Here is a quintessential VT scenario: we fret and pull our hair out over our inability to stick to any sort of budget, buy store brand cola and forgo pizza delivery, and then we say SCREW THIS! and decide to recreate Disneyland in our backyard. Yes, internet, we are going to buy one of those obnoxious playsets that hover like UFO's over fence lines and make neighbors without children want to hurl grenades at the thing.
We started out looking at reasonable ones, of course. Modest things with a slide and some swings, maybe one playdeck. And then we start rationalizing: we have FOUR kids! This thing is an INVESTMENT! So we start looking at bigger and bigger sets...PVT fell in love with the Penthouse - a second deck where his little Jedis can plot their Separatist battles. And I HAVE to have that obnoxious yellow plastic twisty slide.
So now we're deciding between BIG and BIGGER. PVT has taken about a jillion measurements, paced our woefully inadequate yard, deconstructed price per monkey bar, and will probably sell these things in his spare time now that he is a playset expert. I have thumbed through the catalog, found pictures I like, and say "YES! I want THAT one!," all the while envisioning 32 children catapulting off the Penthouse, whilst their mamas watch fondly, cocktails in hand. And of course I've started planning the big PARTY we'll have when we get the thing installed. Then PVT tells me the one I like doesn't FIT in our yard, and by the way the two year old Cherub can't even get up the darn thing.
Between the two of us I suppose we'll end up with the right one. And you can thank your lucky stars you don't live next door to us (except! sorry Ravishing Red Ann!).
Oh internet! This working mum gig is not so easy! And I must use "working" loosely - I've worked a mere five hours this week.
Ah, motherhood. You think that you're just doing menial tasks - changing a diaper, fetching chocolate milk, vacuuming crumbs, sitting as requested RIGHT HERE, turning on Dora for one, Wii for the other. Oh, and nursing the OTHER other one. AND THEN YOU LEAVE! And it all goes to heck.
Well, not Heck heck. I suppose we'll get used to this little gig o'mine. But the baby was NOT happy per the Hypercompetent Supersitter I got today. ("Has she ever been WITH ANYONE ELSE....?" "Um, her Dad? Sometimes?") And the two year old was an emotional wreck since the day did not go EXACTLY as he is accustomed to. And the four year old was not happy to have his usual Wii schedule interrupted (which is probably not a bad thing!).
FORTUNATELY my work day is so short the SIX year old didn't even know I was gone.
So, Mamas, yes, you probably feel underappreciated, overworked, frustrated and GRIMY. Just remember those little parasites need you desperately...and if you need a reminder, hire a Hypercompetent Supersitter, run away for a few hours, and then return to the mayhem.
Oh my GAWD internet. After my first "day" (er, 5 hours) back at work, I felt like I had been on a 4 day bender in Tijuana. That's the problem with tax (well, with most "real" work): it is INTENSE, detail oriented drudgery that you can't do half arsed with one eye on Nordstrom.com. Thank goodness no lives are at stake when one is preparing a tax return!
And then I came home to a four year old who was NOT PLAYING Wii. Meningitis at a minimum, I figured, so I loaded all four children up and brought him to the doctor. Phew! Just strep. QUELLE day.
This job business, though - I'll admit it WAS nice being able to direct my own motions for 5 hours; go to the bathroom without someone screaming in protest; speak to an adult (albeit about tax, for cripes' sake) without the "MAMAMAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA! LOOK AT THIS!" interruption every four milliseconds. And to contribute in my own meager way to our family deficit! And by gosh, after FIVE hours off, I could not wait to see the little horrors. And was so relieved that they manage to survive my absence with all their limbs intact. AMAZING.
So, I don't know...am I going to do this little gig or not? If I do, I'll also have to reactivate my CPA license, which will require many hours of continuing professional education, which I'll do in the wee hours...plus keeping up with my blogging, AND spending my earnings online...SHEESH! Do they make a drug strong enough?
Several weeks ago I had a brief flirtation with the workforce. Well, the workforce (at least tax employers) must be desperate, because it's BAAAACK! The attorney I spoke to a month ago wants to "try me out" on Thursday for 5 hours. I guess his previous part time hire didn't work out. So.....here I go! I'm rather nervous: aside from leaving my BABY (I don't think I've left her for more than an HOUR in her seven months of life), do I remember how to do TAX? I remember what a W-2 is, but...sexier stuff, like trusts, like-kind exchanges, wash sales...ZOINKS! I've been in Mama-and-Baa-Baa land for too long. So...we'll see: I don't really want to go, but since I am not yet a SIX FIGURE BLOGGER (or even a TWO FIGURE BLOGGER), I shall give it a whirl.
And in true moi fashion I'm already spending my meager earnings before I've clocked in an hour:
Some publicity for me blog! I have been listed at momdot, a blog site run by (small capitals not mine - aaargh): "trisha, alicia, and bridgette." These mummies "run contests weekly, reviews on awesome (and not so awesome) products for family and kids, and talk about their lives. But more importantly, they feature bloggers and mom boutiques to give them an avenue to get thier (sic) name out there, also assisting in google links! You can head out and list your blog for free and talk to them about doing an interview about you. Head on over and see what MomDot is about!"
AAAHHH! After that description, if you're anything like me, you'll need to shoot something into your veins just to keep up with all that energetic chit chat. And, yes, the site is Mommies on Meth. So if you've got about 4 days of time to kill, do visit their site and look at the 8 jillion blogs (who knew so many mummies were as bored as I!), contests, product reviews....!
Or you can just stick with my RIVETING blog, your stiff martini, and still have time for a BOOK now and them. Ahem.
Given the salaciousness of the past couple of posts, isn't it fitting that I was reminded in church that Ash Wednesday and Lent are just a week and a half away? Ah, Lent! A time for Catholics to feel even MORE guilty than usual. And what to give up? I always try to give up something meaningful, something from which it is difficult for me to abstain, but nothing so ESSENTIAL that were I to part with it for 40 days I would likely go MAD. And actually be my family's CROSS to bear. So I won't part with anything like chocolate or wine.
But perhaps...danish? Sounds silly, but in an effort to beguile my taciturn four year old, whose sun rises with sugary sticky breakfast cakes, I buy him the stuff every week. Mostly because he is the most heartbreakingly cherubic little boy in the Milky Way when he is not playing Wii (about 28 minutes each day). So, of course, I eat the darn danish too. LOTS of it. And I would definitely miss it...
So, I guess I ought to post my Lenten plans, in an effort to stick with them:
1. No wine for me on Ash Wednesday or Good Friday. Internet, you are forewarned: stay outside a 9 mile radius of South Tulsa on these Holy Days! I will be ORNERY!
2. Say the rosary with the rosary group at church at least once.
3. Go to confession.
4. No danish! (Although my mother, who is quite possibly even LESS serene in the face of deprivation than I am, says that even if you give something up for Lent, you can indulge in it on Sundays. Where in the Catechism this exception is is uncertain...)
So, obviously nothing too difficult, but if I can do these small things, maybe I can make at least a stab at repentance for my MANY sins.
I shall preface this by saying, zoinks! First sex toys, now boob jobs? Is nothing sacred? What happened to Nordstrom, mascara and mommy blogging? To which I reply I am just trying to satisfy YOU, my depraved readers.
Ah, boobs. When I was growing up, I thought I was cursed to have them. At age 12, I was one of two girls in my ballet class who had to have a leotard with underwire. And up until 8 minutes ago, the thought of SURGERY? To make them BIGGER? DEEEEEEEEEE-spicably VAIN to subject yourself to unnecessary surgery and pain; and to spend money that could otherwise be donated to the Jolie-Pitt Foundation.
Ahem. But I have noticed that in the 8 hours I have had between nursing and subsequent pregnancies, I have lost my GIRLS. I had no idea I would miss them! Flat as Olive Oyl, I am, but without her height. Ugh. And then I moved to Tulsa, where - apparently - EVERYONE (or so) gets a bit of work! Why not in the Northwest, I wonder? Did I just not notice, or does saline melt in the drizzle?
AT ANY RATE, I have toyed with the idea. And then, hark! One of my darling sons has a friend whose father is a doctor. The munchkin came over yesterday for that awful term, a "play date." His mummy came to pick him up around HOOCHY HOUR, when another Amiga Anonymous was here for cocktails. And then as margaritas started to flow I find out that the munchkin’s Daddy is THAT kind a doctor - he augments mommy boobies for a LIVING. Amiga Anonymous and I were awestruck. Was mommy’s splendid figure a result of her husband's handiwork?
Well, no, the surgeon's wife hasn't had work, but if and when she does, her husband will do it. And he doesn't even dish to her on whether her own FRIENDS have had the procedure. And, alas, Amiga Anonymous and I didn't get up the nerve to ask if he would do 4 for the price of 3. Perhaps we’ll do a free consultation, though – apparently many women go TOGETHER for such activities. Hmmm.
So, I'm still on the fence. But I'm still nursing, and the gals are holding their own. But check back in a few months on this PRESSING quandary, when I am back to wearing my 20 year old training bra.
NOTE: This Post Has NOT YET BEEN RATED. Keep your kiddies safe from pervobloggers!
It has been a rare Valentine's Day during my marriage to PVT that I have NOT been pregnant. So this year, I thought, since I can't get him what he REALLY wants (a Big Black Suburban, a 100% raise, a two week European tour SANS children), I would just get some new - um, impractical - lingerie to model for him. Etcetera.
I thought I would get this finery at Priscilla's, an "Adult/Novelty" store nearby (I know! Surprised such a thing even exists in Oklahoma, right?). Some careful trip planning calculus would be required: the last time I went, when my third son was 5 months old, I was summarily THROWN OUT of the store. Apparently state law dictates you can't bring ANY child into a den of iniquity. Sheesh. Of course I wouldn't bring a toddler in, but my 5 month old? A dildo is not going to scar him for life, Oklahoma!
SO, this time, I time the trip for when my 6 month old would be asleep. I park right next to the door where I can see the car, and SPRINT, grabbing a teddy-like thing, a card, and then - just for kicks - a vial of SOMETHING and a little WIDGET that doesn't look too frightening. This takes two minutes. I dump my little pile on the counter, and give the nice clerk my card. She sizes me up, looks at my widget, and said, "Are you going to use this TOGETHER? Or are you going to use this ALONE?" Sheesh. "Um, ehrm." She starts naming parts of the female anatomy and I smile brightly, glancing out at the car. Then, "Let me UNWRAP this for you so you know what you're getting." She shows me these various STRAPS, and can clearly tell I don't know WHERE those straps go. She says, "Why don't I get you something else in this price range I think you'll like better?" Sure fine OK!
So she gets me another widget, which seems to have just as many straps as the OTHER THING, and then has me hold out my hand: "Here's low, and medium, and high!" Oh dear Lord. FINALLY she rings me up. Cripes! Over $100! But not wanting to discuss anatomy or anything else at this point, I just pay, while she asks me my name and number to enter into their free giveaway drawing. RIGHT! So I sprint out the door, brown bag in hand, and the baby is still sleeping peacefully.
SO, PVT, that is why I have a $100 + charge from an adult store. The thingy she got me was $20 more than the OTHER thingy. I am hoping this charge will not be as irksome as a Nordstrom charge of an equal amount.
Now I'm back home sweeping the hardwoods and playing peek a boo. I'll let you know if I win the drawing.
Ah, February. It's gray here, with a cold dusty wind, and I keep trying to tell myself that February is a time for quiet reprieve and renewal. Just like the mighty oak trees or the little rosebush, our souls are strengthening their roots, laying in quiet until glorious spring and we emerge stronger, wiser, and ready for summer's never-ending margaritas by the pool.
Yeah, it ain't working.
And Valentine's Day is such a tease, such a brief and sugary faux holiday in the midst of all this dreariness, that it doesn't provide the spiritual lift retailers wish it might.
However, Mr. UPS brought me PVT's Valentine gift today, and I must admit the day is going much better now: Moonstruck Chocolates. I discovered these delicacies when I lived in Portland, and they are BY FAR the best chocolates I have ever had. And so beautiful, too; each one is a like a little jewel from Tiffany's. My favorite is the Bailey's Irish Cream Truffle (I'm an open book, aren't I?). Apparently they aren't that much of a secret anymore - they were swag at the Emmys a few years ago. But if you're not an Oscar recipient, maybe you haven't heard of them - so do order yourelf a little box if you aren't so blessed to live in Northwest Portland.
So I shall sink my teeth into one of these gorgeous baubles, and then go attend to the baby, who has discovered (as her brothers before her did, and I had forgotten until just now - that Mama amnesia, thank goodness!) that her own spit up is a medium for finger painting, and the floor is the perfect canvas.
I tend to overthink silly things during a long day with my offspring, perhaps because having a conversation with myself is marginally more sane than having a conversation with my 2 year old about Grandpa fixing the doorbell. MARGINALLY.
Oh, the thoughts! They ping pong back and forth from "I want more kids! More life, beautiful LIFE!" to "I can't handle these uncouth hooligans that I HAVE!" and from "How are we going to pay for college, let along graduate school for these children? How will they MAKE it in life?" to "The Big Man is going to help you all out, as he has been, you know..." Ah, life is good, but even when life is good, you do need a change of milieu sometimes, don't you? I think I was really looking forward to a few days off.
And they all have had their "issues" lately. My high strung six year old has been terribly worried lately about PVT or I dying. Also whether you "get to live with the same family in heaven." Certainly important things to discuss at length. Of course he only wants to talk about them when he should be long asleep, and I should be reading US Weekly. And his little four year old brother needs to join Wii-Addicts Anonymous. I vacillate between "He's fine; he's not drooling in front of a TV show; give him the freedom to pursue his own interests," to "OHMYFREAKINGGAWDTURNTHAT THANGOFFANDGORUNINTHESTREET!"
The Cherub, despite his bottomless need for attention, approbation, interaction and conversation, not to mention his tendency to BITE his older brothers, briefly earned his keep when came up with a rather clever game of blowing bubbles, carefully catching a bubble, placing the bubble back on the bubble bottle, and then pretending it was a birthday candle to blow out. I was so charmed I sang Happy Birthday with him 1,171 times today.
My sole daughter continues to be a delight, although she isn't quite as easily soothed by just a boob anymore. She needs ENTERTAINMENT now, too. For cripes' sake. She is also my earliest crawler, and is rather adept at hurling herself vertically across the floor to pursue a ball or the door jamb. Her father fervently hopes she doesn't pursue boys with quite the same enthusiasm.
So I finally got the justification I needed in the mail to buy my coat - a $20 Nordstrom Note! Woo hoo! So I went online to my Nordstrom Shopping Cart, go to checkout - and! WHAT? It is NO LONGER AVAILABLE! Not just in my size, but ANY SIZE! Did you all rush out and buy it, my dear readers? Goodness. I guess next time I should just GRAB something if I like it; none of this dilly dallying. If I don't like it, I'm just out the shipping.
I had no idea such decisiveness was needed in these purportedly recessionistic (is that a word?!) times!
I recently bought some Idealist Micro-D Refinisher, vaguely remembering I had bought it at some hazy point in the past and liked it. So I lathered it on the other day, my facial at home, and...WHOOSH! A Proustian moment (what IS a madeleine, anyway? Does anyone get that worked up about a cookie?) - suddenly I was transported right back to when I met PVT. The tingle on my skin; the smell of this silly exfoliant; suddenly I was 26 again, and in the midst of this very odd and thrilling time. It was the first time in my life I remember feeling so treasured, so beautiful, so happy to be merely me, since I was apparently enough for PVT.
My response to all this LOVE was to SHOP, of course! A veritable retail rebirth - a gorgeous Burberry trench, a Benetton suit, a Georgiou ensemble - beautiful pieces I will probably keep forever, even though I won't have any venue to wear them. And yes, some cosmetics, too.
The memory of the senses is long, just as the Frenchman said...Happy Valentine's Day, PVT.
For cripes' sake. Instead of sprinting through Fashion Valley Nordstrom with my sister, baby on boob, double fistinggrande soy white mochas, snorting parfums and fingering expensive baubles, I am sitting at home with the feverish cherub (who despite his 102 degree temperature wants me to DANCE with him) and reading a Nordstrom email about cute coats under $150. Coats! I am sick of coats. This whole sweaters/seasons/winter thing is QUITE overrated.
Although this one - you could probably wear it into March or April. Doesn't it make you yearn for spring, when you stick your head out the door, your Hoochy Hour Pinot Gris in hand, to yell at a kid trying to break a bush in half, and you catch a whiff of baby buds in the air and you notice it is still LIGHT outside:
Can I justify buying this as a consolation prize for postponing my trip...? (I know the answer, PVT!)
My bag was packed! My feet freshly pedicured! My mundane kiddie instructions duly noted! And...my two year old gets a fever!
AARGH. Freaking fevers. They could be something; they could be nothing. Do I go on my trip, leaving a child who is rather - what is the euphemism - CHALLENGING - even when he is healthy? Or do I postpone a rollicking good time with my sister and consign her to another weekend of conversation with her kiddies and her walls?
Alas, I postponed my trip, simply because I subscribe to the theory that sick toddlers need their mommies. I think it was probably the right decision; he was miserable this evening.
So...my delicious weekend of shopping, eating, and licking my niece and nephew is to be rescheduled for early March. Stay tuned for LIVE FROM SAN DIEGO.
Today I got a jump start on my "moi" time and had lunch with a dear friend, Kappa Kappa Karen. She is not, alas, a friend from my sorority; this is merely her moniker because I WISH I had known her in college. We would have had a DAMN fine time.
We lunched at a local Mex-Tex-Cali-Chili's-in-Disguise-type venue, and I had a glass of wine (me: "Do you have a house white?"...Sweet young waitress: "Um...let me look at my cheat sheet: White Zinfandel?" me: "OK, fine!"). Kappa Kappa Karen and I had a lovely chat, chaperoned by her very mature and preternaturally calm two year old daughter.
But my White Zin bubble was not enough to get me gracefully through the next few hours of Angst! Tantrums! Fights! Tears! after getting the boys home from school today. I apologize to the good denizens of Oklahoma City for hurting your ears after yelling at my offspring today. I came close to breaking my VERY STRICT hoochy hour rule: no wine before 5pm, 4:30pm on weekends, vacations and holidays (or the occasional lunch with a girlfriend, apparently). That's not very strict, is it? Do I need an intervention?
Don't answer that. At least until I get back from my trip.
Some crazy excitement thrown into my usually homebound life! This Thursday I am using a frequent flier ticket kindly given by my in-laws to go visit my temporarily widowed sister, Tarzhay Miss, who lives in SAN DIEGO! Per Nordstrom's website there are about 48 Nordstroms in San Diego. I only have about nineteen hours of open store time, so I have to hit 2.52 stores every hour. Talk about shopping 'til I drop.
Of course, leaving is fraught with worry: will my (three older) kids stay healthy? Will my husband and in-laws remember to use antibacterial hand wipes? Will my boys subsist solely on Pop Tarts and Gummy Worms while I'm gone? Will my in-laws remember when/where/who to pick up? Will they simply collapse mid-afternoon after a morning of refereeing lightsaber duels?
Hopefully all these worries will melt away once I board the plane with just the baby on the boob. And then...CALIFORNIA! 70 degrees in February! Margaritas and guacamole at every intersection! Grocery stores where you can buy BOOZE! Nirvana. And yes, since I'm on vacation, I will move up my personal hooch-y hour from 5pm to 4:30 pm. Feel free to join me, whatever your time zone. This is as close to resort as I'll get.