Monday, May 30, 2011

"Hip Mom" Bites the Dust


I am sure I've told you all how enthusiastically I've approached my "job." And I do love it. But only I could get a job that actually LOSES money. And that...well. Here's my long weekend:



I am currently "working" on an article about "hip" venues in Tulsa (it is actually not as oxymoronic as you lucky coastal types suspect) for mummies to retreat to on their occasional date nights. On Saturday, we had a sitter lined up, but Colette had had a low-grade fever. I hemmed; I hawed; I cancelled. I gave her Tylenol. She was perfectly fine. So I giddily UN-cancelled, and even more giddily got dressed to go to a new spot! Yay! Sitter! Dinner out! And huge bonus: our dear friends and neighbors, Ravishing Red Ann and her sizzling husband, Enrique Esquire, joined us!



So thrilled was I! And then as we pondered our drinks, erm, dinner, our waiter chatted me up and suggested the "Jalapeno Margarita." I happen to adore spiciness in any form and eat salsa by the bowlful, so that sounded loverly. And it WAS, my friends. Behold the Jalapeno Margarita:


I had two of these. And a bit of sake, apparently. You see where this is going?


So! I came home! And was feeling so magnanimous, I brought the kids to our neighborhood pool (PVT had gone to that new Bradley Cooper vehicle with our friends). And I put the kids to bed! And woke up! And cleaned liquid dog cr*p with PVT! And drove to 8:30am mass!


And then! Parked, got out of the car, paused, got back IN the car, came home, and yes, puked!


Really, people? I can count the times on less than five fingers that this has happened in my entire LIFE - one of which was my 21 run.


AWESOME, there, you mother of FIVE.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Speaking of Unspeakable Heat

Crap, you all. It has begun: SUMMER. I have already threatened one son with a stint at the (fictional) "Arkansas Correctional Facility for Boys," and told Colette she will have to go to "Bad Girl Camp" if she continues to whine, cry and ask for band aids every two minutes.




At least someone is happy:
Is she not delicious? Her coloring is so different, so much more olive-y than my other albinos, that I have taken to telling people her father was black to people who comment.






They're not quite sure what to think of THAT little confession.



So with the resignation of one about to drive my SUV into a humid Oklahoma inferno, I am facing down this horror called all kids, all the time.



Which is why I promptly hired a sitter for Saturday night to leave ALL of them with while PVT and I go do "research" for my article on area bars.



Yes, when the going gets "tough," the tough run away and sip champagne laced with strawberry essence.



Because you have to have a little fun in the face of impending death by scorching.



Speaking of being burnt to a crisp, I'm sure a lot of you get Goop, Gwyneth's weekly-ish email on all things "Living La Vida Gwyneth." Yes, she is super out of touch with the rest of us slobs, showing us perhaps how to cobble together an outfit worth $4,000 or so, and thinks everyone has the wherewithal to have a real brick pizza oven installed on their ver-AHN-da.

But here is what Gwyneth had to say about this pizza, one of many experiments in her new al fresco oven:







"There are, on the rare occasion, casualties. I think I was full and possibly drunk and left the last pizza in the oven."





I actually sort of loved Gwyneth for a minute.




Bring on the burning.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Inner Peace, Jill Style

To combat my touch of geographical angst of late, I have been employing several different tactics: I rise each morning with some mindful yoga, stretching into a graceful sun salutation, and then enjoy a cup of hot green tea with lemongrass. I then spend at least ten minutes three times a day in mindful meditation, repeating my mantra: "I LOVE Tulsa....I Love Tulsa...." with a sense of serenity and thankfulness. I have also embraced a completely macrobiotic diet, replete with brown rice and tofu nuggets, and gulp down spinach and kale smoothies with primrose oil to balance my inner chakras and banish all toxic thoughts.


HA! HA! You didn't believe that for a minute, did you? No, of course not: when something is bothering me, I do what I do best: shop online.

Oh yes. It is going on right now. It started today, the Nordstrom Half Yearly sale:



So there I was at butt thirty this morning, filling up my shopping cart with cheap-ish clothing for me and the monsters, trying to beat out those people in the Pacific time zone. And even then! Stuff would disappear from my cart as some other greedy chick snarfed it! So I loaded up with all sorts of stuff as quickly as I could and checked out. I'm sure I will return quite a bit of it. And that binge-and-purge technique is of course one of the many ways I unwittingly torture PVT, because he never knows WHERE the final bill is going to end up.


But! I get free shipping, since I am such a good customer, AND I pay no sales tax since I live in freaking Oklahoma. Can you believe how frugal I am?



So hurry! Go shop now before some bleach blond in Malibu gets all the cute espadrilles before you!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Piano, Homesick, Yadda Yadda Yadda

Piano is over for the school year, which is a huge weight lifted: no more nightly tussles over practicing, no more fielding complaints about how long to play - any more than eight minutes is deemed TORTURE. But last week my boys had their piano recital, and for a brief shining moment, all the complaining was worth it:


(Blurry Rory - alas, I was nursing!)




Both of my boys just nailed their pieces from memory. I was very, very proud. And then we went to the post-recital reception, where they threw Chex Mix at each other. And then I was not so very, very proud. It was lovely while it lasted.



***



We are barrelling towards that time of year that makes me the most homesick: Oklahoma summer. In the Northwest, the whole world unfolds before you under the turquoise summer sky. You can do ANYTHING in the Seattle summer: swim, hike, boat. But in Oklahoma, the world - my world - constricts and collapses to the size of our air-conditioned family room. The sun blazes outside - it looks glorious - but if you step outside you will melt faster than a pat of butter in a tanning booth. So I conduct "summer" from the inside, my kids playing Wii, fighting, sweating, while I try to figure out what to do with five kids in 104 degree heat.




When we moved here, we had very valid reasons: PVT's law partnership had broken up. I was working, pregnant with my third child. When PVT found this job here, I was thrilled: I had a chance to stay home with the kids, and we would get to live in a huge, gorgeous house - like this or that friend already had in the Northwest, but we couldn't afford. And I have loved my house here, loved staying home with the kids despite my occasional bouts of insanity. But I wish perhaps we had looked around a bit more before we leapt on this job, because suddenly it is looking like we will be here for the long haul. And even the nicest piece of real estate can't compensate for not being in the place you want it to be.




How I miss the blue water, the lakes in the landscape, the woods. How I wish my kids could spend as much time as I did playing in the woods growing up. I even miss the endless permutations of Seattle Gray that precede the glorious summers. How I miss my hometown. Nordstrom is really the least of it.




Sheesh, I don't mean to be a downer. If we ever did leave here, I would miss the spectacular summer thunderstorms, the sultry heaviness of the air and the eerie golden light between heaves of thunder.




And I would really, really miss QuikTrip.




And the opportunity to wear shoes like these 11 months out of the year:


Done with my pity party for now. Well, until it gets REALLY hot.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Re-Entry

Holy Disorientation, Batman! My three youngest monsters and I have finally arrived at home after a whirlwind tour of Massachusetts, visiting family and attending my Pepere's funeral.

My deep insight after this trip: my kids, well, sometimes suck. Just a bit.

Oh, well, I know: they missed their Dada and brothers; they were disoriented; it really wasn't a kid-centric trip. But you know what? Spare me the Freudian analysis. If, say, you slugged your little sister for taking the window seat (Will), or whined every six seconds for a band-aid because oh your THUMB HURTS (Colette), or fought over CHIPS at the airport, or freaked out that you didn't get the Batman Happy Meal Toy RIGHT NOW (despite having gotten one every day of the trip - WILL), or cried very loudly during the funeral because your FINGER hurt (Colette)....AARGH. I don't know. Pretty much the only explanation for such atrocious behavior should be a double ear infection and/or witnessing your beloved pet Spot getting smacked by a Hummer - neither of these valid-ish excuses was available to my spawn.

And then just the annoying: I am used to flying by myself with little ones. I am prepared for grueling. But I wasn't prepared for just...stupid. Like Colette deciding she was ready to be potty trained...which meant peeing in every public potty on the Eastern Seaboard (Logan Airport, anyone?). And why did she have to put her MOUTH on the counter in the ladies' room at Lambert Field? Or why did Will have to pee EVERY time the plane went into final descent - seat belts securely fastened, everyone - so I had to have him pee in a diaper? The last time I was nursing the baby, stretching my arm over Colette's seat, and of course the pee got on his shorts. He started yelling at me for getting him wet, and then the flight attendant came sniffing, asking us what's wrong (looking at a partially nude boy)...oh yes. It was mightily embarrassing.

Sylvie, however, charmed all of New England with her 1000-watt grin. At least I had SOME justification for all of my procreating.

Pathetically, I just got one picture from my grandfather's funeral:


That TALL dude is my cousin Chris - FIRST cousin - at the reception. I wanted to show my boys how tall he is. Oddly you can't really tell - because he is stooping and I am wearing my 4 inch stilettos. But he is 6'5" or so - so cruel is he, to have sucked up all the height genes in the family.

I am so glad I went on this trip, though, to go to the funeral, visit family I so rarely see, introduce them all to my youngest monsters, and spend time with/freeload off my dear mom.

But holy freak I am ready for a week in Tahiti.

ALONE.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Where I am WAY Too Unconcious About Nudity



Well, my friends, I am here in Newburyport, Massachusetts, a place which happens to have forgotten it is MAY. So my mother, three little-r/est ones and I are here freezing our butts off, visiting family and dealing with funeral arrangements whilst my babies throw tantrums about Happy Meal Batman toys and getting treats at the Dollar Tree (oh so conveniently located next to our hotel!).



Very Circle Of Life.



I must be brief since I am blogging on a Business Center computer, so I'll leave you with this tidbit: at the very end of the day, kids almost asleep, I decide to do a load of laundry down the hall, including the clothing I am wearing since for freak's sake it's $5 to do a full load and I am going to get my money's worth. So I strip down, throw on my (nursing) nightie and go down the hall.



You see where this is going?



I am putting my clothes in when a guy comes in - "Are you just starting a load?" - and then - "Well, HELLO! You are gorgeous! Can I buy you a glass of wine?" Oh dear LORD, people. My nursing hooks on the nightie were undone, and there was my whole BOOB hanging out.



Immediately this guy could tell I wasn't actually the Hotel Whore, since I must have turned eight shades of beet soup red, and said, "Oh, gosh, I'm nursing, I'm sorry..." and he apologized and said, "Oh, I didn't mean to proposition you."



Erm. But then he walked me to my room, asking if "they were sore," (BLECH!) and wondering where I was from, if I might change my mind, et cetera...



I am hoping to make it back to my hotel room without any more offers I can very easily refuse.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Life on the Roller Coaster? Maybe the Gravitron.



Holy shizer, you all. What a week. From my interview with seven men in a row (sort of The Bachelorette, Professional Version) at a fine accounting firm, to my grandfather's death, to something afoot that will probably not happen but makes me unspeakably giddy to think about anyway, to the kiddie piano recital today, to my trip tomorrow - just add all of these ingredients to the usual chaos and I feel a bit wigged out.



Plus Sylvie has decided she isn't all that fond of sleeping and likes to nurse even MORE than usual.

Sheesh.



So as I prepare to fly tomorrow with three little ones - stressful! - and leave behind two big ones - just as stressful, despite knowing they are in fine (PVT's!) hands - I will leave you with this little tidbit that PVT found about Nordstrom. A spot I fervently hope to visit during a busy week of visiting family and attending a funeral.



Priorities, right?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A Commute I Fervently Wish To Make Before I'm 80





Nordstrom sent me an email with their "Summer Top Ten" must-haves. Number nine over there is a "Beach to Bar Cover Up." Oh my GAWSH - I hadn't heard of THAT category of resort wear before. People, if you want to see me cry on demand, just whisper "Beach to Bar, Beach to Bar," and I will begin to weep uncontrollably. Because by the time I will be able to take a vacation which involves me sauntering from the Beach to the Bar, I will require a walker and a winter parka, since by then I will be so old a skimpy cover up will simply not cover enough up.



But! Perhaps I will not have to cover up my legs, because guess what? I am having my remaining varicose veins fixed (I hope! The surgeon hopes!), so that I don't look like one of those super old crones at the pool with legs that should be confined to very long pants in ALL weather. Since the surgery is covered by insurance, I think it is the poor man's (woman's) boob job.

Woo hoo! It's worth a try.

And hopefully then I will be able to sport some frisky footed little summer baubles I can wear all summer long.




Alas, I will not be wearing such footwear from Beach to Bar, but at least I should be able to chase kids around the neighborhood pool without scaring the beejeezus out of people with my E.T. legs.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

And The World Spins Madly On

My girls are feeling better. Yay for healthy kids! Any activity involving water cascading onto the floor and bubbles is a sure winner.




Here is Colette hosting a "tea party." How would she know of such a thing? She's only been exposed to cocktail parties! Very odd.




***



Perhaps you remember the Boston trip back in February I had to cancel? Well, my mother and I are due in a few days to try again to visit her family. Unfortunately my grandfather died yesterday, though, at the impressive age of 94. We will still make the trip and I will go to the funeral, but I am sorry I didn't see him again, and sorry he never met my three youngest monsters. My mother said he was so grumpy towards the end, though, he didn't care WHO visited him. Fortunately my mother saw him one last time in March. Now I am sure he has been reunited with my long dead grandmother Gertrude, and they have recommenced happily sniping at each other about some long ago family feud.


I had come across a letter he wrote to me while I was a senior in college, and it was filled with gems like this:



"As I add more years to my carcass, I find that I tend to procrastinate."



"My social life has slowed down. At my age, putting on a pair of shoes becomes a major project - how do you expect me to trip the light fantastic with some local tart from the village."



"I am monitoring Newt Gingrich's off-the-wall deportment. This twit is going to shoot himself in the foot at least twice a week for the next year. I suspect that in time, Dole will restrain Newt in a Capital rubber room, feed him two or three times a week and use him as an idea man when he conducts his brainstorming sessions at the Capital."

Who knew snark ran in families?

Au revoir, Pepere. I think you had a pretty good run.

Monday, May 9, 2011

At Least I Scored Some Chocolates Out of the Deal



There was a bit too much drama here for Mother's Day weekend, you all. But I suppose I shouldn't expect too LITTLE drama, what with the crew I've got.



Saturday had me running back and forth to the drugstore, trying to control Colette's out-of-control cough: medicine, Albuterol for breathing treatments, a new humidifier...finally I gave up and called the Urgent Care to tell them I was coming as soon as PVT got back from various soccer and baseball games. At this point I could tell something was wrong with Sylvie, who was inconsolable if I tried to put her down. For good reason: BOTH girls had BOTH ears infected. So back to the drugstore we went for antibiotics galore.



And Sunday: the boys had three soccer games at a not-so-lovely locale 30 minutes away - an area my father christened "Bad Tulsa." My plan was to come in the middle of the second game, watch a bit, and then bring Rory home. But the girls fell asleep, so I sat in the car with them with the air blowing while they slept. People, I didn't know this would drain the battery! Sheesh. So when I went to start the car, the battery was dead. PVT was terribly annoyed with me for causing all this chaos; I was annoyed with him for leaving me with three kids and a fussy baby in a dead car in a parking lot while he watched the game. As I realized later, though, he couldn't have jumped me until the parking lot cleared out anyway. Luckily my saintly father in law was there too to diffuse the situation, and jumped my car as the cars cleared away. Margaritas all around!

But overall I had a lovely Mother's Day; everyone came to Mass with me, where I scored two boxes of chocolates from the ushers at the end. What, that's fair, right? I have twice as many kids as most women!



Here's hoping that you, my fellow mummies-in-arms, had some tiara time.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Bad Shoes and Good Booze

I just finished my June article for Tulsa Kids about shoes. Where I make a snarky comment about a store which carries vats and vats of these Tom's shoes:


I just sort of hate them, people! They look like shoes for mummies, what with the bandaged look of them. And yes, I know they give a pair to children in need for every pair you buy, but can't I buy CUTE shoes and then donate some cash to charity? Didn't the Man Himself say, "Let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly." (Matthew 6)

Harrumph.

And THEN I got this email for Mother's Day from NORDSTROM, of all places:



BLEEECCCCCCCCCCCCCH! MORE Tom's shoes! And for Mother's Day? REALLY? If any child of mine got me a pair of these shoes for Mother's Day, I would throw the aforementioned shoe at the child's head.




OK, maybe that was a little harsh.




But then yesterday at the preschool Mother's Day tea, Will wouldn't let me have any of the cake balls we were supposed to SHARE, and Colette threw a fit and dropped her gift for me, a potted plant, in the hallway. The resulting explosion of dirt and tears might make a pair of Tom's shoes look like a pretty good gift after all.




What I really want for Mother's Day is this:
My friend Ravishing Red Ann gave me a sample of hers the other night (so lucky am I her door is 8 steps away!), and WOW. It has sucralose in it, so anyone who's used to a diet drink will find it deeluscious. SO much better than that vile ethanol Skinny Girl Margarita.




Happy Mother's Day to MOI.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Princess Camp Here I Come!



After many years of attending my sons' soccer games (something I happen to enjoy very much, despite knowing nothing about soccer except that one kicks a ball), today I did something that I never thought I'd do: I brought my two DAUGHTERS to view a baby ballet class at a local dance studio.

Holy shizer, people. It was the cutest thing I'd ever seen! Three and four year old girls, practicing their jetes and chasses, taking a break to put on their pretend princess tiaras, or their sparkly princess earrings, or applying princess powder (after which they all sneeze on cue: ah-CHOOOOOO!). Colette was entranced, and after watching for a while, joined the class for their princess candy at the end.

I suppose a good old school feminist would die at all the princess shenanigans, but I've never seen a conflict: can't you be a princess AND a doctor? CPA? Lawyer? Firefighter?

So we signed Colette up for the summer ballet session, which I hope will also spur her on in the potty training process (whoever said that potty training girls was easier than potty training boys was a big fat liar liar pants on fire).

And Oh! There is also a summer session of Pretty Princess Cupcake Camp!

Screw this whole work idea. I want to go to Princess Camp TOO!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Flotsam and Jetsam

My new "Hip Mom" column is up - with most of my snarkiness intact! Yes, it's about boob jobs. My mother-in-law will be thrilled. Ahem.

***
Does anyone think Kate Middleton's dress was a bit...staid? Am I the ONLY one who thought she could have gone a bit sexier? Not that she needs to be flaunting cleavage or anything, but she doesn't have anything to hide.

I thought Pippa, however, looked rather hot. Appropriately hot, of course.

***

In other odd and assorted topics, I am thinking about going BACK TO WORK. Why? Sheesh, I don't know. Maybe I am tired worrying about money all the time. Not so much money for food, fortunately, but money for everything else: house repairs, new tires, kiddie clothing, COLLEGE. Maybe my mothering has been less than stellar lately. Perhaps bordering on abysmal, even. Maybe I've read a recent book that says genetics rule; your kids are going to turn out pretty much like you, no matter what you do. What your kids will remember, though, is how happy you were and how you treated them. Maybe I want the kind of help with my children that only a good full time salary can buy. Maybe I'm worried if I'm ever going to get back in, I need to get back in soon.

Who knows how this will go, my friends. I may not get any interviews, let alone a job. I may discover that my salary will barely cover the cost of help, additional taxes, additional commuting costs, lunches out, and my NEW WARDROBE. And while it's not too painful to think of leaving boys who are in school most of the day, the thought of leaving these little girls makes me a bit nauseous.


AAARGH. I might wimp out before I even begin.