Tuesday, June 30, 2009

I Report, You Decide

A Convention of Hot-Tubbing Pedophiles with a Penchant for Albinos? Or... just me, my Dad, kids, and a niece and nephew or so?



Saturday, June 27, 2009

I Should Have Left Them In Tulsa With a Bowl of Water

We are here in Seattle, my friends! Woo hoo!
But alas. This morning my sister and I made our inaugural trip to Nordstrom, but somehow made the fatal mistake of bringing all SIX of our children with us. Do you think that was at all FUN? Or relaxing? Or at all self indulgent? NO! It was about as far from retail therapy as waterboarding. The sole thing we bought at Nordstrom? WEBKINZ. Those evil people of Ganz obviously don't have kids of their own begging for $15 STUFFED ANIMALS.

We also pilfered free Nordy balloons at the luscious kiddie shoe department. And I returned some Smashbox foundation primer that I didn't like - without a receipt - so Nordstrom customer service continues to be unparalleled in the retail universe. But as far as languorously soaking it all in...that will have to come later in our trip. If only Nordstrom had DROP IN KIDDIE CARE...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Pacific NW Economy Will Be Improving Shortly


Internet! Just a few short hours until I board a plane for Seattle, home of the MOTHER SHIP. Yes, Nordstrom, Nordstrom HEADQUARTERS no less (although my favoritest store remains the Bellevue Square outpost)...such a momentous event has not transpired since the inception of me puny little blog. I am actually queasy with anticipation.

Awlright, the queasiness comes from anticipating flying with my four children over halfway across the country. Thankfully PVT is flying out with me; but my return will be solo. Please say a rosary or two for me in your spare time. Ahem.

So if you see a woman prostrate on the floor of the Bellevue Nordstrom cosmetics department, tears in her eyes, licking the floor - just gamely step over her and know that she is VERY VERY happy.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Of Slugs and Stick Shifts


Ah, fathers. We hear so much about maligned deadbeat dads at this time of year. But my own experience with fathers has only been exceedingly good. My own Dad, says my Mom, was not terribly involved when we were infants, aside from swishing out our poopy cloth diapers in the toilet (my Dad has a strong tolerance for all matters feces), but as my sisters and I grew away from the baby stage, he was always there, taking us for nightly bike rides or trips to the city parks. One of my formative experiences growing up was counting slugs (remember, this is Seattle); we would often get up in to the hundreds. My Dad would step on them for our entertainment; I'm sure Neiman Molly is still scarred from being spurted in the face by an especially plump, juicy slug.

My Dad also taught me how to drive a stick shift at Marymoor Park's parking lot when I was 13. It took a while, but wow! I will always remember the thrill when I FINALLY got it.

And my own PVT (who CANNOT drive a stick, nudge nudge) is a marvelous father too, from coaching his son's soccer team to being patient and happy with the spawn when I am about to line them up and shoot Legos off their heads. He makes it a priority to be home for dinner; thank goodness, or we might have three fewer kids. Talk about a Dad in the trenches - that's PVT.

So raise a beerstein to your Dad and good Dads everywhere. And if your Dad would let you spend money on him (PVT won't, and my Dad would simply start to cry if I purchased him a Nordstrom shirt), you can check out the Half Yearly Sale for Dads (oh, and other males!) at Nordstrom...


Thursday, June 18, 2009

What About South Tulsa?



I don't watch a ton of TV, but what I do watch is pure unadulterated 100% organic GARBAGE. At least I've finally outgrown the Bachelor and its spawn, and even abandoned Desperate Housewives.

But I just LOVED the recent "Real Housewives of New Jersey." Yes, New Jersey! Ripe for all kinds of delicious Garden State stereotypes, oui?

But I really LIKED these girls! I could never relate to all the blonde Waspy legginess of the OC Girls and their tennis lessons. And New York - all the charity functions and competitive shuttling of offspring to equestrian camps - so far from my mundane middle class-ness. I must have been in a postpartum haze for Atlanta; I didn't even know it had transpired. But NEW JERSEY! For some reason I can relate to these Italian mamas from big families. And I have not an ounce of Italian in me (although maybe hailing from French Canadians from Fall River, Mass - think Emeril Lagasse - is pretty close). These women love their their houses; love their kids; and love to shop. And love the money that lets them do all this stuff, of course. Simple, yes, but I get that! My favorite is Theresa, mother of three girls, busy decorating her new jillion dollar mansion built by her beefy husband Joe (who is in "construction." I know, I know. What's that a front for?). She got new "bubbies" towards the end of the series, and was laughing (at a dinner party, no less) about her horny husband wanting some action while she was still groggy from anesthesia.

Plenty of disposable income and NO SHAME about it. Now I wonder if we can get Bravo to come to South Tulsa...? Hardly the same sex appeal, I suppose. Unless all of my neighbor girls and I get some new "bubbies" too.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Essential, Schmessential


Two weeks of Summer 2009 DOWN! Only 342 or so to go...surely this week will go more smoothly, though, with my 6-going-on-15 year old in day camp all week? Surely the decibel level will be lower, and the constant bickering will ease up? Surely my four ONLY children will play quietly with each other, go to sleep at 7 pm and in general at least pretend to act like orphans just grateful to have a roof, food and a devoted family?

Speaking of hilarious daydreams, Nordstom sent me a missive: "Summer Essentials Less than $90!" They have been big on tooting their "lower" prices lately (I am so tired of everyone speaking in politically correct recession-speak. Can't some still wealthy type yell, "Well, I'm still rich everyone! Cristal and Birkin bags and Oxygen Enzyme Facials all 'round!" Such bad taste would be a BREATH OF FRESH AIR.) But my sly friends at Nordstrom. Here's one of their low priced summer essentials:



Since I'm STILL waiting for an exchange from Athleta, I continue to ogle bathing suits. This one is a bit skimpy for an aged mother of four, but I love the cheery watermelon colors. The top, though, is $77. Just shy of $90 by my math. The bottoms, then, must be NON essential...maybe in a Blue State, Messieurs Nordstrom. I would need the $88 bottoms here in Red Red Oklahoma.

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Latest from Martyr Central

My GAWD it's been a rough week around here:




Rory? No, he's fine; despite looking like he pulled a Superman off the ginormous playset, he merely crashed into his brother during a game room soccer match.

Coletti is obviously fine, seen here modeling Mama's latest Gymboree binge:

And the cherubic Will is just fine too, despite (because of?) putting Mama through the daily horror of loading up 4 kids and a dog for a stroller walk in 90 degree humidity just to get him to nap:


Keane, too, is perfectly wonderful, but was too busy creating online avatars to be photographed.

So what's the problem, you ask? MAMA and DADA are SUFFERING! I felt just OFF all week; tired, run down, achy, alternately nauseous and famished. Pregnant, right? That's what I thought! But NO - DON'T WORRY MOM! Either it was just dealing with my OWN CHILDREN 24/7 for two weeks, and trying to wean her highness after almost 11 months of nursing, or a touch of swine flu.

And PVT is fine, but is bordering on SKINNY. He has lost almost 20 pounds! I am hoping he parlays this into a reality TV show and book deal (alas, a short book! Eat less!) - he looks MAGNIFIQUE. But diets, 4 kids and a FULL TIME JOB can be a bit all-CONSUMING...

So we were quite looking forward to a sitter and a long, languorously liquid dinner this evening. But alas! A huge sitter snafu. So here we are tonight, with our glorious offspring and the Berenstain Bears.

Don't worry, my friends. We shall persevere. As a wise childless friend once told us, "There are no victims. Only volunteers."

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

And It's ONLY JUNE NINTH!




Well, internet, after a fairly smooth week last week with my darlings, as of this morning I have officially declared that Summer 2009 is KICKING ME ARSE. There was so much bickering, screeching, and 6-going-on-15 BACK TALK this morning that I told my sons MONSIGNOR at our parish needed misbehaving boys to come help him with chores for the day. So I loaded them up, all the while wondering WHAT I was going to come up with, and drove them to church.



The sudden cooperation, sweetness and obedience as we unloaded the car upon arrival was not unlike seeing Our Lady at Fatima - simply MIRACULOUS. We made our way past the receptionist on the way to the chapel, and thank goodness she was sharp: what sane person would bring four young children into the chapel? When I explained we were here for Monsignor's "bad boy boot camp," but that we were going to go to the chapel to pray to help us all get along, she knew EXACTLY what was going on.



So the boys and I said an Our Father, and you cannot imagine how earnest those prayers were - on all sides. Apparently their prayers payed off, for the boys were spared from a day of hard labor, and we left the chapel much happier, the whole lot of us.



My GAWD what shall I threaten them with tomorrow...?

Monday, June 8, 2009

Happy Birthday PVT


Thirty something years or SO ago today, PVT was born in a Fort Worth hospital; became a "ward of the state" for a few days; and was swooped up by his parents and transported to Tulsa, Oklahoma. Thank you, anonymous birth mother of PVT, for giving birth to the little boy who would become my husband. And thank you, in-laws, for raising him up to be a man who makes spending time with his children a priority, even when they're acting like inebriated Gremlins; who slogs off to work every day to support my atrocious online shopping habit; and who still makes me laugh after nineish years or so together...I am a lucky chiquita.

Unfortunately my big fat income of ZERO precludes me from buying PVT the big black Suburban, or the three week European vacation punctuated with occasional rounds of golf (without the kids! or, with the kids but we bring a hot nanny? You choose, honey!). But I did finally realize after said nineish years that I could at least treat him to a birthday dessert he would like ENJOY. I have always bought garish overly frosted birthday cakes from pricey bakeries...because that's what I LOVE. So, given PVT's penchant for healthy desserts made from FRUIT, I made a peach pie! From scratch! And it was eaten by many, including PVT, who sacrificed his diet for a day. It might not have been as good as a week in an Umbrian villa swimming in pools of Orvieto, but hopefully it showed my undying love and devotion. Because I can't bake at ALL.

Here's to another MANY more happy years, PVT. And please don't leave me for any hot nannies for a few more years. I don't know what I'd do without you.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Weed


Ever since my eldest was 3 or so, we've had kids watching The Berenstain Bears reruns on TV. Perhaps because we remember the books from our childhood ("Dad, your stew is stewing well/but doesn't it have a funny smell?"); perhaps because that was just what was always On Demand; perhaps because the shows are in nice 12 minute little segments - just enough time to gather your thoughts without your children falling into a vegetative TV coma; or perhaps because they're nice little simple shows where no one heavy handed-ly forces you to learn something, count something, or say something in Spanish. Whatever the reason, we have always watched a LOT of the Bears here.

So this morning, Rory requested the Bears and Too Much Money. "Rory," I joked, "There is NO SUCH THING as too much money." He meant "The Trouble with Money," wherein the Bears become greedy little stinkers who want every Bear Air toy in Bear Country. Many of the Bears titles are in this "Too Much SOMETHING..." or the "Trouble with SOMETHING..."

So wise guy Keane starts making up Bears titles: "How about "The Trouble with Poopy Pants?" or "Too Much Birthday Cake?" Then PVT starts with the ADULT version of the Bears: "The Berenstain Bears and Mama's Big Bender," "The Berenstain Bears and Too Many Margaritas," "The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Casino," "The Berenstain Bears and the Trouble with Orgies."....ah, the possibilities are endless. Much pre-Church hysteria ensued...sheesh, we don't get out much, do we?

Thursday, June 4, 2009

To My Fellow Comrades in Arms

You must go read this article from the NY Times...can't you just smell the lust, the blood, the leather? Sigh.


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Reality Behind the Subprime Mortgage Meltdown

I would like to take a break from our regularly scheduled programming (which is - what? My horrifying progeny coupled with wistful retail thoughts?) to pay a tribute to my neighbor, Ravishing Red Ann. We have inflicted on her household a multitude of horrors lately:


After this atrocity was erected outside her master bedroom, Ravishing Red Ann and family purchased a wee (I mean WEE! 3 pounds after a full meal and a bit of water retention) puppy. Said puppy slipped through the fence into our yard where our canine was so excited to see this dollop of whip cream that THIS occurred:


Yes, that is 70 pounds of Lab mix falling on a Westie puppy's twig of a femur.

What other possible neighborly misdemeanors can we VTs commit, you ask? Besides the constant screeching and shrieking and the oh-so-audible threats to sell children to a Romanian orphanage? Well, this: whenever RRA and her innocent daughters wander into their OWN BACKYARD, they are treated to a view of Will's white little bum and his white little - well, thingamajig. No, I am not operating a child porn circuit out of my home; we have commenced potty training, and being the lazy, forgetful mother that I am, I find that letting him run au naturel is the most effective technique (can you use that term when you're talking about pee?) in the potty training - ah, what's a politically correct term? - JOURNEY. As in journey through Dante's SEVEN CIRCLES...

But I digress. So, RRA, I apologize that you will NEVER BE ABLE to sell your home and leave lovely Tulsa. But, as a small consolation, you know that I am always here for you. Especially during Happy Hour.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Chlorine with a Twist of Lime


'Tis the launch of pool season here in VT Land! Which means we spend an inordinate amount of pre-happy hour at our neighborhood pool. Here is the motley crew:





And le bebe enjoying her first summer with a broader view than mama's gargantuan postpartum boobs:




Me? Because my quest for a suitable bathing suit continues, I will NOT post a picture in my current bathing suit - nipple cleavage would render this site even LESS family-friendly than it already is. I almost had a winner: a good friend and former co-worker, Karri (who still loves me despite my LARGE carbon footprint), recommended Athleta to me. I had never heard of this site, but it is an orgiastic smorgasbord of swimwear - wonderful stuff! So I ordered a sampling, and was quite smitten with the sexy-ish black bathing suit cover up I received. Probably because it did a wonderful job COVERING UP that darn bathing suit. But PVT made an odd grimace - sort of as if his steak was a bit too rare - when I posed in the bikini I ordered. The fit was perfect! But the paisley colors were a bit odd and overpowering on my frame. You can't rock just anything when you're only one degree removed from the Hobbits.


So I have exchanged my crazy paisley bikini for ANOTHER in a solid color. I know, I know, you can't stand the wait, my friends - so perhaps I ought to capture PVT in HIS bathing suit. His weight loss campaign has been so successful, I suspect my readership might skyrocket. I'll ask his permission.