Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Beauty for Crimefighters

What timing. Just as I was contemplating schlepping 12 miles across town to get my pre-makeup makeup (ah! The irony of pushing 40 - spending a jillion dollars on makeup to get that "no makeup" look!), Nordstorm sends me this missive to encourage me to shop on my arse: my favorite "buy $100 of stuff and get this super cute beauty swag "free"" promotion. I am always a sucker for this one, because the samples are so much fun; I will probably never buy the Bulgari WIPEYS, but the one time I used it to "freshen up" my face and hands, I felt like Carla Bruni-Sarkozy (my latest girl crush) stealing a moment in the backseat of the limo before stepping out for my Left Bank lunch. Marvelous.

Speaking of arse (weren't we?), mine has been busy lately: I am flying SOLO for a few days. Military wives (my own sister Tarzhay Miss!) and other mommies whose husbands travel frequently will guffaw at my angst, but I'm just not used to it! The dinner/bedtime stretch is of course the hardest, when they all have valid concerns or angst and there just ain't enough Mama to go around.

And then when they're finally in bed, I start worrying about all the little NOISES I hear. I try to talk myself out of it (South Tulsa is not a hotbed of criminal activity! I've lived in Manhattan! I've lived in JERSEY CITY, where I was beaten and mugged!), but it's a lot easier to be sanguine about bumps in the night when there's a big six footer a pillow over. So I put the sledge hammer under my bed for reassurance...TAKE THAT, Mr. Bad Guy. Now if I can only remember to remove it before one of these various little boys decides it would make a great light saber...

Friday, March 27, 2009

Guaranteed 99.8% Crap Free


My dear neighbor Ravishing Red Ann just returned from a spring break junket to Dallas and Fort Worth. She texted me from...where else? Yes, Nordstrom. I got chills just reading it. She later told me THAT WAS THE FIRST TIME she had been there! At first I was shocked, but then I thought - well, I hadn't been to Dillard's before I moved to Oklahoma. (Now that's an underwhelming experience!) My goodness, fellow Tulsans; have I been swooning about Nordstrom to an audience who's NEVER BEEN THERE? Quelle tragedie.
Ann's first reaction to Nordstrom at first surprised me: "It's not full of crap." This is her first thought on entering the apotheosis of retaildom? But...she's right! It's very well edited. You don't have to sift through racks of discounted flotsam under the fluorescent lighting (which makes your (OK, MY!) skin look like the underbelly of a sick Chilean Sea Bass); everything is artfully displayed, under soft mauvey lights. Now, true, there are sale racks, but they are at the back of each department and well organized, never overheeped or overwhelming.

So, the PINING continues...

Here, by the way, is le girl modeling a little ruffled dress (well, it's actually a 2T top by "Jenna and Jessie," but I thought it worked well as a hippy dress - in an ironic, postmodern way, that is) from the Nordstrom baby department:

And a floral romper by "Tea":


Yes, she is indeed pulling up at a mere 8 months. Lord help us. (And do you think I'm getting enough mileage out of those Gymboree tights?)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Random Excrement Post (No Picture Included)

You know, I wouldn't even blog about this topic since it is both gross and very pedestrian "a la fois," but it occurred to me that not everyone encounters this type of thing on a daily basis. So if your life is devoid of flying offal, and you LIKE reading about this stuff, read on. If you're GLAD to live a sanitary existence, and don't need vicarious thrills, skip this post.

So I try to be very conscious of all the detritus that ends up on my floors, since I have a crawler who likes to sample lint, dog food pellets and shards of last night's pork chops. Not terribly nutritious, at best, and choking hazards at worst. Combine these conditions with my 2 year old's recent penchant to reach into his diaper and feel around for the goods and whatever else is in there...you see where this is going, don't you? So yesterday I'm helping Rory with a computer game in the front room, temporarily leaving Will and the baby in the other room. I will do this for a minute or two...but sometimes that's all it takes for Will to poop, stick his hand down his pants, let a little nugget of turd fall out, and WHOOSH! I run back in, sensing something was afoot, and found the baby with a little piece of poop in her hand. I am telling myself she never ate it. Of course not.

And then after dinner last night, the boys burst out into the backyard after a day of captivity. Since our yard is barren of toys (we removed the death trap WalMart swing set recently), there is NOTHING TO DO in our yard until the play set comes. Except...play sword fights! With the DOGGIE POOPER SCOOPER!

Skippy always adds a little to the drama: this morning I heard him hacking up some sort of hairball...hair? No. Six NAILS. We have no idea where he unearthed them. Or why he is still alive.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

I Guess it's a Good Excuse

Internet, look what my Chinese takeout fortune cookie foretold:

"A new wardrobe brings great joy and change to your life."

Can you believe that? PVT saw it with his own eyes. Alas, a new wardrobe is not in my financial future (that ginormous playset is en route), but I was hoping to buy a thing or two with my mother this week, who was coming to visit from the Nordstrom capital of Seattle. And yes, we were going to attempt to shop here in Tulsa, a barren retail wasteland compared to the relative riches of San Diego and Seattle. But! Valiant shoppers that we are, we were going to try our DAMN-dest.

But...my mother's plane did not take off...because of...VOLCANIC ASH? No, the plane was not taking off from an volcanic island chain near Jakarta. Just Anchorage. SHEESH.
My parents are coming for Easter, though, so the Tulsa economy will have to chug along without me until then.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Spring Break...down


Oh, the horror that was spring break is finally over. It would have been just another week of Happy Meals, miniature golf and Skee ball (I may well write a book on the best Tulsa video arcades and their various coin-to-prize ratios; surely there's an underserved market there!), but my eldest had a random puking episode on Friday night. At first I thought we were in for another tummy bug, but he seemed fine Saturday and Sunday...but then got sick again on Monday morning (no school! of course!). These sort of unexplained maladies always freak me out...so I dragged them ALL to the doctor, and he has STREP! Which can cause random puking! Who would have thunk? Not me. So he is at home Wii-ing today.


Interspersed in all this drama was one unsuccessful trip to Urgent Care with the baby on Sunday (I could not bring myself to wait for 6 hours behind about 432 elderly people on their walkers - my apologies, but these people did not look like they needed urgent care; they just looked - well, old - and hungry for a little drama). But then I took her successfully to a new kiddie urgent care which was quick and wonderful, but does not take our insurance. Woo hoo. She's fine - just her first ear infection.

SO. How am I supposed to indulge my retail fantasies with all that drama? Don't you worry, internet. I'll find the time.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

We're Not in Cabo Anymore


Can you imagine that there is a demographic out there that associates "Spring Break" with sandy beaches, nudity, and showers of tequila shots poured on the nearest co-ed's breast? And other salacious, illicit activities I am probably too old now to even IMAGINE?


Alas, that is not my demographic. To come back from the relative hedonism of San Diego (no cleaning! no cooking! being chauffeured around by Tarzhay Miss! JUST ONE KID!) to the very hard work of four kids, one blank slate of a FULL WEEK is a bit of a system shocker. Yesterday, a fortuitously 80 degree day, I was priding myself on how well I was doing. Today, when I decided it was a bit too cold to go the miniature putt-putt course, my eldest had a complete breakdown: "YOU NEVER DO ANYTHING FUN WITH US!"

Um, NEVER. Apparently the many playgrounds we had already visited this week, the afternoon in the sprinklers, and the BACKSTAGE TOUR at Krispy Kreme were not good enough.

Tequila shots all around.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Living Under a Rock


You more savvy mamas are going to laugh about what I discovered in San Diego: GYMBOREE. Yes, I'm on my fourth kid, but a) it's my first girl (and Gymboree's girl attire is particularly devastating!) and b) there are few things I detest more in this world than Woodland Hills, our local mall where the Tulsa Gymboree is, and I NEVER go there. Unless they're offering free margaritas. And free boob jobs. AT THE SAME TIME.

So when Tarzhay Miss dragged me into the Gymboree at Fashion Valley in San Diego, I almost wept, so overwhelmed was I with the sheer delightfulness of the place. They must coat the clothes in new baby pheromones, because I wanted to eat, sniff and smell every blessed rack.
I got this for the Cherub:

And...COME ON! A TUTU? How could I resist?







And tights with big sunflowers. For FREAK'S SAKE.

Just what I need: another expensive addiction to combat.



Sunday, March 15, 2009

Mama's Big Bender

Oh, internet. Two hours in paradise. We came:




We shopped (don't I look a little TOO happy here? And the poor salesman.):



We conquered.




Quite a morning.


Among other things, I bought these sneakers; Keane accused me of buying "teenager shoes." So I have already begun to embarrass my children.

I was glad to be home, internet, just because I was sure I would perish in a plane crash and leave my children motherless. PVT did such a good job watching the boys; and the house looked fairly immaculate when I got home (I think there was an emergency cleaning session before my plane landed). Rory must have missed me a little; he asked me, "Mom, next time you go to San Diego, can you come home Friday (versus Saturday)?"
Who suffered the most during my 60 hour absence? THE DOG. He didn't EAT.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Wax On, Wax OFF

Among our many adventures yesterday (which I shall share with you once I can upload my pictures) was the BRAZILIAN CHALLENGE. My brave sister, whose husband has been gone in unknown parts for almost THREE months (he's in the military), is preparing for his return this week. And when she saw this ad...she thought we should take a field trip and get one FREE Brazilian. Sort of like getting a free waterboarding session. Woo hoo!

But I've never had anything but brows waxed, and what sounded just fine last week started sounding a bit - PAINFUL - once we entered the lobby with my niece, nephew and baby. But Tarzhay Miss valiantly went in first while I watched the kiddies.

Internet, that was the most stressful 14 minutes! We were sitting in a little lobby, and Zach and Vanessa (being, you know, KIDS) were touching the dangling bead curtains hanging from the windows. And the receptionist dude (who was he? A part owner? I have no idea, but this guy clearly thought that kids should be left tied in the basement with a bowl of water and trotted out only when they are old enough to go to boarding school in Switzerland) kept telling Zach to SIT ON THE COUCH and DON'T touch the beads. And then Zach touched a little plastic (unbreakable, mind you!) butterfly on the door that was attached by Velcro, and Mr. SS Trooper shouts, "Don't touch that! It will FALL!" (um, who cares?) and rushes across the lobby to take down this little plastic butterfly deal. HUH? And Vanessa (just shy of two years old) was wondering where her mother was, and kept standing near the locked door where the waterboarding - er, waxing - was transpiring. And this dude shouts: "Don't stand near the door! It makes her nervous when she's waxing." (HUH? Behind a locked door?)

Holy cripes, internet. By the time Missy was done, there was no way I could voluntarily undergo torment while subjecting Zach and Vanessa to any more time in the lobby, nor could I have subjected my sister to watching my baby who would likely scream since Mama was NOT. WITHIN. 5. INCHES. Dude would likely have poured a pot of hot wax on the whole lot of them. So: I WIMPED OUT!

Internet, I have never in my years of motherhood been around someone who clearly hates kids that much! It would have been one thing if they were misbehaving, but I was watching them like a hawk and there was nothing they could have harmed. Sheesh. Any business that caters to women needs to be a little more child friendly. And if a kid can't touch a BEAD, take the freaking beads down!

So, no BRAZILIAN for me. I can't say I'm too upset; Missy said it didn't hurt TOO MUCH, but she is quite - RED - in that vicinity and had a lot of little red bumps (which is normal and will disappear, they say). But Missy also neglected to tell me she is an old hat at waxing: she's had her legs done and her bikini area done many times before.

Happy Homecoming Uncle Richard! And...sorry, PVT!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Californication


Internet, I'm here in glorious San Diego! And I have discovered that I have been in DE-nial about something for a long time: my GAWSH Tulsa is BORING. It is so spectacular here, right on the bright blue ocean, palm trees sprouting everywhere (yes, I know I'm not telling you anything you don't know, but for some reason I hadn't realized there are NO PALM TREES anywhere near Tulsa. Cripes! What a blow.). But there are hills, too, lush green rolling hills near downtown, and hills smothered in yellow desert flowers out by where my sister is, which I didn't expect - I miss TOPOGRAPHY. Tarzhay Miss lives just 4 miles from Mexico in Chula Vista, and the people are fascinating. Every color here - brown, yellow, blue, purple. 99.4% of everyone in Tulsa is Wonder Bread White. Nothing against white people - one of them myself - but it certainly is visually stimulating - not to mention a nice American brush stroke - to see all of these people here.

AND THE SHOPPING! I haven't even begun, but I almost started shopping at the airport for some bright yellow and orange looks-like-it-harked-from-the-Aztec-Empire pottery - and I HATE pottery. I did, however, manage to spend a lot of money at See's candy, one of my favorite chocolatiers, after dinner last night. And I ran into a gorgeous new grocery store and grabbed - among other things - BAILEY'S IRISH CREAM. Yes, booze at the grocery store! Right next to the huge gooey chocolate chip muffins and whip cream. Simply erotic, folks. God bless California.

So I'm preparing for a big day of FIELD WORK at Nordstrom, which, internet, I have not physically visited since before the inception of this blog. Gentlegirls, start your engines.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

This Little Piggy is RUNNING AWAY


By gosh internet, I may very well be boarding a PLANE tomorrow! By myself! Er, I mean, with just ONE CHILD! My other children have made it very clear they will not miss me at ALL. Cherub just wants his Dad to put him to bed; Wii is "GLAD" I'm going because I said I'd buy him a Clone Trooper.


Well, they may not miss me, but they will miss all the menial slave labor I do. HARRUMPH. (Can you tell it was one of those days....?!)


So, I shall plagiarize this version of Pat a Cake in honor of my trip:


"Pop a cork,
Pop a cork,
Champagne Man,
Pour me a glass as fast as you can.
Cristal or Jacquesson or Clos St. Hilaire,
As long as it's vintage, I really don't care!"

...by Amy Allen; her collection "This Little Piggy Went to Prada," was given to me by my dear oldest (as in LONG TIME! Not old - she is a week YOUNGER than me, that bee-yotch!) friend, EspressoGal of Seattle.

CAL-I-FOR-NI-AY here I come.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Suffering Suburban Stress Syndrome (you know, not REAL Stress)

Saturday night marked the first time we have EVER left all FOUR of our juggernauts with one person at a time. At once. All of them.



And...it went well! Our miracle worker sitter somehow cajoled Will back from hysteria and ALSO got the baby to bed, despite her continued UTTER DISDAIN for the bottle.


We went to a fund raiser for our son's school - a Trivia Fest - and it was quite a rollicking good time for us old folks! And by gosh our trivia team did really well, thanks to PVT and Ravishing Red Ann's husband, both attorneys by day and Uber Trivia Operatives by night. But even the margaritas I quickly downed didn't RELAX me until my call (well, text, which RRA helped me with!). It's just all this darn STRESS in my life now that I'm a CAREER WOMAN (ahem): kids, sitters, CPE, WORK, blah blah...


So clearly I need a vacation. To see this:




And this ridiculously edible niece:




Now that I've blogged about it, I'm sure I will JINX this trip. But really, unless a child is in the hospital sprouting a third head, knock on wood, I WILL GET ON THAT PLANE BY GAWSH.

This niece, by the way, is a XEROX of her mother, Tarzhay Miss. Unlike my daughter: I'm sure people wonder when they see my stinker whether I've adopted my husband's love child with the local pole dancer.

Puberty at My Ripe Old Age

Internet, I don't know whence my fascination with Juicy Couture stems. Really, it's fashion for the 14 year old OC native, whose sole worry in life is whether her nails match her new iPhone. But I just got a Nordstrom email showcasing their new spring line. And I have a terrible weakness for their purses, rather juvenile as they are. Look at this one:




Just what my inner 12 year old needs. It makes me more chipper just looking at it.

Friday, March 6, 2009

The New Romance



Internet, I realize how tragic it is that I'm about to rhapsodize about a fast food joint. But there you have it: one moment you're being wined and dined and honeymooned in Spoleto, and the next thing you know you're getting off on the proximity of a sani-wipe dispenser.

But Hark! A new Chick-Fil-A just opened nearby! Yet one more reason not to totally diss Tulsa. It just opened yesterday, and given it's one of the few joints with an indoor playground around here, I was as excited as the brood to give it a whirl. So I took the whole lot of them this morning. The place was SWARMING with people eating various chicken sandwich incarnations, but my GAWSH internet - we had the pristine and adorable kiddie playground ALL TO OURSELVES for almost an hour. The boys played spaceship on the twistie slide, and it was so immaculate I even put the BABY on the floor.


And then there were balloons for the two year old! Delicious mints for all! And a huge hand wipey dispenser right by the playground! Mr. Chick-Fil-A, that's as good as foreplay. Then we ordered our kiddie meals with REAL chicken meat nuggets and waffle fries, and now we're home with a bunch of energy expent. Like a trip to Poor Man's Disneyland. WOO HOO.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

God Visits even During Lent

At Nordstrom.com:

Where Can I Spend my Fake Salary?


Internet, not to toot my own horn (well OK a little!), I think I (like 89% of other mamas) work pretty hard. There is not a lot of arse-n-Oprah time in my day. Especially on my big WORK days now! From the onslaught of breakfast requests, to the getting dressed-and-diapers battles, to reassuring the eldest we're not going to DIE today...and then yesterday! Dodging out of the house despite the shrieks of agony! Flying into the office, trying to get my 20 ounces of grande extra hot mocha to fuel me through 2 individual returns and a CORPORATE (go me!) return...then fielding a call from the babysitter ("I'm so sorry! I've NEVER CALLED ANYONE ELSE, but I don't know what to do with her!" AAAAAAACK!)...then as the adrenaline wears off, streaking out of the office to pick up two brothers (one who had to be woken up, which is always an epic drama), and then landing at home to comfort the baby (she didn't even want to nurse that much - she was just SO HAPPY to see me! Almost like being a rock star with my own groupie...I wish I could bottle that moment to resurrect when she's 14 and tells me she hates me because I won't let her get her nipple pierced).


And the rest of the afternoon: being extra indulgent to the traumatized babies, packing up everyone and the dog to fetch big brother at the bus stop, maintaining alacrity as I cooked dinner; then fielding 3,420 requests to see this latest Star Wars battle rendered in crayon, helping one with his clock homework, folding a bit of laundry, relishing the other getting excited about sounding out some words, changing an emergency diaper while the baby is in the Snugli (now that one is HARD! I have yet to master it - maybe in a few more kids. HAHA! Just kidding PVT! Really!) ...but I was so proud of myself for maintaining a buoyant atmosphere, despite the fact I felt ready to collapse into a hot tub of gin...


And then! The pinnacle of all that achievement: BEDTIME! PVT was upstairs reading to the big boys, I was straightening up, and suddenly he noticed it was SUSPICIOUSLY clean. "Was MAGDA here today?" Um. Well, yes, my adored housekeeper fairy comes - just once per month, internet! She makes me SO HAPPY. And PVT so NOT. "So you made about $4 after the sitter and housekeeper today?" Oh, internet, I was SO DEFLATED after that. But I guess you can't measure these days in money...I at least FELT like I merited a six figure salary yesterday.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

My Imagination is Spilling Out of My Head


Dear Neiman Molly sent me this quotation from Oscar Wilde today: "Anyone who lives within their means suffers from a lack of imagination."

BAHAHAH. I know, I know, that's how we Americans got ourselves into trouble in the first place, isn't it? But such a delicious, un-PC TRUISM. And it makes me feel so terribly interesting, as opposed to so terribly...shallow.
Speaking of shallowhood, I am about to start this novel, in between all that CPE I need to make up. How could I NOT read it, with a title like that? (I've read Monsieur de Botton before; a philosopher for the rest of us - addictive!)
But don't write me off as a soulless materialist yet, internet: I successfully avoided all alcohol on Ash Wednesday (yes, my overpuffed pride in this small feat surely reveals that I am a raging alcoholic), and I have not yet had any danish...so my ascetic Lent is going well. Ahem.