Monday, May 30, 2005

Super Sophie!

Sophie has been discovering her inner super-hero lately. She finds various thing that work well as super hero props--jump ropes, old hats, towels, whatever. Then she costumes herself and tears around the house rescuing people and things.

I like to ask people what super power they would have if they could choose one. I love how some people--men usually--have already given this most important question some extensive thought. They tell me their answer in all seriousness, explaining why they went with whatever particular power over another. Others just say--"Oh--flying," without even taking a minute to think.

My super power would be telekinesis. No question. I could sit on the couch and clean the house. I could grab Sophie from across the room before she whacks her head into something. I explained to a friend that I could also fly, because I could just sit in a chair and move the chair around. This friend--who by the way has given his super power much thought--scoffed and said--"Yea--but then you'd be a super hero who flies around in a chair. That's not cool." OK then--I'll fly myself around on a rug--or a Harley.

Erik, my husband, after a lifetime of weighing pro's and con's of various super powers has finally settled on shape-shifting. This isn't a bad choice. You can fly as a bird--swim like a fish--run like a leopard. Or--in a pinch, if someone gives you flowers and you can't find a vase--voila--you become one!

My mother has chosen mind control. She didn't want to admit this. When I asked her what super power she would choose, she said, "Well, I think I'd like people to want to do what I want them to do." "Oh," I said, "Mind control." "No," she answered "not mind control. I just want people to want to do what I want them to do." Yea--mind control.

Generally, toward the beginning of the school year, I ask my students to write for me about what super-power they would choose. Because the majority of my kids are teenage boys, I get a lot of invisibility and x-ray vision. My favorite answer thus far is "cheese-vision." The ability to turn anything into cheese by looking at it.

So here's your invitation. What super-power would you choose if you could only choose one? (No cheating patrice!) You can go with a traditional power like super strength or flight, or make up your own--like cheese vision or the power to flip fried eggs perfectly.

Today's best thing about being a mom:

Today's worst thing about being a mom:

Friday, May 27, 2005

Fear and loathing

Sophie chooses the weirdest things to be afraid of. Until she was a year old, she had no fear of strangers or dogs or falling. However, if anyone in a 20 foot radius around her should happen to sneeze--jump back. She'd totally loose it.

When we're in a restaurant and a group of burly bikers come in the door, Sophie thinks it's great. In fact, she assumes they're pirates, and starts yelling "Ahoy there me harties!" and "Arg matey!" at them and trying to crawl over the booth to sit with them. But, during the course of the meal, if she should happen to hear a blender or god forbid, the scarryiest thing of all, the little foam maker on an espresso machine, she buries her head in my neck and literally starts shaking.

Yesterday while driving around, Sophie in the back and my good friend Christine and I in the front, we drove past a big water slide. The kind you walk up a gajillion steps in that tall murky tower to get to. Soph had had her eye on the slide for a while, thinking it looked pretty cool. I mentioned to Christine that I hated how the stairs up to water slides always have a kind of weird thin slime on them and how gross it feels on bare feet.

Sophie heard the word slime and fell to pieces. She asked me about 100 times, "There's no slime Mommy?" She just kept saying it over and over again. "No slime on the stairs? No slime?" I tried to reassure her again and again that no, there was no slime anywhere near her or the car or our house or our stairs. I don't know what freaked her out so badly. In fact, we were on our way to feed some horses, something she's wanted to do for ever, and she was so scared of random slime attacks that she started crying to go home.

I didn't even know that she knew what slime is. Maybe she doesn't. Maybe she thinks slime is some big animal or disease. Maybe she had some weird past life experience with slime. I'm totally baffled.

Today's best thing about being a mom:
We've started playing in the sprinklers now that the weather has warmed up. I LOVE running through the sprinklers.

Today's worst thing about being a mom:
Bedtime has become a total nightmare lately. She gets up about every 15 minutes for an hour after we lay her down. I don't know what to do about it.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Speaking of boogers...

Sophie is currently being attacked by allergies. Her little nose is pouring snot--her eyes are red and itchy, and she is PISSED about it. She won't let me wipe her nose without a fight, because it's so sore, so she is literally (yes--literally) covered in snot.

You know how they wipe their nose on their arm and it wipes clear across their cheek and dries there. Bleck. So about every couple of hours I wet the softest washcloth I can find, hold her down, and commence swabbing the decks.

I both love and hate to give her allergy medicine. It does mellow her way out and helps her sleep, but man, I hate to see her so doped up. I gave in and dosed her about an hour ago, and she crawled into bed--by herself (this never happens)--asked for her bottle (oh the guilt)--and fell asleep. Now I must make myself clean this filthy house instead of taking my new book outside and reading in the sun until she wakes up.

Today's best thing about being a mom:
Yesterday, we were playing at my mom's house. Sophie wanted to swim, but we couldn't figure out how to blow up the pool. (OK, we could have done it the old fashioned way, but this sucker is huge.) So my mom dumped out a big Rubber Made container which was about 3 feet long and a foot tall and filled it up with water. Sophie jumped right in (her fat little legs and butt in a swimming suit are truly one of the cutest things I have ever seen) and had a great time. I love how kids can have so much fun with the simplest things.

Today's worst thing about being a mom:
Being handed a booger.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Yearbook day

As the English department (can a single person be a collective noun?) it's fallen on me to produce the yearbook with one of my classes. Because we're a small school, we can't send our book to a yearbook printer--they have a minimum order of 200 or something like that. We only need about 50, so we do the best we can with a digital camera, desktop publisher, and local print-shop.

The first yearbook I put together with the kids was total comedy. We went way past our deadline, and I didn't really have time to proof-read it. The most obvious mistake was the name of our school spelled incorrectly on the cover. (Southwest spelled as Soulthwest) Also, a clever little sociopath who shall remain nameless went into the teacher pictures and added horns, beards, and boogers as he saw fit.

This year, my students and I produced our 4th yearbook. I'm pleased to report that I've noticed only 2 errors. Because we're an alternative school and I really try to let the students design the book they want, parts of it are quite non-traditional. In addition to the "Most likely to succeed" and "Nicest Smile" type categories, this year they added the following:

Most likely to be on Jerry Springer
Most likely to be hospitalized this summer
Most likely to be on America's Most Wanted
Most likely to hatch an evil plan to take over the world.

In addition, because we are so small, each student has 1/6th of a page for his/her picture and answers to a short survey. This year the questions we asked each student, along with some of the most amusing answers were:

If you were stuck 500 years back in time what would be one thing from the present you would take back with you?

my cell phone (believe it or not, 6 students chose this answer), a toothbrush and toothpaste, tampons, hacky sack, pants, Eminem (Somehow, I don't think he would come quietly.)

If you found out that you had 1 year to live, what would you do with the remaining time?

raise hell, listen to Eminem (Are you seeing a pattern?), "You know," play guitar and eat pie

What is your favorite hobby?

fire, Tiffany (I wonder, who is this Tiffany, and does she know she's just a hobby?) making weapons, chewing gum

If you could pick one famous place to go for a vacation where would the place be?

Jamaica (1/2 of the students chose this answer) Amsterdam (The other half chose this answer)

Unfortunately, I haven't spent very much time with Sophie the last few days. The end of the year is a very busy time. I don't really have a best and worst today, but am sure to have plenty to say about her in the next several weeks.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Been a long night

Thanks to everyone for you kind words re "The Power of the Dream." After rereading the post, I realized I sounded a bit like I was fishing. The banquet was lovely but LONG. 10 teachers received awards, and each one had an introduction and a video of her/him in the classroom. That lead to about 15 minutes per person, plus dinner plus all the crap the superintendent and school board have to say. One of my students (a 17 year old mom who is graduating this year) made a very sweet introduction, and told everyone that because of my influence she has decided to follow in my footsteps and become an English teacher. She's such a great girl--I know she can do it, and hearing her share her plans meant more to me than any award ever could.

So one week left of school, and then I will just be hanging out with the Sophinator for a couple of months. I'm both looking forward to it and dreading it. I think I'll have her continue going to day care one day a week for a couple of hours to maintain some consistency and give me a break.

We have 2 major plans for the summer. Potty training and getting rid of the bottle.

Though I was advised by every book and doctor never to give her a bottle in bed, one night when she was several months old, I just couldn't take it anymore and gave her one. So now, although she doesn't drag a bottle around with her, she just likes one when she falls asleep--and when she wakes up at night. This is bad for her teeth and stomach and ears and I'm sure many other body parts. It's tricky to get yourself to be reasonable at 2:00 am when just filling up a bottle would get you both back to sleep in 2 minutes, though you know that letting the kid cry it out would be a much better choice. I have an extremely low tolerance for crying. This has led to more than one parental choice that I regret.

We've kind of danced around potty training. Sophie likes to wear her panties--until she pees in them of course. I've just kind of let her do her thing--if she says she wants panties, I put them on her, and try to remind her not to pee in them. So far, no luck. Usually after she wets her pants, she wants a diaper on, and I haven't forced the issue. I think as soon as school is out, we'll get rid of the diapers completely, and just go for it. Any hints, tips, or suggestions are certainly welcome.

Today's best thing about being a mom:
Today Sophie sang the whole ABC song. She's so freakin' SMART!

Today's worst thing about being a mom:
After the dinner last night, she had a very hard time going to sleep. I think we both ended up with about 6 hours. I HATE being tired. I HATE staying awake when all I want is to lock my door, snug under my blankies, and snooze. Sophie gets to have a nap during the day, but I don't, and I'm tired.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Just me--No Sophie

How strange to trace the roots of my blogging experience. A writer of friend of mine mentioned to me that he talked about me in his blog. Blog? Huh? So I checked it out ( I wanted to leave a comment, and found that I had to log in to do so. Ok. No problem. A couple of clicks, a username and password later, and blam--I blog.

Luckily for me, while browsing around the blogosphere (truly guys--can we come up with a better name? I hate that one. Has anyone tried blogdome or blogtown? Ideas anyone?) I came across and the adorable Master Noah. She was kind enough to check out what I had to say, and to sympathize, along with Jen O (quittymcquitter), while Sophie was going through a nasty infection.

This lead to that, and now I have this wonderful collection of blog friends. Plus, my two sisters and good pal have jumped on the band wagon. Now of course, I spend too much time on the computer, and some days get a bit obsessive about who said or did what, but isn't that a better way to pass my time than, say, cleaning house or playing solitare?

Tonight I have to go to an awards banquet. I am getting an award. Honestly, I kind of feel like shit about it. It's called "The Power of the Dream" (Erik can't get it right. When trying to brag me up to people, he keeps telling them that I won "The Dream of the Future" or "The Power of the World" or some other random thing) and it's given to about 6 teachers in our school district each year for excellence in teaching.

As a teacher, I can definitely say I have my strengths. I am naturally a people person, and I can connect with my kids pretty easily. I've mentioned that I work at an alternative high school, so my kids are either in state custody, have been kicked out of the other high schools, or for some other reason don't fit the mould. I tend to be a little irreverent, and have been know to say shit in class on one or two occasions. (I dropped the F bomb--just once. I feel I was justified. I said, "Look. You can't keep saying fuck in class," to a kid who just didn't get it.) Because of my wayward youth, I understand things a little better than my colleagues, and can take a kid to task if I notice her/him building a hash pipe out of a soda can in my class. (Several times, it's taken all I have not to yell at some poor glassy-eyed kid, "Look you little shit, I was getting high when you were in kindergarten. I wasn't born yesterday! Wait until after school for that crap!")

So the connecting part is easy for me. I'm Mizzuz J. We get along. However, since having Sophie and going part time (I teach every other day) other shit has started to slip and I feel guilty as hell. My grades are always behind. Kids are always asking for their work back. I haven't done as many assessments as I should. My lesson planning is mediocre. I didn't attend any conferences this year. In fact, if I were to grade myself this year, I'd get, at best, a C+. I honestly feel like the reason I'm getting the award is that no one from our school, which is relatively new, has received it yet, and so they picked me because I've been there the longest. That said, I just finished my 5th year teaching, and people usually receive this award after 10 or 15 years. I'm going to look like a total wipper-snapper at this thing.

So now I need to come up with about a one minute acceptance type speech. Fuckity Fuck-o-rama. Should I prepare something? Get up and say, "You like me! You really really like me!" I kind of feel like telling the truth. Saying, you know what, I don't deserve this, but I promise to try harder next year.

Today's best thing about being a mom: (I guess I should say something about Sophie today)
Sophie and I went and got a pedicure together today. She sat on my lap and we both soaked our feet in the whirley pool thing. Then she sat so still and was so good while the lady painted her toes. I can't wait for more mother-daughter bonding stuff like that.

Today's worst thing about being a mom:
I can't convince Sophie that she's not indestructible. She keeps going INTO THE STREET! I've spanker her, yelled at her, reasoned with her. Nothing seems to be working. Today while we were on a walk, I finally said, "Sophie, if you go in the road a car will squish you and make you dead!" Her response was, "I'm not an abocado." Huh? Maybe we've made too much guacamole lately. So, she didn't stay out of the road, but she did yell "Hey! I'm not an abocado!" to all the cars that went by.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Me-pooped but happy to be sitting--even if it's on a carousel. Posted by Hello

Sophie and Mommy watch the waves. Posted by Hello

Janzen and Erik at Hunnington Beach. My 2 handsome boys. Posted by Hello

Not Disney--just a recent discovery. A tip for finger-painting. Put the paper on a cookie sheet. It keeps the paint from spreading ALL OVER. Posted by Hello

Back in the Saddle

Well, I've been putting this off for some reason. Here's the play by play of the Disney trip. Apologies in advance to the Jorgensen clan if any feelings are bruised. I must blog. I must be truthful. Here goes.

We set out on I15 at about 10:30. This was, surprisingly, right according to schedule. Erik's brother and his wife had offered to take Sophie with them part of the way in their fab Durango equipped with DVD player, but ended up delaying their departure by approx. 6 hours, so that wasn't an option. The morning of the trip, Erik woke me up with accusations of the Visa bill being too high as a result of my Flagstaff trip. Needless to say, I was hella pissed. (Hella pissed. Hmmm. How much more white-trash sounding can I get?) Anyway, I left the house in a huff that morning to procure Sophie road trip supplies, and returned with bags of mini-Oreos (OK, OK, I had purchased the mini Oreos the night before, but ate them all while playing 2 hours of computer Scrabble and had to buy more), one of those magic marker books with the clear marker that makes things magically appear, some of those lacing/sewing cards, and other assorted car stuff and treats totaling about $50 bucks. Too much, I know.

We drove to Mesquite Nevada, me at the wheel, (about 90 minutes), and stopped to have lunch at Arby's. I try really hard not to eat curly fries several times a week. While on the road, I figure they're totally allowed. Anyway, the Arby's had a little roped off spot with slot machines in it. Of course Sophie was completely enthralled with them, and I tried to explain to her that they were just for grown-ups. Unfortunately for this grown-up, there were no slots played nor free cocktails drunk, (drank? drinked? dranken? I can never figure that one out.) on this trip through Nevada.

After Mesquite, I gave up the reins to Erik and jumped in the back with Sophie. She was really starting to get tired of the car (the weird kid WILL NOT sleep in the car) so we started singing songs. Her favorite song for the car (thanks NOGGIN) goes like this, with substitutions, of course. "Mommy has a cat on her head. Mommy has a cat on her head. Mommy has a cat on her head and she keeps it there all day. What does it say? Meow. Meow." To sing this song correctly, repeat at least 50 times, substituting the names of everyone you and your child both know, as well as different animals and animal sounds. This continued for, oh, hundreds of miles. The rest of the drive was maddeningly boring. We had a great stop at some David Lynch-esque gas station in the middle of nowhere to change a poop. That was a highlight. (please note the sarcasm.)

We sat in traffic for a good 2 hours after getting into the general LA area, and then finally made it to the hotel. The kids, of course, hit the pool at once, and had a great time. Sophie, in fact, assumed that the pool WAS Disneyland, and would have been happy to spend the entire vacation bobbing around in her floaties.

Saturday we woke up, and entered into the comedy called, "Mobilizing 4 Kids and 7 Adults to Leave the Hotel at a Reasonable Time." Ha. This mostly consisted of traveling from hotel room to hotel room, discovering that while one person had breakfasted, dressed, and was ready to go, another had just jumped in the shower. I ended up with the kids out in the courtyard at one point, and stupidly tried to sneak an emergency cigarette. (I only smoke in emergencies now.) I was caught by my 4 year old nephew who immediately went running through the hotel shrieking "Auntie Boo is SMOKING!" The poor little kid was totally freaked out. (When my step-son was 2, he started calling me Boo. I hope it was more a Boo-Boo Bear thing than a Boo Radley thing. Anyhoo, Boo has stuck, and I'm Boo to all my family, Auntie Boo to the kids.)

I can't say I recommend going to Disneyland on a Saturday in May. It was so crowded. We all tried to stay together, and spent most of the day fighting crowds and waiting. Sophie was hot and cranky. At one point she and I waited in line for an hour (1/2 of the line was hidden--those bastards) to ride on Dumbo. After about 40 minutes, she had had it and literally started beating the shit out of me. (Ok. I guess I mean figuratively. No shit actually came out.) yelling "I WANT DUMBO!" By then, it was a matter of principal, and we waited another 20 minutes for a 3 minute ride that was pretty lame. My sister in law tried to take a picture of us together riding Dumbo, and ended up with a lovely shot of an elderly couple--Sophie and I nowhere in sight.

By 3:00 we had all had it. We went back to the hotel, had a swim, dinner, and passed out.

Sunday morning, I busted into drill sergeant mode. We, the Erik Jorgensens WOULD leave the hotel by 8:30, come hell or high water. And we did. Leaving everyone else behind. See, I wanted Sophie and Janzen to have SOME fun. The only way to do that was to avoid the lines, and the only way I could see to do that was get there early. We did. After arriving, we took the tram from the parking lot (Sophie's favorite "ride" by far. Her second favorite thing was, of course, the hotel pool. Third in line was feeding the ducks in Sleeping Beauty's moat some Cheerios. Note that no actual Disney rides or characters are included in the top 3.) and made a b-line for "It's a Small World." No line. None. We jumped right into a little boat and off we went. Soph loved it. 2 points for Mom. We then checked out some other stuff, and had a really nice morning together.

Sunday afternoon was crowded again, until we checked out California Adventure. I can definitely recommend this park to families with kids. Much more shade. Much shorter lines. A great little "puddle park" for wee ones to splash about in. Fun "Bugs Life" rides. Incomplete sentences. As opposed to the 40 minute line for the carousel in Disney Land, the beautiful "King Triton's Carousel" in California Adventure had NO LINE. In fact, the guy let us just stay on and ride for as long as we wanted. Nice.

Then began the most annoying part of the trip. Our beach adventure. My brother in law decided he wanted to go to Hunnington beach. It is located due south of our hotel. We decided to caravan with him in the lead (mistake number one). Instead of driving down Beach Blvd, he flipped a bitch (u-turn. You know that term--right?) and got on I 91, heading due west. WTF? We were nearly out of gas, and not prepared for an extended highway goose chase. I called on the cell, and was told in a somewhat cool voice by my sister-in-law that the road we were on lead to "all the beaches." Hmm. So, just outside the city of Compton, the gas light went on. We had to pull off of the freeway, just on the border of Compton and Torrance (Familiar with these places? No? Listen to any gangster rap song.) . I HOPE I am not a racist person. I really don't think I am. However, pulling into a gas station in Compton with in a glorified station wagon with Utah plates and finding myself in the minority was definitely an uncomfortable feeling.

Then, we couldn't find a way to get back on the freeway. I finally pulled out the atlas, said, (plug your ears mom) "Fuck fucking Hunnington Beach. We're going back to the hotel. Everyone else can fuck off," and we did. My mother and father in law soon did, probably not said, the same thing. Big Bri, my dad in law was PISSED. He clocked something like 80 miles on his odometer for a trip that should have taken 20 at the most. I won't say more. Things might get ugly.

Monday morning, we headed for home. We made a quick stop at the beach. I grew up in central California, and have been dying to get back to the ocean for years and years. I actually have dreams almost every night that I almost get to the beach, and then something happens to keep me from it. It was pretty bitter sweet to go on Monday. Sweet to share my ocean home coming with Sophie and Erik and Janzen. Sweet to watch the waves come in and smell that beginning of time smell that only exists at the ocean. Bitter because Erik was anxious to get on the road, and also anxious that I might decide to run away from home to be near the ocean again. I shed a few tears, stuck a few sea shells in my pockets, and got back in the car.

That's about it really. Thanks if you hung in for the whole ride/read.

Today's best thing about being a mom:
Today Sophie and I are wearing our matching Tinkerbell shirts. We look pretty darn cute.

Today's worst thing about being a mom:
Well, it meens you're not a kid anymore, doesn't it.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Sophie and Minnie Posted by Hello


We're back. I miss all my blogging buddies, but I'm too tired to say much. The trip was fun, here are some pictures, and I'll try and fill you in on the details when I wake up.

Beach Baby Posted by Hello

California Dreaming Posted by Hello

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Oh the horror!

I just plucked a half inch black hair from my chin. This is truly mortifying. The older I get, the more hairs I get in places where they shouldn't be. The fact that this one was so long means that it's been there for a while. I wonder how many of my students sat staring mesmerized by the burly hair on my chin while I thought--"Wow. They're really paying attention today." I really think that I add a new chin hair each year--like a tree adding rings.

Soph is currently"naking." (Rhymes with shaking--not snacking.) Naking is the willful and wanton removal of all clothing and streaking around. The fact that she's invented a verb for this act shows you how tricky it is for me to keep clothes on her lately. While we were at Alphagraphics last week, she took her shirt off twice. I don't really blame her. Wearing clothes inside and in comfortable weather is such a cultural thing. It doesn't make sense on any natural level. She just ran through, and she has something green stuck to her right butt cheek. It seems she's trying to make a trombone out of a computer paper. I don't really know why.

I haven't mentioned it because I've been trying not to think about it, but tomorrow we're driving to Disney Land with Erik's family. I should be excited, but I keep fixating on all the shitty things and possible catastrophes. They are innumerable so I won't even try to list them. Anyhoo, I'll include a full report, probably on Tuesday.

I've felt like a total bottom feeder the past few days. Uninteresting and uninterested. Hopefully on my return I'll have a little more pep.

Today's best thing about being a mom:
More opportunities for frosting

Today's worst thing about being a mom:
6 hour drives to the happiest, most crowded, dangerous, expensive, germ ridden, longest lined, place on earth

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Oh poop

Sophie just came trotting in (she should have been napping) and informed me that she had a poop. I investigated, patting her bum. Nothing. "No poop," I said. "Get back in bed." She insisted that yes, there was poop. Then I did something incredibly stupid. I stuck my hand down the back of her diaper to check. Poop.

Today's best thing about being a mom:
Well, it certainly keeps my ego in check.

Today's worst thing about being a mom:

Monday, May 09, 2005


Somehow, I forgot my best and worst for the day. Here they are.

Today's best thing about being a mom:
Sophie and I totally played dress ups today. She let me curl her hair. We put on princess dresses. It was the bomb.

Today's worst thing about being a mom:
I went dress shopping today for this awards banquet I'm going to in a couple of weeks. Every dress revealed that under-the-bellybutton-pooch that will never ever go away. Babies steal your heart--and your waist.

Happily ever after?

Sophie is just getting into her princess phase. We've started playing dress-ups, and going to imaginary balls. We read Cinderella and finally watched it for the first time this morning. She was more impressed with the mice than anything, but I actually really enjoyed the whole thing. I love fairy tales. My favorite "brain candy" books are adolescent novels about princesses and cool chicks who befriend or fight dragons. I think on some sort of cellular level I respond to the rhythms and patterns of fairy stories. Sophie seems to as well.

Of course, I prefer the stories where the princess kicks some ass and/or is rebellious and clever. Cinderella isn't really my favorite. Neither is Sleeping Beauty. Those girls are kind of pansies. On the other hand, I can't go along with the whole concept that these stories scar little girls--teaching them that good girls and women are sweet and good and do their work and wait for the prince to rescue them.

I remember when my little sis was about Sophie's age. She LOVED Sleeping Beauty, but was all about the evil fairy, Maleficent. We would play "Sleeping Beaud" like this. Katy would stand on a chair with her favorite blanket wrapped around her shoulders. The blanket would conceal one of her dolls, lying on the floor. I would be the prince. After riding up to her on my horse, she would see me and dramatically fling back her blanket saying in a very malevolent voice, "Here's your precious princess." Then, as I tried to save the princess/doll she would raise her arms and bellow, "Now you shall deal with me oh prince. And all the powers of hell!" Then we would battle for a while, get bored, and go have a cookie. I don't think we ever really worried about actually saving the princess. The battle was more fun.

Because Sophie has a big brother who's into battling too, and because I don't allow fake guns in the house (at least I TRY not to) we have TONS of toy swords lying around. Sophie loves to get a couple of these, stick them in the back of her shirt so that the handles poke up over her shoulders, and play rescue. However, she likes just as well to dress up in princess clothes, have me turn on "The Nutcracker Ballet" music, and pretend to dance at the ball. I think this is great. I love that little girls seem to be encouraged to play however they want to. Trucks, dolls, swords, skirts, whatever. It seems to me that little boys don't get the same luxury. A lot of dads I know (Sophie's included) are hesitant to be ok with their sons playing with dolls (unless they're disguised as action figures and come with at least 5 weapons). This seems pretty unfair to me.

Anyhow, my "mini-break" was great. If anyone is ever traveling through Flagstaff, I can definitely recommend staying at the Little America. And if you're there on a Sunday, spring for the brunch. I'm talking PILES of shrimp and crab-legs (sorry Patrice), a chocolate fondue fountain, smoked salmon, cheeses, caviar, omelets, waffles, any kind of pastry or muffin, as well as great salads and fruit, and all the champagne you care to drink. (I cared for 2 mimosas. I think the orange juice was fresh squeezed.) For dinner, definitely check out the Beaver Street Brewery.

p.s. Erik has promised me that he'll add a blog about his adventures with Sophie while I was gone, so hopefully that will be coming soon. Apparently while I was gone, Soph had quite a hard time sleeping, spending half of one night with her white silky (Grandma's nightgown--pilfered by Sophie some time ago for it's silking potential) over her head, haunting the house. Erik woke up (on the couch) to a white specter, arms out stretched moaning "Woooooo." He was a little freaked out, until the specter unveiled itself as a harmless, though also sleepless, two year old.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Sweet Sweet Sophie Gene

This morning, Sophie was still sleeping when I left for work. She had climbed in bed with me at around 5ish. I try not to let her sleep in my bed too often, but it's tricky. Erik is a complete insomniac, and sleeps on the couch most of the time, so it's not like she's interrupting anything or crowding anyone out. And it's actually pretty sweet to be awakened by a sleepy-eyed toddler, teddy-bear in one hand, silky in the other, asking, "Mommy, can I lay by you?"

I know that Dr. Laura (that bitch) says that letting kids sleep in your bed is weird, and that parents who allow it are comforting themselves, not their children. So what? It is comfortable to have her warm little self tucked in next to me. I love that she likes to put her hand under my neck and kind of play with my hair while she falls to sleep. I love that while she's sleeping, her little toasty feet (mine are always so cold at night) always end up on my stomach. I love to wake up and see that sweet angel face asleep next to me.

So the last I saw of her, she was sound asleep, laying on my pillow. I feel so bad that she'll probably have a rough day today. When she gets to school, she'll have a new teacher. The one little girl she liked to play with has moved to a new day care. Then when she gets home, I won't be here. Sigh.

Today's best thing about being a mom:
I love watching Sophie sleep. I think there should be a "Sophie Sleeping Channel." If everyone would watch it for 10 minutes a day, the world would be a much more gentle place.

Today's worst thing about being a mom:
Going away, even for just a couple of days, feels a lot like cutting out my heart and leaving it behind.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Making friends with Scoodles Posted by Hello

Helping with the dishes Posted by Hello

These three pictures are my apology for carrying on like a baby. They're a little old--maybe six months or so, but pretty stinkin'cute anyhow! Posted by Hello

Separation Trauma

I'm leaving tomorrow for a couple of nights to meet up with my sister (yay!). We've both decided that the only way to have a Mother's Day that doesn't totally suck is to be as far away from our children and spouse as possible. No offense meant to said children or spouses but there's just something about Mother's Day that makes me at least feel like the worst mother in the world. I get all passive aggressive and moody and then end up getting pissed at Erik for some stupid thing, and the whole day ends up in the shitter. So this Mother's Day, I'm going to be hundreds of miles away from the fruits of my loins and her father.

That said, I'm always worried about leaving Sophie overnight. Something kind of snaps, and I start over compensating. Even though I'll only be gone for two nights, I just went to the store and bought groceries for a freaking army. It's not like her dad can't find the store, and chances are they'll eat out most of the time anyway. I'm washing all of her clothes and cleaning the house. It's actually really pissing me off. I wanted to find a little time to blog before leaving and for fuck sake, she's climbing up my leg and whining and telling me that she's "double sick" and the laundry is buzzing and the groceries need put away and I'll be really glad to get in my car tomorrow and drive AWAY!

Today's best thing about being a mom:
Ummm. Shit. Can't think of one. Well, how about how nice it is when she STOPS WHINING!

Today's worst thing about being a mom:
Never-ending guilt

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

"Jabba the Cake" Posted by Hello

A Bagina Monologue

Ok. So as everyone who has children knows, children are curious. My sweet Soph, in my opinion, is even more so than others. Because she has been raised with lots of little boys, and seen lots of little boy diapers changed, she became curious about the differences between boys and girls pretty early. Somehow or another, she settled on "wiener" for her penis euphemism. A few months ago while we were in the tub, she asked me a very Freudian question. "Sophie wiener?" So, I tried to throw off the Puritan shackles that surround the female genitilia in this country and explained to her that no, she doesn't have a wiener. She has, well, hmmm. I couldn't really come up with one word for the parts of the nether region. So I ended up giving her this 5th grade maturation program talk and listed all the parts separately. Even now I feel hesitant to type the words. I said, "Well, you have a vagina. That's on the inside. You also have ovaries and Fallopian tubes and some other stuff on the inside. On the outside you have labia and a clitoris and all together the outside parts are called the vulva." She basically tuned out after the first 5 seconds, and was content with the answer that she has a vagina. (p.s. Vulva is not in the spell check dictionary. hmmm.)

So for a several days after that, she was processing this and figuring out the toddler version of the birds and the bees. She'd think of people we know and ask, "Grandma wiener?" and I'd kind of cringe and say, "No, Grandma has a vagina." So she'd say, "Grandpa wiener?" and again I'd kind of inwardly shudder and say, "Yes, Grandpa has a wiener."

This was kind of uncomfortable for me. I mean, it is my job to explain this stuff, but all in all, I didn't think it was going quite how it should. Especially when we were at the grocery store, and she announced to the check-out guy, "I hab a bagina!" (No spelling error. Soph has trouble with the "v" sound.") That poor guy didn't know weather to shit or go blind.

Now we've moved on from the nether region to boobs. I mean--they're boobs. What else should I tell her their called? I happen to be, well, super stacked. So now she's noticing that not everyone has huge cans like her mom. Several times she's said to me, "I have little boobs. You have big boobs." Christ. What do I say to that? She even told our little neighbor girl, "Your boobs are little." Luckily, the neighbor couldn't really understand what Sophie said. So I tried to explain to Soph that grown up ladies like mom have boobs, but that little girls like Sophie don't. Of course, this isn't entirely true. I also explained to her that girls get boobs, but boys don't. Also, not entirely true. Then I told Soph that it's not nice to talk to people about their boobs, but I'm not sure that was the right thing to say either. I don't want her to think that just because she's a girl, she has all these parts that she's not allowed to talk about.


Today's best thing about being a mom:
The hilarity never stops.

Today's worst thing about being a mom:
I'm not sure I like being the acting anatomy expert.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Goo Goo Ga Ga

Sophie Gene desperately needs a playmate. She wants to play and play all day and the truth is, I don't really want too. Don't get me wrong. At times, I love to play with her, but then there are moments when I just want to read my book or do the dishes or blog, or whatever, and she's pulling on my arm (or lately, HAIR) and saying, '"Play with me Mommy!" Now I know that the Readers Digest or whatever gagillionth Chicken Soup book are packed with heart warming stories about moms who stopped what they were doing, played with their kids, and it had some life renewing quality. Whatever. I do that every freaking day, and honestly, I just want some time to myself.

Her latest favorite is babies. You know the drill. We take turns being the baby, talking baby talk and crawling around while the other one provides blankies, bottles, diaper changes, and says "Coochie coochie coo." It is sweet, and the first 3 or 4 times we played, we had a blast. But now she's the freakin' playing babies Nazi. She barks orders like "Say 'goo goo ga ga,' and 'Now throw your bottle."

The other game we play all the time is Peter Rabbit and Mr. McGreggor. (Peter, she pronounces Pee-tah with a fab British accent just like the lady on the cartoon.) She comes up to me and says, "I'm eating your carrots!" Then I have to yell "Stop thief!" and "Come back" while she runs through the house screaming, "Oh no! I'll be baked in a pie!" loosing her shoes and coat and eventually running into the kitchen, which apparently is out of the garden and home free. Again, this is super darling but after a half hour or so, it kinda looses its luster.

So, I let her watch too much tv. I wish some sweet little 2 or three year old girl would move in close by, then they could take turns being Mr. McGreggor and saying "goo goo ga ga" and I could get something done once in a while without plugging her in to the tv, which I hate, but do all the time anyway.

That's it for today. The party yesterday for Janzen was a success. The Jaba the Hut cake was HILARIOUS and great, and I'll post some pictures of it as soon as my dad, the picture taker of the family, sends them to me.

Today's best thing about being a mom:
Well, while playing babies, it is kind of fun to be really difficult and demand my bottle and blanky and bear.

Today's worst thing about being a mom:
I'm really not sure what to do about her wanting to change my butt while we're playing babies. Even just for pretend, I feel like I'm at a point in my life when I really deserve to be treated like a big-girl in that respect.