Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Straight Up Now Tell Me.....

Are ya gonna come to the party or aren't you?

Oh, Oh, Oh.

Or do I have to buy too many hot dogs?

(Come on, you know you love Paula Abdul. She really hit the big time with American Idol, huh? I wonder what would've become of her if that gig hadn't come around for her?)

Seriously now.

I don't know why this surprises me as it happens every year, but I am still waiting for most everyone we invited to RSVP for the party.

The party is in three days and of the twenty-four families (yes twenty-four, I'm a glutton for punishment) invited so far three have confirmed they will definitely be there. Three have declined the offer and four others have given me the "we might show up, how long are you going to be there?" Oh really. When did maybe become an option? That, my friends, is just rude. Come on people, either you're coming or you aren't. Make a decision already. I know you are waiting for a better offer and even worse, so does my son. He asks every. single. afternoon if anyone else is going to be there to lavish him with gifts celebrate with him and I have to tell him I don't know because I really. don't. know.

We're having the party at the park. Again. We are serving hot dogs and coleslaw and deviled eggs and how the hell am I supposed to know how much of that crap to buy if no one responds?? I could buy for everyone I invited PLUS their families but then I might be eating hot dogs for months and I'm the only person in this house who likes deviled eggs. That could be a lot of eggs. Oh, and the gift bags. Damn the gift bag!!! Who came up with that? There were no gift bags when I was having birthday parties. Where the heck are my gift bags??? Last year I made enough gift bags for all who said they were coming because the year before I made enough for everyone invited and had little junk-filled bags all over my house for the rest of the year. Thirty bucks wasted. Yes, thirty bucks doesn't sound like much, but we're teetering on poor here with all these kids needing fed all the time, I don't have thirty bucks to blow. Last year, I was short seven bags. Maybe this is why the mamas at the school don't speak to me. It got around that some poor child had to leave a party without a pencil and a lead-filled trinket. Oh, the horrors!

Don't even get me started about the siblings.

What should I do? Is it rude to email EVERYONE and ask what they plan on doing? Should I just prepare for the yeses and let the maybes suck it if they get there and there's nothing left to eat? Is it wrong to fill the gift bags with leftover Halloween candy?

Help me, Obi-Wan Internets. You're my only hope.

Because, you know, it's a Star Wars party and I've seen every episode of the Star Wars saga at least ten times in the past month making me really, really miss Sir Topham Hatt who would tell those lazy parents, "You are causing confusion and delay."

Or as Yoda would say, "I sense much ambivalence in you, the invitation you must acknowledge."

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

No One Was Harmed for This Blog Post

If you think you can leave your three year old outside alone for three minutes while you put clothes in the dryer, think again.

Of course, if you like the appearance of bloody handprints all over your patio you'd be all set.

But how can I be angry? Pretty weeds flowers always make things better.

Dogs do not, I repeat, do not make good babysitters.

Monday, February 25, 2008

The Goose is Loose

Sometimes we call Elizabeth, Goose.

Or Goosie. Or Goose-a-rooni. Or something very goose like.

Elizabeth is such a long and formal name and Goose is so much easier to say.

No we don't have a strange love of water fowl.

At some point during Elizabeth's early days when I was still popping like candy taking the vicodin and the days and nights ran together, I started calling her my silly goose because, frankly, it was nicer than crab ass. Eventually I dropped my and silly because I was too tired to include them. Elizabeth is a very hard name to coo to a screaming baby and "goose, goose, goosey" sounded a lot like "shush, shush, shushing" and it worked almost every time.

Now, nine months later, everyone calls her Goose.

When Adam is asked for his sister's name, he always replies Goose.

The husband greets her every evening with "How's my honking Goose? Did you fly away today?"

I even caught my dad, who insists her name is Rachel, telling her she was the prettiest Goose he had ever seen.

Shoot, even the other kids at Little Gym call her Goose.

This here's my Christmas Goose.

No, that joke never did get old.

Yeah, I agreed to name my baby girl, Elizabeth, because of all the nickname possiblities. I just never imagined Goose would be one of them.

I guess this makes me Mother Goose, huh?

So am I the only weirdo mom who calls her child by a silly name? Fess up.

Thursday, February 21, 2008


Apparently it is I who does not have a calendar, because I totally missed my girl baby's ten month birthday on Tuesday and my dog baby's ten year birthday yesterday!

Nine years ago Ezra had a huge first birthday celebration with steak and an all day trip to the park for a swim in the pond and all the love that any two questionably sane people could lavish on an animal. Last night, he got a peanut butter and banana sandwich and taken ten feet out the door into the pouring rain for his evening "walk" and a nap on the cold tile floor.

Sucks to the be the animal after the babies come.

We still love you Ezzy. Look at it this way: you now have three more people to pester love you too.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Phone Call

I swear, it's not my children who keep me young, it's all the women surrounding me who apparently never left high school.....

To recap:

I was in charge of organizing the class Valentine's Day party. Because I am strapped for time and a free room in which to speak quietly on the phone, I emailed all parents about all meetings, discussions, ideas from start to finish. Of the three women who got back to me, this was also their preferred method of contact so I went with it. Jacob's teacher said she also preferred email because then she wasn't saddled with a bunch of notes to send home and collect. She gave me the list of parents and the email addresses given to her. By February 13, the chips, some sprinkles, and some napkins were donated, I bought the rest. Party done.

At 6:36 the night before, the phone rang. I saw on the caller id that it was a mother from Jacob's class and refused to answer it as we were smack dab in the middle of our dinner but since my husband does not understand the meaning of the words DON'T ANSWER IT, I took the call.

It went like this:

Stupid husband: (answering phone, handing it to me, yet never saying hello) Here's the phone. It's for you. It's KW. Do you know her? (because he is a complete idiot)

Me: Hello

KW: Hello! Is this Andria?

Me: No, it's Derick. Yes

KW: This is KW, xxxx's mom. I was just wondering when the Valentine's Day party was going to be.

Me: Do you not own a calendar?Uh, tomorrow at 2.

KW: Well, I was just discussing with M here and we were both wondering if we signed up to bring anything.

Me: Uh, no.

KW: (you can hear M snickering in the background) Are you sure? Because we were so sure we signed up for something when you called.

Me: No.

KW: Oooohhh, that's right. I didn't get a phone call. I didn't get an email either. I guess I wasn't important enough to know about the party. Well, I guess that means I'm not bringing anything.

Me: You send your kid to Christian school?Nope, I guess not.

KW: (snickering along with M in the background) Okay then. Click.

Of all the email addresses, KW's address along with her ex-husbands, were the only ones to come back to me time after time so I eventually just deleted them from my group list. I guess if I had loads of time and only one child like she did, I could've picked up the phone and filled her in, but then I figured they gave the wrong email addresses, if they wanted to be informed they should have changed it with the teacher because, uh, where are they getting her important information????


The next morning I got a call from M. At first I thought KW might have been talking about another M because M is such a common name from the early seventies that many, many women have and since I don't know all ten of the full day K mamas names seeing as how they never speak to me or anything. When I looked at my list, though, I realized there was only one M and found it awfully strange that M wanted to know when the party was since she was at THE MEETING! Oh yeah, and supposedly bringing plastic knives and sprinkles too. But anyway, she called all sheepish-like the next morning while I was in my death stupor to tell me that she wouldn't be at the party because her daughter was ill and that she would send her supplies at lunch time with her husband. Whatever. I was too damn sick to care.

Am I missing something, or did we leave junior high, like, eons ago?

If KW is pissed that she didn't get an email, why didn't she call me like an adult and discuss it four weeks ago when the first ones went out??? What in hell was she trying to accomplish with that phone call?

Geez, I'm too old for this shit.

And really. What good is all that newfangled fancy caller id stuff if we aren't going to use it to our full advantage? Time for husband to attend Family Telephone Etiquette 101.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Oh, I Swear....

I had a bad day yesterday.

Ever tried cleaning your house only to turn around and have each room destroyed one by one as you do it?

Ever rue the day Santa brought the cool kitchen when you find root beer all cooked up inside (and outside) of it?

Ever try to potty train a three year old?

You get my drift.

So late in the afternoon as we were leaving karate class, the karate class I was asked to leave because my previously angelic now devil-child screamed holy hell for thirty straight minutes, I strapped my children in with a smile then proceeded to freak out as I drove away because we all know yelling really, really works.

It started something like: "What in the world were you thinking?" you know, because he's three and can reason with me like that, when Jacob started singing in the back seat.

" Come on, Eileen.
I swear.
At this moment.
You mean everything."

He figured his Mama out.

If you want Mama to feel better, pop in the 80s tunes.

If you can't find or reach them, just sing them.

By the time he got to "Toora, Toora, Toora, Too Ra-Aye, Eileen I'll hum this tune forever" I'd almost forgotten all about having to face the Little Gym people again today.

Now, if I could just teach him the words to some Cure tunes.

Monday, February 18, 2008

What Happens if You Forget Valentine's Day

So you want to know about the Valentine party do you?

It went well I've been told. I wouldn't know since I wasn't. even. there.

I decided at the last minute that I just didn't like those snooty mamas and wasn't going to do a damn thing to help any of their asses out and they could just scrap the stupid, fake holiday party.

Not really.

Although I will have to tell you about the bitchy phone call I received the night before.

Anyway, I ran myself ragged baking and cutting and putting goodies together then sat idly by waiting for my successful party mother lode: THE CRAFT to arrive by mail on it's promised date of February 8. I wasn't worried on the 11th, but by the 12th I started to panic just a little because heaven for- frickin- bid there not be a foam crap craft that requires absolutely no imagination to put together on their little desks on party day. So when the mailman came by on the 13th with only an insurance bill and a plea to vote for some ugly lady, I packed up my kids and went to the craft store to find something else. HAHAHAHA! The lady was thinking when I asked where they were keeping the Valentine supplies because in retail land, it was Easter. So I booked it home and did what I should've to begin with and consulted ye olde Internets and found an acceptable paper craft....i.e. the one I clicked on first. Another trip to the store and we were all set. Sort of.

So when the alarm clock rang on the 14th I had the worst headache ever some head pain and figured I was getting a migraine, which would totally figure. By the time I made it downstairs I had vomited twice, and when I couldn't remember the way to take Jacob to school, I had to wonder if I'd been sleep drinking or if I maybe I was really sick. So I asked the husband to come home and take me to doctor, the doctor in our grocery store. Yes, the cool fancy supermarket has a clinic! Oh, how I love that place! I may never have to see old boyfriend Tar-jay again. But, yeah, fill out papers, check me over, quick swab, and voila! I have strep throat! I had strep throat and I could not be around fifteen children until I had been on the antibiotics for 24 hours. Well, except my own, who I expect will come down with it any day now.

So, that is how I missed Valentine's Day 2008.

Which worked out well for the husband since he got nothing for any of us.

But I promised I would not be mad about that or even mention it, because he cancelled his afternoon meetings and played substitute party mom. Imagine the looks on those lady's faces will you? Because, none of them could believe he was doing it. None of them thought he could do it.

Oh, but he did.

He made crafts, he decorated cupcakes, he led a round of Simon Says and then had them all stand up and sing Kum-Ba-Yah while holding hands and the teacher was so utterly impressed that she gave us a month's tuition.

Oh, and the frosting was there. Frosting lady apparently found a way to remodel her home and go shopping all in the same week.

I threw a party and I wasn't even there. Damn, I'm good!

Remind me to tell you about the phone call sometime..........

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Dear Elizabeth,

I want you to always remember how happy the dishwasher makes you because when I ask you to empty it in a few years and you give me the whining eye roll, there will be proof of your deep, undying love for old Kenmore.

Lub, Mom

Monday, February 11, 2008

How Not to Plan a Valentine Party

Back in September when the school year was fresh, I attended a meeting with Jacob's teacher where she discussed all of the year's activities and doled out responsibilities. I, thinking February was sooo far away, chose Valentine's Day.

Valentine's Day snuck up on me, man.

So, I've been planning the heart-filled fiesta for about a month now. I have attempted to get the other parents on board, but not much luck. I held a meeting hoping I'd get some help and only two mothers showed up. I emailed and posted a list for families to sign up for small items to bring the day of the party and so far I have one bag of chips and some napkins. The one lady who was going to bring three cans of frosting stopped me this morning at drop off to tell me she was having her home remodeled and didn't have any place to keep the three cans of frosting so, yeah, she won't be bringing any frosting. I guess they must be living in her yellow Hummer if it doesn't have enough space for three cans of frosting.

I just doled out eighteen bucks on the craft supplies and I'll be up Wednesday night baking cupcakes for Jacob's classmates AND their siblings. Apparently I'll have to bring the rest of the supplies as well.

This makes me mad and let me tell you why:

In early September I took Jacob and his best bud to the park one day after school. While we were there, the boys started talking about parties and stuff and Jacob and Best Bud told me that W was having a party that Saturday but he told Jacob and Best Bud that they weren't invited because his mom would only let him invite the kids from last year's class. Rude, but hey, it's their party. So, I meet up with Best Bud's mom later in the day and her kid shares that little tidbit with her and she let me know that the school kept all of the other kindergarten classes together but split up last year's half day class among all of them. Jacob and Best Bud and two little girls are the only "new" kids in that class. That makes absolutely no sense to me, but whatever.

So anyway, there was a lady in charge of the Christmas party and she did do a good job throwing things together, but every Mama in the class was at the meetings, donated cash and supplies, and crowded into the room for the party. That Mama was from last year's class. Guess who is bringing the chips and napkins? The half-day castoff Mamas.

Why in hell are these women like that? I thought once the kids meshed into this year's class things would be different, but it really isn't. Jacob and the half-day three are still excluded from birthday parties and when the parents come together for chapel or field trips last year's crew huddle together and talk amongst themselves rarely giving a nod to any of the rest of us no matter how hard we try. If this is normal, I'd hate to see what it's like at a non-Christian school.

I am so very tempted to just show up on Thursday and let the kids eat bare cupcakes and chips on their festive napkins and leave it at that. I should do that, but I can't do that to Jacob or his classmates. Sure their parents suck, but the kids can't help that.

So, the poor lady in the beat up, crowded car will foot the bill for the rich kids while their Mamas are off gossiping at the spa. I may live in a crappy house, in a crappy neighborhood and occasionally wear my pajamas to drop my kid off at a school, but as G*d is my witness, those kids will eat frosted cupcakes, dammit!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

My Apologies Houston

Don't nominate me for Mother-of-the-Year anytime soon.

Just last week I was telling my friend, my friend with the sickly kids, just how healthy my kids are. You know that kinda talk always comes back to bite you in the ass.

Jacob came home from school on Monday and laid (lain, lay??) on the couch which is totally out of his ADD character. I checked him over for sore throats and chicken pox, both of which are going around his classroom, and just passed him off for getting a cold and left him at that. Then next morning he was bouncing off the walls yet his temperature was around 101 most of the day and he had no pain of any kind. Okay. Must have a virus, I told myself and let him veg in front of the television playing Game Boy most of the day. Since he still had a fever at 8:00 Tuesday evening, I made plans to keep him home another day because we all know the 24 hour fever rule. So on Wednesday he woke up at 98.3 degrees and claiming healthiness, so when they all started driving me crazy by noon, we all went out for a while. We ate out, we bought party supplies, we went pants shopping for my little Noahs, and rounded out the day at the library touching every book and toy in the place. Loads of sloppy, snotty fun we had. On the way home Jacob started screaming, no screeching, that his head hurt and maybe his ears and his throat might hurt a little and while I was lecturing him about how he'd already missed two days of school and the caterwauling wasn't going to earn him another day, I looked back and his eyes were all red and his face was all white and he was full-out weeping about how bad he hurt.


Once I got him home he collapsed on the couch while I took his temperature...102.3.

Of course.

It was 5:30 so I'd missed my chance to take him to the pediatrician. All I had was a bottle of Motrin, some tap water, and an old VHS Star Wars video to get me through the night.

Poor guy.

So off to the doctor we went this morning even though he had no fever and was back to his old, full of life self. Sure enough, he has strep throat. Figures.

I am that mother who takes her kid out sick to spread his germs among the masses. If you live in Houston, don't touch the library books. Or the Legos at Carters. Or any of the toys at Kohls. And just to be safe, avoid the McDonalds as well.

But Adam should be a-ok since he drank half a bottle of the child-resitant capped Motrin last night.

Oh yeah, I'm good at this mothering thing.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Objects in the Rearview Mirror

How can it be that my baby is nine months old?

She is sitting and standing and eating bits of table food and becoming a real live big person right before my eyes. I love watching her grow and change, but at the same time I am so very sad about it. Sadder than I really thought I would be.

When I read Tracey's post about her completed family, I felt I totally understood. I do remember the day I looked in my rearview mirror, saw my two boys, and knew someone else was going to fill that cramped spot in the middle. I just knew. Someone was missing then and now she's not. Family complete.

Yesterday I took a meal over to a lady I barely know who just had a baby. Why? Because I'm that damn nice and because I am desperate for friends and she happens to belong to my Pi Phi Alumni group, is my age, has kids my age, and, well dammit, we're sisters for goodness sakes! Let the secret ritual bonding begin! Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah. I drove to a swanky neighborhood (no, not jealous much), left my kids crowded in the backseat, took the meal to the door and was invited in to see the baby. "Ya gotta see the baybee!" Remember that episode of Seinfeld? How weird it it that now his wife is more famous than he is because of a cookbook?

Oh yeah. The baybee.

So I go in for just a peek, no biggie and then it happened.

Oh. My. Gawd. Teeny, tiny baby with the wrinkly red skin, the soft sleeping cooing, the wobbly head. My stomach hurt looking at that baby. That girl was darn lucky I just didn't grab that sweet smelly-headed baby and ran out that door. If there were more room in my car I just might have. Well, and since she knows my address and stuff and I'm pretty afraid of the long arm of the law, you know I left her there, but for the record.....I wanted that baby.

Lord help me, but I wanted another baby.

Never mind that I would be over forty and my doctor has deemed my uterus "worn out and tired" and being pregnant again "would not be the best idea". Never mind that we don't have room in our car OR our house for the three we now have. Must. Have. Another. Baby. The thought was so strong that I refused to have celebratory Super Bowl s*x (Go Giants!) because I did not trust myself. Because I did not have my tubes tied like I had originally planned because while getting prepped for my last c-section I panicked and yelled "Do not tie my tubes! I can't do it. What if all my kids were killed in some sort of terrorist attack or avalanche? I need to always be able to reproduce! So what if we have to spend thirty minutes changing all the paper work and you secretly hate me now. I will not do it! I was loaded with pregnancy hormones. I changed my mind again as soon as it was over but they wouldn't go through with it. I have no idea why.

I cannot imagine my life without a baby in it. Elizabeth is thisclose to walking any day now and once she is, she is no longer a baby but a toddler. I like toddlers too, but I miss the baybee. I miss smelling her sweet head and supporting her neck and that funny little reflex they get when you lie them down. When did that go away? I don't remember. When did she start holding her head up? It all runs together. My baby got big little by little and although I was there for all of it, it still sort of just happened without my realizing it. I need to do it again so I can savor it more the next time. Why didn't I savor every. single. moment?

But I can't do it again.

In my heart I do know that we are now complete.

I look in my rearview mirror and I see a full family. As much as it hurts to leave the babyness behind, I know I need to start focusing on the childhood and savoring it as much as I can. The newborn years are behind us now. I need to move on. Sad, but oh, so true

So long Baybees!

It was fun while it lasted.