Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Sweet Smell Of Chocolate In The Morning

On of my fondest memories about living in Pennsylvania was that every morning I got to wake up to the sweet smell of Hershey's chocolate. It was intoxicating.

So I was seriously looking forward to our visit to Hershey this morning. The kids woke up at 6am on the dot. We got dressed, had a quick breakfast in the back yard and were on the road by 9am. Chocolate World opens at 9 and we wanted to be the early birds. It was a good strategy because not only did we get exceptionally great parking, we beat the crowds.

The tour was great, much different than I remember from the last time which admittedly is like, forever ago. They've made dramatic improvements and the kids were in awe, albeit more with the milk cows than the mechanics of chocolate making. The smell of chocolate was pungent and magnificent. I swear that the smell is caked into my nasal cavity because it's been four hours and I can still smell the chocolate!

We were headed out the doors just as the first major wave of people were coming in. Whew! We were passing through the park gates by 10 am. It was a gorgeous day, at least in the beginning. At some point it ended up being like 90 degrees and for people who've been enduring 3 months of cold, wet weather, it was a dramatic temperature adjustment. Regardless of sunscreen, Howie is as red as a poached lobster and while it hasn't hit yet, by morning he's sure to be in a great deal of pain. I'm so glad I brought my tupperware water bottles because we refilled them at the fountains about 4 times which means that we drank EIGHT giant bottles which would have cost us $1,000 had we bought bottled water.

I can't even count how many rides we enjoyed. Tons. A few more than once. Birdie even got to ride the Sooperdooperlooper. She begged and pleaded and swore that she wasn't afraid yet was stepping in puddles of her own tears as she exited the ride.

We had anticipated that they would be tired and whiny and all around pains in the ass but just the opposite happened. They were perfectly delightful little creatures who enjoyed every second of the day and what a long ass day it was!

The only downside to the entire day was:
1. They charged us $30 for each of our hamburgers at lunch.
2. I was wearing a shirt that kept unbuttoning and capris that kept unzipping. It was like I was bound and determined to flash my front side to half of central Pennsylvania!

I took some amazing pictures but didn't bring the equipment to upload pictures. Expect some good'uns when I get back!

We also played a ton of games and cleaned up in the teddy bear department. Howie won a huge panda bear and Birdie won 2 medium size bears. A woman gave Bear a huge stuffed bear she had won and Bubba got a dog and a bear as well. Our stroller was overflowing with bears!

By 4pm we were all cooked. We headed back to Teresa's house where we ate some dinner and started baths. I put the kiddos to bed considerably earlier tonight, 7pm but it's now 8:18 and they are still in there chatting away although I don't hear Bubba which means he's probably drooling on his pillow by now.

Howie went to pickup some dinner from a local place called Neato Burrito. You can basically build your own burrito and they are amazing! We also had Long John Silver's last night. We LOVE Long John's but don't ever get it in Connecticut. Did I mention how much Howie loves Long John's? Well, he started salivating as soon as we crossed the Pennsylvania state line! Our family meal came in a giant treasure chest-like box which Birdie quickly claimed as her own by filling it with her trinkets and toys which means that now all of her stuff smells like fried fish and someday she's going to come home from school and be all, "um, dad...why are you sucking on my Pokemon figurines?"

We are headed for Pittsburgh tomorrow and I'm hopeful (yet a little nervous) for the 3 hour trip that awaits us. When the kids ask us how long we are going to be in the car we try to explain it to them in terms they will understand which means that we say, "it takes as long as watching 'Finding Nemo' and half of 'Monsters Inc.' " Then they nod in agreement.

TheFirst Leg

We didn't quite get gone as early as we'd have liked. I was aiming (loosely) to be gone by 9am but we didn't roll out of the driveway until after 10, mainly because some of the things we planned to do the night before didn't get done because we pooped out. So the cooler didn't get fully stocked, the last minute cleaning didn't get done and a few odds and ends were missing from our suitcases. Plus, our cat decided to run away and we had to wait for her to come home and the roof and bike racks took way longer to situate than expected.

But we were off, with suitcases and a tent strapped to our roof and three bikes on our hind quarters. For a few minutes at least, until the speedometer hit 50 and we heard an awful buzzing that sounded like someone was drilling a hole through the roof of the van. Turns out the straps on the roof were catching wind and making the hideous noise but it was quickly remedied with some gorilla tape and the sign of the cross.

We hit major traffic within the first thirty minutes and about 2 seconds after that we heard our first "are we there yet?" It was the first of many. With as much backup as there was I was fully expecting that a tractor trailer had jackknifed and spilled frozen body parts all over the highway. Truth be told, I wouldn't have been upset to wait in traffic for an accident like that but was quite peeved when it turned out to be...NOTHING. No closed lanes, no speed trap, no mutilated body parts lying on the highway. Unless of course they had just finished picking them up by the time we got to that part of the highway.

That was the first of many backups we endured but we still made good time. We stopped and had a picnic lunch and I was ever so grateful that I had packed such a thorough lunch. Then we let the kids run around for a few minutes before we stuffed them back in the car.

They were great, no fighting, minimal whining and no vomiting or pooping. In other words, a successful trip! God bless my poor Bear. She's only been potty trained a week and has already peed in more places than a truck driver with a bad bladder. She's gone at a truck stop, on the side of the road, in the van, at Long John Silver's, Chocolate World, two amusement park bathrooms and the garage of a strangers house. She's such a champ.

Besides the trip, the next biggest ordeal was getting them all to sleep in a new environment. Plus, they all had to sleep together which is light years from their sleep situations at home. We put Birdie and Bubba each in a twin size bed and we made a pallet on the floor for Bear.

After a visit with uncle John and aunt Shelva, we put them to bed...late. They balked at first, fighting over who got which bed and which pillows. Bear was not pleased at all but in the end they talked and read each other to sleep and were passed out cold by 10:30. It was sweet, really, to listen to Birdie sing them lullabies until there was complete silence. We thought they'd sleep forever, in fact we wondered if in the morning we'd have to give them each a shot of adrenaline to the heart but no, I swear this is not exaggeration when I say that at the stroke of 6am they all came bounding out of the door.

None of us got anything remotely close to enough sleep. But you know what? It doesn't matter because we have no place to be and nothing to do. And somehow, sleep deprivation while on vacation seems so much less debilitating than normal.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Morning Before

It's the morning before we leave for Pennsylvania. Last night I made the mistake of telling Birdie that "we have a busy day tomorrow" because she woke up before the roosters this morning shouting like a drill sergeant that "you need to get up because we have a busy day today."


Doesn't she know we were up till all hours packing last night? I swear, I hate packing so much that it's almost reason enough not to go anywhere. I never have enough clean clothes which means that I have to simultaneously wash AND pack which is about as much fun as a brain tumor AND a heart attack in the same day.

Howie was a sweetheart and helped me do the laundry. We sat on the bed together, folding clothes and watching Cake Boss which is my new all time favorite show. It's about a guy named Buddy Valastro, a world renowned baker, and his family who run Carlos' City Hall Bake Shop in Hoboken New Jersey. The show is funny but I watch it for the un-freaking believable cakes that they make. This guy is crazy artistic and talented and I can't wait to see what kind of cake he will pull off next. The level of detail put into those cakes is jaw dropping! To view some of the cakes click here. Every inch of every cake is edible and hand sculpted. Even the flowers are edible sugar flowers that have been painstakingly painted. I also watched Jon and Kate Plus 8 last night and was sad but not surprised to hear that they are getting divorced. Well, technically they announced that they are separating but at the end of the show there was a note saying that yesterday they filed paperwork to dissolve their 10 year marriage. I find it ironic that they both keep saying that they'll do anything for their children, ANYTHING and that they did the show for the betterment of their children, yet the show is bringing forth a divorce which I can't imagine is the best thing for their kids. They say it isn't the show but in the same breath they say the stress from the paparazzi and what not is too much to handle. Plus, they've made it clear that they disagree about whether or not to keep doing the show. It's sad because I'm sure they never went into this with the intention of things getting this far out of hand but now the beast is too big to tame. Terribly sad!

I finally got the kids' clothes packed up but I still need towels and blankets and medical supplies and toys and food and tools and the list goes on and on. I also have to clean the house which I know is stupid but I just hate coming home to a filthy house after a long vacation. It's bad enough that I have to unpack!

Plus, I have to run out and get Bear some new underpants. She has some but nothing remotely close to enough. And Birdie needs a new swimsuit. I had bought her one a few weeks ago but it's incredibly tight and I couldn't figure out why. I figured she had just grown until upon inspection yesterday, I noticed that's it's like three sizes too small!! The size on the store hanger was different from the actual size and I didn't check it. This isn't the first time I've done that and I really should learn to pay more attention but I get distracted trying to keep track of rowdy children in stores and my priority becomes not letting them wipe their chocolaty faces on the new inventory.

So tomorrow we will be in Harrisburg. We're meeting our aunt and uncle for dinner and staying at our cousin's house. Thursday we'll be hitting Hershey Park, Chocolate World and Hershey Gardens if the kids will make it that long! By the weekend we will be off to Pittsburgh and we'll get to see Mamaw for the first time in over a month. Then it will be all lounge chairs and barbecue and camp fires with marshmallows.

It's Pennsylvania or Bust!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Say What?

You wouldn't believe how many questions we get about our adoption. Many of them are reasonable, some of them are weird and a few of them are completely brainless. When they find out we already have biological children, most questions are, "oh, I'm sorry you couldn't have any more kids", accompanied by a sympathetic look.

Many people assume that we are adopting because we aren't able to get pregnant again which I think is hysterical considering that I don't actually remember having sex with Howie when we got pregnant with Bear, I think he just winked at me or looked somewhere in my general direction.

The assumptions are annoying. We also get, "adopting? really? why would you want to do that??". And of course they say it with a look of utter disgust across their faces as if I had just told them that I was voluntarily going to have someone rip my intestines out from my belly button. Yes, I know how hideously disgusting it is to consider that someone might want to help a child. It's terrible really, unfathomable.

I need to get used to it though, because it's bound to get worse. I just joined a new social networking site all about adoption. It's like facebook for people who have or will adopt, have given up a child for adoption or have family or friends who have adopted. It's fantastic but I just cringe at the questions that many adoptive parents have fielded from ignorant people.

One woman said that she was out in public with her newly adopted 3 month old who was crying. She consoled the baby who abruptly stopped crying and someone asked, "how do you think the baby knows you're her mother if you didn't give birth to her." Obtuse.

Another said that someone asked her adopted son where his "real" parents were. I loved his response. "My 'real' parents are right here. My imaginary parents live in the North Pole with Santa and the penguins." LOVE IT!

The truth is that most questions are completely innocent. I don't think the people mean to be hurtful or insensitive, they are simply curious. Plus, they are generally uninformed about the process or even the vocabulary. I liken it to this. If you have never experienced or had any knowledge about death you might ask someone who recently lost someone the following question, "I'm so sorry to hear that your dad stop breathing and fell over dead." The person's heart was in the right place but it was a terribly insensitive way of approaching things. Might he then have said, "I'm so sorry to hear of your father's passing." Same basic question, completely different message.

On the news front: Our certification will be completed by the beginning of July. Woot! Doug says to expect to field calls beginning August. We are going to take our time and find the right situation but honestly that could happen within the first five minutes or the next five months. At least we're getting somewhere!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

It's June 19th and it's 66 degrees. Yesterday I wore a sweatshirt and sweatpants and still crawled under a blanket!

This entire spring has been cloudy with a chance guarantee of showers kind of season and it's really starting to get old. The sun has decided to take a vacation this summer and I miss him. A lot.

I'm loving the fact that we haven't even looked in the direction of our air conditioner yet I'm eager to get my summer started. It's hard enough keeping the kids inside and occupied during winter break but doing it during the summer is another monster. They're desperate to jump on the trampoline or play in the sprinkler and I can't say that I blame them. I'm eager to sit on the back deck with a glass of lemonade or have a water balloon fight.

Meanwhile, we have four more days of this muggy, wet mess. The forecasters say that the sun will be here next week and next week couldn't come soon enough!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A Great Balancing Act

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I've been so neglectful of my blog. I hate it when I do that because I swear that writing is one of those things that keeps me healthy. For me, when I'm eating right and exercising and writing, I feel at my healthiest. But keeping up with a blog can sometimes be a pain in the ass and I just don't feel like doing it.

It's because at the end of the day I don't really feel like going to the gym and I don't feel like sitting down at the computer. I feel like putting on my comfy pajamas and planting myself in front of the TV. It's been a long, exhausting day and I just want to relax.

Totally unhealthy!

I've been so busy because I have fourteen things going on at once. Dr. Seuss was right, life really is a big balancing act! I've been trying to close out my MOMS club presidency which hasn't exactly been the most pleasant experience. I have to coordinate with other mothers whose schedules are as hectic as mine in order to get everything done and on top of that I have to complete a 7 page report of EVERYTHING the club did this year. They want to know every time I wiped my ass, every time I sneezed, every time I had a bad thought, which happens all the time (the bad thoughts) so I've been busy trying to document it all.

It was a great year, we contributed to countless service projects and fund raisers. I feel extremely proud of everything we accomplished, especially since I came into office wondering if I would be able to come up with even one idea!

I think I'll be able to get everything done by the end of this week which will be sweet!

I am also in the trenches of potty training Bear. She's been a rather willing spirit, I must say and it has been extremely easy! I took a week to let her sort of get used to the idea by letting her wear panties and sitting on the potty. Plus we read books about it and I sang songs. Then this Tuesday I told her that the time had come. I began putting her on every 15 minutes and gradually extended that to half an hour. I figured with that frequency I would eventually catch her. I did.

She was sitting there, trying her best to hold it in when all of a sudden she lost control and started to pee. Her eyes got really wide and she gasped and said, "oh no, oh no!!!!!!!!!!" I immediately started clapping and cheering and doing a stupid monkey dance. She stopped her stream and I stopped dancing so she started again and so did I. She thought it was the most hysterical thing to control me with her pee! I also bribed her with marshmallows which seemed to do the trick. By the end of the day she had peed 3 times with only one minor accident.

The next day she went without diapers the whole day and even pooped too!! She still had a little trouble controlling herself in the beginning so she would squirt a tiny bit and then rush to the potty. By the end of the day she was peeing like a champ although when I put her in her diaper for bedtime she sighed and smiled like she could take a breath for the first time all day.

Two days. That's all it took, two days. I figure it was a combination of my experienced expertise and her readiness. All I know is that I'm grateful because this time last year I was sitting in a pile of my own frustrated tears as I tried to potty train Bubba.

I also had to deal with all the end of year school crap. I have gotten countless emails and approaches from parents of children in Birdie and Bubba's classroom as kids that ride the same bus asking me if I want to contribute to getting gifts for the teachers and bus drivers. That's all well and good but Between the two of them I have ELEVEN teachers and bus drivers. At $15 bucks a pop I may as well come to terms that we will not be eating meat this month! I go back and forth with this because it's not that we aren't grateful, we totally are! I just hate feeling all the monetary pressure. You know me, I firmly believe that sometimes a real thank you and handshake says eons more than getting a gift card from Dunkin Donuts.

Along with that, I am in the midst of packing us up for our trip to Pennsylvania next week. I have to wash clothes and sort and pack everything from clothes to bicycles. We have a roof rack and a bike rack and plan on stuffing our trunk area and maybe even using that never touched extra storage in the floor of the mini-van. We're going to be "those" people you see driving down the highway with the ass of their minivan dragging an inch from the asphalt.

I'm sure to forget something which reminds me, hey Amy...can I borrow your tent?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

What A Waste

I've been eager to try composting for a year now but keep running into roadblocks when it comes to Howie. He's against it, I'm not exactly sure why. First he said it was too expensive to get a bin. Then he said it would attract animals and finally he fessed up that it was just too big of a pain in the ass.


I finally convinced him (with incessant badgering and maybe a little bit of sugar love) to give it a shot. You know, women...the best time to bargain ANYTHING with your husband is the moment just before you crawl down towards his nether region. I used to think it was heinous to play such mind games but recently I figure, what's the harm? Everyone's happy, right! I shudder to think of what I will have to do to get him to agree to put up a clothes line!

So anyway, I got the green light for the composting. We decided that it was a waste to spend money on a bin mostly because of the sheer amount of stuff we need to compost. We have a huge area of woods to the side of our house and we dug two trenches instead.

I started collecting kitchen scraps and between that and the grass clippings from the backyard and left over leaves from the fall, it didn't take much to get the thing set-up. I was a little concerned about attracting animals but it turns out, if you make sure to cover everything with an adequate amount of "brown" material, it tones down the smell and keeps the rodent problem at bay.

I've also done a little research as to what can be composted and recycled. Did you know that you can put paper and dryer lint and egg shells and tea/coffee grounds, paper towels and the contents of your vacuum bags in a compost pile? Who knew!

Today I decided to call my recycling center to ask very specifically about what I can recycle. Turns out there were a lot of things that I can recycle that I haven't been. Things like juice boxes and small yogurt containers and cereal boxes. They won't take pizza boxes which often contain sauce and oils which can contaminate an entire recycling load. If contaminated they end up taking the entire thing to the landfill, so it's just plain not worth it!

I decided to go through my trash, item by item and divide it into either trash, recycling or compost. Turns out that my heaping full trash bag was only 1/4 full when I was done dividing it. I've been wasting WAY too much which is surprising because on recycling day we always have a full to the brim can. I chucked the recycling stuff in our bin, dumped the kitchen waste (including what I swept off the floor) into the compost bin, put all paper bags in a bin to take back to the store (the store will take them back and recycle them) and I was left with a very empty trash can. The only thing un-accounted for were the phone books so I will have to drop them at our local transfer station.

If I make sure to turn it frequently, I should have a pretty nice heap of rich compost by the fall which will be perfect for when I divide all of my perennials and plant my bulbs. It will also be perfect for mulching. If we have a little extra, we can add it to our lawn and hopefully begin an organic regime. I get giddy at the prospect of having a giant pile of nutrient rich compost for when I do an actual garden next summer.

I think it's just a matter of thinking ahead. It's going to take a while to get used to where things go. I think the kids will pick up on it pretty quickly, especially Birdie. Now Howie, that's another story. It's going to drive him batshit. Which is reason enough to do it :-)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Countdown

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I was reading the comics yesterday and noticed one by The Family Circus which portrays a little boy bounding through the door with report card flying and a bubble that says, "Mommy! That's it! I'm home for all summer!" To the side of that is another bubble showing his thoughts about what he will do all summer, things like swimming and playing baseball and playing with the dog and eating ice cream and sitting in a tree and riding a skateboard and flying a kite.

The next picture shows the same little boy sitting on the couch with a bubble that says, "I don't have ANYTHING to do!"

The mother is in the background with an exasperated look on her face. I feel her pain because while I know that summer means no more packed lunches and snack bags and bus stops, it also means that I will have a house full of "bored" children.

These kids have a trampoline and a playscape. They have a sandbox and bikes. They can play in the woods or blow bubbles or draw landscapes in a variety of chalky colors. Yet they always seem to be "bored" after half an hour.

We usually spend 90% of our summer outside and I am vowing that while it may be annoying for me to never get anything done, they will spend 100% outside this year. I am not allowing them to watch TV except for Saturday morning cartoons, and even then, only for an hour.

It's going to be torture. More for me than for them, I'm sure!

I'm determined to get some stuff accomplished. I want Birdie to concentrate on math and writing skills over the summer. I bought her a journal and we'll see how many books we can get read too!! Howie wants to teach her to be on her bike without training wheels. She is terrified!! I want Bubba to be competent in getting completely dressed by himself. I also want him to be efficient at wiping his own hiney! As for Bear, well she's got potty training and a big kid bed to tackle. She started sitting on the potty yesterday and I had hoped to conquer one thing at a time but she escaped from her crib yesterday and when I returned from the bus stop she was wandering the house. Time to put the crib in the basement!

I love using the summer to concentrate on skills. I work off of their next year's curriculum and try to bring them up to speed. Mostly, I have this feeling of wanting to soak as much of them in as possible, to give them my un-divided attention. I know that the adoption means that our lives will be taking a drastic turn. There will be a lot of adjustment and chaos and I want to make sure that they get their fill of me this summer. I want our family to be strong and bonded and cohesive so that we will be prepared to welcome another.

Between all of that and summer school and camp and sports and vacation, it should prove to be a busy summer!

The countdown has begun. As of today, they have 6 1/2 days left until the bell rings for the last time. Next year ushers in second grade for Birdie, a final year of pre-school for Bubba and a first year for Bear.

But between now and then we will be having water balloon fights and taking day trips. We will sleep in late and eat popsicles in the sunshine. We'll grill everyday and drink lemonade with our feet wading in the small pool. We will constantly smell like sunscreen and be covered in mosquito bites. You know, all the joys of summertime!!

Here's a little something to get us in the mood :-)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

A Contained Nightmare

Early in the spring, I came up with a wonderful idea to plant a garden. I believe it came to me on a whim during a spearmint gum commercial. *Please note that you are about to get a blueprint for the maze my brain works within* "Oh, look at them chewing spearmint gum. Man, I really like spearmint. I should find a recipe that I could put spearmint in. I've never seen it in the supermarket but I bet they have the fresh stuff. Or maybe I could grow some. Hey, I have an idea, I should grow a garden this year!" BING. And an idea was born!

Here's the catch: I DON'T KNOW SHIT ABOUT GARDENING! Well, I do pretty well with plants but I have no clue how to grow anything edible.

I scoped my yard but wasn't able to find an area suitable for planting. The front of our yard was out as we just spent a pretty penny to hydro-seed. The right side is out because it's full shade. The back is very tiny and consumed with things like trampolines and play scapes and the left side of the house is a monstrous hill with part shade and soil that seems to grow nothing but moss.

I decided that the best thing to do was have an above ground garden and thought the perfect place would be our large back deck. It's full sun and has plenty of space for it but Howie nixed my idea as soon as I asked him to build me a box. He was partly worried that the weight of the soil would collapse the deck. He was also partially worried that it would be expensive. But mostly, he was worried that he would have to use tools and shit and build something that would cut into his xbox time. He said, "yeah...I guess I could build something like that." Translation: I will absolutely do it for you- when I win the lottery and hell freezes over- in that order.

I knew it wouldn't happen so I gave up the dream. My friend Karen asked me if I was going to take the gardening plunge and I relayed my dismay to which she retorted, "but you can always do containers!"

*record scratch*

"How exactly would I go about doing that, Karen?"

"It's easy. You get some containers, fill them with soil and manure, put some plants in them and watch them grow." It sounded easy enough but as I know now, this information was akin to her sending me into brain surgery armed with a butter knife and a flash light. I was grossly under prepared.

Me *pursing lips and caressing my chin as I look off to the distance* "I could totally do that!"

I got some containers and soil and manure and plants. I was all set. Or so I thought. I forgot to drill holes in the bottoms of some of the planters which means that I can either take the plants out of the pots so I can drill a hole or I can go ahead and sign and notarize their death certificates.

I was half-way through planting when I realized that I was going to run out of containers. I had already planted FOURTEEN of them and I wasn't anywhere near finished. I don't know if they are wide enough. Or deep enough. Or if I planted the stuff too close together. Or too far apart.

*bites dirty fingernails*

I'm going to have to go buy more planters and more soil and more this and that. You know, this whole venture was an attempt to SAVE money and it seems that all I'm doing is spending it.

My fear is that I will spend all of this money and time and energy, buying and planting and watering and praying and at the end of the summer I will end up with one wilted lettuce leaf and a sour tomato. Because that's my luck, people.

I called Karen today in hysterics. She told me I was over-thinking things. It should be easy, shouldn't it? Seriously, it's not rocket science. If there is dirt and a plant and water and sun, things should theoretically turn out okay.

It reminds me of when I was a little kid and thought that sex was a complicated thing. I thought that all adults were genius and they all knew how to have sex just perfectly so as to create a perfect human being. And do you know how I knew if they did it wrong? Well, that's where all the defects came from. Your kid was born with six fingers? Well, then you did it ALL wrong! What are you? Some kind of sexual idiot? I was petrified that I would never learn the correct way to do anything and then you know what? My kids would be born missing a nose, legs for arms, eleven toes and a giant eye in the middle of their foreheads.

Imagine my relief when I found out it was a relatively simple process. You put the thing in the thing and you let nature take it's course. Perhaps I should take the same approach with my gardening. I'll put the damn plant in the damn soil, give it a little TLC and pray that at the end of it's gestation that all of the right parts will be attached in the right places.

After all, my kids did turn out pretty normal looking (for the most part) so I outta have a little more faith in myself!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

A Love/Hate Relationship

It seems that my daughter thrives on extremes, just like me. She either loves me or hates me. She either tells me that she's running away or that she'll never leave. I'm either the worst mom in the world or the best.

I'm the worst when I make her clean her room or do her homework. I'm the best when I polish her fingernails or let her wear my earrings. Here's proof of the stark fluctuation in opinions.

The first note came after I bought her a pair of new sandals. The second I received when I refused to give her a second helping of fish sticks for dinner. It's an apparent "Dear John" letter and she is clearly breaking up with me.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Heppy Berthday To Me

It's my birthday. I turn 34 years young today. Howie let me sleep in which was glorious. He got Bubba ready and packed for school and took him and Birdie to the bus stop. I heard nothing. I don't think I even moved for as deep in sleep I was. The only thing that woke me up was the smell of chocolate cake.

He and Birdie baked me a cake this morning. It was even frosted when I came downstairs at 8:30. I had some for breakfast. Because it's my birthday and I have permission from the universe to break all the rules!

I got a few home-made cards and some lovely flowers. The simplicity of it all is heartwarming. I love the fact that Howie spent time searching for the right poem online so that he could make me a card. That says so much more than running to the store to pick up a card. I love that he has chocolate frosting all over his shirt from making me my birthday cake. It makes me smile.

Birdie made me a card that said, "mom you are a butercup cuse that makes you speshull. Love Birdie, Bubba and Bear. Plus she gifted me one of her favorite books. They are too cute!

My biological father called me this morning as he does once a year on my birthday. It was nice to hear his voice. Even though I'm not terribly close to him or would even go as far as to call him my father, there is still a connection there. He's the only thing even close to resembling a parent that I have left and the fact that he remembered to call me before he went to work was touching. it was 6 in the morning his time (California time) and he was still groggy but he managed to sing me a happy birthday in his deep, heavy Mexican accented voice. "Heppy Berthday to jew. Heppy Berthday to jew. Heppy Berthday dear hair (her). Heppy Berthday to jew." I also got to talk a while with my step mother who is one of the sweetest women around. She has never been anything but loving and accepting and welcoming to me and in a strange way, I feel closer to her than my dad. I guess it's just a woman thing.

Howie took the day off so that we could spend some time together. I can't remember a time when we were both at home during the day without the kids around. It will be weird to talk to him in the daylight without interruption.

We're going out for dinner and a movie tonight. I'll be sure to take some pictures. But only of the stuff that is G rated :)