Thursday, April 30, 2009

Update on Mary and Her Niece

Mary's niece called several more times.

This time hubby answered.  And after a few frustrating conversations on his end ( and perhaps reading about my adventures with her in a previous post),  hubby tracked down MARY!  He googled her name and address, called her apartment manager, and found out that yes, she in fact was alive.  There goes my theory that she had passed on and her niece had "forgotten" about it.  So, although her niece may still have dementia, Mary is alive and kicking. 

The last time that Mary's niece called, Paul furnished her with the correct telephone number. It was just one digit different than our own.  Understandably,  this sweet, albeit persistent, old lady really did have the wrong number written down.  When she realized Paul's good deed, she cried and then said, "Are you a police officer?"  Humbly he replied that no, he was just a good person.  ( Secretly I think he was more than just a good person.  He was a little annoyed by her daily calls, and he finally decided to take action and solve the problem.  I love when he applies this rule to situations like these.  It is when I want to vent, and he attempts to solve that we get into it.)

So, hopefully Mary's niece is on the phone with Mary right now.

Either that or Mary is secretly cursing the good samaritan that gave out her number.

Take your pick.

Minding my P's

Sick baby today.

I have nothing witty to report.  Just the p's.  Puke, poop, and pissiness.  My world is a sea of chunky shades of green.

More than you wanted to know, I am sure.

Good thing the dryer repairman worked his wonders on my dryer.

I have a feeling that it will be well used in the next few days.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

On to a Better Place

Can anyone recommend a good camera?

Mine is currently in hospice.  It will surely see the bright white light very soon, but is still holding on (and holding together) with the help of some handy duct tape.  I pray that its demise is swift and painless and that it goes on to a better picture taking place.  A place where no one drops it on its lens over and over.  A place where no one gnaws on its wrist band.  A place that is free of spills, messy kiddy hands, and littered bottoms of diaper bags.  My camera deserves a picture taking nirvana after what it has been through.

So go forth boldly, old friend.

I wish you well.

It will be hard to replace you, but . . .

I will.

And soon!  

I am missing too many good memories with this crazy family of mine.

Recs please?!?!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Many Thanks

Dear Sears  Repairman,

Thank you so much for agreeing to work on my Sears Kenmore dryer.  Even though it is only a youngster by appliance age, apparently it needs some major surgery.  Who would have thought that a dryer that only cost $500 would require $337 dollars in parts alone?  Wow!  That just shows the quality parts that Sears uses for its repairs.  Even though the dryer is under warranty and replacing it with a brand new dryer would be the most cost effective solution for your company, how generous of you to spend the extra money to repair my dryer instead.  You are spending your company's dollars to leave me with my old dryer that I am already accustomed to using.  How thoughtful! It would be such a bear to have to learn how to use a brand new appliance.  

Thank you also for giving me a window of time to expect your arrival.  Lord knows that my time is valuable, and what with three kiddies' schedules, hubby's schedule , and my work schedule is was just so nice of you to narrow my wait time down.  Your pinpoint accuracy for arrival time is so appreciated that I was actually able to compose this letter while I waited for your arrival somewhere between 8am to 5pm.

Finally, thanks for your prompt attention to my dryer problem.  When I discovered the dryer making those horrendous scraping noises, I immediately called your repair line.  I was told that I would only have to wait two days for an appointment.  After those two days and my patient wait for the repairman, I was called by your service to alert me to the fact that the initial repairman was out sick.  How thoughtful of you to let me know!  (Who knows?  I may have wanted to send a get well card.)To my surprise,  I was given another appointment only 4 days later.  How efficient!  When your repairman arrived for the second appointment, he was very polite and professional, especially when he delivered the happy news that my dryer could be fixed, the parts were ordered, and I would have the very first appointment . . . 2 weeks later.  I am so very glad that I got that 2 week appointment.  I know that you are so busy!  Also, this delay allowed for my family and me to celebrate Earth Day by drying our clothes on the back deck of our home.  It is business practices like these that just make the consumer shake his head in wonder and awe.  Thanks again!

I look forward to meeting you today, sometime between 8 and 5.




Monday, April 27, 2009

Thanks Mom

Every time I bring home garage sale treasures, hubby should thank my mom.

After all, she is the one that first instilled me with the love of "goody" shopping.  When I was younger, we would ride down the street in the car and she would glance over slyly, looking to see if I saw the same 'Sale' sign that she did.  Then, she would jerk the steering wheel around, make a U-turn and voila, the sale.  At the time, I would sink down into my seat, eyes darting quickly around to see if I "knew" anyone, mortified that mom would garage sale shop in our own neighborhood.  Oh the horrors!  Today, I wish that she was just down the street so that on Saturday mornings, I could grab an extra cup of joe, my one dollar bills, and my junking partner to have a fun morning of treasure hunting.  Alas, she is hundreds of miles away.

Every time I make homemade spaghetti sauce, hubby should thank my mom.  

After all, she is the one that demonstrated that sauce over and over and over again.  There were times that I could close my eyes and predict her next direction, before it flew from her lips.  "And then, Annie,"  she'd teach as she held a whole onion in her hand. "You push the cloves into the onion, so that you get the flavor, but not the chunks!"  At the time, I would sit quietly, waiting impatiently for her to finish so that I could go do something oh so much more important, like say, talking on the phone.  Now, I wish that mom were just down the street so that I could let her taste the variations that I have created from her sauce base, so that she could see that all those lessons were not in vain (that I actually can cook), and so that we could share a family meal together once a week instead of only once or twice a year.  

Every time I play with my kiddies, they should all thank their grammy.

After all, she is the one that first taught me to be silly.  She was the mom that recognized that I was her tight-assed kid, worried and nervous about the world's judgments.   She was the one that showed me  (sometimes by force), that letting go and having fun were OK and necessary.   She made me walk on the beach at night with the family, she made me dance crazy butt- dances in our living room,  and she made me participate and wear a silly costume at the family mardi gras trip.  I won't say that I did any of it gracefully, but years later, I have finally learned my lesson.  And now, I dance in my living room with my kiddies, I tickle their toes, and I play dress up daily.  I drink in their silliness, and I create my own too.  It is the best!  I only wish that mom was right down the street so that she could see it and participate too.

My mom has instilled so much good in me.

My family and I are grateful every day.

Happy Birthday Mom. 

I wish I could give you a hug in person.

Friday, April 24, 2009

There's Something About Mary's Niece

We have been getting quite a few wrong number phone calls lately, all from the same lady.

She is super sweet and definitely elderly.  When I answer, she politely asks for Aunt Mary.  When I explain that she has the wrong number, she inevitably follows with, "Did you take Mary's number?  Did you move into her home?"  When I reply that I have had the same number for almost 10 years, I can tell she is perplexed.  She then repeats, "So you moved into Mary's home?  Well then, where's Mary?"

Funny, yes.  But, also sad.  

I really wish there was a way to contact someone to help out poor old Mary's niece.  She seems like such a nice old lady, if a bit out of it.  

So, the other day, Mary's niece called, but Ab answered.  Ab, of course, had no idea what was going on, and just handed the phone to me.  She watched intently as I listened politely to Mary's niece, and after I hung up the phone, I muttered to myself, "Wow!  She must have Alzheimer's disease."

Instantly, Ab's smiley face turned grave and she whispered, "Mom?  Can you catch Alzheimer's disease over the phone?"

That dear, sweet innocent girl.  Panicked that she would develop Alzheimer's disease.  There was part of me that wanted to go with it, and tell her, with a straight face, "Oh my goodness.  It looks like you have the first symptoms!"  but the little angel on my right shoulder won out over the little devil on my left. Instead,  I plainly explained Alzheimer's disease and how a person develops it.

To which Ab replied to my explanation, "Oh!  So when you get old, you forget, like you lose your keys all of the time!"

Some days . . .I think that she is exactly right.

Update to Mom's Not In . . .

About one hour ago, I was stopped at a red light.  When I glanced over, there was a woman driving her Honda Accord with a shih tzu on her lap.  His front paws were on the steering wheel.

I kid you not.

I was tempted to roll down the window and give her my mom's number.

That way the driver would be able to get her pooch a proper car seat.

I wonder if her dog has any jealous  human siblings, like Cappy.   Hmmmmmm.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Mom's Not in Kansas Anymore

"Is Dorothy Gale available?"  I asked my mom, gently teasing her over the phone.

She paused for a second, then answered, "Huh?  What?"

I frowned.  She didn't get my joke, and now that I was going to have to explain it to her, it just wouldn't be as funny.

"Well, Dorothy Gale's dog ,Toto, bit the Wicked Witch, and your dog just bit grandmom, so . . ."  I trailed off still hoping that she would perk up and maybe, I don't know, laugh.

The response that I got was, "Oh," and then silence.

Just oh.  Not a giggle.  Not a chortle, laugh, guffaw, or snicker.  Just oh.

Clearly, this was not a good sign.

You see, my mom loves her dog.  Not like the normal love that an owner has for his pet.  My mom loves her dog like a person.  In fact, she treats him as if he is a human being.

I am not exaggerating.

First, she frequently feeds her dog from the table.  Not just a scrap here or a bit there, mind you.  I have seen her (and my dad) cut a bite of steak for herself, and then, with the same fork, she has cut a bite for Cappy, her dog.  I have a problem with this (on more than a few levels.)  It is gross to think that the same dog that sniffs other dogs' butts and also noses around fragrant mounds left by other pooches along his walk,  then eats from my mother's fork.  Yuuuuuccckk!  But, Cappy has also become quite the beggar and the thief.  When we visit, he waits for one of my kids to drop his hand by his side, and then he jumps and nips to see if there is food.  Fortunately, my kiddies have kept their food on their plate the last few visits, or who knows what might have happened?  

Next, Cappy has not been trained.  He actually has quite a pleasant personality, but, heaven forbid, if you decide to do something that doesn't agree with him, watch out!  If you pick up one of his toys and he wanted to play with it, he will go after it and you.  This is an incredibly difficult lesson to teach a 1 year old that believes that all toys are her toys.  And apparently, it is also a difficult lesson to teach a feisty shih tzu that believes that all toys (even the baby's) are his.  See the conflict here?  More than once a visit, I have had to redirect Ellerie to a different toy because Cappy has overtaken the one that she was playing with at the time.  I say that the dog should get the redirect.  Mom and dad disagree.

More times than I can count, my anecdotes about my children and their lives have been followed with  . . . a Cappy story.  As in, "Cappy was so cute the other day when . . ."  So my children, her grandchildren, get compared to a dog.  The same goes for pictures.  If I share a few of the recent kiddie pics, I am sure to be shown the latest in cute doggie poses.  And I don't know about you, but I seriously think that the dog looks exactly the same in every picture.  Same expression, same mug, but Mom swears that he is "ornery" or "happy" or "angry".  I just don't see it.  Instead, I see a little dog with a scrunched up face and an underbite, sort of like a hairy Popeye.  

Yes, my mom has a doggie car seat for her car as well as a doggie carrier too.  And,  it is not the crate that you might imagine at first.  Instead, this carrier is a front pack carrier similar to a Baby Bjorn for baby wearing, except it is for a dog.  One summer when she visited, she took the dog to the local ice cream joint in the carrier, and then fed him some of her cone while he contently hung from his pack.  (If you saw us there, thank you for not acknowledging us, because frankly, I would have had no words. It was a bit ridiculous.)  If that is not enough, Cappy has specialty food (Although lord knows he probably grubs enough of people food on his own.), a special shampoo (Which my mom accidentally used once when she wasn't wearing her glasses.  I wonder if it made her coat shiny?), and special hair detangler.  After all, Cappy has allergies.  Frequently, mom must give him a Benadryl just because he is scratching. (To which hubby says, "Don't dogs scratch?  Isn't that a perk of being a dog?!?")

Then there is the fact that my mom forgoes her own hair styling appointments so that she can afford a dog grooming for Cappy.  

That in itself is just soooooo wrong.

So obviously, Cappy is my most loved  four legged sibling.  That's why when Cappy bit my 84 year old cantankerous grandmom last week, my mom was torn.  Even though I tried to make light of it, mom seriously was concerned that animal control would come to take Cappy away.  That is why she couldn't eek out a laugh.  She was thinking that she would have to choose between her cranky, wicked witch of the west mom, or her dog.

I have news for my grandmom.  The dog would have won.  Hands down.  

If I were her, I'd watch for falling houses.  

Warm Regards

Ethan hopped out of the car this morning and observed incredulously, "Mom!  It's warm!  I don't need my jacket!"

Smiling, I agreed.  "Yep bud.  It is going to be warm today."

To which E replied in a fake deep voice, "Heeeeellllllllllloooooo SUN!  I've missed you!"  a la Robin Williams in Good Morning Vietnam.

My sentiments exactly.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Forbidden Fruit



Ruuuuummmmble!     Thump!







Even in my half asleep state this morning, I knew that those were not good sounds.

When I went to investigate, I found little Miss El, sitting on my kitchen table next to the empty apple bowl.  Apparently, breakfast was not enough for her, so she parked her little bottom right next to the fruit bowl and sampled each of the apples one at a time.  When she was done, she promptly either bowled them down the table or threw them on the floor.  

She had tasted the forbidden fruit (all of them), and she had had enough.

Maybe I should have named her Eve.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

In Training

You know the saying that doctors make the worst patients?

Well, apparently personal trainers make for bad clients.

Recently, in a quest to gain back my pre-baby body (or maybe it was after my brush with the foundation garment lady ), I decided to suck it up and join a gym.  Previously, I have never had to actually pay money to a gym to workout, because usually I was working for them, and one of the perks of gym employment is a free membership.  But, when Miss El made her debut, my previous schedule no longer fit my family schedule.  I figured out that to work at the gym, I was going to have to hire a sitter that could watch a newborn, make and feed lunch to the older kiddies, drive E to preschool, and then drive Ab to elementary school.  In short, it was going to cost me more to hire a qualified sitter than I would have actually made at the gym teaching classes and training clients.  So, being fiscally responsible (and more than a little slack), I decided to put that part of my life on hold for the time being, theorizing that since I knew what to do to be fit that I would actually do it.  

Unfortunately, ahem, that was just not the case.

So, swallowing my pride, I forked over my cash and for the last four weeks, I have been diligently working out.  I have sweat through my tees and been so sore that I almost cried when I remembered that I forgot my sunglasses in my upstairs bedroom and I realized that I would have to climb back up the stairs to retrieve them.  Today was my one month mark, and  I was excited to meet with my fellow trainer to see my results.

So, are you ready for them?  I sure wasn't!

Since my four weeks of diligence . . .I am plus 1.5 pounds and up 1 percent body fat.  

So, obviously, while I make a pretty good trainer, I do not make a very good client.

When I confessed to my trainer about my penchant for Krispy Kreme donuts (Five?!  Did I actually eat five that day??),  bacon and pancakes for dinner, and whole bags of Dove chocolates (Did I really just write a whole bag?),  he stared his Superman stare straight through me to see if I was just teasing him. He eyeballed me like that, and I hadn't even told him about my beer and chicken wing cravings.   When I assured him that I was completely serious, he said, "Well Annie.  Let me see . . . Duh!!  You have to work out AND eat better."  Unfortunately, he was absolutely right.

I do have to eat better AND exercise to see results. 

I was just hoping that the rules didn't apply to me, and it appears that they do.

So goodbye Krispie Kreme, farewell bacon, auf wiedersen Dove chocolates.

I will miss you.

Note: Highlighted words are links to previous posts!:)

Monday, April 20, 2009

The En- Forcer

This morning I was choked.

No, hubby didn't finally lose it and choke me when he found the garbage bag stuffed full.

And no, the seat belt in the car didn't win its daily battle to strangle me.

No, this morning I was moved by the force.  I was choked by this evil doer.
Yes, Darth Vader himself decided to choke dear old mom today.  Now normally Darth likes to duel with light sabers (or broom sticks if I am cleaning).  Occasionally, he likes to do battle with words only.  He loves to throw in the line with his deep, scuba -like voice, "I am your father.  Search your inner feelings.  You know it to be true!"  Because obviously  a daddy  knows everything, and a dad is  always right in Darth's world.  There have even been a few times where I have found Darth playing house with his sisters.  Apparently, Darth is an accomplished chef.  His sister says that he makes a fabulous hamburger.

So, it did not surprise me that Darth decided to visit today.  Instead, today I was taken aback by his menacing grin and his outstretched claw.  I looked into those evil eyes and I knew.  My time was up!  Darth's power over the dark side emanated from those fingers, grasped my neck, and choked.  

Obligingly, I wriggled, gasped for air, closed my eyes and promptly fell over. (Is there an academy award category for best mom death?)   He had won.  He had killed me.

Fortunately, he removed his helmet, leaned over, and sweetly kissed me, just in the nick of time.  

"Mom, it's OK.  Your not dead anymore.  I took away the choke hold."

"Thanks Darth.  I would hate to think that I died, and you would have to make your own breakfast. "

He giggled, placed the helmet back on his head, and was off.  I assume he was continuing on his course to eradicate the jedi knights.

Either that or he was on his way to concoct an omelet.

That Darth!  You have got to love a man that likes to do his own cooking (and looks so dashing in a hat)!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Testing My Limits

My sanity was tested yesterday.

After a hurried kiss to my girls, E and I left for the ball field last night.  He was adorned in his blindingly white baseball pants, his cherry red team shirt that falls to his knees, and his too big ball cap that pushes his ears out just so.  In this mother's eyes, he was too stinking cute for words. (Of course, I am biased, but I will try to attach photos later so you can judge for yourself!)  On the way to the game, we chatted about the oh so important things in life like, how worms eat, and where the mcnugget part of a chicken is located. Deep stuff for a four year old.  Clearly, E's mind was on the game.

When we arrived at the field, I opened my newly clean van (see my last post) and the little man jumped out.  It was 6:15 and his game was set to start at 6:30.  Plenty of time, I figured, until I asked E the following question.

"Bud.  Where's your mitt?"

He didn't immediately answer, he just looked around the ground at the gravel parking lot as if the mitt would magically appear there.  "Mom," he started, "I think it's on the front porch."  And then big, fat, slow tears made tracks down that stinking cute face.  I'll be honest.  I was mad!  So mad!   Before we had left the house, we had already spent 10 minutes searching for the said glove, and then after finally finding it . . . he forgot it?!?  EEEKKKKKK!  I wanted to just scream, but instead, somehow, I held my composure.  I realized that it wouldn't help the situation by losing it, so I just loaded E right back up into the van to head home.

"Let's go E!"  I said with a cheeriness that I didn't feel.  "We'll just run right back to the house, grab your glove, and be back.  No prob!"  I smiled.  E's tense little body instantly relaxed and off we went.

So, after driving home, retrieving the glove, and driving back to the baseball park, it was now closer to 6:40.  I knew that E's game started at 6:30, but when he asked in a nervous voice, "Am I late mom?  Coach will be soooo mad!"  I answered quickly.  

"Nope!  Let's go!"  (Yes, I lied.  But it was necessary to avoid a meltdown, therefore, it doesn't count. Kind of like when your mom asks, "Do I look fat in this?"  The automatic answer every time should be, "No! Of course not!")

With that, I hurried E to the field.  I know that I was moving fast, because a few times, he actually remarked, "Mom!  Slow down!"  but I didn't want him to be even later than he already was.  Remember, E is my rule follower, so the thought of letting down his coach by being late would send him into a panic.  Once at the field, I stopped dragging the poor kid by the arm, and I glanced around.  There were no other little kiddies in cherry red anywhere.  Only orange and turquoise hats bobbed around the diamond.

"Hmmmm.  Where are they?"  I thought.    I couldn't say this out loud, because E was still in the dark about his situation.

"Let's go check the other 3 fields, bud.  Maybe mom wrote down the wrong one,"  I rationalized.  E seemed to be ok with my explanation and he trotted amiably next to me as we went from field to field.  We saw black uniforms, navy uniforms, and yellow uniforms.  We saw white uniforms  and green uniforms but no red uniforms.  I was busted.

"Mom?"  E questioned in a tiny voice.  "Where is my team?"

I knew what had happened, but there was no part of me that wanted to explain it to my cute, game-ready, baseball-loving little boy.  I knelt down to look him in the eye under his ball cap.

"E.  I think Mommy made a mistake with the time of your game.  I think that we may have missed it."  I paused and waited for his reaction.

He didn't lose it right away.  "So, I don't have a game?" he clarified.

"No.  You did have a game, but Mommy got the time wrong, so it already happened without you."

He looked away from me to the big kid ball field, and when his gaze returned, his eyes were brimming full with tears.  And then, bless his little heart, he said through his tears, "It's ok mom.  Mrs. Pitzer says everyone makes mistakes."

At that point, you could have just run me over with your car and dragged me from the back bumper, because there is no way that I could have felt any worse.  

"I'm sorry little guy, " I replied as we walked back to the car.

E was quiet.

On the ride home, I called hubby to share my misadventure in motherhood.  I think he felt badly for E, but he also felt badly for me too, because he tracked down the coach's number and gave him a call.  When he called me back, he filled me in.

"Hon. . . I talked to Coach Jones,"  he paused.  "There was no game tonight."

"What?????"  I shrieked.

"Yep.  No game.  You went down there for nothing."

And then it dawned on me.  I had hired a babysitter for the girls,  searched for and found a missing glove, drove to the ball park twice, and walked around the park hunting for red uniforms.  My son had cried not once, but twice, and I felt like the worst mom on the face of the planet all for nothing.  There was no game.  I had the wrong date completely.

So, my sanity was tossed about yesterday.  It's a bit battered and bruised today. 

But, it is feeling much better after the ice cream that E and I shared on the way home.

I love ice cream.  

It can fix almost anything.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Feeling Guilty

Felt guilty after Tuesday's post. . . 

and comment from my mom. . . 

and spent today. . . 

cleaning out my van.

I found . . .

a petrified little smoky cocktail weiner . . .

a nintendo ds stylus that was previously MIA . . .

two twenty five (in just quarters). . .

one wilted dandelion . . .

a rock . . .

seven pens . . . 

six pencils . . .

three unmatched socks (a la Ellerie)

and 257 dried french fries.

Too bad it will only stay clean . . .

until tomorrow.


Tee -rific

An ode to tee ball and all of its misadventures . . .
(sung to the tune of Take Me Out to the Ball Game)

Take me out to the T-ball game.
Take me out to the crowd.

Watch the boys swing and miss with the bat,
I don't know if the ball they will hit.

'Cause it's play, play, play, in the field dirt,
Then watch the clouds rolling by,

For its one, two, three strikes- There's no outs!
At the old T-ball game.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


I know that I drive my husband crazy.

He absolutely hates when I leave cleaning rags in the kitchen sink, and they begin to smell musty and moldy.  I theorize that he can take them to the laundry just as easily as I can.

He loathes when I break an egg to use for cooking and then I toss the shell into the sink to dispose of later.  Except, in his defense, I often get distracted and then my later becomes his later when he is scrubbing the kitchen as part of his nightly routine.  In his estimation, I should stop my cooking groove, walk over to the other side of the kitchen with the shell and toss it into the garbage can.  (Ridiculous!  No one should interrupt a cooking groove.  It happens too infrequently.) We have compromised on a garbage bowl that I use when I am cooking, but he still thinks that is gross to clean up too!

He abhors when I leave the caps to containers only half way sealed.  There have been many times where I hear, "AAAAAAAANNNIE!!" only to walk in and find that he has dumped an entire bottle of garlic salt on his entree, because I have failed to close the lid.  We have even had mini lessons where Paul demonstrates sarcastically how to close a lid completely, and I stand there trying to be a good pupil and keep a straight face.  This is not an easy thing to do, because in this situation, I have little sympathy.  I think that he should check the lid and bottle before he shakes.  Kind of like women are supposed to check that the toilet seat is down before they sit.  Toe -may- toe,  toe- mah- toe, I say.

Another one he can't stand is when the baby is dirty.  That one he can't win.  Because frankly, I don't like a messy baby either, but, with El I can only do my best.  She is a dirt magnet, and no matter how many wipes I employ, the only real time that she is clean and smelling good is after a bath.  That lasts, oh, maybe five minutes until she discovers her next marker or muddy shoe or . . . whatever.

I also get on his last nerve when I tie off the full garbage bag, but I leave it in the can.  This stems from the simple fact that I don't do garbage.  Now, I readily admit that this makes absolutely no sense.  Garbage should be taken out to the can when it is full.  I also admit that it is not fair.  He is the one and only garbage man at our house.  There is just something about garbage that creeps me out.  Always has.  Always will.  And, I will not do it.  Complain. Cry. Sue me.  Whatever.  I will not take the garbage out, Sam I am.  (In my defense, I do take complete responsibility of the toilet duties which is an equally gross task.  Except for the downstairs toilet.  That one is Paul's.  O.K. so maybe not complete responsibility, just semi-complete.)

I probably make him want to pull his hair out when I use his laptop, without the power cord, consequently sucking the battery dry for his own use.

If that is not enough, I know he cringes when he sees the state of my van, aka the living room on wheels. His car is sparkly clean, and except for the faint aroma emanating from his golf shoes, his car smells good.  My van, and let's be real here, should probably be condemned.  There are petrified french fries, congealed ketchup, stepped on school work, used tissues, and various pieces of clothing just to name a few stray items.  There are stickers on the windows, crayons on (and in) the seat, and probably 10 dollars worth of change under the floor mats.  I even think it is gross, but at this stage in my life, my van is my survival, so I just try to let the mess go and not worry.  Some day my red convertible will be sparkly and clean, and I will be smoking hot behind the wheel.

Yes, I probably drive Paul crazy on a daily basis.

Yet, he still tells me everyday that he loves me.

Amazing . . . isn't it?


Monday, April 13, 2009

The Eyes Have It

Ab is a mess today.

Her eyes are red and puffy.  Her hair is hanging in strings around her face.  Her tears have been streaming for awhile now.

The reason?

Oh, you would think that perhaps she disobeyed hubby or me, and  consequently, she found herself  in trouble.  Or maybe you would think that something went wrong at school.  Or you may even think that her brother E had terrorized her by taking her Barbie dolls to play in his Star Wars saga, where Darth Vader sacrifices poor, blonde Barbie on a daily basis.  You may think any of these things, but if you did, you would be wrong.

Ab is crying, because we went to the eye doctor today, and . . .  (wait for it . . .)

her eyes are perfect!

She does NOT need glasses, but apparently she WANTS them.

Go figure.

When I asked her about her reasoning, she replied simply, "Mom, there are Hannah Montana glasses that are so cool.  They would match with almost all of my outfits."

So, there's a girl for you.

She wants to wear glasses, not for eyesight improvement, but for the sake of fashion.

I don't know where she gets it from.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Literally E

E is very black and white.

In E's world, if I say, "Just a minute, bud.  I'll help you in just a minute,"  E will stand at my side with a stopwatch, timing each of those 60 seconds exactly.  I know with certainty that when that minute mark expires, E will be tugging on my shirt, reminding me, "Mom, it's been a minute.  Are you ready?  Huh?  Are you?"

He is that literal.

That is why E's recent t-ball adventures were no surprise to me.  This is his first year in t-ball, although he has been asking to be on a team since he turned three.  This year, we finally caved, thinking that it would be fun for him and more fun for us to watch.  I mean, 4 and 5 year olds with gloves that are as long as their arms, pants that are held up with rubber bands, and ball caps that hide their eyes are just a fountain of entertainment waiting to happen.  In just practices, kids have run the wrong way, not run at all, and completely missed the stationary ball on the tee.  Good stuff.  I am considering investing in Depends, because I have a feeling that I may laugh to the point of peeing my pants.  

Anyway, since E is relatively new to the great American game, he is still learning the lingo. At one point, his coach yelled, "E.  I need you in left field."

E just stood there and stared at him.  It was obvious that he had no idea where he was supposed to go.  Frankly, I am not even sure he knows his left from his right.  (Although we know that his dad does . . . he he!*)

The coach picked up on E's clueless face pretty quickly and gave him a little more direction.  "Ethan, go stand behind the shortstop."

Well, E smiled at the coach, turned, and trotted off to his position 
. . . about one foot directly behind the shortstop.

He followed his coach's direction to fault.

I just hope that if someday they tell him to run home as he rounds
third . . . he doesn't run toward our house instead.

* A reference to On a Wing (and A Prayer) and Left . . . Without Words, earlier posts.

Friday, April 10, 2009

To Sleep or Not to Sleep

There are times when I think that Lucy and Ricky were on to something.

The Ricardo's had separate twin beds.  At that time it was necessary  because television executives thought that it was too scandalous to show a married couple in a queen sized bed.     (Wouldn't they be surprised at the Girls Gone Wild commercials? Yikes!)  Apparently the sight of a couple kissing each other goodnight and spooning were sure to offend the American viewers.  So, while Lucy and Ricky never had the chance to snuggle on air, there are times when I am wishing for a little of the opposite.

A bed of my own.

Now lest you think that hubby and I are on the outs, let me set you straight.  We are not!  In fact, his hugs and cuddles are still the best.  But honestly, the man goes a bit overboard.  

Paul is quite frankly, a big guy, and I am, shall we say . . . petite.  This doesn't pose a problem normally, but when we are sleeping, there are times that I feel like I am literally taking my life in my hands.  One night, I dreamed that I was under water and I couldn't surface for air.  A nightmare to say the least.  Well, when I awoke, I found that my big bear of a hubby had rolled over and his extended right arm was placed squarely on my neck.  Yes, his big gun was dead weight resting on my throat.  No wonder I was dreaming of drowning.  I promptly moved his offending appendage, and then for good measure, I gave him a healthy kick.  Hey, it was only fair.

Or what about the fact that Paul has absolutely zero blanket etiquette?  There really is a right way and a wrong way to utilize coverings while sleeping.  First, blankets need to stay covering the bed, but unfortunately, Paul is a consummate cover jammer.  When he climbs into the bed, it is almost as if he is on a stair climber. He has "the crazy legs" as Kramer of Seinfeld would say.  He kicks his legs downward to get comfortable, and naturally, the blankets get wadded up and smooshed down by the bottom of the bed.  This doesn't bother him in the slightest, but it makes me crazy!  How can you use a blanket when it is jammed up?  Impossible, I say!  So, nightly I fight to keep the blankets spread out, while hubby attempts to thwart my efforts.  Futile, really.

Paul also drives me to madness by employing the ineffective rollover.  If he were to use proper blanket etiquette, he would know that it is possible and preferred to roll over  independently of the blanket.  Instead, when he rolls, he pulls the blanket with him, so that he resembles a human crescent roll, and I am left shivering, blanket-less, and quite pissy.  Because of our difference in size, I literally have to get up on my knees to yank the covers back where they belong, all the while muttering curses and the like while hubby snores contentedly away. 

So, twin beds would definitely remedy the situation.  No more dead weight arm, no more jamming, and no more stealing covers. 

In a word . . . bliss.    Too bad I would miss all of the snuggling.

For now, I'll just stick to the hug and roll* method coined by a favorite Friends episode . . .

that and I'll invest in a separate blanket.

*For those of you unfamiliar with the hug and roll method coined by Friends' Ross and Rachel, it involves hugging your bed partner before sleep, and then after he or she dozes off, you roll them away from you so that you may sleep undisturbed.  Genius!  


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Something Missing

Ever hear of the missing link?

Well, I think that the missing link is missing from my husband's head.

It seems that we have the same conversation over and over and over again.  Either hubby is getting selective Alzheimer's disease, or this repeat discussion is just some elaborate practical joke on me.  I wouldn't put it past him.  He does sooooo love a good laugh, and fortunately for him, I frequently provide him with great material.  I mean, who wouldn't love to poke fun at a wife that consistently burns the garlic bread each and every time that she makes it?  Or what about a  vain wife that wears heels that are "too cute" despite the fact that they give her huge weeping blisters?  Seriously, I deserve to be made fun of . . . at times . . . but this ongoing conversation is just a bit too much.

"Annie?  Hon?  Where is the parmesan cheese?"

During this installment of the discussion, I was perched comfortably in our rocker in the living room.  Before I answered, I crept out of the chair slowly and peeked around the corner of the kitchen to see what he was doing.  Hubby was standing,  staring,  mouth a bit agape at the open kitchen cabinet.  His hand was holding the door ajar, but he was not moving.  Just standing.  Staring.

Finally I answered with a question, "Paul? Have you looked for the cheese?"  I already knew what the answer would be.

 "Yes!  I am looking right now."  Except he wasn't.  I was spying on him, and I had caught him, not looking, just staring at an open cupboard.  I tried my sarcastically, sappy voice next.

"Hon . . . have you moved things around or are you just staring at the open cabinet?"

He instantly flushed red, realizing that I had him. "Well . . . no . . ."

I calmly emerged from around the corner, walked over to the cabinet, moved exactly one item, and voila! parmesan cheese.

Then I just looked at him.  Sheepishly, he said, "I know. I know.  You think that I  didn't look."

And that's the conversation we dance around.  If it is not parmesan cheese, it is his blue school shirt. (Never mind that he has probably 50 navy blue school sport shirts.  He needs one particular blue shirt, one that feels different.)  If it's not an item of clothing, it is the broom.  If it is not the broom, it is the nail clippers.  If it is not the clippers, it is some random tool.  You get the idea. It is always something, and  I could go on and on and on.

It makes me wonder if my hubby is just search deficient, or is it men in general?  



And, in case this is not enough for you to ponder about, I will pose my next quandary.

How is it possible for hubby to find a particular bowl or pot to use in the kitchen, but then, when the time arrives for the said bowl or pot to be put away, he mysteriously develops amnesia and "forgets" where it should go?  His mental deficit apparently applies to looking for an item, and finding a location for an item.  I can not count how many times I have uttered the words, "If you know where it is to use it, why can't you find the place to put it away?"  as I put away a random stack of pans and dishes that are teetering precariously on the edge of the counter top.  The stack that is obviously leftover  after Paul has unloaded the dishwasher.  The stack that he claims that he "doesn't know where they go!"

It has to be a joke.  If not, I am sure to have this conversation many more times . . .
especially when hubby is diagnosed with dementia down the road.

If I'm lucky, I'll be diagnosed too.

That way, I'll forget why I am angry.


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