Friday, February 27, 2009

Ignorance is Bliss

There should be a Cell Phone Free Day.

I mean if there can be day's for grandparents, sweethearts, secretaries, etc.  Why not one more for the heck of it?

The Cell Phone Free Day hit me last week while in Florida.  Now, it wasn't the fact that I had overheard a should-have-been private cell phone conversation while in the grocery store. (Let's just say that the melons that the lady was speaking of were not cantaloupe or honey dews.)  And, it wasn't the fact that I could not hear my children ask me a question at the airport, because I was too engrossed in a businessman's conversation about how he was pulling in 15 g's a month. (15 thousand?  Had to be illegal . . . or at least immoral.) 

My idea for Cell Phone Free Day came to be the evening that I went out with a dear girlfriend I hadn't seen in years.  When she picked me up at my mom's house, she looked as young andas  beautiful as ever.  (She has no children yet, so consequently, the youth has not been sucked out of her.) In preparation for my evening out,  I pulled myself together, which meant that I had brushed my teeth and matched my shoes.  Within moments of her arrival, we hugged the sorority girl hug of yore, you know, with  big arms and kisses and exclamations of "Oh!  You look soooooo good!"  and with kisses to the babes and grandparents, off we went.

There was no uncomfortable silence as we gabbed about family, work, and just tidbits about life in general.  We actually sat at the bar, like grown ups, ordered drinks, and leisurely caught up with each other.  There was nary a kid menu, crayon, or high chair in sight.  What can I say? It was blissfully relaxing, and obviously, a much needed time-out for this harried mom.

It was only after we were leaving, 3 hours later, that I realized my mother had tried to call me earlier.  Apparently, I had no cell phone reception, and my phone did not ring.  Consequently, I did not receive the call saying, "The natives are restless!"  with Ellerie screeching in the background.  (Translation  - I am at my wits end, Annie.  Get your ass home!)  

And you know what? This time the saying was true.  Ignorance WAS bliss.  I was able to thoroughly enjoy myself, and feel like  . . . Annie,  . . . not Mommy, or wifey, or teacher even.  It was great, and when I returned to mom's house, I was greeted with 10,000 warm and wet kiddie kisses, strangling hugs, and an overabundance of love.  They had survived and not given the grandparents a heart attack, and  I had flourished with some adult time. 

All because my cell phone had no reception.


So even if Cell Phone Free Day never comes to pass, I will make my own cell phone free zones from time to time.  I will turn off my phone and not worry.

If only for a few hours . . .

(Note to M. - Thanks so much for the time away!  I needed it.  Hope to see you real soon!)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

While I was gone . . .

While I was gone . . .

-All of my laundry was done by my fabulous hubby.
-The basement remodel from hell became one step closer to being finished.  My guy installed all of the flooring but the trim work.  What a super surprise!
-  Sammy the cat survived being alone with Paul.  Paul actually fed him daily, and  . . . he did not give him away.  Hooray!  I did not have to tell the kiddies the story about the cat that went to the farm.
- Green spouts have appeared in my garden.  I think that they are tulips, but I am horticulturally challenged.  They may just be super weeds getting a jump on summer.

While I was gone . . .

- Clean laundry multiplied into teetering Jenga-like piles on my bed.  Yes, hubby did the laundry, but, he did not put any of it away.  Welcome home to me!
-  The mail and bills multiplied too.  Apparently, men do not feel the need to open mail . . . even if it is addressed to them.  I find this fascinating because women feel the need to open mail immediately, even if it is not addressed to them.  What can I say, it is a primal urge we feel to be nosy.  Accept it.  Move on.
-  Sammy is alive, but he is rank.  Sometime while I was gone, a boycott was placed on the cat litter changing duties.  Consequently, Sammy was wallowing in his own aromas.  Not pleasant!
Hubby and I both hate litter patrol.  We have even gone so far as to use Sammy duty as a bet when playing games together.  You would not believe the competition a little poop creates.

While I was gone . . .

- I missed my morning coffee and routine.  Coffee at mom's just didn't taste the same, especially when I had to make it for myself.
- I missed the lingering smell of my hubby's cologne in the bathroom after he has left for work.  What can I say?  He smells good.  
- I missed our family outings to the local chicken wing joint where kiddies eat free and play videos, and parents get to enjoy some beer, conversation, sports, and fatty food.  What's not to love??
-  I missed my old, creaky, in various stages of remodel house.  I missed stepping over make-shift gates we placed in strategic places to hold Ellerie in (or out).  I missed my kitchen where you can be injured if someone opens the basement door while you are searching through the refrigerator ( a handy diet tactic!). And, I missed the feeling of a home that was built in 1926 and has grown many families since then.  My house has a definite personality, and it is a good thing that I like it.  I remember Poltergeist.  I do not want to sport a 2 inch wide gray streak in my hair  because I do not respect my house.  I respect my home and appreciate its character.

While I was gone . . . I missed home.

I am glad to be back.

Monday, February 23, 2009

I can hear him laughing

God has a sense of humor.

He must, because he made me, the lady who hates dirt, the germ-a-phobe, the clean freak . . . he made me  . . . the mother of a little boy.  My adventures with Ethan probably provide him with his recommended daily allowance of laughter.  

Today's joke occurred as we were walking into the mall.  Because he has the boy gene that requires him to touch every single possible thing that he encounters, Ethan proceeded to touch the bumpers of each and every car in our path in the parking lot.  At the end of the aisle, he held his hand up to his face and looked at its blackened hue in amazement.  "Look ma!  I cleaned the cars," he stated proudly.

Immediately, I shrieked one of my high level decibel shrieks, "Ethan!  Gross!  Let me get a  . . ."

But before I could get out the word "wipe," Ethan proceeded to lick the palm of his hand clean. Yes, that is right.  He stuck out his tongue and just lapped up that bumper dirt.  (He is either vitamin and mineral deficient, or just plain yucky.  I vote the latter.)    As mortified and disgusted as I was, I couldn't say that this was out of character for him.

You see, the licking shouldn't surprise me.  After all, this is the kid that has licked, in no specific order, the dining table at a local McDonald's restaurant (eeeew!), his sister's back (gross!), the bottom of his tennis shoes (stomach turning . . .), and the banister at the football stadium during a crowded rival game (There are just no words.) None of these were too sanitary a place, but apparently, just right for this four year old's discerning palate.  If it is gooey, filthy, or just plain disgusting, no matter.  It seems that my boy is up for the challenge, even if his mother is not.

Case in point, lately, we have been having a bathroom challenge, Ethan and me.  For some reason, Ethan feels that it is necessary to strip down to his birthday suit each and every time that he has to poop.  Now, even with my fabulous persuasion skills, (Read: "Ethan, puh-leeeeeeese!  For the love of God!!!!) I can not convince him to remain in his clothing to do his daily deed.  Hubby thinks that he is afraid that he will get his clothing soiled.  You know . . . fashion a la feces, but I have a problem with his theory.  If the kid is willing to lick dirt, why should a little poopie be a problem?

Now, normally, this little personality quirk would not be a problem.  I would just follow the trail of clothing, daily, to discover my naked little boy perched on the potty.  But, when you throw traveling in the mix . . . well, it makes it a bit more challenging.  Our recent trip through the Atlanta airport almost did me in.  As Ethan began to perform his striptease in a public restroom, it took every ounce of sanity I had not to pull a "Mommie Dearest" in public.

Wanting to ignore the obvious, I questioned, "Ethan!  What are you doing?"  to the closed stall door.  

"Pooping ma.  Why?"  he answered nonchalantly as I watched his shoes then his pants hit the grimy floor.  All I could think of was how many times those open toilets had flushed poop particles onto every surface in that bathroom.  

Softening my tone, I started in again, "E buddy.  We talked about this.  You don't have to take off ALL of your clothes to go to the bathroom."  It was at this point that I heard several snickers and giggles waft out of other stalls.  Silently, I cursed them with the worst curse I could think of, "Bitches!"  I thought.  Unoriginal, I know, but at the time, it was what I was feeling.  E's words brought me right back to battle.

"Ma!  I have to take off my clothes!"  he answered stridently and with no explanation.  And, since I could not get into the stall with him, I knew at that moment I had lost the battle.  E was naked and touching poopie and pee pee germs all over the place, and  I could not do one thing about it.

I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and heard it.


It was God, and his sick sense of humor.

He is such a man.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

A Generous Thanks

Dear Delta Airlines,

Thank you so much for my most recent trip to Florida.

My first thank you goes out to the check in agent. She was so very cheerful as she tickety tapped her computer keys. The "How many to check in?" and the "Did you try the self service kiosk?" she threw at me and my kids without glancing up from her screen were such welcoming comments. I knew right then why I chose Delta to fly the friendly skies.

After explaining that yes, I did attempt the self service kiosk and was redirected to her desk, she began the business of checking us in and issuing tickets. I will admit that it was not pleasant to hear that our plane was delayed, but your agent delivered the news with such grace when she pointed out that, "You have your hands full with 3 kids today." Up until that very moment I was unaware that all 3 kids were still, in fact, with me to travel, so, I really appreciated her attention to detail. Without it, I may not have realized how hard it would be to travel with 3 children under the age of seven. Clearly without her keen observation, I may have had a "Home Alone" situation on my hands. I may have actually left Larry, Moe or Curly behind.

Next, thanks goes out to your gate agent. She too had superior observation skills when she observed, "Wow. You have an Atlanta connection . . . with three kids . . ." Again, kudos to your staff! She made me double check that I did in fact, have my original three, and that I did not lose them or exchange them somewhere during the security checkpoint. They do after all make each child, including my one year old, walk through the gigantic x-ray machine by themselves, barefoot. It's a good thing too. I think that my littlest one may have been carrying a bomb in her diaper, judging by her distinct aroma. And, when I questioned your gate agent about my quick turn around in Atlanta, she was so positive when she stated, "You'll make your connection, if you hoof it!" My hopes were buoyed by her faith in me. After all, if she thought that I could make it though 3 terminals and countless gates in a mere 31 minutes with three children, a stroller, a carry on and a diaper bag, than by god, . . .I could do it! It was very reassuring.

Imagine my dismay, when I landed in Atlanta with the aforementioned 31 minutes to get to my next flight, but because of a "traffic jam", I did not disembark from my plane for an additional 20 minutes. Now, because I have superior math skills, I was able to figure out that that left me with just 11 minutes to get to my next gate. No matter! Grabbing the kiddies, I explained our "adventure" and we took off running. Amid shouts of "Wow mom! This is fun!" we traveled like pinballs through the terminal, bouncing off various other travelers and workers. I breathed a sigh of relief when we arrived at the appropriate gate.

Unfortunately, the plane had left without us.

The Atlanta gate agent informed me, "It's OK. You have a confirmed reservation on the next flight at 4:10. "

"Wow! Do the computers do that automatically?" I reveled. In my mind it was just another positive thing that Delta does for you.

The gate agent answered calmly, "No. It looks like the gate agent in Ohio knew that you were going to miss your connection so they booked you on the next flight."

Now I realize that your Delta gate agent could have rescheduled me on a later direct flight from Ohio to Florida when I originally questioned her about my Atlanta connection, but really, how thoughtful of her to give me and my children such a wonderful adventure. Clearly she was looking out for the customer, when she advised me to "hoof it". She probably realized that I needed a little extra exercise after eating that brownie sundae last night, and she was just providing me the means to do so.

I suppose that is why your motto is . . .

  customer service is our priority.

Thanks again.



Monday, February 16, 2009

Suit Woes

I am dreading this afternoon.

You see, in anticipation of my Florida adventure this week, I have to do the inevitable.
I have to bathing suit shop.

There was a time in my life where I actually enjoyed suit shopping. A time when gravity was still my friend. A time when my boobs were high and my weight was low, and the sun would kiss my skin the color of caramel. In those days, suit shopping was easy. One piece? Two pieces? Black? Blue? Red? It really didn't matter. They all looked good.

Now, there are so many considerations to take into effect when suit shopping.

First and foremost is material. Not just the quality of the the suit material, but also the quantity. In my younger days, my suits probably resembled little more than a handkerchief and some dental floss. How I ever even got out of the house as a teenager was probably a veritable miracle or the fact that my dad is actually legally blind. Take your pick.  Anyway, dental floss just does not cut it when attempting to hold up boobs that have gained and lost 50 pounds with each of 3 different pregnancies. Something resembling a harness is needed to hold these old girls up. Cute little bows and simple ties can not and will not defy gravity anymore. Instead, I need something with at least five hooks in the back, something that has material thick enough to hide over aged titty hard-ons and something with material generous enough to cover the road map of veins that hide just under the girls' surface.

I also think that a good suit needs some properties of deception. A good suit needs to effectively disguise any stretch marks, camouflage any cottage cheese, and use effective smoke and a few fun house mirrors. This is in the hopes that you notice my fabulous smile, and not my fabulously drooping ass. Really, when it all comes down to it, most women would love a suit that acted more as a costume, giving you the body of say, Jennifer Anniston (a beautiful 40 year old) while still retaining your own head and face. This would take true magic. And if I were the Jantzen bathing suit company, I would employ Penn and Teller for some product development.

Finally, when shopping you have to consider something that most women completely forget about . . . lighting. Inevitably, department store lighting makes a woman's skin look an odd shade of green. So if the actual suit has not scared you sober, the sight of your hibernating winter skin will. Now, if you are already tan, this greenish effect is not as noticeable, but if you have been indoors for say MONTHS and your skin has been deprived of Vitamin D, it is not a pretty picture. That is why it is necessary to either fake bake (which I don't recommend after a few college friends forgot to remove the sanitizing strip on the bed and consequently had "This bed has been sanitized by . . ." tattooed across their backs.) or use self tanner. I say self tanner, because frankly, I prefer a shade of orange skin over a shade of green skin any day.

So, with these things in mind, I arm myself for the bathing suit battle.

Wish me luck. I'm going in.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Eye of the Beholder

I am a vain person.  I fully admit it and own up to it.  I care about the way that I look.  So when hubby informed me that I had one eye that was smaller than the other, I thought that he was joking.

Immediately, I put up my first defense, "C'mon honey.  Be serious!"

Cool as a cucumber, and without a hint of his usual sarcasm, he answered, "I am Annie.  Your left eye is smaller than your right."

I searched his expression for any tell tale give away to his obvious joke, but found nothing.

"You're sure this isn't like the "big head" incident?"  I asked, referencing the time that he had me going for almost a week that I had an abnormally large head for my body.  He had seen it on an old Seinfeld rerun.  Elaine's boyfriend had broken up with her because, in his words, she had a big head. Literally.  Hubby had used the same tactics on me once, and my vanity had me believing that my melon was  grossly disproportionate for my 5'2" body.

He patted my head lovingly and said, "Sweetie, it's no big deal."  

Those words did me in.
I won't say that I ran to the mirror, but I did that silly walk run combo you see old men in nylon shorts do at the beach.  And to my horror, I discovered that he was right!  I  pulled the curtain open in the bathroom in the hopes that allowing more light into the room would prove that the mirror was lying.  But alas, it was not.  My left eye was and is slightly smaller than my right.  I was in shock.  How could I have lived all these 35 years and never noticed that I was not proportional?  But more importantly, after almost 9 years together, why was this the first time he had said anything to me about it?  Why not just let me live in my ignorance?  Why alert me to my eye lopsidedness?

I practically slid down the banister rushing to get back to confront him.  "Why didn't you say something?!!!!!" 

"About what?"

"About my eye!"

We stared at each other for a few seconds, probably trying to determine how and what to say next.

Carefully, he started.  "Annie . . ." I always know that when he starts with my name, he is trying to soften me up.  As in, "Annie . . . I wrecked your jeep or Annie . . . what are your thoughts about a 2 day golf trip?"  Starting with my name, usually meant that I didn't want to hear his next words.

"Annie . . . I never said anything before, because it is not that big of a deal."

Easy enough for a non-vain person to say.  I continued my stare in the hopes that he would continue.  He did, but I wasn't prepared for his explanation.

"It really isn't that big of a deal, because  . . ." and here was the kicker, "every person has one eye bigger than the other."

What? What? What?  Was he seriously using that as his argument?

I retorted.  "And I suppose that you look at every person's eyes to determine which eye has the deficit?"

And he shot back, "As a matter of fact, I do.  I always can tell right away a person's smaller eye."

I didn't respond because I was too busy thinking . . .What?  My hubby is weird!  What else don't I know about him?  Is he secretly OCD like Monk on TV?  Does he check out people's other body parts?    I was beginning to forget why I was arguing with him in the first place.  I couldn't let this new tidbit go without some further investigation.

"So you mean to tell me that you analyze people's eyes for symmetry as soon as you meet them?"


"So if I named a person right now, you could tell me which eye is smaller?"

"Yep. Shoot"

So I went for it.





"Your sister?"

"Oh that's easy. Left."

We went on this way for several more minutes.  I threw in friends, family members, celebrities, and even sports figures until I realized that this was not a function of my husband being critical of other people's  appearances.  This was a game for him.  It was just something to do to pass the time.  Once I realized that, I let go of my vain anger and decided to have fun with him.  It was weird, don't get me wrong.  But once I figured out it wasn't malicious, it WAS fun.  

And now, since I know this latest little idiosyncrasy about him, it is also enjoyable for me to analyze with him.  Case in point, last night at our Valentine's dinner, the waitress took our order and left the table.  All I did was raise my eyebrow at hubby, and he knew.


And then we laughed like idiots. 


Thursday, February 12, 2009

On Mothers

I am turning into my mother.

I came to this realization as I was plucking my eyebrows in the vanity car mirror as I waited for Ab after school today.  You see, the only place that I can actually see to get those pesky stray hairs that make me resemble Bert from Sesame Street is in my magnified vanity mirror.  While this may seem strange to you, this was a completely normal activity to me until Ab hopped in the car and threw me an intense seven year old glare.  

"What are you doing, mom?" the utter horror she felt dripping from every word.  

Still not getting it, I answered, "Plucking my eyebrows, Ab.  Geez.  You've seen me do this hundreds of times."

"Mom, . . . people can SEE you!"

And, instantly, I knew.   I knew exactly how she felt because my mom had done it to me, hundreds of times over the years.  She was embarrassed about me.  I was the embarrassing mom!  I was my mother.

Now, mind you, I had yet to wear multi-colored converse sneakers to match my skirt in front of Ab's friends, nor did I  blow up the gas grill at her 7th grade boy-girl birthday party.  I had demonstrated no public displays of affection for her (or . . . gulp, for my husband), and I had yet to go out of the house with one of my armpits shaved twice and the other sprouting a veritable forest that peeked out from a summery tank.  Those were things that had mortified me about my mother.  My mental checklist assured me that I had done none of those things,  yet . . .

I had embarrassed her.  

Quickly, I had to do something, anything to rectify the situation.  

So, I grabbed her perfect little hand in mine, looked her deeply in her eyes, and said . . .

"Suck it up, Ab!  Your Grammy embarrassed me daily.  I expect I will do that to you too.  Get used to it."

And with a smile, I placed my favorite tweezers in their coveted car cup holder, and maneuvered my way out of the parking lot, while my daughter stared at me with an open mouthed gape.

I have decided to embrace my embarrassing ways.

My mother would be proud.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Being grateful

El has not taken a nap today.

Consequently . . .
-I did not brush my teeth until 11:30 am.
-The same load of laundry is in the washing machine, probably developing a musty aroma from steeping so long.
-The toilet brush is still sticking out of the toilet.  Sidetracked from my toilet duties, I swooped to the rescue as El tried to use the living room curtains in a Tarzan-like manner. (I only remembered that the toilet brush was still there because my son yelled, "Hey mom, what's this?" from the bathroom as he peed into the toilet with the protruding brush.)
- Dinner is not made. (Surprise!)
- There are goldfish crackers swimming on my living room carpet.  They do not look as happy or as amused as they do in their commercials.
-My cat bit my ankle as I walked by . . . probably trying to remind me to feed him.  He was my first baby, but he has fallen from his top spot on the totem pole, displaced by Larry, Moe and Curly, my kids.  
-I had only one hoop earring in the entire day.  This would not be such a big deal if I had not gone to 3 different schools, the bank, the doctor's office and the gas station.  At least missing an earring is not as bad as the day that I put in two different colored contacts.  One blue eye and one brown eye . . . at least I didn't have to look at myself.

El did not take a nap today.

Consequently . . .
-E and I played the Wii, and I got a bronze medal.
-I ate macaroni and cheese with a serving spoon, out of the pan.
-I surprised Ab and picked her up after lunch.  We had a girls afternoon (after the doctor's). We slurped a vanilla milkshake and dipped our french fries into it.  Ab said, "How did you ever think of this mom?"  Like I was a rock star or something for thinking of dipping fries into ice cream.  I basked in the mom adoration.
-The kiddies created Valentines with glitter, glue and construction paper.  They gave me their first one, a big gluey, sparkly mess, and it made my day.
-E. blew on El's belly until she was overcome with giggles.  Her curls bounced as her head shook up and down.  

It was not the day that I planned, but  . . .

any day where you can play, dodge housework, and eat loads of junk food is a good day in my book.  

I am grateful.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

My Sports Guy

I am married to a sports guy.

You know, a guy that can quote how many yards the Pittsburgh Steelers rushed for in a game  . . . in 1977.  A guy that could tell you who, in any given week, is in the top 4 of the PGA golf tour.  A  guy that will only watch the Super Bowl in the confines of his own house, for fear that at a party, the fans would not be "serious" and he would miss part of the game.

I live with that guy.

Now, while I am not in any way a sports fanatic, I would classify myself as a sports enthusiast.  I enjoy  the passion and competition of a good game, really, in any sport.  I would say that I have a knowledge of the basics of the games, and I could probably, actually name you a few marquee players, but that is where my interest ends.  Honestly,  I would take a sale at Macy's over a Sunday afternoon sporting event without hesitation.  Repeatedly.

So you can imagine some of the situations hubby and I have endured because of our lack of mutual appreciation for sports.  How many couples outside of Wisconsin can claim that their  first date was a Green Bay Packers game?   What couples can say that their wedding was on a golf course (if it hadn't been spoiled by a tornado - but that's another post entirely)? And who else can say that she listened to ESPN radio while laboring in the hospital with her first child?  Who was LITERALLY coached during the pushing phase of childbirth with the phrase, "Come on honey, you know that push wasn't good enough!" And just how many couples have celebrated their wedding  anniversary at the US Open? Finally, what couples go on dates to scout the competition for the next varsity game?  I am betting that the answer to these questions is not many.

People often ask me . . .

How do you live with the sports guy? 
How can you let him coach 2 varsity sports?  
Don't you miss him when he coaches and participates?  
Doesn't it make you crazy?

And the answer to these questions is yes.  It very often does make me crazy and yes, I do miss him, but no, I wouldn't have it any other way.  I knew hubby was a sports guy when I fell in love with him, oh so many years ago.  I was attracted to his passion and competitive nature probably because I could recognize those same qualities about myself, even if they didn't pertain to sports.  Not to mention his sense of humor . . . my sports guy is wickedly funny, and he always knows just how to make me laugh.  So a marriage based in humor, passion, and a love of competition has made for a great almost 9 years.  Not too bad in my estimation.

Simply put, when hubby wears his sports guy hat, he is blissfully happy.  And, who wouldn't want for the one they loved to be happy?

So, even though my hubby had to leave the hospital shortly after the birth of our third child to coach both his football and his basketball team (thanks El. for not arriving on a Friday night!),  I wasn't upset.  Sports are who he is, and I love who he is.  He is perfect.

And, lest you think that I do all of the compromising, you should know that hubby has trudged through flea markets, outlet malls, and antique shops just to be with me.  He doesn't know the difference between a Coach or a Kate Spade, but he knows that when I smile, he is golden. 

Happy Valentine's Day, honey.  

I look forward to dinner and scouting on Saturday night.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

He is ALIVE!

Can I get a Hallelujah?

He is risen and we rejoice!  

Mr. Coffee is alive!!

On Friday morning when Mr. Coffee slowly perked out 2 cups of muddy coffee after nearly 2 hours of mightily struggling to brew, hubby and I thought that he was a goner.  It saddened us for several reasons.  First and foremost, hubby and I are coffee lovers.  Mr. Coffee had provided us delicious smells to wake up to as well as a cup of comforting joe on many a bitterly cold morning.  It was going to be hard to say goodbye.  Secondly,  this particular Mr. Coffee had 2 separate carafes so that each of us could have our own distinct blend ready for us every morning, and  . . . neither of us had to share. If you are married, you know that this is a HUGE deal, because while it is always nice to talk of compromise in marriage, it is not always easy to be the one to give in, especially when it comes to preferred taste in coffee brewing.  That is why having 2 carafes was sooooo important!  No compromise!  No sharing! Just a hot pot of morning wake me up for each of us, alone.  (I have heard that some people say the secret to a great marriage is having separate bathrooms.  While I would love another bathroom for just little old me, I tend to think that the secret to a great marriage is having a good morning , which begins with separate coffee pots!)

So, we spent a good chunk of Saturday trying to find a store that sold our exact Mr. Coffee model.  Hubby googled while I ebayed, and after much searching, we found out some very disturbing news.  There were no more Mr. Coffee's like our own beloved.  Our model was out of stock and discontinued.  Frustrated, we pondered our options. Neither of us liked the idea of going back to one pot, but we didn't want 2 separate coffee makers sitting on the counter either.

Hubby finally figured out a solution.  (He must hate to share more than me!)  We took our chances with repair.  Apparently, Mr. Coffee needed a form of angioplasty, and if successful, he could be as good as new.  We paced through his procedures, wringing our hands and murmuring prayers.  He spit, gurgled, and screamed as he rallied through his surgery.   Finally, it was done, and . . . I am proud to announce that after much white vinegar (and a house that smells like we just dyed 5 dozen easter eggs)  Mr. Coffee lives again!  He has returned to brew for yet another day.

I can't wait for tomorrow morning! 

 I hate to share.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

My hero

I would like to be Elastigirl.  

You know, the mom from the "Incredibles" who can stretch and contort her body.  She can simultaneously stop a WWF wrestling match between her kids and at the same time cook dinner. She can catch her hubby at the curb BEFORE he leaves for work with just her index finger, and she can vacuum while sitting in a chair.   Not to mention the fun that she and Mr. Incredible can have behind closed doors!  She has the perfect "mom" super power.

To be completely honest,  I feel that the only way to accomplish every thing that needs to be done in the course of a day is to have super powers.  Or a maid. 

I say this because yesterday I swept and vacuumed the same area in my home no less than 5 times.  Now, part of this is my fault, because I allow Ellerie, my one year old, to cruise around the first floor with snack in hand, but quite honestly, El has a will of her own when it comes to feeding herself and that is a battle that is not worth fighting especially since the end desired result is that she feeds herself. Also, she can climb in and out of her high chair, so even if I put her in, she pulls a Houdini.  So, consequently, she leaves a trail of crumbs in her wake every day that is similar to that of Hansel and Gretel.  I can always deduce her path by tracing the path of destruction.  

Other contributors to my daily mess are Frick and Frack, my other two kiddies.  Frick, (Ab) the oldest, seems to think that any and all art projects require glitter or tiny little pieces of confetti paper.  And, even though there is a designated art spot in our home, I think that glitter and those little confetti pieces have a super static electricity property because they seem to hitch hike to the nether regions of my house.  I mean, seriously, how does glitter get into my bedroom closet otherwise?  (And no, I do not partake of besparkled lingerie.  Neither does hubby.)  Frack,  (E) while in no way a crafty kid, is however, a four year old boy.  Enough said.  This is the child that one night emptied his pocket on my dining room table to look for his "candy" and instead produced  2 worms, a stick, a rock,  several unidentified dead bugs, and dirt. . . during dinner.  That was the night that I made the rule that "Worms Don't Wash," in the hopes that I never find one of those lovely squishy creatures while doing a load of laundry.

Anyway, what with cheesy cracker crumbs, glitter, paper, and boy debris, it feels as if that area is never clean.  But . . .

If I were Elastigirl, I could rubber band El into her high chair with one arm, and with the other jostle E upside down by his ankle, sprinkling all of his goodies from his pockets BEFORE he comes into the house.   And as for the glitter . . .

I could use it to accessorize my fabulous super suit!

Friday, February 6, 2009

I Spoke Too Soon

Of course, I spoke too soon yesterday.

This morning hubby had to go into work early.  Pause.  You would think, "So what?  She should be able to handle that. "  Yes, I agree.  I should be able to do the morning routine once in a while.  But, alas, Murphy's Law was in full effect this morning, so not only did I not have my hubby, I also had to deal with the following:

1.  Being pissed on. Literally.  My pjs were soaked from El's leaky diaper, and I could not remain in them like I like to do (see yesterday's post).     
2.  Burning breakfast.  Completely.  My bright idea about popping in cinnamon rolls for a yummy, easy breakfast backfired when I forgot to put on the oven timer.  Consequently, by my estimations, the rolls baked for 32 minutes instead of the customary 15.  I was not comforted by Ab, my 7 year old, patting me on the back and stating, "Just keep trying mom!"  
3. Having no coffee after 45 minutes.  None. It's official.  My coffee pot is dying.  Even now as I write this, it is still attempting to brew the last 4 cups of water and it has been on for 1 hour and 51 minutes.  I think that Mr. Coffee has given up in the face of my constant morning demands and succumbed to the light.  I wish him well.  He was a good friend.

So, yes, this morning was challenging, but I survived.  Barely.  It just makes me wonder, "Who was Murphy and why did he make such a negative law?"  Why not- when anything right and good can happen, it will?  That would be my law-  Where chocolate would appear on my pillow each evening before bed and the scale would say, "Congratulations!  You are at your ideal weight!"  Where my husband would always be around for poopy diaper changes and ovens would turn off when they sensed that the food inside was burning.

Aaaah dreams!  They sustain.

At least my seat heater in my car worked this morning!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Morning Routine

I believe that I have perfected the early morning school drop off.  This is momentous as it is only February, and I figured it would take me at least one full school year to get in the groove of being functional at 8 am. (Have I mentioned that I am absolutely not a morning person??)

Anyway, this morning routine is not done without help, however. ( Special thanks goes to my hubby, Paulie for humoring me and my crazy ways.)  First, before I wake up, hubby wakes up and MAKES MY COFFEE.  This is essential, because , quite frankly, I am not even functional to measure my own grounds in the morning.  Then, while I am still snoozing, hubby cleans the kitchen,  makes the kiddies breakfast, and wakes them up.  (If you haven't figured it out yet, hubby is a saint, that I do not thank enough.)

You may wonder, "What, dear Annie, do you do if he is doing all of the essentials?"

At this point in the morning, I have done nothing, which is about all I can handle.  Finally, I drag my body down the stairs where hubby is waiting with a blanket and  my coffee in hand.  With a kiss and and a "Good Luck!"  hubby leaves me, and I am on my own. My first thought - warm up the car!  Quickly, I run outside in my pjs and slippers, dodging patches of ice, and my  neighbors' stares as they leave for work, and I start my car.  Just as quickly, I run back inside to tackle the rest of the morning.

So, after downing my first cup of joe, I hustle kiddies into their clothes.  Many a day, socks have been unmatched, and at times, underwear have been forgone.  My philosophy . . . who cares?  No one sees those particular pieces of clothing.  They can slide.  Teeth are brushed, hair . . . well, let's just say that I have delegated that chore, and both my 7 and 4 year old are responsible for their own tresses.  Easy enough for a boy with a military do, but not so easy with a girl whose locks resembles Gene Wilder's mane, on a good day.  No matter!  I say, let them take responsibility! Let them take ownership! (Translated: I am slack-ass and it is one less thing for me to do.)

While the kiddies are donning all of their winter gear, I dash up the stairs to get myself dressed.  Now, here is one of my last brilliant steps.  I do not remove my pajamas.  Instead, I take one of my exercise warm ups, and then put it directly over my sleep attire.  So technically, I am dressed, but I am also  still in my pjs.  Semantics, I know, but there is just something about it.  It is a mindset, I suppose.  I feel like,  if I have to be up in the real world than at least I can do it on my terms.   I am still deliciously cozy, and I feel like I am keeping a juicy secret.  Frankly, what mom wouldn't want to stay in her pjs as long as possible?

Finally, I load the kiddies up into a WARM car.  (yeah, I know . . . I am contributing to  global warming . . . but when it is 7 degrees . . . I can not sit in a frigid car.  Blame it on my Florida upbringing.  I'll recycle more and hope it will even out in the end. ) As my seat heater warms up my pj covered fanny, I can smile and know that  I have survived another crazy morning.

It's the little things that make my day.  Coffee, wearing pjs, and a heated seat.  That's not too much to ask, is it?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

On February 18th, will someone please remind me to have a drink?  I will definitely need one,two, or maybe five margaritas, oh,  and possibly some spare prayers too.  On February 18th, I will be traveling with all three of my children to Florida by myself.  Yes, that is me, my  highly competent 7 year old daughter, my incredibly mischievous 4 year old son, and my one year old acrobat of a daughter will be navigating colored homeland security threats, enormous x ray machines, and no doubt a myriad of flight delays all so that we may see the sun. 

When my parents suggested the trip, I came up with all of the excuses a good mom is supposed to use.  I argued about Ab missing school, about the cost of tickets, and about the hassles of traveling.  But let's face it, after months of grey skies, frozen toes, and no green vegetation, the arguments were weak. I broke only after 8 inches of snow and an ice storm last week.  After I was inside for 2 days with three kids  . . . and  my husband.  In a moment of weakness, after E. had just used my living room furniture as lilly pads to hop across the "pond", I broke down and called my dad.

"Book the tickets! I can't take being inside for one more minute!"

My dad laughed knowingly and said, "I saw the weather. I thought you might call."

Good old dad!  I look forward to the sun . . . and my margaritas.


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