Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Implants and Insomnia

Last night marked our first thunderstorm of the year. I rather love Oklahoma thunderstorms; growing up in the perma-gray drizzle of the Northwest, I'm just not accustomed to weather drama. And it's kind of fun! (Assuming, of course, you are not making googly eyes at an F5 tornado.) (See, PVT? I can say GOOD THINGS about OKLAHOMA!)

Alas, I wish I had just been able to listen to the hail and thunder at 3am last night, and then drift off back to sleep...but: the storm worried the puppy, who probably had never heard a storm before - thus she started whining. And whining. The whining woke the baby. And the other dog. The other dog ran upstairs and woke Rory. Who was worried and disoriented but after being reassured for a minute went to bed with Keane. And then Will woke up. And came to our bed. And then Colette woke up. And came to our bed.

So then I left OUR bed, and, with the baby, went to Colette's bed.

And still the puppy whined.

So I tossed and turned and COULD NOT fall asleep because I was listening to the dog, feeding the baby, and writing an article about breast implants in my head. Silicone? Saline? Hail? Doggies? Babies?

Holy shizer it was a rough night.

So I'm going to bed now, and so far, I don't hear a thing.

Not even the sound of a silicone implant imploding in the storm.


Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Only Thing That Separates Us From The Animals is Our Ability to Accessorize*

Oh how those Nordstrom brothers toy with me. Today they dangled these adorable bracelets in front of my drooling maw:

How cute are these? Don't you want to throw all of these on your arm - arms - with some darling springy chambray day dress and obnoxiously high espadrilles?

Of course, I'm one who has to be cautious with accessories. When you're around 3'6", there is only so much you can wear before you start looking like a kiddie's nightstand Christmas tree. Earrings? OK. Earrings and a bracelet? Borderline trashy. Earrings, necklace AND bracelets? This screams LIVE NUDE GIRLS ON THE STRIP TONIGHT! 11PM UNTIL CLOSE!

But I was going to make an exception and have a big bracelet binge for $42. Until I realized each ONE is $42. EACH BRACELET! Erm, over $200 for what I thought was a bit of cheap arm cotton candy?

Well, at least you'll know why you see me cavorting around naked with a very pretty multicolored arm tableau.

Because I couldn't afford any CLOTHING to top off the look.

* Snarfed from Steel Magnolias, that pinnacle of 1990's cheezy chick flicks.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

That's NINE Butts a Pooping, Just in Case You're Counting

After a years-long barrage of plaintive "When are we going to get another DOGGGGGGGGGGg, MAMAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA?" pleas, we capitulated yesterday:

Meet Coco - not as in venti extra hot double whip - but as in Coconut.

Or Chanel.

Thanks to Ravishing Red Ann for the name and the big juicy glass of Pinot I needed to endure an evening with 4 puppy-crazed kids. And a baby. And another dog.

Yes, I know. It's only been six months since we've added a member to the family. Things have gotten entirely too calm around here.

The genesis of this fiasco is a long time coming: when I was pregnant with Colette, we finally decided it was time to forsake our home, money and sleep to get a puppy. PVT wanted a nice, respectable lab-ish family dog. I wanted a PUG. Oh yes, ever since my days living in Manhattan, where everyone had a pug or a French bulldog that could live in a flea-size apartment, I wanted a pug. Working at Arthur Andersen wasn't exactly conducive to dog ownership, however, so I never got one.
So what did PVT and I do? We got TWO puppies, of course!

Skippy was from day one a delightful dog. Claude, our pug, was a needy, yippy horror. Perhaps he would have been the ideal dog for a single girl, or me in 28 years when I am shriveled and lonely and have no BABIES, but people - I had no love left to give this dog. So we gave him to a family with four daughters, and now he is probably happily wearing a princess tiara and sleeping with an eight year old girl.

But Claude has lived on in the minds of my boys as this mythical long lost dog, a pug who yips and haunts their dreams. We had thus far pushed off all their pathetic begging, until PVT found another Great Pyrenees-lab mix - the same as Skippy - at a pound an hour away, in Stillwater.

I wish I would have captured the look on Keane and Rory's faces when PVT walked in carrying a largeish white puppy.

More photos to come of many children frolicking with white dogs.

Just another expensive ploy to lure them away from the Wii.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Maybe This Is Just a Fancy Way to Say I'm Lazy

I have been thinking a lot lately about my family lately. Not the details and bougars and schedules and butt wiping; but the big picture. As in, what kind of sacrifices each of us need to make - me, PVT and the punks themselves - to make this work. No, not make it just work: I want us all to ENJOY this life.

I have come to this stunning realization: just because I have all these kids does not mean I have to accept the common American parenting assumption that I will spend every evening in my car eating leftover Happy Meal fries.

What, you ask? I didn't think about this before I birthed FIVE children? Well, in a vague sense, yes. I knew I'd be busy. And while of course each child is entitled to an activity or two, part of the deal in having a big family is that there has to be give and take between the good of any one individual and the good of the family as a whole. A family which, most critically, includes me and PVT. I've already given up "me" time and spa time until I'm 58. PVT has already given up the ability to spend any of his salary on himself. Something has to remain sacred and restorative to not only the kids, but to PVT and me too.

To me the crux of family life is sharing dinner together. Probably because this is how I grew up; but this is a big freaking deal to me. I want my husband and all of my children gathered around a table each day, ideally; to check in with each of them; to feed them a decent meal; to cement the foundation of this tribe we've created. And I enjoy this time: cooking, sitting with PVT for a while. I (usually, more or less) adore all of my children, and, more importantly, I adore my husband. I want to spend a lot of time with them just...being. Not shuffling to this that or another practice. And PVT shouldn't have to spend every night of the week waiting for some kid to finish practice so he can finally eat dinner.

Yes, our kids seem to enjoy soccer and baseball. (No, they don't seem to enjoy piano, but at least I can do that at home with them.) Maybe we'll have one who really wants to pursue something seriously. But I will not sacrifice my every night to a blind pursuit of activity for a vague outcome in the future.

Especially when our eldest is only EIGHT.

What does all this yammering mean, then? I think I will have a bright line test: no more than three nights per week of interrupted dinners. So if this means an occasional skipped practice or aborted outing, so be it. I suppose some weeks we won't be able to attain that ideal, but I want to try.

And I think this general philosophy should apply whether you have one, three or ten kids. After all, why bother procreating if you're not going to have fun?

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Is It a Truth Universally Acknowledged that a Woman of Certain Age Needs a Bit of Work?

What is it that I'm whiffing in the air? Warmer breezes, pollen, blooming cherry trees? No, something far worse: THE THREAT OF SUMMER. Just when I thought that winter would never leave, letting me marinate in my jeans and V-necks and venti soy white mochas, the darn Nordstrom brothers had to send me a bathing suit email today, for cripes' sake. And what does the thought of donning a bathing suit inspire you to do? Eat celery for a week? Start a Jillian Michaels regime?

Bah hah hah. For some of us, particularly us mummies, these old-fashioned measures just don't work anymore. If we're going to put on a swimsuit, we've got to go UNDER THE KNIFE.

Oddly I would never have even thought about plastic surgery before I moved to Tulsa. Perhaps living under the grey Northwest clouds for ten months out of the year makes such an expensive and risky undertaking rather preposterous. But here, when summer seems to start in early April and last through October, people eye you a bit oddly if you're still wearing jeans in the 194 degree July heat. Too, in the Northwest, such a blatant display of vanity is frowned upon. After all, how can you be taken seriously reading Sartre in a dark cafe if you have a mongo chest spilling out over your big existentialist tome?

Luckily there are no such quandaries in Tulsa. You can admit you just want to look good and don't have to pretend that vanity is beneath you because you are too busy finishing the sixth volume of Proust's Remembrance of Things Past.

So, for my "job" I am thinking about doing some sleuthing: can I have fixed the crooked flap of floppy skin on my tummy, which has endured four c-sections? Can the remaining varicose veins on my left leg be erased? And the big Kahuna: once I am done nursing and am flatter than a concave tortilla, do I want to undergo the Full Frontal Monty and get a boob job?

Now, of course, all these things cost a bit of cheddar, which we have in short supply. However, while PVT would never shell out for Botox or a tummy flap tuck, he would take out a loan, sell plasma, or take a night job at Arby's if I decided to get fake boobies.

Or, better yet, he would send ME out to work nights at the local pole dancing venue so I could write off those new income-producing assets.

This, though, is my conundrum: there are some women who seem to have all the money, and hence all the procedures known to man performed. I'm not sure they always look younger, or even better. They just like...they've had work done.

So can you have something done, without that something being the focal point, for better or worse, of your appearance? Is it silly to have elective surgery, which is, after all, still surgery? Should you just relax with a big glass of Pinot Noir and read a bit of Proust, which might make you look happier, more relaxed, and hence just as good in the end?

So much to ponder. I'll let you know how all this investigative reporting turns out.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

As If Anyone Needs An Excuse to Drink Green Beer

At least being a slave to soccer practice, soccer games, and soccer tournaments means you get to post cute pictures of the "Leprechaun Cup:"
(No, they're not all mine - just the first two.)

And then, courtesy of the Target Dollar Area, we celebrated all sorts of holidays:
I hope Spring Break is over soon. I am running out of ideas.

Happy St. Patrick's Day you all! And Happy...Lent (yes, I'm much better at the Easter part than the Lent part).

Monday, March 14, 2011

Spring Break/Daylight Savings/Momma Cries Uncle

I was going to start this post sharing my passionate hatred of whomever it was who invented Daylight Savings - clearly a childless schemer with too much time on his hands.

I was also going to curse whomever it was who decided that Spring Break should be in MARCH - when it can still be freaking cold and awful outside, leaving mommies and their broods inside alternately crying and climbing the walls.

But today it is warmer; the sun is shining; and we had a lovely morning playing miniature golf at the local cheezy mini golf course. And the mobile punks have been outside for over an hour playing with a stray dog who followed us home.

That's all I need! Another thing that eats, poops, and makes noise!

But I'll take it. After all, such serendipity leaves me time to ponder what essential cream or potion I need from Lancome to qualify for the free gift.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Happy Half!

Happy 6 months to my delicious dollop of a daughter! This little Sylvie - I don't know if she really IS as sweet as I think she is, or I'm just comparing her to her punky siblings - perhaps both - but she is just a delight.

And yes, I know, she will become a punk too, soon enough. But right now I am thoroughly enjoying the smiles that open so wide you wonder if she will choke on her eyelashes. She will dazzle strangers who flirt with her with this smile - if I am holding her. If I try to entice her grin while someone else is holding her - she will look at whomever is holding her, and start to cry. Because she has figured out I am NOT holding her.

So, if you ever suffer from low self-esteem, try birthing a baby and nursing the freak out of her twenty four hours a day. Suddenly you will feel like a one-fan Lady Gaga.

And her rolls of fat! Her pillowy thighs! Her WRIST fat! And her baby smell: I am pretty sure that if I could bottle up the milky scent and buttery texture below her ear - an Eau de Sylvie Neck Fat - I would become a jillionaire.

Really! It smells THAT GOOD!

OK, OK, a thousandaire.

Sylvie adores her siblings - particularly Will, whose crazy antics elicit her deep baby belly laughs. And she endures their ambushes of love with alacrity, until she is either being crushed or suffocated.

So, happy half to you, my fifth child, my second daughter. How we all adore you. And captured for the first time on camera, the forehead-gagging grin:

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Is There Such a Thing as a Lenten Mulligan?

Internet, I suck donger. Remember the chocolate resolution I made just yesterday? Well, I woke up today - Ash Wednesday - and was SO upset about not having a chocolate. I thought about it all while I was getting dressed, and when I went to the kitchen to start breakfast, I opened the box. And I ATE ONE.

I didn't even make it ONE day! Nay, ONE HOUR into Lent!

I should have known I couldn't do it with an unfinished box of truffles; I should have thrown them away. But how could I THROW AWAY a $2 truffle?

So now I am faced with the conundrum: do I totally forget about giving up chocolate? Give up something ELSE? I think I will simply finish the last truffle - there is one more - in the box, and then start over. I wonder if this situation is addressed in the Catechism?

Talk about weak flesh. At least I'm not trying to give up the line of crack I snort each morning.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Happy Mardi Gras, and Some Crap Only Grandparents Care About

Happy Mardi Gras, my friends! How will you celebrate tonight before the long drought of sober, Pinot Noir-less 40 days known as Lent? (OK, if you're Jewish, agnostic or Southern Baptist you're probably not celebrating tonight. But have a drink anyway! We Catholics are super inclusive like that!)

But the thing is I am NOT going to give up booze for Lent. The way I figure it, I gave up booze for my first 21 years (really! I was a socially inept geek who loved to study in my youth!), and then gave it up (more or less, ahem) for 45 - FORTY FIVE - months of pregnancy. So I actually have some drinking to MAKE UP.

Ha! Ha! Just kidding, Mom!

I am, however, going to attempt to have a spiritual Lent. Which means I am going to go to Confession, say a few rosaries, substitute a Lenten meal at church for our usual Friday night Mex-and-Margaritas, and drag the children to the Stations of the Cross. And, most heroically, give up CHOCOLATE. For a chick who starts every day with a large, premium $2 truffle, this is going to require a boatload of willpower.

At least Jesus didn't know what he was missing when he spent his 40 days in the desert - they hadn't even invented Godiva yet.

In other sweet nothings, this guy had his first baseball game this weekend:

Our Rory is quite a slugger for never having played before. And I sort of love baseball so far: the boys look just adorable in their little uniforms. And I'm thrilled that I finally get to read War and Peace, since holy shizer the games are so.freaking.long.

Finally, in anticipation of our baby hippo turning HALF this Friday, I snuck her a bit of mushed bananas:She wasn't quite sure what to think. But even if she takes a while to warm to solids, I'm sure you can tell by her KNUCKLE and WRIST fat that she will just narrowly escape starvation.Her 24 hour diet of heavy cream is apparently working just fine.

Laissez les bon temps roulez!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Photography 101

How do you get

five kids to

look at the camera?

Apparently you

have to close your
OWN eyes.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Where I Get a "Job" and Subsequently File for Chapter 11

Internet friends, I assume many of you - like me - like to write. Which is why we write these blogs read by 3.8 people. So I suspect you will understand my excitement when I tell you that I am now going to be PUBLISHED in PRINT!

OK, it's by a small (but excellent!) local magazine - Tulsa Kids. And I will be paid about eight cents a column. But! The Editor wants me to write a monthly column - a column that makes my heart sing with joy: (drum roll please) I am the new HIP MOM columnist for Tulsa Kids!

How did this joyous event come about, you ask? A few months ago I emailed the editor an idea for the "Hip Mom" column. Lo and behold, the (cough cough) now former Hip Mom had had trouble meeting her deadlines. Can you fathom that there was not a long line of Hip Mom applicants...so c'est moi!

People, do you understand the mind-boggling, heart-rending beauty of the position? I get to write about a topic near and dear to my heart: SHOPPING! And do you see how this works? Let me show you:

PVT: "What is this charge from such-and-such boutique?"

Me: "Honey, that's RESEARCH!"

PVT: "What! Another facial?"

Me: "It's for my JOB, PVT!"


Me: "I'm just serving the LOCAL TULSA MOM, PVT!"

I started field work today, my friends, and went to a local trendy boutique where I discovered this little number in several colors:

Isn't it cute? Happy, comfortable, and forgiving if you've got a bit of salsa-and-margarita-bloat from the night before?

Yes, this is "work" for me now.

Cue the chorus: "She works HARD for her money..."