it's easy.  Taking responsibility for your own happiness is hard.  But if you REALLY want to be happy you have to stop blaming others and take control.  Only you can make changes to improve your life.  Acknowledge that something is making you unhappy and change it.  You have the power to keep being unhappy or to choose to BE HAPPY. 

Today I decided to stop making excuses about why I am not in the shape I want to be in.  Today I decided to suck it up and stop eating crap and blaming an injury as to why I can't work out.  Today I am making a conscious effort to change what is making me unhappy.  It's not easy - but if life were easy we'd all be millionaire model astrophysicists.  But only I can ultimately make myself happy.  And it's not up to my husband, my kids, my parents or my third grade teacher.  It's on me.

Today's the day it starts.  What's it going to be for you?  Are you strong enough to really face your demons and make changes to better your life?  Or are you going to be weak and blame others for your unhappiness?  Because only you knows what you need to truly be happy.  And Burberry.  Burberry can also make you happy. 

8.25.2012

Go. To. Bed.

Moderator: Well, it’s not every day we get to announce that a world heavyweight championship fight is being broadcast live from California - right in some one's bedroom, but we’re sure happy to be doing it today. Mommy Dearest and Golden Girl are taking their feuds to a new level, as the ladies will go head-to-head, both at bedtime.

HBO Commentator Lennox Lewis: So we’re thrilled to be part of this event, and we look forward to a really exciting fight on Saturday night.

Moderator: Lennox, what do you think Mommy Dearest and Golden Girl need to do to win this fight? What do you think the keys to success will be for each lady?

Lennox Lewis: Let’s start with Mommy Dearest. I believe that she has to really do what she usually does, try to keep that little Golden Girl in bed and asleep. Don't give in to her demands to get out of her kib. Golden Girl is known for that jabbing and keeping her mom off balance. She doesn't fight fairly. Lots of dirty tricks up her Princess Aurora sleeves.  

Fresh out of Jail/Hangover Movie Mike Tyson: Yeah. She does that weally well.

Lewis: I noticed that Mommy hasn’t been moving too much on her feet. I believe it is because she has been under a perpetual state of sleep deprivation for the last several weeks. Golden Girl is really psyching her out before the big event tonight.

And as far as Golden Girl, I think she needs to really go to her opponent’s bedroom instead of screaming and waiting for Mommy Dearest to come to her.   If she enters in the middle of the night on Mommy Dearests side of the bed Girl will catch Mommy unaware.  Girl’s got a tremendous history. It kind of reminds me of my own being a world junior champion and having all the different amateur accolades. But with more ponytails and baby dolls.

Mike Tyson: Wet's get this undew way. Bof of da opponents are sweepin. And, hopefuwy wifout a tiger. Hahahaha - what? No one got my back on dat? Damn. Y'all awe hawsh.

Lewis: It's two o'clock in the morning fans! It's time to see who will win the epic battle tonight - Mommy Dearest taking on Golden Girl ~ Live from California!

(Microphone comes down from the light in the hallway. The commentator steps up which is pretty creepy because he doesn't live here.):

Commentator: Fighting out of the pink corner, we have Golden Girl. Clad in a pair of princess jammies and what appears to be a cape. Golden Girl is a Freestyle fighter. She stands 3-feet-1-inch tall, weighing in at 26 pounds. She holds a professional mixed martial arts record of 20 wins and 2 losses, with 10 wins by whining. She is the current, reigning, and defending Insomnia Champion...". Fighting out of San Francisco, California: Emmeline..."GOLDEN GIRL!"

Annnnnnd in the paisley corner is Mommy Dearest! Clad in an old Holy Cross t-shirt and yoga pants, 5-foot-6-inches tall and weighing in at ... did she just flip us off? Is that allowed? Mommy Dearest says she needs a good 10 hours of sleep a night to function in society. Lately she is only getting two and is causing her to get all Jekyll and Hidey. Tonight's competition is to settle the sleeping score and to see who comes out Reigning Champion of the Mattress.

It's 2 am. Let's Get Ready To Rumble!!! Ding, Ding, Ding!

Lewis: Mommy Dearest is not at all focused. This will not bode well for her entrance into tonight’s competition. She is curled in a ball and can't find her glasses. Golden Girl makes the first strike "MOMMY! Get me outta my kib!" Mommy Dearest groans.  Oh, that one had to hurt. Mommy rolls over and places a pillow over her head.

Golden Girl clearly has the upper hand in this bout. She is lucid, having napped earlier in the day. She also secretly ate a fistful of pop rock candy that she stole from her big sister. She's small and wily. She has kept Mommy Dearest in a fugue of sleep deprivation which makes MD weak and shaky.

Tyson: Yeah, dat was wike me when I got dis face tattoo. Sweep depwivation sucks. Makes ya all cwazy.

Lewis: Golden Girl is getting ready for her next attack. She crawls out of her crib and stealthy walks down the hallway. She crawls along the floor next to Mommy Dearest's bed. Mommy is still reeling from the last sneak attack. Golden Girl crawls up on the side of the bed. Getting leverage on Ethan Allen frame she leans in for the finishing touch ~ She opens her mouth open wide next to Mommy Dearest's unsuspecting eardrum:  “Mommy! Me are wake and not in my KIB!”

Mommy Dearest springs into action. Finally. We were wondering when she was going to show up to this match. Without a word she scoops Golden Girl up and takes her down the hall. Golden fights back, a swift kick, windmill punches, a head-butt and an attempted eye poke. Golden Girl fights dirty. But Mommy Dearest is unfazed – This isn’t her first appearance at this rodeo. Golden is deposited back into her bed without ceremony.

Score One for Mommy Dearest. That cool professionalism; that's what has kept Mommy going in this fight. But Golden Girl has youth on her side. And a tiara.

This second half will be interesting. A very loud snore emanates from Mommy Dearests corner. That must be her coach, Animal Husbandry. Husband; deep in slumber, unaware of the nightly battle waged in their boxing ring.

Moderator: Lennox, are you surprised that Mommy Dearest is this effective at her age? You know she’s pushing 40 and still virtually unbeatable?

Lennox Lewis: Yes. She’s got a good diet and she’s still got a lot of drive in her to continue, which is great. I’ve passed my prime in that sense, and I just want to do other things. My big show, as you know, was with you,  Mike Tyson.

Mike Tyson: Yeaw. Wemember when I bit your weg? Dat was high-warious.

Lewis: The bell sounds for the second round to begin. Mommy Dearest is starting to show signs of wear. She is back in her corner and whimpering a little bit. She is looking for some advice or maybe a surprise tag in from Animal Husbandry but he's giving her the shoulder.

Golden Girl is back on her feet. Mommy Dearest must be thinking to herself that it was a bad idea buying the "big girl kib" that Golden Girl wanted. She can just jump out at any time. She saunters down the hall, the swagger of youth coupled with a narcissistic streak that only a two-year-old can pull off. Golden Girl wants to end this contest right now. She uses a ladder made of pillows, bed and comforter to climb up and - wait a minute! She just propelled herself off the headboard smashes onto Mommy Dearest when she was down. Is that even legal? Have we crossed over into the WWE folks?

Mommy Dearest moves a pillow and hits it three times.

The round is over folks. Mommy Dearest has tapped out. Golden Girl continues her undisputed championship streak. She takes a victory bounce and then crawls into the covers. She gives Mommy Dearest a swift kick in the kidneys, just to further demonstrate her superiority and then saddles up to her like a monkey backpack. Mommy Dearest clings to 3/10ths of an inch of a king sized mattress but is far too exhausted to care.

Here is your winner, and STILL Insomnia Champion - Emmeline Golden Girl!

Tyson: Poow Mommy. She can't feew good about another woss. Dis makes it fwee weeks in a woah. Maybe Mommy Deawest can come over to my pwace for some Tyson wovin' to hewp wecover.

Lewis: (Laughing) Ah, that woke up Animal Husbandry. I'm pretty sure you have been rebuked Tyson.

Lewis: Mommy Dearest, how are you feeling after that crushing loss? Mommy Dearest? Mommy? Well folks, looks like Mommy Dearest is unconscious. Place your bets in Vegas for tomorrow night when Mommy Dearest takes on the tag team of Golden Girl and Princess Ponytail.

G'night everyone! For now…


"Big Girl Kib" from which Golden Girl is noticeably absent. 
She's probably off sneaking a Diet Coke in preparation for tonight's nocturnal misadventures.

8.24.2012

Guest Posting on Crafty Mom 101

I am so excited to be guest posting today on Crafty Mom 101!  I know, right?  Me.  On Crafty Mom 101.  I am about as crafty as sludge.  But, for some reason she likes my writing and asked me to talk about being inspired.  So, here it is:

http://www.craftymom101.com/2012/08/guest-post-from-tracy-winslow-little.html

But do not stress - no crafts were harmed in the making of today's post!

xo Tracy

Tomorrow I am posting all about boxing: The Smackdown of the Century - Mommy Dearest takes on Golden Girl.

8.20.2012

The Icing on the Awesome Cake

And then I threw up on the dentist.  Which you would think would be the worst part of my day. But, it was just the icing on the awesome cake. 

The girls and I had a busy day ahead of us.  We had to run to the Dollar Store, the grocery store and get ready for going away party for our babysitter.  Lauren was coming over at noon to watch the girls so I could go get the cleaning I had been putting off for months because I am petrified of the dentist.  Then we were going to have cake and give her hugs, wish her luck and try not to sob. 

We got ready and actually out of the house in a respectable amount of time.  We arrived at the Dollar Store and each girl set off to get their gifts for Lauren.  I love to do this with the girls because they pick out things that I wouldn't even look twice at.  Ever.  And, yet I am paying for them.  But only a dollar. 

Emmeline starts the shopping by picking out a solar powered flower thing that wiggles.  "Yoren needs dis for her woom."  Lena picked up some fancy erasers "in case Lauren makes a mistake on her work."  Snugadoo socks tossed into the basket for when Lauren needs to be cozy.  A tiny stuffed animal to snuggle with at night.  Puzzles if she gets bored or lonely.  A tree that may or may not grow crystal meth. 

We are about $10 into this excursion when I notice Emmeline doing a potty dance in the aisle.  Oh. Crap.  I grab her and run to ask where the ladies room is.  The cashier looks for the key. And looks.  And keeps looking while Emmeline is dancing around in her precursor to imminent doom.  (I may have to find a $1 pair of pants...).  Then she remembers that someone already has it. 

We dash down aisle one toward the bathroom.  Lena gets to the door a few steps ahead of us and knocks.  We hear "Um, I'm going to be a few minutes" at the same time that I notice the woman's shopping cart.  It was the homeless person I saw a little while earlier.  My insides curdle.  Ok, need to think about option 2. 

Emmeline is squirming and saying "me need potty."  My forehead is beaded up in sweat from exertion of carrying a 25 pound wiggly toddler plus a basket full of goodies and running up and down the aisles of the store.  My time is limited.  Everything else around us is closed and I can't drive somewhere.  We have run out of time.  I open the trunk of my SUV and pull out the emergency potty.  Emmeline is sitting in the back of my car relieving herself.  At this moment I notice that Lena has stolen cheerleader pom poms and yelling in the megaphone-cone-thingy.  She has decided to cheer her sister on.  Very loudly. In the parking lot.

"Go Emmeline go!  P-O-T-T-Y! You can do it!  P-O-O-P!  Hooray!"  We are the train wreck that people are now driving around the parking lot to cruise by.  At least half a dozen cars park around us.  I am totally mortified. And wondering where the heck I'm going to empty this potty.  And, praying she doesn't accidentally spill it in the back of my car.  And, hoping that my cheerleader doesn't misspell her cheer.  Because that would be so awkward. 

Emmeline gets out of the car and is holding a stolen teddy bear.  Mint.  Now I am harboring two criminals in front of many witnesses.  I have to empty a very full potty discreetly, which is so easy with all these people gaping at us.  Then go back to pay for our absconded items.  We head off to complete the rest of our shopping without too many more laws being broken.   And, we escape the grocery store unscathed (except for giant fight about whether lemon flavor is really pudding).  And the brawl about the AWESOME cake for Lauren (which resulted in the cake being dropped upside down and then re-iced with tiny fingers).   It was a lovely spectacle.  The Coca-Cola guy told me I was the most hilarious mom he's ever seen.  Thanks, I think.

Somehow we make it home without committing any more crimes.  Lauren arrives and I dash off to the dentist appointment.  I am actually looking forward to time by myself, even if it has to be at the dentist.   I have chosen a new dentist that specializes in sedation dentistry.  I have been blessed with soft teeth was tortured as a child as a result.  Every appointment results in a near panic attack for me.  I spend the entire time white knuckled while someone with a vendetta against people or teeth or gums hacks away at my plaque.  I'm gagging on the blood and minty torture while I'm trying to not jump out of my skin and run away. 

I settle into the seat and am all ready for a mouthful of x-rays and cleaning under the influence of nitrous oxide.  There's a reason I don't drink often nor have I ever touched drugs: because I SUCK AT IT.  I'm floating in and out of consciousness while the dentist is talking to me about who the hell knows what.  I may have promised her my first born.  And a pony.  I was probably in contention for new patient of the year.  Until I puked on her.  

The rest of the appointment was a blur.  I kind of remember stumbling to the ladies room to change into an emergency outfit.  And, I sort of remember the rest of the cleaning where I had convinced myself that it was all some trippy dream that I puked on the dentist.  Until I came to. Blah blah periodontal disease and all I can focus on is that I puked on the freakin dentist.

Then I was walk of shaming it all the way to the car with my bag full of puke clothes.

I make it home to send my babysitter off to college.  Complete with her crystal meth tree and squished awesome cake.  I guess feeling like I may puke my goodbye allowed me to let her go without me getting all sappy (which she would totally hate).  So, it may have been a barfy blessing in disguise.  Now I just have to do the reverse walk of shame and bring the emergency outfit back to the dentist. 

The good news is the crystal meth tree has made it to college and is in full bloom:

Trippy crystally goodness...

8.17.2012

My 2-Year-Old Is Plotting My Untimely Demise

I'm pretty sure my 2-year-old is trying to kill me.  And she'll totally get away with it, because she's so adorable and tiny and blonde that no one would ever accuse her of such atrocities. She'll just blink her beautiful blues at the "powice" and run away to go do "fips" on the trampoline.  And, it's all just one big scam. Here's how I know it's going to happen:

1. She has kept me awake every single night for a month straight.  She wakes up at hourly intervals and screams at the top of her lungs "Mum. Ma!  Get. Me. Outta. Dis. Kib!"  If I oblige she wants me to "wock" her, pretends to fall back to sleep and then freaks out if I put her back into her crib.  If I ignore her she continues to scream until I'm positive the neighbors are convinced that she is in dire straits and we are mere moments away from the police arriving. She can claim self defense or neglect or abuse or something genius because I just let her cry in her kib instead of wocking her.   I'm so overtired that I won't even see it coming.

2. I caught her drinking Hello Kitty lotion.  Right out of the bottle.  Because who does that?  Serial killers.  That's who. 

3. She booby trapped her room to either kill me or break my leg so I could die a slow, painful death.  The floor in front of the crib was full of Legos and pointy things which were probably shards of glass.  I asked her before bed if she had put all her toys away in her room.  She said "me did" but clearly "me didn't".  At all.   Later she screamed like she was in a pit full of vipers.  So I ran in and almost killed myself. Thankfully I always wear flip flops and just ended up twisting my ankle and foiling her plan.

4. She caught "a bug" and brought it over to show me.  It was a live hornet. And it was all kinds of pissed off because she was holding it by the wings. It was wiggling its bee butt trying to sting her. Honest to God. This really happened.  And I am allergic to bee stings.   Thankfully my husband swatted her weapon of mild anaphylaxis out of her little kid fists and stepped on it before it could come and try to kill me.  Again, genius.  Because the BEE would take the fall. 

5. Once I caught her drinking toothpaste out of the toothpaste-holdster-thingy. With NOTHING to wash it down.   Because, who does that?  Criminal masterminds, that's who. 

6.  She wears pink sparkly lip gloss on her forehead.  Not necessarily indicative of a future crime spree but strange nonetheless.

7. She is trying to starve me to death. Every time we sit down to eat she wants my food. Even if she has the exact same food.  Even if I trick her and give her mine first.  Then she wants to sit on my "yap" so that any possible chance of food getting anywhere near my mouth are thwarted.  In order to combat this I have built up a large layer of fat to survive off of.  Kind of like a bear in hibernation. 

Yeah, she's coming for me.  Or, maybe she's just two years old.  It's hard to say. (Not that it's hard to say that she's two, I have her birth certificate).   But, if all of the sudden I "disapew" don't totally count her out. 

8.14.2012

30 Minutes With Kids vs. 30 Minutes Without Kids

On Sunday morning I woke up before my family.  I snuck down the stairs to enjoy a few rare moments of solitude.  I brewed a pot of coffee and was all set to sit on the porch and enjoy the early morning.  I opened the refrigerator to add the milk to my coffee.  Are you serious?  No milk. No half and half.  Nothing to put in my coffee. That is just plain wrong. 

Ok, it's 6:30.  I slip into my vehicle and head off to the grocery store. I stop off to grab a coffee en route to help shake off my fugue.  When at the store I decide to pick up a few extras to make a nice breakfast for my people: bagels, eggs, bacon.  I also hit the ATM and get some gas.  By the time I get back to my house it's 7:00. 

Fast forward 30 hours.  At noon we have lunch and start to get ready for swim lessons.  And by "have lunch" I mean trying to force feed my children who are hungry, grouchy because they are hungry, yet refuse to eat.    There's begging, pleading, threats of puking, promises of dying because they are SO FULL. Not to mention the crying, swearing, threats of running away from home (oh, wait, that was me.). 

12:30: C'mon ladies!  We have swim lessons in half an hour.  We need to get going so we're not late! I'm going to pack the swim bag. Here's your suit, Lena.  Please put it on and get your shoes on.
 
12:35: Girls, you need to put on your bathing suits.  Please do so.

12:36: Why are you just sitting there?  We have to get going!  You are going to be late!

12:40:  Emmeline!  Why did you take your bathing suit off???? I just put it on you! We have to leave!

12:43:  Lena!  YOU ARE GOING TO MISS YOUR SWIM LESSON! Stop crying and put on your bathing suit!

12:45:  You turned the TV on????  WE. HAVE. TO. GO!

12:47: (Both girls crying) Where are your shoes?  What do you mean you don't have any?  You have 50 zillion pairs of shoes!!!

12:48:  Emmeline is melting down because she forgot her "yammy."  I run back into the house, cursing in Spanish to try to find a tiny stuffed lamb. 

12:50: Somehow both girls are getting into the car.

12:51: Emmeline. Get in your seat!  I don't want to have to force you into it!  No, it's not time to "swide!" We are going to be late! Lena!  Why are you in the back of the car????  Get in your seat and get buckled!

12:52: (Trying not to freak the freak out) - GET IN YOUR SEATS!  I will leave and then you will be arrested by the police officer for breaking the law!  (Wrestling Emmeline in her seat and trying to buckle flailing arms and legs, getting kicked and whacked, all in the name of swim lessons).

12:53:  I'm backing up!  Lena, stop crying about going to jail and buckle your seat belt!!!!!! 

12:55-12:59: Tiny blonde girls arguing about God-only-knows-what.  I can't pay attention because I'm trying to get to the swim lesson without breaking any laws.

1:00:  I pull into the parking lot and jump out with the car barely turned off.

1:01: YOU TOOK OFF YOUR SHOES?  We were in the car for 5 minutes!!! Where are they?  What do you mean "Me don't know?"  Ok, here's a flip flop and a rain boot??? Forget it, I'll just carry you.

1:02: Running down the stairs to the pool.  We arrive.  Disheveled.  In non-matching shoes and random bikini pieces. But almost on time.   I'm running behind Lena spraying her with sunblock as she darts off toward the shallow end.  I have no idea if any of it actually reached her skin. 

1:03: Now I have a half hour to get my pulse back down to "normal" before I have to try to get them back into the car.  Emmeline! Stop running!  You can slip and fall and crack open your skull!  No!  You can't jump into the deep end.  You don't know how to swim!!!!

It's really amazing what you can accomplish in 30 minutes without kids.  And people who don't have kids ask what do we do all day long with all our free time...

8.12.2012

Doing The Deed Without Getting Caught

I smile at my husband as I go to answer the knock on the door.  The babysitter has finally arrived.  I raise my eyebrows at my husband to silently indicate that he should come meet me upstairs.  He gives me a barely perceptible nod in agreement.  I sneak away, knowing that stealthy actions will be my only way to pull this off.  It has been a long time since we have been able to do this.

A few moments later my husband slips into our bedroom.  He quietly closes the door behind him.  The lock clicks into place.  We stare at each other for a minute, unsure where to begin. 

A pair of shorts gets placed on the end of the bed.  A shirt, thrown into a pile.  Socks are strewn everywhere.  I grab a hold of the sheet.  We fall quickly into a rhythm. Flip, left, over.  No, don't put that there. Over there! Yes, yes!  

The time flies by.  The deed is done before I even realize it.  We were able to accomplish it before the children noticed our absence and barged in to interrupt.  A blissful sigh escapes my throat. 

God. It is SO much easier folding laundry (especially the sheets!) with someone else helping.  Next on the list: sneaking the last few scoops of ice cream before the babysitter leaves without getting caught.

8.11.2012

It's Not A Pulitzer, But It's A Start!

I have been given two awards by fellow bloggers:  The Sunshine Blogger Award and The Versatile Blogger Award.  (Pause for victory dance - picture Elaine on Seinfeld).  Woo Hoo!!!

Thank you so very much to the fantastic blogs awarding these honors: http://figuringitoutaswegrow.blogspot.com/2012/07/they-like-me-they-really-like-me.html
and
http://mthanw.blogspot.ca/2012/08/versatile-blogger-award.html











And, with great power comes great responsibility.  Recipients must answer a Spanish Inquisition style grilling about yourself.  Or is it more like a roast?  Either way, here goes!

The Sunshine Award asks the following questions:

1.) What would you most like to change about yourself? ~ Eesh.  Want a top 10 list or alphabetical?
    
2.) What is your theme song? ~ As a former radio morning show host I cannot answer this with only one song.  It changes by the hour depending on my mood, children and weather. 

3.) One part of your life, a memory, action, etc. that you wish you could surgically remove from your brain? ~ Honestly none!  Everything I have done has lead me to my blessed and amazing life.
 
4.) What generation do you wish you’d been a part of? ~  I am proud to be a Gen X-er. However, I would like to visit the 1800's when everything was literature based and proper.  I would need to take modern conveniences with me like showers and Dunkin' Donuts large iced hazelnuts with cream and Splenda.
    
5.) What was your favorite childhood toy? ~ As a major-ass bibliophile, books were hands down my favorite addiction as a child and continue into my adulthood.
    
6.) What is your favorite household chore? ~ Favorite chore?  Isn't that an oxymoron?  My least hated chores are probably cleaning the kitchen and laundry.  My most loathed are cooking dinner and cleaning the floors.
    
7.) Do you twitter? Oh yeah!  Just started and have made some amazing new friends!  You can follow me at: https://twitter.com/Momaical.  I am much more versed with Facebook though.  I just started a fan page for my blog: http://www.facebook.com/MomaicalBlog
    
8.) Any goals? ~ Honestly, I want to get my Ph.D. and be able to get paid to write funny things.

9.) Do you really drink margaritas all the time? ~ Ew. No way.  I over tequila'd myself with my sorority and have been nauseated at the smell of tequila ever since.
    
10.) What’s the ugliest car you’ve ever driven? ~ I have been really fortunate to have great cars.  My husband loves car shopping and I am spoiled absolutely rotten by the cars I drive.  Absolutely. Rotten.  

The Versatile Blogger asks you for 7 random facts about yourself.  Deep breath.  Hmmm, this is much harder. 

1. I absolutely hate having bare feet.  It creeps me out.  As much as I completely respect people's wishes for me to remove my shoes when I enter their home, I spend the entire visit uncomfortable as a result.  I keep flip flops next to the bed to put on the minute I wake up and wear them until I go back to bed (except for showering).

2. When I was a radio morning show host I went by the name Paige Hunter.  I chose Paige because it was my favorite girl name at the time.  Hunter was one of my best friends maiden names. 

3. I left radio because my skin is thinner than a Victoria's Secret model.  Every day people are telling you how to act, what to say, how to look and what "your opinion" should be.  Strangers in sweatpants tell you how much uglier you are than they thought you'd be.  My boss kept telling me to "stop acting so smart. Giggle more and just be nice (aka ditsy)."  After my last gig ended I needed something stable and wouldn't mess with my low self esteem on a daily basis. 

4.  I absolutely hate my stomach.  Always have. Even when I weighed 95 pounds in high school it was never flat.  Now it is so stretched out and looks like a road map.  I see other women with these amazing stomachs post children and I am such a hater.  I will compliment them on it - because I know how much work it takes most people to maintain said stomach.  But I will still be a super jealous petty hater. 

5.  I can actually cook very well.  I just loathe cooking dinner every single night.  My husband calls me an event cooker because when I host a party all the bells and whistles come out.  Martha Stewart is all "damn!"  However, the quotidian responsibility robs me of my will to live. 

6.  I live in fear of something happening to my family.  I start every day praying my people will be safe, sound, healthy and happy.  I end the day the same way. 

7.  There are so many well written funny blogs out there.  So. Freakin. Many.  There are days I read mine and throw up in my mouth.  And think "Why the hell am I doing this?  I am one paramecium.  So small I may just be a single mecium (yay for stupid science humor)."  But one comment from a friend, one share from someone and (after my little pity party of one) I am back in the saddle hoping that someday I can compete in the big leagues. 
Ok, enough about me.  Now it's my time to pay it forward.  I am nominating the following blogs:

http://suburbiainterrupted.com/

http://www.citygirlturnedcountrymom.com/

http://www.youknowithappensatyourhousetoo.com/

http://firstofalleveryoneisstupid.blogspot.com/

http://wirmtsw.blogspot.com/?zx=809ee90507609906

http://marthabourke.blogspot.com/

If you haven't read them - you should check them out!  Funny people! 

Some of my favorite blogs have already been nominated - so thought I'd pay it forward to people who haven't received these awards (to my knowledge).

Again, thanks so much for recognizing my blog!
xo Tracy





8.09.2012

Should You Impart Your Beliefs Unto Someone Else's Child?

Lena and her buddy were bouncing the trampoline discussing deep philosophical five-year-old matters like who can do a higher jump and whose twist was "wicked cooler".  Eavesdropping provides a cornucopia of hilarity for me. So I hunker into a chair on my porch and unabashedly listen to their prattle.  Without warning, the conversation takes a mature turn.  The girls are in a heated debate about whether girls can marry girls, boys can marry boys.  They concede that they are both ok with same sex marriage but they can't come to an agreement about child rearing for same sex couples. My daughter says they can have kids; her friend says it's not "apwopwiate".  Suddenly they invite me into the conversation to sound off with my adult point of view about their debate. 

Yes, I once informed my best friend Beth's young daughter Lara that she had to wash the makeup off her face after a dance competition or else she would look like a transvestite.  Which she responded "Twace, what's a 'vestite'?" 

And, yes, I also told Beth's other daughter Bria that she looked like a pimp in a hat she was trying on while we were shopping for New Year's Eve favors.  And, she yelled "I look like a pimp?!?" which didn't at all make all the revelers in the store stare daggers into my soul.   I am pretty much an expert at crossing into verboten conversations with tiny people, right?   (And also makes me wonder why my best friend still talks to me...)

Expert or not,  I was completely unprepared to answer the cherubic faces staring me down in my backyard.  I certainly have an opinion - it's highly charged topic of conversation and people generally strongly believe one way or the other. But, is it appropriate for me to impart my beliefs about a controversial topic with someone else's young child? Especially since they can't even pronounce the word "appropriate?"

I have to make a decision quickly as four blue eyes are pleading with me to choose in their direction of belief.  Panic sets in.  Sweat drips down my brow and into my eye. I feverishly blink.  And do the mature, responsible thing:  I break into a sweet rendition of "The Circle of Life" from Lion King complete with a lyrical dance and jazz hands.  And then I fake an emergency in the kitchen. 

I don't know what the right thing to do is.  If they were teenagers I would absolutely give my opinion.  But, they're 5.  Lena knows how both her father and I feel about all these controversial topics (and we don't always agree).  Is it right to impart my beliefs about controversial topics onto a kindergartner?   I decided that it was safer to stage a grease fire on the stove and run away than to risk my friendship with Lena's buddy's Mom. 

What do you think?

8.07.2012

Lycanthropy

Dusk begins to settle into our quiescent neighborhood.  I am curled up on the couch, my feet tucked under me as I open up my book.  A hush has settled over the area.  Not a sound can be heard, as if the animals have been frightened away; a foreshadowing of events to come.  It gives me a slight shiver.  Wrapping my hands around my mug of tea, I ignore the goosebumps on my arms. 

The full moon casts a pallor over my yard.  The plants reemerge as mythological creatures.   There's a wind that blows through the curtains and plays tricks with my mind.  I suddenly wish my husband didn't have a client event tonight.  Did I lock the gate outside? 

Arooooooooooooo!

A bloodcurdling shriek resonates through the house; the shrillness reverberating off the walls sending chills cascading down my spine.  My heart stops and a few hot drops of chamomile splash onto my lap.  I don't even notice as it streaks down onto the leather.  What was that? 

The house is still.  Was I imagining things?  My ears strain to pick up the sounds of anything out of the ordinary.  There is nothing but the drumbeat of my racing heart.  I unsuccessfully try to convince my shaking hands that it was all in my mind.  My eyes turn back to the novel as my blood pressure slowly decreases.  I am well into the chapter and the noise is but a distant memory. 

Arooooooooooooo!

Ice flows through my veins.  I pick up the whimpering sounds of a wounded animal.  There's no one here but me to help.  Looking around the room for a weapon, the only thing in my line of vision is an umbrella.  I grip it like I'm Manny Ramirez, prepared to defend myself from this monster in my home. Why does my husband have to work late tonight of all nights???

Tiptoeing up the stairs and trying to ignore the weakness in my knees as I inch closer to the sound.  There's heavy breathing mingled with growling.  In my peripheral vision I see a small animal cowering and trying to make itself invisible.  I will check on it later.

Arooooooooooooooo!

I slowly open the door, fervently praying it doesn't make a sound and ruin my element of surprise.   My eyes adjust to the dim light and spy the owner of these feral noises.  Her hair is matted and dread locked from lack of care, her eyes crazy as they dart around the room looking for her next victim.  She is filthy, hungry and horrifying. Dropping a decapitated bunny, she turns on me and growls. 

"Lena.  For the love of God. What are you doing? Your room looks like a bomb went off and I just cleaned it!  You were supposed to have put on your pajamas and brushed your teeth.   And why are you yelling like that?   I've been asking you all day to put this umbrella away in your closet.  I'm not going to ask you again.  If you scream like that one more time you're going to bed."

I freakin' hate that hour before bedtime.

8.06.2012

Poster Children For Mental Health

Our beloved babysitter is leaving for college in a few weeks.  When I found out that she was accepted into an elite program only the best and the brightest students get into - I was all "So you're abandoning me to better yourself and your future instead of watching my children so I can go to yoga?  That's crap, Lauren, crap."  Which didn't even make her change all her life plans to stay here - if you can believe that.  No one from the college even called to ask if this was going to inconvenience me or my workout schedule.  So, we have been forced to allow her to leave us.  Grrrr....

The girls want to make a going away card for her and decided each of us would make one part.  I picked out wooden letters for the girls to decorate.  Emmeline wanted her name and "Yoren".  Lena wanted her name and Lauren.  And they both wanted mine to say "We Love You."  We raided my teaching supplies and loaded up on: card stock, crayons, colored pencils, stickers, glitter, sequins, sparkly glue, feathers, pom poms, pipe cleaners and anything that looked girlie, fabulous and able to be hot glue gunned to the artwork. 

We spread the goods out on the table outside to begin our crafty project for our soon-to-leave family member. 

Here is the Norman Rockwell version of this project: 
The girls worked together harmoniously to create beautiful memories for our wonderful babysitter as she departs for the next chapter in her life.  No children, feelings or furniture were injured during the making of the cards.

And, then there's us:
We all crowd into our tiny seats at the table outside on the porch.  Lena wants to glue this pom-pom thing onto the poster.  I discover that the top to the Tacky Glue has glued itself shut.  I walk 10 feet into the kitchen to grab a toothpick to poke through the glue to open it back up.  Emmeline tries to "ba-whoa" Lena's colored pencil.  Lena yells at her.  Emmeline brandishes the absconded pink pointy weapon.  I walk back out just in time to see her stab Lena in the hand with the pencil. Crying ensues.

Back on track.  Coloring with fury. The girls are stickering up their cards like you read about.  Lena asks Emmeline if she can have some of her Hello Kitty stickers.  Emmeline says "Yeah!" and then immediately takes the stickers over to my wooden storage chest and decorates it with the coveted smiling felines. Crying ensues.


Lena accidentally glued the "n" in Lauren backwards.  Crying ensues.

Emmeline has used the last of the purple square stickers.  But, she has not actually used them on her poster.  That would be prosaic.  Instead she has stuffed one up each nostril.  I am able to get one out but am panicking because the other is so high up.  I begin to worry I am going to have to take her to the emergency room.  I call my husband in for reinforcement because I am at a loss for how to remove this purple obstruction.  He teaches our 2-year-old how to do "snot rockets".  It's another proud mothering moment in our home. Emmeline is singing "Snot wockets! Snot wockets!" Lena is pissed because Emmeline "wasted her stickers."  Crying ensues.

Lena shows me a yellow pom-pom with a pipe cleaner wrapped around it.  She asks if I like it. I confirm that it is the cutest bumble bee I have ever seen.  She freaks the freak out because it is NOT A BUMBLEBEE.  It is a ninja duck.  Crying ensues.


I have used up the remainder of my patience as I try to unglue Emmeline's poster from the coffee table.  The glass is now a lovely shade of green glitter mingled with blue paper.  Emmeline is off in the corner of the yard, marking her territory on a palm tree.  I tell her this behavior is for animals and not humans and is "highly inappropriate".  She walks around the yard like a penguin with her pants around her ankles saying "In-a-poop-pwiate, in-a-poop-pwiate."  Lena is pouting because it's not fair that Emmeline gets to pee in the yard and she doesn't. Crying ensues.


 
I am considering calling Lauren's college and letting them know that she has highly contagious leprosy and measles and probably had someone else take her SAT's. And, after the card making debacle, I can't fathom why she would ever want to leave us...

8.01.2012

No Olympian Left Behind

The 2012 Summer Olympics are in full swing now.  You have to hide under a rock to avoid finding out how the contenders are fairing.  The social not-working sites are abuzz with all the stats, successes, failures, and highlights of the events.  Even in my house, the girls are playing "Yimpics" complete with "stwetching", "simming" and "dibing".  And, it's breathtaking to watch these athletes.  This is the moment they have trained for their entire lives.  Years of coaching, trials, competitions, exercise, no desserts, no social life nothing but preparation to get to this one defining moment in their career - possibly their entire life.  You can't help but get nervous for them; a wobble on the beam, a late start of the block could change the course of the entire event.  But, this is what they have been coached to do their entire career.  They are the best of the best and it's time to compete on a world level.

What if the Olympics were handled like standardized testing in education? 

Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte step up to the starting block for the 400 meter Individual Medley.  They have prepared mentally and physically.  They have trained for years about what to expect during the competition by coaches, parents, experts and anyone with a pulse and an opinion.   Just before the starting gun sounds, the coach is handed a script and a microphone:

(Blows into mic) Um...I have been asked to read this by the No Olympian Left Behind Officials.  "The Olympics are designed to elicit the athlete's skills in order to assess their mastery of the subject being tested.  During the 400 meter Individual Medley you are expected to complete the following strokes: butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke and free stroke.  Each lap must consist of at least 4 lengths (100 yd. or m.) and no stroke must change mid-length. 

We will also be throwing in some obstacles you have not been prepped for, as your coach was unaware that we will be testing you in this manner.   Just do the best you can.

Oh, by the way, if you "fail" in this test, you will not be allowed to leave London.  And your coach will be fired.  And your training facility will become a pariah and most likely be closed down.  You will probably end up living in a van down by the river with a tinfoil LOSER medal.  All because of this one race based upon a NOLB act that was created by a group of people who have never competed in the Olympics and may or may not know how to swim." 

The NBC cameras turn to Bob Costas for commentary on the race:

"The starting gun fires.  Shocked but trained like Pavlov's dogs for this start, the swimmers dive head first into the water.  The butterfly stroke begins. So far, strong beginning as nothing out of the ordinary has happened. The athletes gain some confidence that all their years of hard work and preparation has paid off.  They get to the end of the lane, roll backward and begin the backstroke.  Wait.  I believe jellyfish have been released into the pool!  The swimmers are trying to dodge poison laced tentacles attached to Ziploc baggies of venom.  A swimmer in lane 6 has been zapped and sinks.  What a blow to the team from Lithuania.  It looks like that country will officially be banned from NATO for this epic failure.

Lochte and Phelps have trained in Florida, so they have experience with jellyfish.  They are still very much in this race.  Fingertips touch the wall and the third lap begins!  We are halfway through this competition folks!   The 100 meters breaststroke.  France is still on the heels of Phelps and Lochte.  And, oh, what is that?  Electric eels?  Well, it looks like the South African team has a slight advantage, since this is where these eels originate.  Lochte is stung but fights through the pain! What a professional.   China is officially out of this race as their star athlete has been paralyzed on the right side.   

It's a close race as we hit the last lap of this medley.  Most of the swimmers are employing the front crawl and it's a good thing.  A giant helicopter has dropped a bag of chum in the pool.  The swimmers are clawing their way through the guts as three sharks have entered the competition.  The great white swims toward lane 3 and...ooh...That had to hurt.  This race is not for the faint of heart people. Nor PETA.

A bull shark has its sight set on Phelps.  Phelps glances behind and loses a little bit of his lead.  He cannot change his stroke or he will be disqualified. 

Phelps, Lochte and France's Yannick Agnel are up to their necks in sharks.  They reach the end of their lanes, touch the walls and scramble out of the pool. This has been quite an event folks!  And, we will get the final results of this back to you in 3-4 months.  Thanks for watching the 2012 Summer Olympics!"

Which, makes just about as much sense to me as standardized testing for children as a basis for their subject matter mastery...

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