Monday, November 30, 2009

Happy Birthday Dear Bloggie

Today my little blog turns ONE. Admittedly, in many ways my blog is a total BUST. The Nordstrom brothers have not decided to open a store in my backyard; I have not earned a lovely supplementary income from Nordstrom - or ANY - advertisements; and I do occasionally feel like I'm blogging in the middle of the proverbial empty forest, my devoted audience of 4.7 notwithstanding. (Thank you, my dears! You know who you are!)

But I do enjoy it. Blogging about this little life and not-so-little family of mine is cathartic; it helps me find humor and meaning in all the vagaries, frustrations and moments of tedium that come from Mommydom. And Tulsa-dom. Which, with its unusually sunny November, has been treating me rather well lately. At least I don't live in Branson.

So, if you're here, thanks for reading. Please continue to stop by so I can admonish you from wearing these. REALLY? Pink SHAG STEVE MADDEN WUZZY SLIPPERS? What is going on at Nordstrom headquarters? Brothers Nordstrom, methinks you are overthinking this recession-stay-at-home-and-economize schtick. I don't care if you have just been laid off, and are suffering from swine flu, chicken pox, and genital warts all at the same time. Do not wear these. EVER. There is NO EXCUSE, people. NONE.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Anticipation Ain't Cheap

Today I am full to the brim with Christmakah spirit! It's been hard the last few years to really get into the whole Christmas scene - perhaps since my parents and sisters are so far flung - but this year feels right, somehow. We will be having Christmas here, and methinks I am going to host an open house on Christmas Day. How stupid, right? My kids will have been up since 4:30am; Legos will be strewn everywhere and become embedded in guests' toenails; and several of us will be in tears over some toy mishap. Under what better conditions, though, to have a party!?

And! PVT temporarily lost his mind today and OK'd my purchase of these ridiculous stocking holders (which add up when you have SIX stockings to hang by the chimney with care). AND he bought airline tickets to Baltimore, Maryland, for Spring Break 2010 where we will, alas, not don skimpy swimwear and pour tequila over each other's bodies, but instead will schlep our many children to visit their two aunts, two cousins, see a bit of the East Coast, and hopefully SURVIVE. Woo hoo!

And my final instance of self-satisfied smugness stems from having decided on LE DRESS for PVT's office party:

Cute, yes? And forgiving where it needs to be. AND three times cheaper than this dress that I thought I'd love, but PVT vetoed. Since he thought I looked like I was, you know, for hire. Which is not, per PVT, necessarily a bad thing. But in this case, it was not whorish in a good way. So there you go.

Let's get this party started!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

How About WHACK Friday

Well, here we go: the holiday retail onslaught. Starting with the barbaric act of getting up at the depths of deep dark night thirty to go to Best Buy. Or Target. Or Kohl's. Or whatever big black box retailer you can think of. Even my beloved Nordstrom Rack is jumping into the fray.

Really, you all? I don't care what your income level is. Do you really value your sleep, NAY, your LIFE, so little, that you will roll out of bed whilst the ghosts roam to queue up at Target? Won't you have to buy six soy extra hot no whip white chocolate mochas just to SURVIVE this ordeal? And then you're out $30 before you're even in the door! Sure, you may get some good deals, but you will probably buy something you didn't really want or need in the process, thus negating any savings. And you will be bruised, bloodied and battered before you get to the checkout line. Is this really the way to launch the holiday season?

Harrumph. Just my Dickensenian thoughts here, on the eve of Holiday 2009. Oh, and HAPPY THANKSGIVING! Give your loved ones and the whip cream many extra licks. They (and the whip cream) are all that matters.

Really. The PSP (PCP? PEP? or whatever that gadget is) can wait until sunrise.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Bottoms Up

Neiman Molly, who apparently enjoys torturing her married, child-laden sister, sent me this invitation. She will be attending this orgy of booze, dancing and general merriment with an international man of mystery.

What?! Why hadn't I thought of this holiday? Now that I'm with it, of course, December 5 will be right up there with Christmas, Easter and The Month of Jill at the VanTrease compound.

So, even if you are cleaning abused kiddie underwear, suffering from poochy-tummy, and bemoaning your large pores, as I am, please join me in celebrating this Most Important Holiday, and drink up.

Oh, come ON. December 5 is close enough.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The New Touchy Feely Bell Curve

Well, internet. My parents are here, visiting from Seattle, the Land of Nordstrom, Bill Gates, drizzle and Starbucks. This means I am doing all sorts of wild stuff I don't USUALLY do. Like run to WalMart without a kid! Or drive this one here or that one there without having to wake one up from a nap! Or take a random walk in the noontime sun! It's rather eye-opening, when I do have help, to realize all the intrinsic calibration that goes into running this house with no daytime backup. And it's HARDER to go back to the all-me, all-day life, when they leave.

Of course, as much as I'd like to lock up my parents in my house to babysit, whilst I run away for a couple of days for an orgy of facials and guacamole, I do enjoy spending time with them. And, as such, am faced with finding an entertaining destination farther than my backyard. Where to go? What to do?

Ughhhhhhhhhhhh. Yes, we ended up at the MALL. A mall with a Macy's. And a JC Penney. And those dreadful kiosks in the aisles where one can buy knock off sunglasses, remote control helicopters, and purses uglier than a 1970's shag carpet.

But really, it is just a regular mall. Why am I such a freaking snob about it? It does, after all, have a Gymboree (where I spent a wee bit). And a Sephora (where I spent a bit MORE).

I think it's because I have an innate and terrible fear of AVERAGENESS. And being merely AVERAGE. The fear was much more pronounced when I was younger and full of moonshine dreams, thank goodness. Because now that I'm living in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with a pile of kids...that sounds pretty darn AVERAGE, doesn't it? But as forty-and-wrinkle-dom loom on the horizon, I've realized this: average ain't all that bad. Average, particularly in the absence of tragedies and sickness and general awfulness, is just fine. If average means healthy children and a Chubawumba husband, all of whom I want to lick an average of eight times daily, average is pretty whip cream wonderful.

Just please don't drag me into a JC Penney.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Ugh, Ugh, UGG

Is this what has become of the holidays in America? GOLD METALLIC UGGS?These make me almost as sick as seeing Santas and candy canes in the stores in late October. I mean, I'm as fond of bling, and Christmas, as the next person, but these are just...horrifying. And if I see anyone over the age of 15 1/2 wearing these, I'm calling Tim Gunn to have them summarily bee-yotch slapped.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A Brief Sojourn to the Seventh Circle of Hell

Oh my friends. You would not believe what I was PINING for this weekend. TULSA, OKLAHOMA. Yes, I'll say it again: TULSA. OKLAHOMA.

There is somewhere on earth that has far more cheez per square mile; far more horrifying 1950's-esque craft stores; far more venues to buy ugly yard elves; and far far far more buffets of endless green bean casseroles than my current (please ignore self-deception) hometown. Where is this lovely venue? Branson, Missouri.

Have you even heard of it? Well, I hadn't, until I moved here. But it's a mere threeish hour drive from Tulsa, and it is - deem the travel brochures - a sort of Vegas lite here in the Midwest. My youthful mother, who waxes nostalgic for Lawerence Welk (no, she is NOT eighty nine! So - no, I don't get it. But anyhoo) thought we might all take a road trip there during my parents' annual visit. Sure, I said! I have two additional adults to help me with my offspring? Let's go to Cape Canaveral and hit some far off galaxy! No? Branson, you say? SURE! WHATEV! Let's go!

But. This place! Full of - please don't call me ageist - very old people arriving by the busful to eat lukewarm catfish and watch variety shows of former talents looking to cash in on their celebrity of thirty years ago. And drivers so slow that it took us AN HOUR to drive the three miles back to the freeway to get us the hell out of there.

The patrons were so old, that when I found myself, late in the evening, in need of a - ahem - feminine product, I was in a bit of a bind since the hotel shop did not sell these products. Since no premenopausal women had stayed there before. EVER.

The pinnacle of awfulness? We searched for a non-buffet option for dinner and settled on the Olive Garden. Where there was an HOUR wait. REALLY. Since an hour wait with four hungry children could make even Mother Theresa swear like a sailor, we gave up and ended at....IHOP. Where you cannot even have a glass of wine to assuage the fact that you are eating DINNER at IHOP.

Really, internet? When you get old, do you really not care what you eat? If you're on a fixed income, do you go out of your way to buy cheap things, just because they're cheap, without regard to intrinsic beauty or function?

I hope not, my friends. If, when my hair is snowball white, my boobs hang to my toenails, and my parfum smells of mothballs and listerine, I am ever so inclined to buy an ugly yard elf, or queue up for the mystery pot roast buffet for $6.99 - please get me to the nearest neurosurgeon for a bit of brainosuction.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I'm Screwed-apalooza

Every year, PVT and 12 or so of his good college friends go on an all-golf, all-the-time (well, maybe a bit of beer and such too) golf trip to one of the various golfing meccas in the US. This annual, all-male, no-wives-or-kids allowed is aptly named GOLFAPALOOZA. Really, the fact that these guys still get together is quite amazing, given that they graduated college EONS ago. I'm so glad he goes, too; he has a marvelous time with his friends, I'm not there to nag him, his children aren't there to beg him to play football, and he spends a LOT of money. So I feel I can spend a bit TOO.

Over the years, we've had our own -Paloozas while PVT is off whacking balls. One year my then-two children and I got the stomach bug - while TRAVELING IN THE CAR. That year was of course BARFAPALOOZA. Then there was the year I was new to Tulsa, with a newborn, and PVT forgot my birthday. That was SH*T-HIT-THE-FANapalooza. (He more than made up for the oversight. In fact I wish he forgot my birthday EVERY year.)

And this year? Methinks it is shaping up to be....SHOEAPALOOZA. This morning I went to a chi chi kids' store, and went a bit wild buying the big boys shoes (ON SALE! So frugal am I!). I love these obnoxious dinosaur shoes, despite the fact they actually don't hold up wonderfully in pools of sludge and mud, where my sons spend most of their time:
And then. I found these shoes. Holy beads and sequins, my friends. They were most definitely NOT on sale. In fact, my life expectancy has been reduced to four days, when PVT returns home and finds out how much they were.

My friend - my apparently DANGEROUS friend, Kappa Kappa Karen - first introduced them to me on our Dallas junket. But, despite the (really egregious) price, they are SO cute, are they not? The Auburn Diva will wear them ALL THE TIME.

But that's all the mischief that will transpire here over the next few days, PVT. Don't you worry.

Needed: New Frontal Lobe

I apologize for the brief hiatus, my friends - even more chaos than usual Chez VT. Neiman Molly came to visit, and we had a lovely time doing NOT MUCH. I always feel guilty that she comes all this way to lie around my house - there ain't all that much in Tulsa to impress a girl who's lived in DC, Boston, NYC, Dijon, France, and Geneva, Switzerland, amongst other places...but I've finally learned that she treats Tulsa like a rural ashram, where she can come, decompress, sleep, and not worry about wearing makeup and heels 24/7 like she does at home.

How's that for tourist propaganda: "Come to Tulsa! No mascara required!"

And last night, two of my bestest friends brought me out for a long, boozy, birthday dinner. How lovely to sit, eat, drink, and gossip. Emphasis on sit. And gossip.

And my gosh, I don't even want to admit this, because I am transforming my frivolous blog into a freaking NAVEL-GAZING BOO HOO FEST, but - well, I am nothing if not authentic: I needed to go yesterday to have my Hcg levels rechecked. They hadn't come down to normal, and apparently sometimes (per a quick internet perusal - I can't even think about it without wanting to hurl up my spleen) the remaining placental cells can metastasize, and one would need to see an ONCOLOGIST. Can you imagine that kick in the butt? After having a miscarriage?

So I had a meltdown in the lobby of the OB's office yesterday, asking the sweet nurse about this nightmare, and she reassured me and said she's only seen that five times in twenty years. Which was good to hear, but even better just to cry it out with someone who understood.

And so my sole stupid thought remains: do we remain thankful for all the loveliness we've got, taking all of this as a sign that what we have now is more than enough? Or is trying again the only way to fill this void?

That is ALL I think about. All I DREAM about. And the occasional holiday party attire conundrum. Clearly I need a lobotomy.

Friday, November 6, 2009

In Case You Needed an Excuse to Par-Tay

Yesterday was my thirty SIXTH birthday, my friends. And, despite the occasional moment of wistfulness, it was a good day. The sun shone unseasonably warmly; PVT ordered me chocolate; the kids were healthy; and our neighbors came for some impromptu cake.

BUT, as you know, if you have a job, or children, it's hard to celebrate PROPERLY during the week. School; PVT had a board, I am declaring this November...THE MONTH OF MOI.

AS SUCH, this being the month of MOI, while Neiman Molly visits, we will go here and have all sorts of illicit things done to us. We will go suck salsa at my favorite Mexican joint; we are having a "soccer team" party (really just an excuse to have a buttload of children and drinking adults over). This month, I may buy a few more lottery tickets; I definitely am not going to even think about losing my no-baby baby weight; I will start happy hour a bit earlier; and I will order several cocktail dresses for PVT's office holiday party...just to TRY ON.

SO THERE. Please feel free to join me in saying FREAK IT this month. It feels so good.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Get Your Labial Massages Here!

Sorry for the brief foray into boo-hoo land, my friends! Today is a new day! The sun is shining; the Nordstrom Half Yearly Sale begins; and yesterday I had a rather kick-arse day, as far as it goes in Mommyland.

The night before, we were awakened around 3am by Keane, complaining of stomach pain and wanting to throw up. He heaved a bit, but no ACTUAL puke. The next morning he felt crappy and lethargic. No fever. A tummy thing, you say? Well, in our house, if it's a tummy thing, there are wide oceans of pukey from here to Houston. So I knew something else was the culprit. I dragged him to the doctor, and asked for a strep test. The doctor said, "Eh. He has a tummy bug. I'll give you some pills for nausea. But I'll test for strep, too." He was pretty sure I was a few ounces short of a venti. But - bah hah! I was right! WOO HOO. So a wee bit of Cephalexin, and Keane is off playing Madden Football.

And then, I had him check my daughter's - ahem - lady parts. A few weeks ago at her check up he noticed she was (you can't make this stuff up, my friends!) FUSED in one place. Which apparently is common in girls. HUH? But anyHOO, I had been carefully applying estrogen cream to her REGION for a couple weeks with this applicator (I am not sure you can touch this ESTROGEN cream without sprouting a D-Cup, having a hot flash, nagging your husband to take out the garbage, and having a sudden overwhelming urge to watch a Lifetime movie), and hoping that she would UNGLUE. I really was not sure what I was looking at, my friends! She's my only girl, and sheesh - I'm not one of THOSE types who checks things out with a mirror, if you know what I mean.

But the doctor checked her out - all UNfused. Our little Indian doctor actually insisted on high-fiving me. TWICE. So now I just have to - ye gads - MASSAGE the area after each diaper change. The things we do for our children.

So, I didn't defend a dissertation yesterday, or win a new client, or beat the market by 573%. But I'll take it. Now off to shop online.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A Little Rain

Internet, I have a perfect life. I have four scrumptious, healthy children. I have a hunky husband who still seems to tolerate me and my penchant for overspending and melodrama after nine years, and whose job supports our mortgage and atrocious Wal Mart bills. I have a nice house in a good school district; we have medical insurance; my parents are still hale and hearty; and I am close to my two sisters. I am freaking out-of-this-galaxy LUCKY.

So I feel downright GUILTY that I still feel so darn sad sometimes about losing this little one a few weeks ago. What if something really awful happened in my life? I would probably crumble, I am such an emotional wimp. Coupled with this melancholy are these feelings of self-loathing and the lingering, nagging sense that I did something wrong. Everyone says of course you didn't do anything wrong, but that's the point of one miscarriage: NO ONE KNOWS why they happen. Or if I didn't do anything wrong per se, I feel like SOMEONE was trying to tell me: are you KIDDING, chiquita? You can't handle your four, let alone a fifth.

And I used to trust and feel pride in this body that birthed four children; now I view it with suspicion and doubt.

Yes, I am muddling through my days just fine, aside from the occasional "Huh?" And there are still plenty moments of unbridled joy and laughter; how could there not be, with this gorgeous chaos of mine? But once the kids are in bed, and it's just PVT and me, the sadness and longing and wondering set in.

As much as I want to get over this, I just haven't figured out how yet.

And soon back to something more frivolous. Really!

Monday, November 2, 2009

For Old Guys' Eyes Only

Attention Tulsans! Are you a single, heterosexual male over the age of 35 (maybe younger, if you LOOK a bit older and can lie about it?)? Or do you know a male from this demographic? ARE THERE ANY SINGLE MEN IN TULSA AT ALL?

If, by some small miracle, the answer is YES, my ravishing single sister, she of the Pre-Raphaelite curls, soft voice (so soft you can't hear her sometimes, but is that REALLY a drawback for most guys?), and graceful swan walk...who also happens to be an intellectual property attorney in Washington, D.C., is COMING to T-TOWN:

Alas, I don't believe Tulsa is chock-full of single men. And Neiman Molly is picky. So picky, in fact, that even if you were a good-looking, tall, Harvard-educated securities trader with exemplary table manners and a keen sense of humor, BUT you were a mere 32 years old, Neiman Molly would discard you like yesterday's sashimi roll. She has an odd penchant for older men, a predilection for which she has not yet been psychoanalyzed.

So...if you are a forty-ish male divorcee, with a bit of money, charm, and excellent conversation skills; if you have a knowledge of arcane historical facts or a sexy travel schedule including, perhaps, Dubai and Santiago; if you consider yourself a connoisseur of Pinot Noirs, French art circa Gauguin, and premium vodkas (but not in a overly metrosexual way...); if you're attractive but not too pretty; if you drive an understated gray Audi or Mercedes...

Oh, cripes. Who am I describing? Does the domestic version of James Bond live in Tulsa? If yes, please contact me STAT, sir. I would like another niece or nephew soon. Thank you.