Saturday, May 31, 2008

Did They Forget To Give Me The Manual?

I still consider myself a boymom. I know how to do boy stuff.

Girl stuff, not so much. First it was the bloomer thing. What's up with the bloomers? They need to make those attachable so mamas like me wouldn't leave them all over the place after every diaper change.

Then it was the whole headband thing. Do you headband or don't you? Where exactly do you put that thing? Is it a forehead band or a top-or-the-head band? There should be a warning on those things reminding you to remove it before you strap your baby into the back seat and leave or else you'll drive into a ditch trying to save your daughter from certain strangulation.

And now. Now it's the hair. What do you do with a baby girl whose hair is in the way? Why, you drive to Tar*et and spend a fortune on barrettes, that's what.

My first girly hair-do.

It took me five minutes to wrestle her still and stick the clip on her head and it took her five seconds to free it from her straggly hair.

Is there some sort of You-Have-A-Girl orientation class that I missed? How do I unlock the secrets to all that is girlmom? Am I missing something?

I'm thinking it's a good thing she likes hats.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

I Can't Even Come Up With a Title

We interrupt the normally scheduled Boy Crazy programming to bring you the latest edition of Twenty Questions, or in other words, my brain is in a frazzle attempting to pack, clean, move, and raise three needy children simutaneously I have encountered a huge case of writer's block.

I can't even think of anything to say about my brand new kitchen which is totally awesome if I do say so myself.

I can't even piece together words about how he....

is now a SECOND GRADER! When did they start letting babies go to school? How can he be old enough to be in second grade? Weren't we just at Gymboree last week? Of course, this is where you pipe in and say I am certainly not old enough to have a second grade child. I am so young, really.

So since my next two weeks will be filled with boxes and moving vans and, quite possibly, a lot of little beer, which will limit my sitting sloth-like in front of the monitor while my kids watch Noggin computer usage, I give you this wonderful, one time only, if-you-call-now-we'll-pay-all-shipping-offer to call the next Boy Crazy posts. Tell me what you want to know about me and mine and I'll do my best to fill in the blanks.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Please Give Me Some Space

So everything is falling into place with the new house. After a six hour inspection with the most thorough home inspector in Texas, new brown house was deemed perfectly livable so we're just waiting for Wells Fargo to get their ducks in a row for the closing on June 3.

Why yes, that's next week. It only took the husband eight years to want to leave the current neighborhood, but once his mind was made up he certainly wasn't going to waste any time staying here.

I think he's just a little giddy over his brand, spanking new study.

You see, the husband has always wanted a study. He's always talked about one day having a room in our home that belonged only to him, a room to hold all his junk treasures that he'd keep under lock and key, his sanctuary against the cold cruel world of the family he so desperately needs to escape from on a daily basis. Of course, it doesn't matter that he already has his own private Idaho currently known as his office that none of us have or ever will see, but yeah, yada yada something, he deserves a study, he wants a place in the house all to himself, whatever.

I don't have any pictures of the study, though, because I am not allowed in it.

I'm okay with the husband having his little piece of solitude in the new house. Really. The kids will all have their own bedrooms, why not? Then I began to wonder, um, where's my private place? Where do I put my things? Where can I go to escape the noise and confusion?

Well, um, looks like right here.

I get this little, private nook off the dining room. It's the perfect spot, so I've been told, to place my laptop and the drawer is just right for holding pencils and paper and my daily calendar, it's organizational heaven right there with a granite countertop!

I. am. so. lucky. I mean, who needs a private study when you have that?

Oh, and the husband did say I could have the laundry room. Really. I can have the laundry room. I can share it with the cat who does her private business there. Don't ya'll be jealous now. My husband is smart AND generous.

I'm wondering if there's a way to squeeze a recliner in there.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

An Hour With One Friend is Better Than Ten With Strangers

Two and a half years ago I started my little ole blog as a way to post pictures and post funny things my kids were doing while my husband worked out of state three weeks out of the month. Adam was about six months old when he started his little work, let's say "adventure", and he did miss out on a lot. A few months later when the blog started to become more of an outlet for my single parent angst, he kind of quit reading so much.

And nobody else did either for a while.

Eventually, though, a few people found me, and some actually came back for more.

When my mom had her "episode" the first people to console me were through the internet. When I got pregnant unexpectedly, the internet encouraged me. When my sons have issues, the internets have advice, and when I had a baby girl, I got more well wishes from the computer than in my real life.

All this time I thought I had no friends here but I was wrong. I have lots of friends. It's just not that easy to crack open a beer with them that's all.

But now I can finally say I had a beer with a friend this weekend......

Although my mom warned me that I could be meeting one of the Dateline predators last weekend, I met Lynsey for lunch while she was in Houston for a visit.

Even though her baby sleeps twelve hours a night, I still like her. And him. I could kiss his cheeks all day long. And he'd be okay with that because he's such a sweet laid back baby. I was really hoping some of his demeanor might rub off on Elizabeth, encourage her to sleep a little more, sit still some more....

But alas, she's just as ornery as ever.

Before Adam ate all the fortune cookies, I was able to snag one and my fortune read:

"An hour with one friend is better than ten with strangers."

That. Was a good fortune.

Thanks friend. That was a good hour (or two).

Monday, May 19, 2008

Because Inquiring Minds Want To Know.....

Last week on Boy Crazy:

On a whim, we bought a house.


On Mother's Day something possessed us go to to an open house in the neighborhood across the highway from new house. We weren't impressed. That house was huge but it was very pink. We liked the room, but we weren't willing to sink thirty thousand bucks in it to rid it of it's pinkness. We were trying to pull left out of the neighborhood forever so Derick took a right and said he was going to turn around in the new house neighborhood and then, since we were already there, why don't we go see if our house was still available. Funny, but we have referred to that house as "our house" since we found it in January. It was a little joke because when we saw it in January, it was WWWAAAYYY out of our price range. Why we even walked through it back then is beyond me, maybe we were bored, but we did and we loved it instantly, but we could not afford it. Not even close. But anyway, after another drive-by, Derick said he wanted to go into the sales office to see if the price had come down anymore, and honestly, if the littles weren't asleep in the back I would have told him don't bother, but since they were sleeping and I wanted them to sleep a little longer, I said go ahead but we'd sit in the car. So I waited. And waited. And waited. Thank goodness I had my knitting because I waited some more. Then I started to get mad because, damn, does he know how much gas we're wasting keeping that AC running? Then he came running out all googly-eyed and said the sales dude would sell it to him for only 20,000 more than the butt-ugly house across the street we had semi-considered. WTF??? The price, the "deal" he'd give us was 73,000 off the original asking price, 30,000 off the price he gave us in January. And March. He wouldn't drop the extra 9,000 to bring it into our price range, but he did take the trip for two to Paris they were offering for May sales and subtracted that amount off the final price if we agreed to close before the end of their fiscal year on June 26. We thought about it for a couple of days and agonized over such a huge mortgage, but we have figured out a way to swing it. The deal was just too sweet for a house and neighborhood that we absolutely love to walk away from it. In the end, it really just came down to the fact that we would be sad if we ever saw someone else living in that house. That was our house.

That is our house.

So that's how I got a house for Mother's Day.

Next on Boy Crazy: The Inside Tour. Stay Tuned.

Friday, May 16, 2008

You're Golden, Dude!

Guess who got his Gold Star?

Fifty-seven verses recited from memory one day before the deadline.

We were so proud, we bought him a new house!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

My New View

You like that?

It's not exactly my direct view, but if I walk ten houses down and to the right a bit, there it is. Me likey.

I am still stunned that finally, finally we'll be moving away from here.

And I am stunned that I am sad about it. Would you believe I have actually been sobbing about it most of the day?

Pulling into the driveway this morning, I got a different view of this house. I realize I actually do like this house. I like my huge bedroom and the his and hers closets. The covered porch is beautiful and I love having dinner out there when the weather is nice. I will really miss the orange trees and the hibiscus we planted right after Jacob was born. I love having mature trees that shade us from the Texas heat and hold the homemade swing Jacob is so crazy about (what he'll miss the most he says). And my laundry room! I think I'll miss it most of all. I LOVE having an upstairs laundry room. How will I ever adjust?

Mostly, though, I am sad because my kids probably won't remember this house at all. I can't show Jacob where I stood at the mirror in the entryway as we entered the house with him the first time and tell him how I cried just seeing myself holding our wee baby in our house. How I gauged his growth every night by that same mirror as I hefted him up the stairs to bed every night. How I've done that with each one of them and I still remember that day every time. None of them will remember joining the family here, walking through the door the first time as we struggled to adjust to a new life with a new person. This is where our family began. This is where our view on life changed. I will miss it for that.

We'll miss you little red house. We'd stay if you weren't so small and in the middle of a crappy neighborhood. We'll find a nice family to appreciate you or be able to get funding, whichever comes first.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

House, Meet Internetz

Internetz, meet my new house!

We're moving on up. To the big time. To a gated community off the freeway.

Thank you housing slump for making this dream possible.

Monday, May 12, 2008

This Makes My Stomach Hurt A Little

We've lived in Texas for eight years now.

It was my idea, mostly, to move here so we could be closer to my parents, who in the grandest twist of irony I have known, moved to the exact town we moved away from one year later.

When we pulled into our driveway for the first time, we had to ask the neighbor kids to move off the porch so we could unlock the door. We had to ask the same kid's parents to move their cars out of our driveway so we could park ours there. They all pretended not to speak English. It didn't get much better after that. In fact, I pretty much began plotting our departure from crap-ass neighborhood before the boxes were even unpacked. Have you ever gotten the distinct impression that you don't belong somewhere?

That was eight years and four months ago.

At this moment my husband is talking with our mortgage company trying to get us preapproved for loan on a house we have been stalking admiring for months. It's a brand new home, never been lived in, in a gated community we really can't afford. The house has sat empty for almost ten months and the price has continued to drop and drop until it's now only nine thousand dollars more than our self-imposed limit. We're going tomorrow to see how badly that extra nine thousand means to them.

We like the neighborhood. We've sat in the house and watched the minimal traffic drive by. We've watched the kids come and go from the park. We've introduced ourselves to the neighbors and, so far, they seem pretty easy to get along with. The backyard is smaller than we'd like and we'd no longer be on a cul-de-sac, but we like the neighorhood. It seems to be a place where we might actually fit.

I think it's time.

Keep your fingers crossed.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mothers Day!

Was I crazy to even think of this?

WANTED: Mother to Three.
HOURS: Full-time, twenty-fours a day, seven days a week.
REQUIREMENTS:Must provide nutrition by preparing three square meals a day and being an on-call open milk bar. Heavy housekeeping is a must. You will be responsible for transportation to all children's activities including school, gym, sports, library, music at all times. You must be able to fix boo-boos, both physical and emotional, entertain troops during periods of boredom, tutor students in all subject areas, fix broken toys. You will clean vomit and wipe poop. You will scrub fingernail polish from the floor. There will be lots of breakage. You will wear pajamas in public at least once and you will forget to button your blouse after nursing and expose yourself to the man trying to fix your phone.
VACATION: You must remain on the job roughly eighteen years then we'll discuss
PAY: Oh, there's no pay. You were expecting a paycheck?

Always someone there to let you know if your camera lens is broken.

You can go into the petting zoo without looking silly.

You'll finally have a way to get rid of those pesky telemarketers.

You can get a little help with your blog.

Your driveway will always be pretty.

You can play Webkinz. A lot.

The grocery store is always an adventure.

Easter dresses....

And funky Easter eggs.

Three more Mountaineer fans

Yes, there are many, many requirements to this job. And the pay really, really sucks. But the benefits outweigh them all. I was meant to do this.

It's the perfect job for me.

Happy Mother's Day to all of you. I hope you're enjoying your benefits today.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

The Gold Star Treatment

Only twenty more days of school.


You don't know how happy I will be NOT to wake up at the butt crack of dawn to risk my life in the Houston traffic just to get my kid to class on time. I know I am just jinxing myself here, but the kid hasn't been tardy all year long. I think my new system of going in barefeet and pajamas has made a world of difference.

I will also be glad to put "The Gold Star" behind us.

You don't know what "The Gold Star" is? Well, I didn't either until a couple of weeks ago. I did know about the red stars though.

Every child in every class in every grade at Jacob's school is required to recite a new scripture from memory at the beginning of each month. They then take their turn standing in front of the class and saying it and if they do it correctly, they get a red star on a chart and on their report card. A child cannot be passed on to the next grade until they have all of their red stars. THEN they must recite all nine monthly verses all together to earn "The Gold Star" or else you may feel like crap sitting at the awards banquet surrounded by your classmates who did say it. It was easy-peasy last year because kindergarteners only have to say one verse and I really was expecting a little more work this year, I mean, he is a first grader after all, but I wasn't expecting him to recite the same ten to sixteen verse scriptures as the twelfth graders!

Yes, reread that if you must. Everyone says the same verse.

I don't get that.

Every month when the newsletter comes home, there is a picture of some high-schoolers with a caption underneath that states, "Congratulate these-persons for saying their Gold Star". And for two years I have been impressed by this. "WOW!" I'd think. "That girl must be such a hard worker and so smart to have done those ultra-hard scriptures three months ahead of schedule! I so hope my kids will strive to be just like her" After a little research, and yes, finally reading that dern manual, I find out that ain't no big thing at all! You're eleven years older than my kid who's doing the same thing! You SHOULD do those scriptures! Maybe even the first week of school. It's first grade work after all.

Jacob did his red star scriptures flawlessly. He was usually the first one in class to do so. He recited April's verse in January and was so pleased to be three stars ahead of the rest of his class. Of course, his mama, not knowing anything about first graders being required to say "The Gold Star", ceased practicing them with him after he finished May's verse in March. Because, you know, I have other kids to tend to in the evenings and we like to eat dinner around here sometimes.

So, a couple of weeks ago, the teacher sent a mass email letting us all know that the last day to recite "The Gold Star" would be May 15 and a few of the children had already accomplished it and, pretty much, yada, yada, yada, get your ass in gear and practice those scriptures that you obviously should be reciting at the dinner table every evening so as never to forget them because you'll be so embarrassed if your child is the only one without a trophy on awards day. But in a much nicer tone, of course. Yikes.

So for two solid weeks, over and over and over again, my son is reciting Proverbs, and Colossions, and some other book of the bible that I don't even remember, and he still doesn't quite have it. I mean, after months and months of this you would think I might be able to memorize them too, but no, I can't even tell you this second what's the first word. I know they have something to do with Jesus. Does that count? I am thirty-cough years old, I can't do it. How do they expect a six year old to do it?

My kid has ADD. The smaller verses were easy to him because he only had to concentrate for about two minutes. There is no way his brain can process the amount of words in the fifteen minutes it takes him to get through that whole passage. He tries, damn he tries, and I think for six years old he does a phenomenal job, but I just don't think he's getting "The Gold Star" this year. I hate to be negative and I hope like hell I am wrong, but it's hard. And stressful. And really, I don't like making him feel badly about himself every time we practice it. I'll trade his self-esteem for that stupid gold star, but he wants that trophy because Hummer Mama has offered to throw a party for the kids who get one.

That. Is just wrong.

And it doesn't matter that I offered him his own party, or a new Game Boy game, or a week's worth of Marble Slab, he wants to be included. He wants to feel important too.

So, if you don't hear much from me between now and May 15, just know we are gold-starring it until we get it right.

Lord, help us.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

This Post is Gross

Can you think of anything worse than cleaning up vomit?

How about cleaning up vomit everytime you get in the car?

Apparently, Elizabeth gets car sick.

Last week when she spewed orange chunks all over Jacob after we'd retrieved him from school, I figured she had a stomach bug and limited her meals to bananas and toast and bright red pedialyte most of the weekend. When she yakked again yesterday, I thought maybe she still had a touch of the bug. This morning when I caught her in the rearview mirror spraying the back car seat as if she were auditioning for the remake of The Exorcist, I was going through the list of all possible deadly puking illnesses because, dang, that just ain't right! Salmonella? We haven't been around any dirty amphibians lately. E. Coli? She doesn't eat meat. Reflux? Again? Oh no! Please not the reflux again. Then Adam started crying, "Sissy is car sick Mommy....Sissy bummetted all ober me"

Duh. She's car sick. Is that even possible? Can babies get car sick? I've never heard of anything like that. But, she's only sick when we're in the car. Isn't that the definition of car sick? UGH.

You do realize we are in the car twice a day, right?

Do you know how much fun it is to scrub your child, your car seat, and your car twice a day?

Do you know how lucky you are to be driving a car that doesn't smell like Gerber bananas vomit?

I don't know what to do about this. She's only sixteen pounds so I can't turn the seat around yet. Does anyone else have car sick children? If so, spill it. And if you could give me some tips in the next hour before I have to get in the car again, it would be much appreciated.

Let's sleep, tantrums in public, lots and lots of vomit. Refresh my memory. Parenting is lots of fun how?

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Colic Survivors Unite!

Have you been to Jennifer's blog this week?

Did you happen to notice who was Site of the Week?

Go check it out, I'll wait.


Cool huh?

I smiled when I noticed the "colic survivors unite!" tag. So true. But then I started to wonder. Have we really survived the colic?

Elizabeth still cries. A lot. In fact, she's sitting at my ankles right this very second screaming her bitty head off for no apparent reason. Maybe it's because the operator won't complete her call as dialed or because all our Webkinz have died because the site won't log us on or maybe she's still wondering what the deal is with Facebook, but either way, she's mad and she's screaming.

Twelve months later and I am still getting three hours of sleep a night. Sure, I enjoy spending time with my old buddy Alton, but I am sure he'd be just as cute funny during the daylight hours. At midnight, three, and six Elizabeth sits right up in the bed and shrieks pitiously while signing "more milk" over and over. Yes, it was cute the first time, but now I think she's just being mean. The sleeps-through-the-night spot in the baby book is just screaming (Haha, I am so punny funny) to be penciled in every time I open it, which I admit, isn't that often, but still.

I've tried the cry-it-out in the crib method but, no, she never cried it out. Not even a break in the caterwauling. Do it for a few days Dr. Ferber says, but that was just enough time to convince her that her room is a haven for all that is evil, a place right out of a Stephen King novel, so now she screams when we enter her room for any reason, so that's all fun. Who needs a diaper change anyway?

My husband has tried to keep her at night, but when I heard her muffled screams from the garage while the husband was snoozing on the couch, I didn't think that was such a good idea. Oh, she wan't alone. The dog was with her. Cowering. Funny, but he suddenly likes to be outside and alone all day and night. Hmm, wonder why?

She won't take a bottle. She won't take a sippy cup. When the sun goes down she must be pinned to my side. Or my arms. Or my boobs. I rock and jiggle and feed the hefty toddler who takes up two-thirds of my bed. I know one day, and one day very soon, I will miss this, but right now, I'm just tired. So. very. tired.

I know I've said it before, but it still rings true today: If you are getting eight, shoot, six hours of sleep, just now I hate you. Well, not really, but I am very, very jealous.

Colic survivors unite! Sort of.

I am the Princess and I rule this house. They will have to learn this eventually.