Sunday, May 30, 2010

At Least It's a Cheaper Getaway than Abu Dhabi

Today is THE DAY, my friends. Like a jillion other groups of American women, my posse - Kappa Kappa Karen, Ravishing Red Ann, and I - are leaving for a bite to eat and something to quaff (and by gawd, yes. I will quaff a bit too - go ahead and tell the pregnancy police. I DON'T CARE), and then going to see Sex and the City 2! Which is a two and a half hour movie! So I will be gone for about FOUR HOURS. CRAZY FUN. (Not so much for PVT. I know.)

Yes, I know the reviews aren't good. (What does a grumpy New York Times reviewer know about the value of escapist fluff?) Yes, I know that the whole Abu Dhabi junket is a goofy stretch. But I am giddy with anticipation nonetheless. To spend 150 minutes sitting in the presence of all the designer clothes and sky-high shoes. To soak up all the energy and excitement of New York City. To drool over Mr. Big, Samantha's boy toys, and Harry Goldblatt (yes, I think Harry, Charlotte's bald, Jewish lawyer husband is hot). To step into the lives of people who never shop at Wal Mart or cut coupons. And to NOT think about my four children for FOUR HOURS?

Now that's a summer vacation, mama style.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

OK, Take a Peek. Don't Say I Didn't Warn You.

I would be remiss in not reminding you that THIS is going on:

I'll admit I don't get AS excited for the Half Yearly sale as the Anniversary Sale, when the Nordstrom brothers bring out new fall merchandise at "sale" prices. The Half Yearly is kind of a clearance-y type sale, and tends to be hit or miss.

But as I wrote that, I took a peek myself...for those with flat tummies and thighs that are not adhering to one another, there are some cute little pieces:

This is a bit fallish, but I love the fit:

Or, if, like me, you're consigned to buying accessories for a while, take a look at these:

Good GAWD these are hilarious. I love them. Cripes, maybe this sale is worth investigating after all...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Reflections on Big Fake Knockers

Perhaps it was admiring my new hairdresser's recent augmentation. Perhaps it was Friending the local (rather hunky) plastic surgeon on Facebook who is always wooing women with contests for free Botox and Latisse. Perhaps because I have entered the trimester where my thighs start brushing together (the thighmester?). Perhaps it is because I am trying not to think too much about EIGHTY DAYS. Whatever the reason, I have started once again to entertain the thought of getting a...BOOB JOB.

I sprouted a healthy set of knockers rather early, around 11 or so; I remember being the only girl in my ballet class to need a leotard with underwire. Feeling my juggers dance on their own while I arabesqued amongst the petite little stick girls was rather mortifying. Another mortifying adolescent moment: I was walking down our neighborhood street and some older boys drove past, leaned out their window and commented on their...size and shape. I rushed home, arms across my chest, face afire.

But as I grew up and a career as a prima ballerina became improbable, I minded them less. I even began to appreciate them a bit when boyfriends, and later PVT, spoke admiringly of them.

So it was with a bit of chagrin when, after nursing my second son and before becoming pregnant with my third, I looked down at my chest one day and realized they were...GONE. VANISHED. I was flatter than a concave pancake.

(EEEECK! Where'd they go?)

Of course after they disappeared, I missed them terribly. Fortunately for PVT, in the past few years the interval between the end of nursing a child and becoming pregnant again - pregnancy of course being accompanied by a visit from the titty fairy - has been very brief. But before I got pregnant with this child, PVT remarked one day, "You either need to get knocked up or get a boob job."

The practical considerations of such nonsense are staggering: we don't have 5 Gs sitting around for frivolity. So, what - we get a LOAN? For boobs? Doesn't it seem whacky to get a loan for non-income producing assets? (And it's not the ideal time in my life to launch a career as a stripper.) Elective surgery seems careless. And who would watch my children while I'm holed up for a few days recovering with my new boobs? My God-fearing, penny-pinching, vanity-loathing in-laws? That conversation would be a bit AWKWARD.

So I doubt I'll actually get them...although it's diverting to think about.

Unless the hunky plastic surgeon offers two for the price of one.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Around the Nuthouse in Eighty One Days

It's started, my friends. SUMMER VACATION. After a few too many spats, whines, "You are the MEANEST MAMA, MAMA!"'s, and full-on brawls this morning, I sat down and counted the days until the first day of school: EIGHTY ONE. Eighty one days.

Can I make it? Can I stay sane? I DON'T KNOW! It's been hard lately; Will has been going through a very...rebellious stage; Colette has been demanding and temperamental; Keane and Rory have been mouthing off like teenagers and/or at each others' throats.

Mentally I need things to anticipate: going to Seattle! The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale! Many books to read so I can ignore my children when they are driving me bonkers! The Sex and the City movie! And way, way down the road, at the end of the rainbow, the hoped-for birth of another healthy child.

Given the atrocious behavior around here lately, I was rather stunned when some friends commented how well behaved my boys were at a recent birthday party.

Perhaps raising kids is like making sausage...the process is really offensive and ugly, but hopefully the end product is worth it.

I'll have to keep that in mind for eighty one days.

That and all the postponed umbrella drinks I'm going to suck down in September.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Pregnancy Fashion for Hobbits

I am very slow in catching onto trends (so far from the runway do I live), but even I cannot help but notice that maxi dresses are everywhere, for the knocked up and not-so-knocked up. What sparked this trend? Is it all the sneak peeks of the Sex and the City girls, sporting gorgeous, rainbow caftans, while sipping cosmos in the desert? (By the way! The premier is this week! Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Fourth of July, and Earth Day all rolled into one!) I'm not sure where these crazy dresses came from, but when I saw a whacky coral-colored maternity maxi dress at Tarzhay, I decided to grab it.

In doing so, I completely ignored the fact that my height is close to that of Frodo the hobbit. Clearly these dresses are meant for 5'10" sylphs. But I figured that as ridiculous as I look pregnant, wearing one of these might be SO ridiculous that it just might work. AND cover up the leg of FrankenJill:
When PVT saw it, he asked me if I were hoping to grow TALLER along with the inevitable WIDER. Bah hahah. But what do you think? Laughable in a good way...or not so good way?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

It Was a Dark and Stormy Night

After a few hours of listening to the tornado sirens, assuaging fears of thunder/lightning/F 5s, and spending a bit of time in our "tornado shelter," (a small shower downstairs...picture a pregnant mama hippo and four children, two of whom are totally confused as to why we are bonding in such a confined space), we surrendered and let all FOUR of the children sleep in our bed. And surprisingly, they all slept peacefully on top of each other, like a big litter of puppies:

PVT and I? He slept on the couch; I slept on the floor in my room, certain one of them would wake up.

I shall be very happy when tornado/monsoon season is over in this here parts.

I also think we should take a cue from an enviably well off friend of ours: his tornado shelter is his WINE CELLAR.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

On Rory

My friend over at Scientific Housewife tagged me to post the eighth picture from my eighth album. So I shall oblige and torture you with the eighth picture from my eighth album back in my online archives...and what is it? A baby picture, of course:

This is my second son, Rory, on his second day of life, June 30, 2004. He is now almost six years old. My pregnancy with him was by far the most difficult: my other babies have been six or six and a half pounds; he was 7 pounds 11 ounces. At 28 weeks, I had a scary bout of contractions with him. At 36 weeks 6 days, I woke up that morning bleeding. My doctor ordered me to the hospital. I started having contractions; by 1pm, the doctor broke my water to speed things up. And my GAWD the contractions after that point. Weenie mother that I am, I ordered my epidural; the first one failed. I don't think I have ever been in more pain, sitting on the hospital bed while the anesthesiologist dug around my spine, suffering from the most extreme contractions I have ever felt. Finally the second one took. When it was time to push - well, I pushed. For two and a half hours. The doctor attempted a vacuum delivery; still stuck. Again; STILL stuck. I had my first emergency c-section...and Rory was born, with an alien cone head from the vacuum suction. PVT was quite concerned when he saw his extraterrestrial son; luckily they put a hat on him before I saw him.

We were in the hospital several extra days because he developed severe jaundice (oh, my newborn jaundice nightmares. That is another post for those of you fascinated by NICU horror stories.). And then we brought home our second son on July 5, 2004.

Rory is a funny little guy. One moment you will want to call the nearest exorcism center because he is possessed by demon spirits; the next minute he is grabbing ice and stuffed animals for his sister, who has crashed into a bookcase.

In any case - all the epidurals, suctioning and slicing were worth it.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

As the World Turns, or Meet my New Hairdresser!

I am a bit of a hairdresser slut. Even if I am completely happy with whomever is cutting and highlighting my locks, just like the proverbial frat boy, I have a wandering eye: I wonder if SHE could do me even BETTER? So when I got a coupon for $10 off with a new stylist nearby, I thought I'd give her a try.

And how happy I am that I did! She was simply fascinating to talk to, which is rather important when you are under someone's hands for almost three hours. Let's call her "M." M, a lapsed Mormon (aren't lapsed ANYTHINGS - Mormons, Catholics, Jews, Lutherans, Buddhists, whatever - more interesting than practicing ones?), was shipped off to Utah after high school to meet a nice Mormon boy and complete beauty school. She did meet someone (not sure if he was Mormon), got pregnant and was excommunicated from her church for having an illegitimate child. She came back to Tulsa with her baby and started doing hair. Then she met ANOTHER guy here with whom she had another child. This guy unfortunately had a fondness for pain pills. Two weeks before they were to marry, she broke off the wedding. The guy took a downward spiral and is now in rehab. His parents often take the little girl, who is my daughter's age.

Now she is dating a new guy, who stopped by while I was wrapped in foil. He has a fairly successful position opening dental offices in the midwest. He just ended a six-month marriage to a woman who enjoyed mixing antidepressants and alcohol; one night she went a bit beserk and attacked him with her stilettos. He is still suffering from the puncture wounds. Apparently this woman's cousin is a higher up at the company where he works; M suspects this is why he got a recent pay cut. He is still doing well enough, however, to send M with his Amex to Dallas for a solo weekend of shopping at the Galleria in Dallas. And when I left, they were off to the Apple store to buy her an iPad.

I asked her if the new guy wanted kids; he already has a 2 year old from a previous relationship. Whom he rarely sees because the mother is overprotective.

And then the really good part: she told me she was just a week into a new set of boobs! She gave me all the details of her augmentation, liposuction and - eek! - nipple reconstruction. All of which were lovingly performed by a doctor down the street I've heard of. For the bargain price of $7,500!

And we talked about her hair extensions! Diets! Baby weight! The clique-ish blonde sorority queen moms at the elementary school! And M is only 25! Wow, I had a blast. SO much more interesting than my prior hairdresser, a sweet pretty young Christian thing. When I asked my old hairdresser what she and her roommate did for fun, she said, "Oh, we like to cook dinners for our friends and watch movies."

AAAAAAAYYYYYY. If you are that boring when you are young and single, sweet girl, then there is NO HOPE for you when you are wrinkly and child-laden.

My hair looks fabulous, by the way.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Idle Parent Manifesto

Just in time for summer, I finally received a copy of a book I have been awaiting - it's called "The Idle Parent." I'm not sure how I stumbled upon it - perhaps I was attracted to the title, being an idle, Godiva-licking type - and it just became available in the States. It was written by a Brit, Tom Hodgkinson, and I intend to employ some of its theories this summer. It's a bit pinkie/commie in places - i.e., he thinks so many of us are just cogs in the capitalist work-and-buy machine, we consume too much, yadda yadda. Well, phooey - I love stuff, but I'm not a SLAVE to stuff. You can't be on one income. He is also one of those people with a weird hatred - and I do mean Hatred - of plastic toys. Huh? Sure, plastic toys can be ugly and annoying, but I think there are other things worthy of such vehement antipathy.

Without further ado, here is Tom Hodgkinson's "Idle Parent Manifesto"(with my commentary, of course):

We reject the idea that parenting requires hard work. (Tell me the secret here!)

We pledge to leave our children alone. (I wish they would leave ME alone!)

We reject the rampant consumerism that invades children's lives from the moment they are born. (OK, but I still like to buy them stuff. There is no better sound than hearing your boys scream like sorority girls when you buy them new World Cup tee shirts. Sorry!)

We read them poetry and fantastic stories without morals. (Does Shel Silverstein count?)

We drink alcohol without guilt. (OK, now you know why I like him)

We reject the inner Puritan. (Those effing Puritans. Here Here!)

We don't waste money on family days out and holidays. (OK, dude, but you obviously haven't had to buy six airplane tickets just to see grandparents)

An idle parent is a thrifty parent. (I guess I need to work on this)

An ideal parent is a creative parent. (And this)

We lie in bed for as long as possible. (At least this will be FUN to work on)

We try not to interfere. (Even when one is biting the other?)

We play in fields and forests. (Oklahoma doesn't have forests. I don't think fields either)

We push them into the garden and shut the door so we can clean the house. (Must try this!)

We both work as little as possible, particularly when the kids are small. (I am really good at not working. PVT fortunately has very kiddie-friendly hours)

Time is more important than money. (Erm. Depends on how much money you have, right?)

Happy mess is better than miserable tidiness. (Assuming there isn't fecal matter on the walls, this is probably true)

Down with school. (Well, cripes. I don't think school is the apex of existence, but I'm not ready to homeschool, either)

We fill the house with music and merriment. (OK! I can do more of that!)

We reject health and safety guidelines. (Hmm...I'm not that great with bike helmets either. But don't take my hand sanitizer away from me)

We embrace responsibility. (OK! Um - whose?)

There are many paths. (Cheers!)

What do you think? It's certainly more interesting than most child rearing books, which I simply don't read because they are usually written by people with doctorates, not children.

I haven't finished it yet. I'm hoping Mr. Hodgkinson reveals a magic abbracadabra when it's mid-July and four kids are requesting entertainment when it's 105 degrees outside. I'll let you know.

Friday, May 14, 2010

A Birthday

A note to my little angel baby: today was your due date. I am much better than I was seven months ago. Your brothers and sisters are a great comfort to me, particularly the baby I am carrying now, after I lost you. But they don't replace you. Is it possible to live a happy live, a full-to-the-brim life, while always wondering about you? Were you a boy or a girl? What would you have looked like? Who would you have been? Sometimes now, when I am yelling at your brothers, and your sister is throwing a fit at very high decibel level, are you glad you were spared all this?

Yes, I am so happy with this life. How could I not be? But I will always carry you with me, a little hole that I can't fill, a question I can't answer. And maybe at the end of all this, I will finally get to hold you, know you, touch that little face that I just can't picture now.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Pregnancy Fashion Gone Badly Awry

Thank you for all the nice comments about my revolting leg, my friends. Ever since my third pregnancy, these lumpy, painful veins have popped up like a multicolored map of the Himalayas on my left leg. Apparently I'm slowly decomposing with each pregnancy; I suspect if I were to get pregnant again I would be able to charge admission to view the various medical horrors visited upon my body. Just kidding, PVT!

Anyhoo, I'm supposed to wear ugly, matronly compression hose which not only make me look like a dowdy, pregnant grandmother, but are also ungodly uncomfortable in the sweltering summer here.

But you know what? If that is the biggest problem this pregnancy throws me, I'll feel pretty lucky.

The Nordstrom brothers have been taunting me with all sorts of summer footwear to wear with my ugly hose. I am a sucker for a shoe with a flower. Hence my affection for these:

So if you see a pregnant someone tottering around in ugly granny hose and obnoxious flower shoes, just say a silent "thank you" that you have far greater style sense than she does.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


It's bathroom cleaning day.

I have gained 14 1/2 pounds during this pregnancy. The baby weighs about 10 ounces. Apparently my arse weighs 140.

The dog threw up a rock this morning. What dog eats a rock?

Some store wench at the mall wouldn't let my three year old use the bathroom in her store. She insisted I had to walk 4 miles to the other end so my kid could pee. Really?

I think my daughter drank water from the dog's bowl. I am trying not to think about this.

Yesterday a woman came up to me and looked at my leg, saying, "Oh, I have a friend that happened to! She had to hire help during her last trimester because she couldn't WALK!" Super!

I carefully purchased and planned my sister's birthday present to arrive right on her birthday. It arrived right on her my own house. I had shipped it to myself.

My ATM card has been lost, and I have to somehow scrounge up $3 for my son's field trip to Chik Fil A. This is a lot harder than it sounds.

My older son is first on the waiting list for the Chinese Immersion program at his elementary school. I am obsessing about this. Someone needs to move away.

There are only eight days left in the school year.

...I am rather lucky that these are the great conundrums of my life, aren't I?

(Sorry about the picture. I am going to lose 18 readers for posting such grossness.)

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Where I Am An Exceptionally Annoying Stage Mother

You know I wouldn't usually do this kind of thing, my friends. Sharing a video of my kids? I promise, never again. It is simply for far-flung grandparents and aunts to view.

But I suppose you could take a peek if you are super bored. I was terribly proud of both of my boys, but particularly impressed with my five year old, who, despite being temporarily lost in the song, does not lose his sh*t (as I would have done), but calmly picks up a few measures back and finishes.

I don't think I have two Mozarts or anything, don't worry. But I'm enjoying it while it lasts.


Just PRETEND You're Wearing a Tiara Today

Happy Mother's Day to all you mummies out there!

Now that that is out of the way, I shall confess...I hate Mother's Day. Well, I like the IDEA of Mother's Day, but the reality is so far short of my secret, sordid fantasies: I have yet to be awoken on Mother's Day with a tiara on my head, and a grande soy extra hot no whip white mocha and piece of Godiva in my hand. I have not yet been ushered to the spa as soon as my feet touch the ground. In fact, my crew is usually more argumentative, whiny and just plain horrible on Mother's Day.

Of course, anyone who goes into parenthood with the hope of being revered and appreciated will probably quickly give their children up to the nearest vagrant. As PVT told me, I will probably be appreciated in about 35 years...when I am safely six feet under and unable to make them put their shoes on before they go outside.

And that's the great irony of motherhood: the more you are doing for your children, the thicker the coating of poop and boogers covering your skin, the LESS they care. I FINALLY appreciate my own mother, now that I am long out of the house, and realize with cringing horror some of the agony I put her through. Um, sorry about that Vegas thing, Mom!

So, mommies, here is the solution: be good to YOURSELF on Mother's Day. I am booking myself a facial this week, for freak's sake. And just hope that you do a good enough job that someday, one, just one, of your children will make sure that you're taking your pain medication and bring you out to lunch once a year.

Hmm. I may be shooting too high.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

So Much for Unconditional Love

Rory brought home this Mother's Day picture for me today:

It says:

"Dear Mom Thank you for the food and the new castle you will get me for my birthday. Love Rory."

This castle is a $225 Playmobil monstrosity, replete with knights, dragons and a dungeon, that he saw in a catalog.

Dang, this kid is tricky.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

A Glimpse of My High-Minded, Cerebral Evenings

I have been slacking around these parts here, my friends, due to a sudden change in my evenings: without warning, I now have a GRUELING television viewing schedule to maintain. Yes, after a long drought, during which I watched NOTHING myself, only providing moral support to PVT during his list of must-watches, now I too have a period during which I am incapable of moving my arse. I have THREE shows I am watching now.

I have been drooling over Parenthood for a while now; while PVT makes snarky comments about agnostic Berkley liberals, I get weepy over the family and kiddie drama. And admire Peter Krause of Dirty Sexy Money, who while not quite as Sexy as on that show, is still rather delicious.

Then I stumbled upon Nine by Design. I was drawn in initially because they have seven kids - I am fascinated by people who have MORE kids than I do - AND they live in New York City, my erstwhile home. But now I find myself watching for the absolutely gorgeous interior design work they do: they knock down homes (well, in New York City, I guess one would say buildings) and build them back up, leaving these whimsical, colorful, fanciful interiors. So while PVT makes snarky comments about the husband's flagrant metrosexuality, I fantasize about knocking out walls in my own home, while somehow balancing a baby on my hip and many sets of twins simultaneously.

And tonight, I will remain immobile in front of my DVR'd premiere of The Real Housewives of New Jersey. I loved this show last season; all that whack job Italian drama - you just don't get that in WASP-y Tulsa. And the potential for snarky comments from PVT here is obviously endless.

How will I do this, my friends? Blog, read 38 news sites, 39 blogs, Babycenter, Facebook, and read the two (real, live) books I'm reading? Oh, and occasionally feed those damn kids?

Something's gotta give. Probably feeding the kids.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Jesus Didn't Have Dress Shoes Either

Today was my first born son's First Holy Communion. A big deal if you are Catholic, and probably an odd, archaic concept for those who aren't. I had purchased his suit back in February, proud of my ability to be organized and plan ahead.

Last night around 10pm I laid out his suit. And suddenly realized my son had NO SHOES to go with the suit. All of his shoes are cleats, or velcro cousins thereof.

Now, if this had been my daughter, I am SURE I wouldn't have forgotten the shoes. In fact, I probably would have bought the shoes FIRST, and coordinated the dress from the feet up, as I often do with my own wardrobe. Shoes, after all, can make or break the outfit - this has always been my philosophy. But my poor son? Bah hah! What an idiot I felt like last night, with no stores open and even the magic reach of unable to help me in my hour of need.

Luckily I have my good friend Kappa Kappa Karen to rely on for all sorts of emergencies. I texted her, and she graciously said Keane could borrow her seven year old son's dress shoes. So I got up at dark thirty this morning and picked up the shoes.

Alas, I forgot that her son, a handsome, strapping young man who is almost as tall as I am, has ruthlessly sucked up all of the available growth hormones in Eastern Oklahoma. His shoes were much too big for my smallish son.

So try not to look at Keane's footwear in these photos:

The lesson here, my friends? Footwear is NOT just a woman's issue. I hope I don't forget this truth in two years, when my next son has HIS First Communion.