Sunday, July 31, 2005

Happy Birthday to Erik

It's my hubby's birthday today. We're going up to Salt Lake tonight--killing 3 birds with one stone actually: taking Janzen home, having birthday hotel sex, and getting Erik to a meeting he has up there tomorrow.

My mom's keeping Sophie and Jimmy (for this, she her place in heaven is definitely assured) --the plan is for them to stay at her house, but there is a chance that they'll come here, so that means CLEANING! The plan had been to clean when Soph went down for her nap--but as usual, when I really want her to nap, she doesn't--so I'm going to tackle the house with her tackling me.

In honor of Erik's birthday--here are a couple of Erik lists.

Erik's weird food things:

Erik is literally terrified of raw chicken. I once chased him through the kitchen with a raw chicken leg. Janz and I laugh about the time Erik said, "Janz--don't come in the kitchen--there's raw chicken in here," much in the same tone he might have said, "There are rabid wolverines in here."

He won't eat corn unless it's on the cob. Salsa with corn? Noooo. I don't think so. Corn in soup? Think again.

When we first got married--Erik filled me in on the "big 3" which are: eggs, peas, and tomatoes. We've whittled the list down to the big 2--tomatoes are now acceptable in certain venues; but eggs and peas--never.

If you wanted to do something nice for Erik, you could:

Bake him a German chocolate cake--his favorite. The icing must be at least 1/2 inch thick.

Watch Big Trouble in Little China with him--but don't talk during the movie--that really pisses him off.

Clean out his car.

Talk about talk radio with him.

Buy him the new season of Aqua Teens on DVD.

Do his laundry--because his wife swore an oath 9 years that she never would--and has kept it.

Let him take a nice long run in the morning.

Help him find his keys, wallet, hat, or other assorted items that he is sure to be missing.

Reasons you should be jealous of me (missuzj) for having Erik as a husband:

Yes--he is as hot as he looks in his pictures.

He's a great dad to both of his kids. He knows how to PLAY with kids, and they love him for it.

He's dynamite in the sack.

He's a computer genius, and is willing to help however he can.

He will read to you in bed at night.

He gives foot rubs.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Does a bear shit in the woods?

I currently have a roll of toilet paper sticking on a branch of the shrub by my front door.

"Why?" you may ask.

Well--because Sophie's current favorite thing to watch on TV is the Charmin Ultra commercials. She loves the little bear. She loves the little bear's mom. She loves the little song they sing. She loves that the commercial deals with bathroom things.

So--she sneaked a roll of toilet paper outside, and stuck it on a branch "Like the bears Mommy!"

When I dared to try and remove it, we had a 3 alarm melt down. So, because I am the most permissive mother in the woods, the paper remains.

In addition to the questionable front door decor, we also actually play Charmin games. Sophie takes a long strip of TP from the roll, and looks at me expectantly. My job is to then say, "You don't need that much little bear!" and the model how much TP she needs. Sigh.

Also, she loves to recreate the very scientific experiment of putting the TP in a cup, adding some water, and turning the cup upsidedown to show just how absorbent the TP actually is. She was VERY pissed that we didn't have any blue water. While Janz and I were playing chess with our Marvel comics chess set (My knight is Spider Man--how cool is that?) Sophie stuffed a wad of TP in my glass of Pepsi, turned it upside down, thus spilling my last Pepsi all over the table, and announced, "With Charmin Ultra, less is more!"

I think we're going to watch less TV from now on.

Today's best thing about being a mom:
Janz and I have started playing chess on a pretty regular basis. I suck at chess, as I can't think of more than 3 moves in advance. I'm just a hair better than he is. It's great to have a kid who is old enough to play games with.

Today's worst thing about being a mom:
Wondering what the neighbors must think

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Tiny Dancer

The summer is winding down, and I really can't stand the idea of going back to work. As much as I sometimes bitch, there are many worse ways to spend the day than chillin' with Sophie Gene.

Sophie went to day care today, and I went in to my classroom to start working on my planning for next year. My goal is to have the whole year loosely mapped out--and to build really solid unit plans for all of first quarter. The beginning of the year is always tricky at my particular school, because we never really know who is going to turn up. We'll get a hand full from the previous year, plus a bunch of state custody kids, but it usually takes the kids from the "regular" high schools at least 3 weeks to fuck up enough to be sent over to us.

So I usually start out with a short unit on brain development while I'm waiting for the troops to arrive. The kids bitch that they shouldn't have to learn human biology in English--but I feel like they really can benefit from knowing exactly how the brain stores information. We talk about how threats (like tigers and tests and ex-girlfriends)--even perceived threats-- move brain function to the brain stem--the fight or flight center of the brain which has no language--and no higher thinking capabilities. We talk about how much water the brain needs--about how much sleep the brain needs. Of course, all the while they are reading and writing and listening and speaking--all of the things that they are supposed to be doing in English--they just don't notice.

From there, I go several different directions, depending on the class. My 11th grade English kids will start off with The Crucible. Our essential question for that unit (the essential question is the "so what?"--the why are we even learning about this in the first place) is "How do the Puritan roots of our country still affect our daily lives today?" We watch quite a bit of the movie--but also read a lot and do some written responses and some acting. I end The Crucible with a mock trial in which we put Abigale Williams on trial for depraved indifference to human life and conspiracy to commit murder. So far--the county attorney has totally stood me up, and I've had to learn a lot about both of these charges on-line--but the kids have a surprisingly good time with the trial. Most of them are pretty familiar with court room procedure, having themselves been involved in the court system.

10th grade is a little trickier. With them, I start out with the writing right away--and hit it pretty hard. Most of them never knew or have totally forgotten what a paragraph is.
They write short, one paragraph reflections for me about themselves--on topics like school lunch in elementary school, their first bike, their first day of high school. We do this while reading The House on Mango Street, a beautiful little novella that you should read if you haven't.

Sorry to give you a play by play of work stuff. It's just kind of consuming my thoughts now that there are only a couple of weeks until school starts.

If anyone has great (or terrible) memories of high school English, please leave a comment. I'm always looking for new ideas.

Today's best thing about being a mom:

Today's worst thing about being a mom:
Thinking about going back to work

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

All aboard the potty train!

I have my hands a little full at the moment--potty training Sophie and Jimmy. Of course, I'm using different strategies with each of them, but there are actually several similarities.

With Sophie--I've made myself change from the disposable pull-ups to the cloth training pants. This way--I'm WAY more vigilant about asking her if she needs to go, and she can tell when she's wet. We've worked our way through the first potty chart, and I need to make her a new one. I think I'll get a prize box for her to choose from if she keeps her panties dry all day.

Of course, the smart little shit has figured out that all she has to do to get me to drop everything is to tell me she has to go. We walk into the grocery store, and she announces that she has to pee. So we truck to the back of the store, get her on the pot, and exactly 2 drops of pee come out. We finish our shopping, stand in line to pay, and right before it's our turn to check out, she announces that she has to pee again. Another trip to the bathroom. Another 2 drops of pee. The same thing goes for nap time, bed time, dinner time, breakfast time, or whenever she's doing something she doesn't want to be doing.

With Jimmy--we're using the crate training method. He doesn't love the crate, but is doing better. He's confined to the crate, the kitchen, and the back yard. So far, we've only had a couple of accidents and he's starting to get the hang of things. Unfortunately, he uses his potty trips to seek out every disgusting thing that has been hiding in my back yard--and then eat it. His favorite vile back yard treats so far are fossilized cat shit and decrepit dead bird.

With both, I find myself asking several times a day, "Do you need to potty?" I also find myself celebrating successful potty trips either to the back yard or the bathroom by saying, "Woo hoo! Good potty!" Sophie and I have a potty song we sing--which I skip with Jimmy. He prefers a liver treat.

I'm HOPING to have both of them successfully potty trained by the time I go back to school. That day is fast approaching, no matter how I avoid looking at calendars and ignore the back to school signs and sales all over town. This has been a truly lovely summer. I hate to see it slipping away.

Today's best thing about being a mom:
Janzen has been here for a week, and will be here for another. Yesterday I bought him this cheap fedora like hat at the dollar store. He's such a funny kid; he absolutely LOVES it. We were driving home from the store later, and I was listing all of the things I had accomplished that day. He said, "Plus, you bought me a $5.00 hat that makes me look like a genius!"

Today's worst thing about being a mom:
Sophie is torn between euphoria and intense jealousy for Jimmy. She is taking the "if you can't beat them, join them" approach and is literally peeing on the lawn, and demanding her drinks in bowls so she can lap them up.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Jimmy Thing

Well--the new pup is here. Erik has named him Jimmy. Sophie is ecstatic, and very thrilled by the fact that Jimmy has a wiener. Much to Janzen's delight, Jimmy has taken quite a shine to him, and is currently sleeping in his bedroom in a laundry basket lined with towels (Jimmy, not Janzen) while Janz plays video games. More later.

I must be loosing my mind.

I mentioned a while back that my husband's birthday is coming up. Actually, it's on the 31st of this month.

Let my back up a ways now. When Erik was young, his dad was a total workaholic, but in sudden misplaced spurts of wanting to actually parent his kids, he would bring home a dog. After bringing home the dog, Dad would totally forget about it, as would the kids, and eventually, Mom would take over care of said dog, until she lost patience with the whole thing and took it to the pound.

So, as an adult, Erik has always wanted a dog--to make up for the lack of normal dog-ownership of his childhood. I've poo-pooed the idea for 10 years now. Yes, a while back we took in my parents old dog, Buddy, a border collie who was on his last leg, while they built a house--but really Buddy was more like a piece of hand-me-down furniture than a dog. But I'm doing something very foolish tonight. I'm bringing home a puppy for Erik for his birthday.

I love my husband and he's a great dad, good worker, etc., but tends to see the glass as basically half empty. Because of some work situations and the situation with my step-son, I've watched the joy drip out of his life bit by bit. A couple of weeks ago, while I was driving Janzen home to Salt Lake, I said out of the blue, "Why don't we get your dad a puppy for his birthday?" Of course, Janzen was all over the idea--he's an 11 year old boy after all.

So--I started looking in the paper, the pet store, checking with friends, and trying to find a great puppy for Erik. He hasn't ever wanted a papered fancy dog--but mentioned once that he'd like to have a golden retriever to run with. So on Wednesday, Janzen and I were taking the car to the car wash, and picked up a "Pioneer Shopper"--an independent cornucopia of classified ads for Southern Utah. Looking for a pygmy goat? No problem! Want to work from home and make up to $2000 an day? It's in there! So, while sitting there together, the car being blasted by the high pressure jets of the car wash, Janzen reads out loud to me, "Golden Retriever/Border Collie puppies. Call for details." Now we all loved Buddy--even though he was old as sin, and as a young dog, he was smart as a whip and great to be around. So this seemed like the perfect puppy. We called--they gave us the details, and to make a long story short, are meeting Janzen and I tonight in the parking lot of our Super Wal-Mart with a puppy.


Janzen and I have sneakily purchases puppy stuff and hid it. I bought a book called the "Everything Puppy Book" which mostly scared me. Anyone know about this "crate training?" It seems kind of hard core to me.

Plus, Sophie already pees all over the place, and tears the house to pieces.

Ok. Breath. It will be ok. It will be fun. It will make Erik happy. It's only a puppy.

Today's best thing about being a mom:
Sophie should be taking a nap, but she just came out of her room, naked except for her princess pull-ups and her new tap shoes. She LOVES her new tap shoes. The dance class was mainly a success. I don't know how thrilled I am with the teacher, but I stayed and watched, and Sophie sat in my lap for a while, and participated a little, and dragged me out to dance with her a couple of times. They're learning a little dance to "5 little monkeys jumping on the bed" which is cute. I was hoping to see more creative movement and less "everybody stand on your spot and tap your left toe" stuff, but we'll see. Anyhoo--Sophie in tap-shoes is a pretty sweet sight.

Today's worst thing about being a mom:
I'm beginning to think that I will never ever be allowed to sleep in again. This morning she climbed in bed with me at 6:30. Not too bad, but I remember the days (3 years ago) when I had a day off of sleeping until 9:00, reading until 10:00, wandering in and having breakfast. Shit and Fuck. Here she is again. I guess it's going to be a no nap day.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Pre-dance lesson pictures

What's that? Posted by Picasa

Let me watch Dora! Posted by Picasa

HOLD STILL! Posted by Picasa

In about an hour, Sophie has her first dance lesson. (Really--it's just fun creative movement while wearing a leotard.) She looks SO FREAKIN CUTE that I tried to get some pictures, but she wouldn't hold stil for the 1/100th of a second I needed to get her picture. Here's what I got. I'll try and post about her class later today. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Weird things I like

Coming up with something new and interesting to blog about every day (ok, 3-4 times a week) is getting tricky. Let's see here. How about I borrow an idea from a very accomplished blogger--sarcomical--(I'm way to lazy to add a link. Check my "on line peeps") and do some listing.

Weird things I like:

I like to---

go to the movies and buy Red Vines, a Sprite, and popcorn. Then I bite off both ends of a Red Vine and use it as a straw to drink the Sprite. It makes the Sprite kind of cherry-ish, and then when you eat the licorice, it's kind of soggy in the middle and frozen on the outside.

fill up my ice cube trays.

eat the crunchy corners of the cake, brownies, or whatever. (Does that make sense?)

watch the Real World/Road Rules challenge.

clip my husband's toe nails and clean out his ears. (Eww! Gross-I know) (p.s. When we were separated, he said that he knew I was going to come back when I offered to cut his toe nails for him.)

read the same books over and over--especially The Blue Sword, The Hero and the Crown, Dragon Song, Dragon Singer, and Anne of Green Gables. All young adult books, I know, but I guess I'm young at heart.

make up annoying games to play in the car--like "Who can think of the most songs that have to do with food? (ex. Blueberry hill, Pour Some Sugar on Me, Cornflake Girl) and "Who can think of the most words that end in "ation" (ex. creation, masturbation, reincarnation, clay-mation)

diagram sentences.

So, if after reading this list, you no longer like me--I'll mourn your missing numbers on my counter. If, however, you're inspired to share any weird things that you particularly like, please do!

No best and worst thing about being a mom today. Sophie has an ear infection and is too grouchy for words.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Independent Women Pt. 1

Well, I've been a bit of a blog slacker for the past few days. I have 2 good reasons, however. Reason 1 is that my right wrist and forearm are killing me from too much computer time. My body is trying to tell me (screaming at me, actually) that I need to find a better way to spend my time. In all honesty, I don't really watch TV too much anymore. I've switched over to the computer, which, though it is a bit more brain stimulating, is not a good trade-off for real life.

Reason 2 is I had to get the new Harry Potter read. I'm not a super Harry Potter freak--I mean, I wasn't at the bookstore at midnight on Friday. I did, however, have a copy reserved, and picked it up early Saturday afternoon. When it comes to books, I'm a total binger. I don't read in small quantities. I devour books. So--The Half Blood Prince has been duly devoured, and I have a couple things to say about it. (Don't worry--no spoiling.) Since book 3, I haven't enjoyed the stories as much--though obviously enough to keep reading them. 5 was particularly hard to plow through--and I can best describe it as sullen. 6 was better--but was completely plot driven--very little as far as the character development or world building that was so fun to read in the first few books. I understand that Rowling has had thousands of pages to do both of these things--and may feel like she's given enough of this wizarding world and funky characters that inhabit it--but I miss it and wish she would keep giving her readers more of the fun details and minutiae that made the early books so impossible to put down. As far as what actually happens in book 6, all I'll say is this: 1 thing happened in it that I NEVER thought would happen, ever, and 2 things happened that I've been expecting for some time.

Well--that took longer than I had anticipated. I didn't mean for this post to be a book review. On to the Sophie stuff. Sophie's most uttered phrase lately is "I can DO IT!" If I remember correctly from my Psych 101 class, she's just moving from Erikson's Autonomy vs Shame and Doubt stage into his Initiative vs Guilt stage. (According to Freud, the sick fuck, she's moving from the Anal stage into the Phallic stage, and while she has been informing me that she'll have a wiener when she grows up, I refuse to believe that she has penis envy, or that her complete future personality and success depend on if she can successfully take a shit or not.) I think that other than a little mommy-itis, she's a pretty autonomous girl. When she sees a kid her size out in the world, she marches right up to them and says, "Hi! I'm Sophie! Let's be friends!" She's gotten much better about being left at a grandma or friend's house. I believe that as much as and almost 3 year old can, she know who she is and has a great amount of confidence.

Now, however, we're moving into that tricky initiative stage. She's decided that she can and should do things for herself. Don't get me wrong--I WANT her to be able to do things for herself, but right now, it's just so much more work for me. She has this little chair that she drags with her everywhere to reach things. If I don't watch her closely enough, I'll find her on the kitchen counter, having fetched the jam from the fridge and ripped open the bread, trying to make herself a "jam samwich." When I try to help her with this task, she tells me to go away. The end result is usually very sticky and jammy and a huge mess for me to clean up.

Other things she wants to do by herself are pour drinks, wipe her butt (p.s. The flushable "Kan-doo" kid's wipes are THE BOMB), put videos and DVDs in the player and take them out, use scissors and glue, and get in and out of the car. Again, I really do want her to be able to do these things--to take the initiative and get and do what she wants, but unfortunately, it's a huge pain in my ass. It's messy and time consuming and frustrating for both of us.

I don't remember this event, but my mom often tells a story about me when I was about 4. (I was a VERY independent child, and was known for saying, "I can fick it myself!) I had tried to make my own bed, and was pretty proud of myself. Later my mom came along, and without saying anything to me, remade the bed. After a while she found me crying in the closet, and had no idea what was wrong. When she asked, I told her, "I made my bed all my myself but it wasn't good enough for you!" I'm trying to keep in mind the lesson of this story, and just grit my teeth as I wait for Sophie to climb into the car when I'm in a hurry.

Today's best thing about being a mom:
I love to lay in Sophie's bed with her and read her a story. We checked out "Mrs. McTats and her House Full of Cats" today, and had a read and a snuggle before nap time. It was lovely.

Today's worst thing about being a mom:
Cleaning up after the "jam samwich"

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Found some old pictures

While cleaning out my dresser drawers (shocking) I found an old picture CD my dad burned for me almost 3 years ago. Here are the highlights.

This is a picture my dad took when I first told him and my mom that I was pregnant. I had taken the test about 10 minutes before and raced to my parents house. I was so terrified, surprised, excited, and basically freaked out, that I just needed to be with as many loving people as I could. Erik was surprised and terrified as well, but was very sweet about sharing this first couple hours of my pregnancy (that we knew of) with my folks.

This next one is the most pregnant picture I have of myself. I don't know WHAT I was thinking with the red dress. Obviously this is my baby shower. The two cute gals on the right are Kodi and Kelli--two of my best girl friends.

Here is Janzen holding his baby sister for the first time. I can't believe how young he is here. Look at those cheeks!

This one is Sophie's first bath at home. The irony is that only moments ago she gave her teddy bear a bath in a bowl of water that she filled up herself by climbing onto the counter while I wasn't looking.

If it's not one end, it's the other.

If you happened to read my post yesterday, and actually did say a prayer to whatever god or goddess you may pray to, THANK YOU, because the day was remarkably cluster-fuck free.

The kids were great with the exception of a couple of little neighborhood kids who tried to argue with me when I said they couldn't come over to play because Karynn (my sis-in-law) was gone. They tried to give me shit but I turned on my best teacher voice, and gave them a withering displeased teacher look, and they soon saw the light. Bless their hearts--they didn't know with whom they were dealing. Sophie had a wonderful time playing with the cousins (she calls them "my boys") and I even had a chance to read in my book for a while.

I do have one complaint, however. Little Jesse, the one year old, had a runny nose; not a little clear trickle either, mind you, but a literal fountain of viscous green goo. Now, in a pinch with Sophie, I have been known to wipe her nose with my shirt, and sometimes even my hand. I've been handed numerous boogers, and even been witness to her first booger snack attempt. However, she is the fruit of my loins, and I have to say, that the mucus of other people's fruits really grosses me out. I was wiping that little nose ALL DAY and every time the snot managed to circumvent the tissue and get on my hand. Eww.

On a different note, in the next 3 weeks, Sophie will be turning 3, my husband will be turning 31, and I will be turning (gasp) 30. The 3 and 30 mommy daughter duo should be an interesting combination. I remember when I discovered I was pregnant (I wouldn't call my sweet Sophie a mistake--but neither would call her a plan) thinking "I'm too young to be a mom." This thought, of course, was ludicrous, because, at the time I was 27 (maybe 26?) and could easily, by that time, have given birth to a multitude of children. For the most part though, I'm glad I waited until my late 20's to have her; but when I see my girl-friends' kids, (they all started quite a bit earlier than me) who are all over 10, being incredibly self sufficient, I sometimes wish I were past the bum-wiping stage.

Today's best thing about being a mom:
Sophie's hair has gotten SO LONG! It's almost down to her waist when it's wet. If I put her in front of a good show with a popsicle, she'll let me French braid it. We've done a crown over the top, farm-girl braids, renaissance-ish side braids--you name it. It's so beautiful.

Today's worst thing about being a mom:
I'm getting pretty tired of wiping a butt that isn't mine. Damn, I see a lot of that kid's butt.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Wish me luck!

I'm off with Sophie to tend my sister-in-law's boys. She has a 1 year old, a 5 year old, and a 7 year old. With Sophie at almost 3, that gives me 4 kids to chase with 2 years separating each. I've packed all the Yu-Gi-Oh and Dragon Ball Z movies for the 5 and 7, and have all of Sophie's Care Bear stuff for her and 1. We'll be there from 11:00-4:00. Pray for me.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

I. Am. Not. Fucking. Pregnant.

Ok. The shit has truly hit the fan. I've known that the weight is coming back on, but I didn't know things had become this dire. Here's what happened.

My mom and Sophie had a playdate yesterday afternoon. Sweet Aunty Katy asked me if I'd like a hang-out session with her, so we went to get pedicures. Very decadent, I know. So there I am, my calluses being shaved off by a very nice Asian man, sitting a bit reclined in the massagy chair with the rollers working their way up and down my back. I was lulled into a nice foggy place where there was no cat-shit in the sandbox, no chocolate pudding on the walls, no peed in panties in a baggy in my purse.

Then, although she spoke very little English, the lady working on Katy's feet (I'll let Katy tell that story.) managed to say something that totally ruined my afternoon, my day, my year. She patted her stomach, looked at mine, and asked me, "When baby come?" Darkness fell upon me like a plague o'r the land. I answered her coldly, "She's about to turn three." I then picked up the magazine next to me (Elle) and was faced with page after page of skinny-minnie Linsay Lohan pictures. Barf.

A little advice people. Unless you happen to be in the delivery room with her, and actually SEE the baby crowning, DON'T ASK A STRANGER IF SHE'S PREGNANT!

This is the second time this has happened to me. The first was a year after Erik and I were married. We went back to the B&B where we had spent part of our honeymoon for our first anniversary. I had put on about 20 pounds that year--and obviously felt like total shit about it. The first night we were there, the owner of the place motioned to my stomach and said, "I take it congratulations are in order?" I was totally stumped. At first I thought she was referring to the fact that we had made it a year without dismembering each other. Then I realized what she meant. "No," I whispered. "They're not." We left first thing the next morning.

So--the plan is, start South Beach right away, take Sophie swimming or for a long walk every day, and quit going out in public.

Sorry for another long post about my weight. I'll get over my little pity party soon. That comment just really got to me yesterday. Tomorrow I promise more of the exploits of Sophie Gene who is currently being a very good girl and eating her Fruit Loops.

Today's best thing about being a mom:
We're giving a tea party today for my mom and grandma and Katy. We get to go shopping for little dainty treats together, and then we're going to set a pretty table with flowers and doilies and wear dress-up hats.

Today's worst thing about mom:
The temptation to sit on the couch and snack

Monday, July 11, 2005


At the middle and end of each school year, every teacher in my district has to write a reflection. It's a very structured writing assignment designed to help us see where we are, and where we want to go. First we write about what we should keep doing. Then we write about what we should stop doing. Then we should write about what we should star doing. Every year, it's a piece of cake for me to list what I should start and stop doing, but thinking of what I should keep doing is HARD! Here's my "how's the summer going" personal reflection. Here goes.

Things I should keep doing:
Playing silly games with Sophie
Reading tons of books
Keeping my toe-nails painted
Watering my outside pots

Things I should stop doing:
Playing computer Scrabble 1+ hours per day
Checking my blog for comments 5+ times per day
Putting off the house work
Laying on the couch until 9:00 watching cartoons with Sophie
Putting off getting ready for school next year
Eating tons of junk
Giving Sophie a bottle at bed time
Letting the inside of my car become a smelly dumpster
Going out to eat so much
Drinking Cosmopolitans on an empty stomach (sorry Paul and Jen)

Things I should start doing:
Taking a walk every morning before it gets too hot outside
Drinking more water
Dusting the house--at least monthly
Cleaning under my bed--at least yearly
Cleaning out the refrigerator--at least weekly
Doing yoga again
Calling my brother and sister
Going to the grocery store and planning meals instead of eating out ALL THE TIME!
Teaching Sophie how to pick up her own toys
Teaching Erik how to pick up his own toys (ha--but true)

I'm feeling kind of bored and boring today, and my house, as usual, is a fucking pig sty. I'm going to go take my pills, do the dishes, and clean up the living room. (I won't subject anyone to another list of all the shit that is on the floor today, but it includes various things Sophie used to make instruments this morning and about half a bowl of popcorn that her dad made for her last night. Speaking of her dad, we're apparently not speaking. Sometimes this marriage thing feels like running on a hampster wheel while wearing 40 pound army boots and juggling porcupines.)

Friday, July 08, 2005

We needed something to do this afternoon, so we made chocolate cake! Posted by Picasa

Janzen is very good with the mixer. Posted by Picasa

Sophie's just here for the batter! Posted by Picasa

He made the cake ALL by himself. I'm trying to raise a kindler, gentler, mohawk wearing pre-teenager. (So--what do you think about the hair? When Sophie saw it, she said, "You're mommy is going to spank your butt for painting your hair!" Then she said to me, "Can I paint MY hair?"Posted by Picasa

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Butter and Cigarettes and Rambling and Self Disclosure

In my next life, when I get to design my own world, butter and cigarettes are going to be wonderfully nutritious and good for you--kind of like soy. (Am I the only one who HATES soy? I hate soy milk. I hate tofu. I hate those little soy nuts. I'm tired of people trying to get me to eat soy!) Doctors and nutrition gurus will say things like, "Just try and work butter into your diet where you can. Have some on your toast in the morning; add a little to your vegetables; put some on your popcorn." It will be the same with cigarettes. Instead of advice to use the stairs and park far away from the grocery store, it will be, "Try to have a cigarette on your lunch break or squeeze one in before bed time."

My body and I are in this constant struggle. About 5 years ago, I started taking yoga and actually realized that I HAD a body. Before this, I just went around in it, but never paid much attention to it (other than basically not liking it). Because of several experiences as a teenager with horny boys (and some men), combined with church related guilt about sexuality, I spent a lot of time thinking that my body was inherently a bad thing. I honestly don't know if I'll ever feel comfortable with the body I have.

Of course, my yoga practice totally went in the shitter when I had Sophie, and for the past 3 years I've been either ignoring or actively being destructive toward my body. My weight has gone up and down, thanks to diet pills and eating disorders. I've started smoking again and use butter fairly indiscriminately. I haven't spent hardly any time outside just enjoying the mountains and desert and feeling the sun and wind and sand and registering that my body and I are a part of nature.

So this morning I finally went to the chiropractor because I literally couldn't relax my shoulders. They were somewhere up around my ears, and wouldn't come down. My chiropractor isn't a crackity crack guy. He does trigger and pressure points. Anyhoo, he put his thumb on this place on my neck, and I start bawling like I'd just watched the end of "Finding Neverland." Not from physical pain--though it did hurt--but from some bizarre internal emotional or spiritual pain that had been sitting in that spot for awhile. Apparently, this spot triggered some of that body hate fucked-up feeling stuff, because today I'm feeling very reflective, and, well, fucked-up about it.

After the chiropractor, instead of going home and cleaning my house (it's Sophie's pre-school day) I drove up the mountain, found a rock to sit on by the creek, and, well, sat. This is something I haven't done in YEARS. I used to do it almost religiously in the summer time. I sat and sat and felt the sun and put my feet in the freezing water and bawled again for a bit and came to a couple of mild realizations.

One--that mothers are women and people too, and when we forget that-- forget that our internal struggles with ourselves and our spiritual nature and all the shitty luggage that we carry around with ourselves still need to be addressed and given validation and contemplation, things can go awry. (I love the word awry. I also love the word nebulous, but couldn't find anywhere to work it in today.)

Two--that I live in a beautiful, beautiful place, and I need to start sharing it more with Sophie. When I was in college, I was outside so much that I always knew which phase the moon was in. I spent more time outside and in the mountains than anywhere else. Of course, much of that was because the mountain was a great place to go for any, um, socially unacceptable activity that you cared to participate in. Now that I'm big--and limit my socially unacceptable behaviors to a couple of Jack and Cokes every once in a while, and have a house with air conditioning, and a daughter, and, and, and, and, and, the mountains and desert have become strangers to me.

Although he's not one of my Favorite poets, I love this Robert Frost poem, "Acquainted with the night."

Acquainted With the Night

I have been one acquainted with the night.
I have walked out in rain--and back in rain.
I have outwalked the furthest city light.

I have looked down the saddest city lane.
I have passed by the watchman on his beat
And dropped my eyes, unwilling to explain.

I have stood still and stopped the sound of feet
When far away an interrupted cry
Came over houses from another street,

But not to call me back or say good-by;
And further still at an unearthly height
One luminary clock against the sky

Proclaimed the time was neither wrong nor right.
I have been one acquainted with the night.

It's one of the only poems I make my students memorize. I feel like I've lost my acquaintanceship (a word?)-- my friendship with the natural world, and with my body, and that it's time I call both of them up for a lunch date.

Today's best thing about being a mom:
What doesn't kill you only makes you stronger.

Today's worst thing about being a mom:
Totally loosing track of yourself

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Peanut butter and Goldie

A while back, I promised Sophie that I'd buy her a goldfish. (This promise was made at the hospital when she was having her elbow x-rayed, and frankly, I think I got off pretty easy with just a goldfish. She was so upset, I almost promised her a kitten. Yikes!) So, I totally forgot about the fish promise, and then yesterday, she reminded me. After doing a bit of goldfish research on line (Apparently, the bowl is NOT an acceptable home for goldfish. But--tough shit, I can't afford a tank for a 2 year old) we headed off to the pet store.

25 bucks later, (2 fish, one bag of purple sand/rocks, one canister fish food, one bottle "Goldfish Life" water purification drops, one bowl) we came home and assembled the fish bowl. As you can imagine, Sophie was quite excited, and was talking a blue streak to her new fish, (Do you want me fo jump for you fishies? Can you swim around? Do you like your rocks?) and was not dissuaded at all by the fact that they had nothing to say to her. At first she named the fish "Goldie." Goldie being a collective noun that referred to both fish. Then she decided to call them Goldie and Gold. Finally, she settled on Goldie and Peanut butter.

This morning, luckily before she checked on our new pets, I had a look in the bowl. Poor Peanut butter was oddly still, and lying in his/her side. Peanut butter was deceased. I informed Erik of Peanut butter's sorry end, and he gave me one of those, "What do you want me to do about it?" looks. I said--"You're the man! Get it out of there and flush it!" He asked if I had purchased a net--which obviously I had not, but I advised him to use one of the slotted spoons. (Which I just found still sitting in the bathroom counter. Ew) He did, but wasn't thrilled with the job, or my telling him that it was his job, as the man, to dispose of any and all dead animals found in or around the premises. Oh well.

So when Soph noticed that Peanut butter was gone, I told her that s/he was sick, and had gone back to the pet store. Yes, a lie, but I didn't want to tell her that her fish had died. I'm not ready for life and death discussions with her just yet. Getting basic anatomy and bodily function stuff explained is hard enough right now. Hopefully Goldie is a little more resilient than her pal, and will be around for a while.

Today's best thing about being a mom:
We went and got a library card today. She wanted to check out her books alone, so I gave her the card and she very seriously presented it to the librarian along with her Little Mermaid book. It was the sweetest thing.

Today's worst thing about being a mom:
Dead fish

Monday, July 04, 2005

Shit! Shit! Shit! God Damn!

A few days ago, when her water wings weren't working at the public pool, Sophie said, "Shit! Shit! Shit! God Damn!" My mother was there. Ouch. The look that crossed her face (my mom, not Sophie) was a perfect blend of horror and hilarity. And where, you might ask, did Sophie learn to say "Shit! Shit! Shit! God Damn!"? That would be me, of course.

As you may well imagine, I've been trying to watch my mouth since then. Apparently I've been using the word "freakin'" a lot: as in, "Get out of the freakin' way!" to slow driving motorists. How do I know I've been saying "freakin'" a lot? Not because I'm self-aware. I try very hard not to be, actually. It's because Sophie has said the following things today.

When is it my freakin' birthday?
This pizza needs some freakin' cheese!
Where's my freakin' Cheer Bear?
I peed in my freakin' panties!

As an English teacher, I can say that it's quite clever that she figured out that "freakin'" is an adjective, and that it always comes right before the noun. As her mother, I'm pretty freakin' appalled. (Hmmm. "appalled" is an adjective, so if "freakin'" is modifying "appalled," it's an adverb in that sentence.)

Today's best thing about being a mom:
Playing hide and seek
Today's worst thing about being a mom:
All of your bad habits are put on display in the form of your child for everyone to see.

Friday, July 01, 2005

You know you're potty training a two (almost 3) year old girl if...

You know you're potty training a two year old girl if...

1. You're favorite/best find at Walmart was Disney Princess Pull-ups.
2. You put your desk-top publishing skills to use by creating a personalized potty chart--complete with pictures of the Barbie Jeep that is the reward for 3 poops in the potty.
3. You've used the phrase, "Don't poop on the princesses!"
4. You've made up a song and dance to, umm, sing and dance after every successful trip to the potty. ("Sophie peed in the potty ya! And she kept her panties dry! Can you give me a high five Soph? Can you give me a high five Soph?" The dance is a kind of shake your butt and kick your legs thing.)
5. You performed said song and dance with your daughter, in the public bathroom at IHOP, in front of spectators, because not to do so would make her sad, and ruin the continuity of your rewards system.
6. You've pulled your daughter's favorite teddy bear out of the toilet--but not gotten mad, because she was teaching him how to go potty when he fell in.
7. You've read "It's Potty Time" (a book complete with a button that makes life-like flushing sounds) 10 times already today.
8. You've been asked the question by your daughter, "Can I see your poop?" and complied.
9. You've searched ALL OVER CEDAR CITY, unsuccessfully for princess stickers to go on the potty chart (which is divided into 2 sections: boxes for successful "pee pee" and "poop" trips).
10. You're beginning to wonder if changing diapers until she's 5 might just be easier.

Today's best thing about being a mom:
Today Aunty Katy and Grandma bought Sophie a fairy costume--skirt, wings, antennae (I didn't know fairies had antennae) etc. The cuteness was literally ricocheting off of walls.

Today's worst thing about being a mom:
Refer to above list.