Friday, May 29, 2009

Here Comes No Bride


This post is NOT about Rory doubling over in excruciating abdominal pain yesterday afternoon. Nor my harried call to the doctor while I evaluated the logistics of taking him to the ER for what must be of course appendicitis. Nor the miracle SUPPOSITORY that I administered which worked in about 2 minutes. NOT ABOUT all that mama muck, my friends.

Nor would I trouble you with Colette's sudden penchant for sticking her fingers down her throat right after drama suppository. Nor my wondering whether 10 months was a bit young for bulimia. Nor her ensuing hysteria and my utter cluelessness. Nor her arching her back to allow me to see the UPC STICKER from her big brother's ICE PACK attached to the roof of her mouth.

No, I would not trouble you with all of that mundane mommy drama - that happened in the span of a mere PLAYDATE (detestable term), for cripes' sake!

NO NO NO. This post is about WEDDINGS! Really! Here we are on the cusp of June, the month of brides. And I have ABSOLUTELY NO NADA NILCH ZILCH weddings to attend. Part of this is my age: most people of the dreaded mid-thirties demographic are well into the marriage and spawning phase of life. In fact some are already are on their second marriages - can't a few more of you all divorce and remarry so I can attend some delicious nuptials?

Because, like most straight females, I LOVE weddings. The rehearsal dinners, the Pachabel, the cheezy floating candles, the awkward white people dancing, the champagne fountain, the whole perched-on-the-edge-of-hope-and-life feeling of it all. And, my friends, I have been a bit slighted: two of my bestest friends remain dedicated to bachelorette-ism. But I do not blame them as much as my dear and darling sister NEIMAN MOLLY.

Neiman Molly has been THIS close to marriage about 329 times. Alas, she continues to date International Men of Mystery who are never in town long enough to feed their goldfish, let alone date a girl properly and propose. Neiman Molly happens to be so fabulous that it should only take about a week - if she dated domestic office-bound dudes.

SO...if and when one of these 007s proposes to my dear sister, THIS is what I would wear to the wedding (assuming, of course, that I wasn't required to wear a 1980s prom dress as a member of the bridal party):




The coral color! The chiffon! The beads...it all just screams June and weddings and happiness and futureness...

In case YOU have to go to a wedding. Because I DON'T. Darn it.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Summertime, and the Living is SCARING THE BEJEEZUS Out of Me


Well, internet, we have finally arrived at the week mamas have nightmares about starting in April: THE LAST WEEK OF SCHOOL. I have been in denial about it for so long now, but it's time to face the cold, ugly truth. Next week I will have ALL FOUR of my children ALL DAY LONG ALL THE TIME until we leave for Seattle in late June for a couple of weeks.

At first I thought I needed to fill this time as much as possible with camps! Lessons! Activities! But you know what? It's summertime, for cripes' sake. They don't want to be scheduled every minute; that feels like school. And we really can't afford all that junk anyway (see ginormous playset). So...aside from one week of camp for the "big" boys, two weeks of swimming lessons, and our trip to Seattle, we are winging it, this summer of 2009.

So how am I going to "wing" it, exactly? I'll tell you: by being TOTALLY SELFISH. Not selfish as in dumping the crew with a warm-bodied 13 year old while I go to the neighborhood pool, sip pina coladas, tan my lily white legs and read OK! magazine, alas. But I am going to do what I have to do to stay sane, whether it's making an extra stop for my QuikTrip coffee, dumping them in front of Dragon Tales or some other kiddie porn while I read a trashy novel for a few minutes, or hiring a neighborhood girl for a couple of hours to come over and entertain a few of them while I do something illicit like fold laundry in peace.

So maybe we'll spend a little extra money (that we don't have!) on my sanity. But dear Lord, internet. I want to do this mama thing well. I don't want my kids to remember their childhood as a long period of their shrewish mother shrieking at them. And that's what will happen if I don't think about my own mental state a bit first. Selfish, yes...but that is the crux of the plan.

And I need to remember that in twenty years my house will be pristine, I will be able to read US Weekly by the pool while I fry my old wrinkly skin, and I will be able to nap at 2pm in the afternoon if I feel like it. And I will be TOTALLY MISERABLE.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Why Our Parties Don't Make Town and Country

PVT and I love to have people over chez nous. We each have our separate reasons: for me, there is nothing more wonderful to have my children AROUND me, frolicking with the other little hobbits, but not BORING IN to me with their little fingers and clawing their way under my skin. And to speak to the over 3 1/2 feet set! With a beverage in hand! Does it get any better?

PVT enjoys it, methinks (I suppose I could ask him) because after growing up under culinar-ily challenging circumstances, he takes it as a personal mission to make damn good food, and that he does. Italian feasts are his specialty; endless lasagnas, meat sauces, manicotti and meatballs. He also performs marvelous feats at the grill, and has a broad repertoire of steaks, burgers, sausages, and other non-vegan delights. You can ask him about his stealth bacon attack on a bunch of Oregonian vegetarians sometime. And of course, since PVT does almost all of the cooking, I just get to pour beverages and "set" the table! Woo hoo!

So in the past couple of weeks, we have had two "soccer team/trophy" parties for our older sons' soccer teams. Each of these fetes have involved vast quantities of burgers, much stocking and restocking of the man fridge, 13 or so kids, and 10 or so beverage-wielding adults. Much wonderful fun! Highlights included a mama (only slightly inebriated) imitating a frog jumping on the floor and a soccer teammate puking after too many spins on the tire swing. Doesn't every successful party involve a little bit of vomit?

And moi, amateur blogger extraordinaire? What photographic proof do I have of these rollicking good times? THIS SOLE PHOTO:





This was a very vain attempt to capture a group of 11 or so boys, ages 2 to 12, and one lone girl (you can see her feet), gathered in a circle to watch our dog dismember a frog. But by the time I put down some adult lemonade, picked up the camera, and shifted her highness to my hip, this was all I ended up with. Sheesh! Since 90% of child rearing these days seems to be chronicling every moment, I am clearly a smashing failure.

Don't worry, you North Westers, I did carry the poor frog away in a bowl and placed him gingerly in the empty lot next to ours, where he hobbled away on his good side.

I know - you are all now CLAMORING to be on the invite list to the next VT shindig.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Why No One Asks Me for Advice

Do you know something internet? I don't think I've ever pointed out to you that on your online orders from Nordstrom shipped to Nordsaken Oklahoma, you don't pay sales tax. Not bad, eh? I believe it's because Nordstrom has no "nexus" (tax geek term) in Oklahoma (as in, Nordstrom doesn't want ANYTHING TO DO with us in this poor hick state) (you know I'm kidding, right? Em, mostly?), so - there you have it. Helps with/justifies the shipping cost, yes? So you can buy stuff like this for your tiny toi sans guilt:





And NO, Nordstrom is not paying me to tell you this! They don't even know who I am (well, they probably do because of my schizophrenic charge activity - buy $932! return $898! buy $343! return $321!). I don't want them to PAY me, just COME here to our dear hick state.


Or at least give me an employee discount.



In other "tips and tricks" from yours truly (yes, awkward segue, but it's my blog), I have finally discovered my SUMMER HYDRATION SOURCE. I'm not from here, you all, and don't get/dislike the iced tea thang. Water bores me. And even I need a break from Diet Mountain Dew. So what is left? DIET TONIC WATER! It tastes so good, has a lovely fizz, and of course reminds you of drinking G & Ts...which even I don't drink at 11am. Really. You don't believe me, do you?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

HAAAAAAAAALEJULAH!

LOOK MY FRIENDS:

THE HALF YEARLY SALE STARTS TODAY! For you Nordstrom Neophytes, this sale happens twice per year (note my advanced math)...it's end-of-season type stuff at GOOD PRICES. This sale is not to be confused with the yearly ANNIVERSARY sale in July, in which the good Nordstrom Brothers bring out NEW fall clothing, purses, shoes and other orgasmic items at reduced prices before prices go back up in August. I am not sure of the EXACT date of the anniversary sale yet, but I MAY BE IN SEATTLE! LOOK OUT NORTHWEST!

But in the meantime, the half yearly sales are good fun...so if you live in a NORDSTROM TOWN, fit in a quick gawk. Or join me in some late night surfing if you live in Nordforsaken OKLAHOMA. The baby clothes are just edible. As are some of the shoes. Take these - out of my price range, but 'tis fun to fantasize...


Have fun (but not TOO much or I'll have to answer to the men in your life...)!

Monday, May 18, 2009

If I'm Not Returning Something, I'm with the Grubs




Here we are on the eve of summer at Chez VT! The boys are busy digging in the dirt (at least they are playing AROUND the jillion dollar play set, if not ON it), finding what they deem are "caterpillars." Erm, maybe grubs? I just hope they're not maggots:




Whatever these things are, they provided much entertainment for the LONG afternoon (why long? Perhaps Mama is realizing that the ENDLESS DAYLIGHT hours of summer are just around the corner):

And my beautiful berry baby? How is she?


Check E Bay this evening; she may go to the highest bidder. We were doing so well a week ago with the whole arduous weaning process, but these past few days, I cannot PUT HER DOWN, let alone give her a bottle. I've been schlepping her around on my hip ALL DAY LONG for LONG DAYS now. Which would be lovely if I didn't have 83 other children and a house to decrumb...






I don't think she cares much about all THAT, do you?

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The VTs go CLUBBIN

Today is our hoity toity COUNTRY CLUB PAR-TAY, my friends! After much agonizing, we decided not to bring the three boys - after all, they would likely DROWN in the gorgeous pool. Or at least need a bit of resuscitation. Not a wonderful introduction to the argyle-without-irony set.

So we shall just have our teething terror of a daughter, who after 8 months or so of almost total placid-ness is proving to be as much, if not more, of a diva than her brothers.

At least I won't need to worry about disrobing to save a drowning child, though - so I am wearing this dress:

Fresh from the Nordstrom box, my friends - I PROMISE not to return it. Really. Unless it's not QUITE right, of course...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

As EASY as They Come


Well, internet, I confess I went and returned that top. What a criminal I am! The salesgirl didn't even LOOK at it. Really, there was nothing to see; it was just fine, but I felt like I had a huge Scarlet "R.A." emblazoned across my head as I handed over my Saks card to be credited.

But don't think the cosmos let me get off easily. After I made the jillion mile trip to the Tulsa Saks, I got home and had just put le bebe to bed. And ding dong, 'twas the door. So I answered it, dismayed to see it was an odd little salesman dude. I was fully prepared to gently point out the "No Soliciting" signs in the neighborhood and send him on his way. But he started talking about the "Magic" cleaning solution he was selling, in a very energetic Pee-Wee Herman meets a chimpanzee on crack sort of way - so I could hardly interrupt him.
And this stuff! How it takes out spots on windows, flat builder's paint, fabrics, hardwoods...safe for children to drink, etc, etc...! I just stood there, internet, allowing myself to be pulled in, SEDUCED by this odd little monkey man. If I have a weakness for anything besides Nordstrom (and Gymboree and shoes and Juicy Couture and mochas and wine and margaritas - ah, well, never mind!), it is cleaning supplies - in their endless variety, with their endless delicious essences of chemicals and springtime...it could have been Kiefer Sutherland there on my doorstep, inviting me to hop on his Gulfstream for some chilled Cristal.

Almost in slow motion, I could see myself buying this crazy Magic Cleaning Spray...I thought it couldn't be more than $20, but he started talking two for one, year long supply, blah blah...dear Lord, internet, I spent $100 on this Magic Cleaning Spray! How MORTIFYING. And I am purportedly (well, on paper anyway) not an idiot! Matriculated from college! Was voted Most Intelligent in high school, for cripes' sake!

So the cosmos got back at me, the Retail Adulteress. PVT was very ANGRY with me...I think he would be more understanding if I had gotten on a Gulfstream with Kiefer.
In the meantime, if you have any tough stains that need removal, you know where to find me.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Talk About Just Desserts



Internet, PVT and I had a MAHVELOUS time Saturday with Maker's Mark and Kappa Kappa Karen! We went to what looked like a nothing little steak place - in the most nondescript of strip malls - and WOW! It was a cavernous dark room with dark paneling and dark purple booths - PERFECT steakhouse vibe. And the owner/greeter - he must have been from either Queens or Fall River, Massachusetts - one of these big, beefy Italian guys with knuckles like fat sausages who is probably one degree removed from the mob. These guys are all over the East Coast, but you just don't see them here in WASPY Tulsa. I felt like I had been transported right back to Brooklyn.



And the food was good! And not too pricey! And the pianist on the keyboard playing cheezy renditions from Phantom of the Opera - by GAWD it was perfect. We ate, drank, laughed and yammered away for four hours...and hardly talked about our spawn at all. Not bad for 6 kids amongst us, huh?

The sole tragedy: I've told you about my terrible, shameful penchant for returning clothing I've worn. Well, I got a cute halter top from Saks to "test" (price shall remain undisclosed to protect the not-so-innocent)...I fed the kids at home, got to the restaurant, drank two (or so) glasses of Pinot Noir, had my fried mushrooms, salad and scallops without incident...until I decided to sample some of the blueberry artistry on PVT's cheesecake! AAAACK! Of course I got a big glob of berry jizz smack on the cleavage of this top. For cripes' sake. If I'm going to be a petty criminal, you'd think I could at least be NEAT about it.



I got the stain out, methinks, with just some white vinegar (take that, Martha!), so I COULD probably still return it...but I can't really return a top with such a SORDID past....can I?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Now Go Make Your Mama a Mimosa


A Happy Mother's Day to my fellow sanitation engineers and dishwashers in arms! I have a brief reprieve while PVT mows outside and the boys "help" him and romp on the playset - now that IS a good Mother's Day present. I do feel so blessed to have these 4 healthy scroundrels in - I mean, AS! - my life.

At church today Mamas received key chains with a little tape measure and flashlight inscribed with the ditty, "A Mother's Love Has No Limits." My ELDEST pouted the WHOLE WAY HOME because he didn't get a cool key chain TOO. True, a mother's love has no limits, but a mother's LIKE sure does. Ahem.



Friday, May 8, 2009

Lawyers + Jungle Bikini + Mai Tais + Those Dang Kids = ?!

Internet, my most recent bathing suit gorge was a TOTAL BUST! 4 suits, two cover ups, all for naught. I modeled them for PVT, and he concurred that they just weren’t RIGHT. I think I got cocky: just because I’ve lost the baby-baby-baby-baby weight, that doesn’t mean I’m 5’10” and 108 pounds with legs as long as the Oklahoma panhandle. DANG.

So I'm back to square one...and now the pressure is ON because of the WEIRDEST FASHION QUANDARY EVER. Get this: a lawyer PVT works with is hosting a birthday party for his wife at the swankiest (I know! It's relative! But still!) country club in town. The party will be held POOLSIDE and instructs us to don "resort wear attire." Awlright, I can do the sundress thing. BUT the invitation also says that "the pool will be open for the kiddos to enjoy; please bring THEIR (emphasis mine) swimwear." THEIR SWIMWEAR? So adults DON'T swim? CRIMINY. Our spawn are not of an age where we can happily abandon them at the pool while we don said resort wear and sip Mai Tais. No, if they are going to swim, WE have to swim (lest we have an embarrassing drowning incident - worse probably than any fashion faux pas). So how do we do this? Wear our swimsuits UNDER the resort wear? Wear fancy pool cover ups? And what kind of swimwear is appropriate in the company of a bunch of LAWYERS that PVT works with? The fashion calculus involved here is STAGGERING, my friends.

All I have right now is an oddly fitting (as in, cleavage would be an understatement) Victoria's Secret jungle bikini bought on a whim after baby #3...and if for some reason I have to dive in after a young son, jungle bikini will probably end up wrapped around my head.
Unless the drinks are REALLY stiff, I don't think that's an APPROPRIATE show for the lawyers and such, do you?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Binge and Purge

Well, internet, it's time to confess one of my (many) deepest, darkest secrets: my retail bulimia. When I shop, I tend to buy many things at once out of indecisiveness, lust, temporary insanity...you know, all the usual excuses of criminals. I'll get home, ponder the loot, and...oh, this is so shameful, but you've stayed with me this long...sometimes I will even WEAR something WITH THE TAGS on to decide if I'm going to keep it. And occasionally even RETURN something if I don't want it. I told you: sick, twisted, depraved. I hope you're not a boutique owner or department store employee. Please feel free to call the cops, a good therapist, or both. I'm all yours.


A corollary of this retail bulimia is that I will shop online, buy oodles of stuff to try on, and for the mere price of shipping, be able to have a lot of fun at home (sans illicit drugs or porn!), and return what I don't want. PVT is NEVER sure what the bottom line is on my Nordstrom card; a charge for $892! Return of $762! Charge of $59! Etc. I am not sure he fully knew the cross he would have to bear when he uttered those "I dos..."


Ah, so, my most recent BINGE? I got an email today from PVT with the word NORDSTROM (all caps) in the subject line, and the text, "What the..." OOPS! I had forgotten to mention that I purchased several - erm, about $800 worth - of bathing suits and cover ups to try on. OF COURSE I'm not going to keep them all. But I am down to one wearable bathing suit (you know how your body changes with each successive child...), and am I going to try on bathing suits at a department store under green fluorescent lights when suits can magically appear on my doorstep for me to scrutinize, agonize and curse in PRIVATE?


So, I am awaiting my Pandora's bathing box...I'm hoping one of these Betsey Johnson suits work - I love the semi-skirted bottoms...covering the flaws a bit, but obviously not too matronly (shiver):



And perhaps, perhaps, PVT will forgive me for my many retail transgressions if I give him his own viewing.

Our Ark is Ready

Oh, are you back in Seattle, Drizzle Capital of the Western Hemisphere, you ask? With all the floodwaters in these pictures?
No, we are still here in FREAKING TULSA, Oklahoma, where it has rained for the past 94 days straight.
Before I moved here, and before I had children, weather struck me as about the most BORING topic in the world. Now, though, the weather dictates what sort of clothing I need to choose for the rugrats, whether we will need to go cower in the shower and hold on for dear life as a tornado gyrates nearby, or, most CRITICALLY, whether I can lock my offspring outside for hours to frolic on their brand new jillion dollar play set which they have NOT BEEN ABLE TO PLAY on for weeks without donning scuba gear.

Monday, May 4, 2009

I'm So EXCITED (and obviously SO UNCOOL)


Everyone needs something to look forward to, right? Students dream about the end of finals; CPAs about April 16; young lawyers about taking a vacation in 24 years; and mommas? A Saturday night DATE! Just when my days seemed to loom ahead in a monochromatic blur of laundry, crumb duty and soccer game schlepping, hark - we got a sitter! We are going to try a little steak joint with some good friends - Kappa Kappa Karen and her hilariously delightful husband Maker's Mark. Ah - a night of adults, good food not "cooked" by me, and wine from a bottle, not a box! WOO HOO!


Unbeknownst to our friends, though - they are our CHAPERONES. They have the important duty of 1) preventing us from talking about our children, and 2) stopping me from becoming overly sentimental (which is liable to happen when I have good Pinot flowing through my veins and the kids are WAY out of reach) and rhapsodizing about wanting another. GOOD GAWD, internet. It's a tough job, but I know Kappa Kappa Karen and Maker's Mark are up for the challenge.


So WHAT TO WEAR for this night of crazy illicit debauchery? An de la Renta evening gown? Head to toe Swarovski (you know, if I had that sort of thing)? Well, I learned a lesson recently, friends: DON'T LET EVERYONE ELSE KNOW HOW FREAKING EXCITED YOU ARE TO BE ESCAPING THE COOP. We went to a dinner/fundraiser for my son's school at a local RANCH a couple of months ago, so I got all decked out in a skirt, gold heels - le whole shebang, so excited was I to be GOING OUT! IN PUBLIC! SANS KIDS! But I didn't really think through that we were going to a RANCH, as in grass and livestock in the backdrop...and hence was the only skirt in a sea of jeans. I am always happy to be cautionary tale, my dear readers.

So since this steak place is pretty casual, I will probably just wear my new hot momma* white jeans and a new top...perhaps this? Or this (although trust me, I will look lot happier than this model)?

Such a delicious problem to revel in this week.

*You know, as hot as things get when you're a mother of FOUR in Tulsa, Oklahoma. With no personal trainer. Or entourage. Or even a gym membership.


Saturday, May 2, 2009

Just Doing My Part

Do you remember the Tea romper I bought Colette that she has since spent every screeching moment in? Well, my besties Katie, Julia and Tori, the lemmings, have apparently rushed out to buy these addictive rompers for THEIR daughters.

Sheesh, girls. I'm glad to help, but aren't celebrities supposed to be the trendsetters - with unlimited disposable income?

Ah, well. In the meantime, if you have a mini me, do try to get your hands on one of these things...they are adorable and ONE PIECE SNAPPY things, so quick to get on...which leaves you more time for happy hour and Facebooking.