Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Tragically unhip

I put off responding to the 5 songs meme, because although I can sing you all the words to any Disney Princess movie, or song that was played on pop-radio between 1980 and 1993, lately, I just simply haven't been into music--particularly new music. Reading over everyone else's lists made me feel like a super square old bag. So--as the 5 songs I hear most often lately are sung by animated characters--how about 5 songs that I love. I won't say my top 5 favorite songs of all time, because that's just too big of a commitment, but these would easily make it into the top 20 any day.

1. Son of a Preacher Man (Dusty Springfield)
2. Lady Marmalade (Patti LaBell)
3. Lucille (Kenny Rogers)
4. Walkin' After Midnight (Patsy Cline)
5. I Love Rock and Roll (Joan Jett)

I know. Kind of sad.

So--Today Sophie had her biggest temper tantrum to date. We went to the dollar store by our house to buy some fabric softener, and I told her she could have ONE thing. She chose Tender Heart Bear, and then a sand painting mess-in-a-box thing. I said--"You can only have one." She literally went to pieces. Screaming. Kicking. Flailing around. But--I stuck to my guns. After a while, I scooped her off of the floor, (with--as the Dr. told me this morning--a sprained back) put her in the car, and we went home without buying anything. The tantrum continued the whole way home, into the house, and into her bedroom--until she cried herself to sleep.

The poor little bug must be feeling a lot of 3 year old anxiety. I've been laid up for days, and that worries her. We're hitting the potty training thing pretty hard, because of day care. Also, we've started weaning her off of the bottle. (She goes to sleep without it, but when she wakes up in the night, I still let her have one. We'll get there someday.) She's been playing baby A LOT so I'm thinking that she probably is realizing that this being a big-girl thing has both ups AND downs. Many many changes for her to cope with. (Damn--a sentence fragment that ends with a preposition. If the mommy police don't get me, the English teacher police will.)

Today's best thing about being a mom:
This was yesterday--but Sophie told me that she was going to sing me a song to make my back better--and she did! The lyrics were "Feel better mommy," repeated, sung to the tune of the alphabet song.

Today's worst thing about being a mom:
The looks people give you when your child is having a tantrum at the store--and you know what? They can all BITE ME!

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Someday, this will be funny, but not today.

If you read the post below, you'll see that 1) my back hurts and 2) I'm feeling blue today.

So, because the universe is an inherently fucked up and malevolent place, here's what happened moments after my last post.

Sophie and I went into her bedroom. She shut the door. The doorknob BROKE. We were stuck in her room, with no way to get out. Of course, she had to pee. So, she peed her pants while I looked around her room, frantic, but trying to appear calm, for some kind of tool to remove the doorknob and free us. Although her room is filthy enough to fulfill any of McGuyver's wet-dreams, there wasn't a screwdriver to be found.

After about 20 minutes, I decided to bite the bullet and attempt to climb out the window. Said window is about 10 inches wide, and although on ground level, fairly high off the ground.

I made it--but not without fucking up my back even more, scraping up my shins, and scaring the bejesus out of Sophie. My back now hurts constantly, whether standing, lying down, or sitting. Fuck this fucking day.

Back it up

Damn it. My back is killing me again. Sunday I was pretty much out of commission, and yesterday at school I hobbled around like an old lady. Bending over is agony. Bending over and picking anything up is out of the question, so my usually cluttered house is moving into the truly filthy zone. It's really painful for me to perch on our computer stool--so today will be short.

Soph and I just returned from dance lessons. I think I'm going to find a new place to take her. She's too young and rambunctious for the "Stand on your spot and tap your right toe" kind of dancing they do at "Confidance." What she needs is fun music, and someone saying, "Move your body like you're a raindrop." Plus, today, they measured her for her costume--apparently they do several performances--and they want fifty-five smacks for it! It's this awful shiny red and orange thing trimmed with crazy red feathers on the bottom. I'm not in this for performances and feathers. I just want her to have some fun and get some exercise. Maybe what I need to do is see if I can get her on a toddler hockey team. (JK) That kind of seems more her speed.

All said, I'm feeling kind of partly cloudy today. I'm discouraged that I can't dig in and clean up this place because of my back. I'm discouraged that I don't fit into any of my clothes, and that I gave my "fat clothes" to the thrift store last year. I'm discouraged that neither Erik or I have any time to just be.

Today's best thing about being a mom:
Nothing comes to mind. On a stretch, I guess I'll say pudgy arms and legs poking out of a leotard. (sp?)

Today's worst thing about being a mom:
Sophie is just full of demands today. I'm tired of trying to teach her manners, and I'm tired of trying to decide what to give in to and what to stand firm on.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Insert clever title with "seven" in it

Seven things I plan to do before I die:
Sing "Makin' Woopie" on a grand piano at a great night club (a la Michelle Pfifer in Fabulous Baker Boys)
Fit into a pair of size 8 jeans
Sit on a rock at Point Lobos with Mandy
See the city where I was born (Christchurch, New Zealand)
Have a beautifully landscaped yard
Learn to REALLY play the guitar
Watch Sophie become whatever she truly wants to be

Seven things I can do:
Sing "Son of a Preacher Man" like nobody's business
Make pie crust from scratch
Find ways to entertain children at restaurants and in the car
Distinguish between a transitive and intransitive verb
Dance with abandon...if not skill
Engage and teach a room full of at risk-teenagers
Make killer French braids

Seven things I cannot do:
Believe Joseph Smith was a prophet
Sleep comfortably while wearing clothes
Return movie rentals on time
Acquire a taste for beer (how I've tried!)
Find a chew toy for Jimmy that he likes more than my shoes or Sophie's Care Bears
Learn to let other people have their own shit and not try to fix it or take ownership for it

Seven things I say most often:
Are you shitting me?
Jimmy! No biting!
Sophie--be careful!
That's what you get!
I love you.
Do you need to go potty?

Seven things that attract me to the opposite sex:
Rebellious spirit (this one has been a problem)
Dreamy eyes
Makes me laugh
Smarter than me (or at least can keep up)
Will be silly
Broad shoulders
Likes to go down

Seven celebrity crushes:
The only two that haven't been listed by everyone else are
Collin Firth
Jon Bon Jovi (On a PURELY physical level)

Seven peeps who I want to do this:
OK--We need some boys to do this, so

Man Without a Band

(Sorry--I thought you though meme's are/were lame)

The Hound of Bloggerville

although he doesn't have a blog My Husband

And 4 other guys who may read my blog that I don't know.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Oh fuck

11:30--Sophie says she wants a nap. I think-"That's bizarre" but am glad and tuck her in, thinking I must be having a good day.

2:00--Sophie wakes up from her nap. I hug her, and think, "Hmm. She feels kinda hot."

2:03--Reading on ear thermometer-102.3

Afternoon of couch laying, Tylenol, thermometer readings

7:00--Temperature jumps to 104.2

7:15--Hurry to Dr.'s office, (Thank Jesus or whoever for night clinics)

7:45--After endless waiting room wait, Sophie pukes all over smiley-face-scale, herself and me.

8:00--Finger poke test shows a viral infection.

8:30--Sophie tucked in at home with ice water in her bottle after hefty dose of children's Motren.

9:00--Mommy blogs while eating cake (Mom's bday party totally interrupted by sick kid) and decides to go to bed very early, as she'll probably be up all night.

That one looks like George Washington!

"That one looks like an airplane!"

"Oh! It's a mommy one and a baby one!"

"Look mom! It's a snowman!"

No. Sophie and I weren't cloud gazing. I wish. The above comments were all made by Sophie while she was "toilet gazing" -- post poop.

Today's best thing about being a mom:
Remember those little cheese and cracker packs mom used to buy at the store if you were good? They're still THE BOMB! Especially when served up by Sophie Gene. She doesn't skimp on the cheese. Of course I should add that while I sit her blogging, she just got the bright idea to paint her toes with the cheese, and let Jimmy lick it off.

Today's worst thing about being a mom:
Uttering the phrase, "Don't put Sprite in my shoe!"

Monday, August 22, 2005

Out of the mouth of Sophie

"I made a sucker!"
She said this to me, brandishing a very sticky and drippy majic wand, as I lay in the bath tub. I had decided to chance a bath--by myself--while she watched Angelina Ballerina. All was quiet, so I assumed all was well. Big mistake. While I was in the tub, she got into the refrigerator, took out the butterscotch syrup, squeezed it out onto a plate (thank god) and dipped her new sparkly magic wand in it.

"He got the ball!"
Naked Sophie squeezed one of her bouncy balls in her butt cheeks--apparently just seeing if she could. Jimmy decided this was a new and intriguing way to play catch. She was SUPER pissed at me for not letting her repeat this experiment.

"I made samwiches!"
She found some sunscreen laying around (thanks Erik) and squirted it all over her play food--squishing it together, and making, well, samwiches.

"I'm getting ready for the performance!"
This is what she said after I caught her painting her face with watercolors. I was 4 FEET AWAY, doing the dishes, again fooled by the relative quiet, thinking that for once, she was just playing with her watercolors, being good.

(Stretches up to the ceiling, fake yawning) "I had a nice nap!"
After fighting to get her to have a nap for 45 minutes--2 bathroom trips, 1 spanking, one head bonked on the headboard while having a tantrum,--I left Sophie's room, telling her that she was NOT to get out of her bed until she had had a nap. 30 seconds later, she came into the livingroom, and said the above.

p.s. All of these events took place in the past 2 days.

Today's best thing about being a mom:
Boredom? Never.

Today's worst thing about being a mom:
The mess "Du jour"

Saturday, August 20, 2005

I need to get out more

This afternoon/evening, Aunty Katy and I went on a little shopping trip. Because the shopping in our fair town is pretty much limited to Wal-Mart, we drove 45 miles south to St. George, our plan being to spend my Pier One gift certificate, find a b-day present for mom, and check out the Petco for some Jimmy toys.

The shopping was fine--uneventful even. Of course, I had a rough time at the pet store--because I'm a novice at shopping for dog stuff, and after wasting 30 minutes of Katy's life looking at squeaky toys, rolly toys, and bouncy toys, I purchased exactly zero toys. (I ended up with a greeny dog toothbrush-thing, and a gum massaging corn starch bone. Also, that dog buffet thing with all the dog treats and cookies and stuff kind of weirded me out. Am I alone in this?)

The true excitement happened when we went to grab a bite to eat before heading home. We went to Fazoli's (Italian!). I've been there a few times, and when the surly kid at the counter handed me this gigantic hokey puck thing with a number on it, I assumed it was so that whoever was bringing me my linguini could find my table. So there I am, casually contemplating the soda choices while filling my cup with ice, and the weird puck thing goes off like a freakin' roman candle! It's flashing--buzzing, vibrating, and I figure either the sky is falling, or I'm having some weird seizure that's localized in my left hand.

I didn't know whether to shit or go blind! My first impulse was that I needed to put it down--and fast. I took a couple steps toward our table, looking at Katy for some clue as to what the fuck was going on. Of course, I then realized that what I had in my hand was a truly obnoxious device designed to let customers, even catatonic ones, know that their food was ready to pick up. I franticly looked for a button to stop the flashing, buzzing, and beeping, but there was none. So I hurried to the counter, hucked the puck to surly kid 2, and grabbed my food.

This device, in my opinion, is a dire sign about the state of our culture. Surely it wouldn't be TOO much trouble for someone, say surly kid number 3 to bring my food to me? Or perhaps they could give me a number to listen for? Also, are people really so wittless and vacant that they need 3 of their five senses shocked in order to know that their five dollar pasta is ready?

Apparently I was the only one in the "restaurant" who was new to the scary buzzing hokey puck. No one else seemed to be surprised or mind it at all when jolted into action by said device.
I guess I need to get out more.

Today's best thing about being a mom:
Watching "Snow White and the Seven Dwarves"

Today's worst thing about being a mom:
While we were shopping, Sophie stayed with my mom. After spending quite a bit of time in the sand box, she complained, as usual about the "sand in crack!" My mom tried to clean up the crack in question with a wipe. However, when we got home, there were still sand issues. Maybe she's trying to make a pearl.

Thursday, August 18, 2005


A little numb from the first day of school. Just a quick Sophie story.

She and Jimmy and I just paid Kodi a quick visit. Kods gave Sophie a couple of movies to take home--plus, as usual, was extrememly sweet to her during our visit. On our way home, Soph said, "Mom. I fink (no type-o) Kodi loves me much."

Today's best thing about being a mom:
Sharing Sophie with my dear friend Kodi

Today's worst thing about being a mom:
Trying to convince her that, no, she will not be growing a weiner when she grows up.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Back to school

School starts tomorrow.

As teachers, we've talking about who we know is coming back--sometimes with a smile, sometimes cringing a bit. The kids have started to trickle in to say hello--although next week, those same kids will tell us the last place they want to be is at school. 2 students who graduated last year came by to see me. One to introduce me to his girlfriend--and let me know that he's going to be a dad in 7 months. One to just shoot the shit and then bum a ride.

My room is as done as it's going to get for now. I've hung the posters I made this summer that have all the punctuation rules on them. I've rearranged the desks 4 times. We don't have a custodian--just a "sweeper" so I've spent several hours dusting, washing walls and desks, vacuuming. Over the summer, something VERY unpleasant happened in the toilet. I don't know what or how, but I dumped a gallon of bleach in there yesterday and at least whatever it is doesn't seem to be growing anymore.

So--say a little prayer for me tomorrow. It's back to school time.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Say you're yourself.

Sophie just accidently hit herself with a brush she was swinging around. She came up to me, and said in her best winey tattle-tale voice (that I think she's learning at school) "Mommy! I hit me."

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Birthday Party Pictures!!!

Soph and Mom at the b-day party Posted by Picasa

Opening Presents with Dad Posted by Picasa

Makin' Sundaes Posted by Picasa

Make a wish! Posted by Picasa

Mr. Two Hats Posted by Picasa

Three Princesses Posted by Picasa

Big kids at the party (Kiri and Janz) Posted by Picasa

The Birhday Bunch Posted by Picasa

Katy's Creation Posted by Picasa

Birthday Girl Posted by Picasa

Cinderella--The morning after the ball Posted by Picasa


I thank the Lord, or the Great Goddess, or whatever deity it was who sent a lovely and cool morning to Cedar City.

I thank her (or him)for sending Jimmy to my family. He's taken to laying in my lap on his back, like a baby, while I scratch his belly and talk baby talk to him. He's been a blessing to all of us. Janzen gets outside more. Sophie has to surrender the center of attention. I get to rub a warm puppy belly in the cool morning air, and Erik smiles more often.

I thank him (or her) for sending me Sophie who has made the last three years of my life worth living. Watching her run around in her new princess panties this morning--one side snugged up in the crack of her fat little butt--was more blessing than I could ever deserve. Sitting on the couch at 6:30 while she served me up a breakfast of a plastic chicken leg, fake peas, and an apple juice box--assembled with care in her play kitchen, was a more lovely way to start the day than even sleeping in until 10:00 could be.

I thank her (or him) for Janzen--for letting me be a part of this exceptional boy's life--even though I didn't give birth to him. Yesterday at Sophie's party, a butterfly party hat perched on top of his fabulous dollar store fedora, a baloon tied to the top for good measure, he was totally himself: individual, fun, willing to be silly, and an attentive and loving big brother to his little sis.

I thank him (or her) for Erik. He never fails to take care of all of us. I heard him sneak out this morning at 6:00--his anxiety and insomnia pushing him out the door--but he returned to us an hour later with a cornucopia of gas station fare. Pop tarts for the kids. Vanilla cappucino for me. He knows my back is seconds from going out today, and has been a total Nazi about me bending over or picking anything up. I never ever have any doubt about how much he loves me or how much he loves his kids.

I thank her (or him) for family and friends. Katy took the day off yesterday to create the most beautiful Cinderella cake a 3 year old could ask for on her birthday. It truly made Sophie's birthday to see Katy unveil that gorgeous cake. My mom showed up with balloons, presents, and to remind me of my 8th birthday, a package of princess panties, wrapped, for Sophie to open at the ice cream parlor. My dad had the trusty digital camera as always. Sweet Kodi rushed to the party from work--in the rain, and she and Kiri ate cake and ice cream with us, were great sports about the crazy kids, and gave Soph the most fabulous feathery sequined Barbie chair in all the land.

At the expense of sounding like a bad episode of Oprah, it's time for me to start saying thanks, and stop bitching. I am very blessed.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Happy Birthay to Sophie

Three years and nine months ago, two blue lines changed my life forever. I took that pregnancy test just to prove to myself that I wasn't. I was. Today my daughter, Sophie Gene, is turning three and sometimes, even though she is as much a part of me as one of my limbs, as much as I love her, I still expect this whole thing to be some big mistake or a strange practical joke.

As a little girl, I wanted to be a mother. My mom tells about how I would lift up my shirt and try to nurse my dolls. But when I came into my teens and twenties, I crossed motherhood off of my list of things to do (for several reasons other than that of pure terror).

For one, I felt that mothers are/were the most scrutinized creatures on the planet. Just ask anyone you know--her mother fucked her up in one way or another. The psychoanalysist's question, "Tell me about your mother," has become a cliched joke. Crazy, weird, and just plain evil people blame their lives on their mothers.

Even more frightening to me before having Soph, was the knowledge that mothers can be, and often are, crazy themselves. Ever read Beloved or Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood? Crazy mothers are everywhere--just turn on the TV or look in your backyard. My own mother definitely had her crazy moments. Some of my most vivid childhood memories of her are her bimonthly screaming and crying breakdowns on the state of the house. She once attacked me with a wet towel I had left on the floor. I was afraid of The crazy mother because I knew I had the potential to be her. When Janz was two, I threw his toy fishing poll across the room and broke my favorite vase. I once lit Erik's favorite baseball cap on fire (in the barbecue grill of course--safety first). The line over to crazy didn't look to hard to cross. I'd been on the other side a time or two.

I also knew that whatever I did, I would never be a perfect mom. During my entire pregnancy, an imaginary but very mean OB nurse/drill sergeant marched around with her clipboard bombarding me with questions. "How many wet diapers should a newborn have each day? What is cradle cap? How do you tell the different between real and false labor? Do you have enough onesies and booties? What is this--a pacifier? Haven't you heard about nipple confusion? And what is this? Baby powder with cornstarch? ! Didn't you read our memorandum about babies breathing in cornstarch and its link to SIDS? What kind of mother do you think you'll be anyway?"

Well--the truth is, I'm not the kind of mother I thought I'd be. Sophie still sleeps with a bottle, something I swore she'd never do, and she's THREE for Christ's sake. I let her eat in front of the TV on a regular basis. I've had WAY more crazy mom moments than I care to share. I pretty much expect the mommy police to show up at any moment of the day.

I suppose that at times I do feel like a member of the strange cult of motherhood. I've been through all the initiation rites. I've been pooped on, puked on, handed a booger. My mother, who by the way is now one of my best and dearest friend, assures me often that Sophie is a smart, sweet, dear little girl rather than the possessed demon child that I sometimes think she is.

So happy birthday Sophie. I guess someday I'll get used to the fact that I'm your mom. I promise to keep trying my best to do my best for you.

Today's best thing about being a mom:
While she was playing in the "Funplace" at McDonalds today (I know--germy gross etc., but it's her birthday after all.) Sophie managed to rip her dress. When I asked what happened, she said, "The stepsisters did it mom!"

Today's worst thing about being a mom:
My back is totally killing me from lugging around all 40 lbs. of my very sturdy little gal.

Back to School

Lordy Lordy. (Who the hell says "Lordy" anyway? My dad grew up as poor white Nebraska railroad trash. I'm not dissing--I'm embracing my heritage. I never know if I should smile or cringe when I find myself saying things like, "I reckon so" or "Quicker than a chicken on a June bug.") Were was I. Oh yah. Lordy-ing. School started for me yesterday. The faculty of my school met to come up with a new mission statement, new "belief statements" and new measurable goals. So. We broke into groups to work on the mission statement. It took for freakin ever. They just should have said, "Rebecca--will you write us a mission statement?" because in the end, that's what happened. Here's what I came up with. "Our mission is to reintroduce our students to the rewards and value of education, and in doing so, help them to become literate, socially aware, life--long learners." Not bad--eh? I should write speeches for politicians. I can always pull some smooth sounding shit out my ass.

Anyhoo. Today I had to do the "Writing Across the Curriculum" training (Notice--the acronym is WAC.) I'd rather teach 15 of the meanest hardest teenagers than face a room full of 40 teachers. Teachers are notoriously bad at being students. They talk, to each other and on their cell phones; they get off the subject; they think what you are saying applies to everyone but them. But--I got through it ok and managed to keep there attention for 90 minutes or so.

Sophie got to bring cupcakes to day care today--as her birthday is tomorrow. I just spent $95 dollars at Walmart on presents and party stuff. I bought a Disney Princess fold out bed/sleeping bag thing (because currently we play sleep-over ALL THE TIME), an Eleyna "Farytopia" Barbie, a big container of play food for the play kitchen, "High Ho Cherrio," princess plates, party favors, and balloons. Birthdays are kind of an expensive pain in the ass, but she's worth it.

After our very bad day on Monday, the last 2 days of school meetings have actually been quite pleasant. (Are popsicles safe for dogs? Jimmy just totally snaked Sophie's and gulped it down in one bite.) It's been nice to get the chance to miss her a little instead of feel totally smothered by her.

Today's best thing about being a mom:
When I took the cupcakes to day care, both of her teachers were absolutely gushing about how smart and cute Sophie is. I felt like the world's best mom--instead of the world's worst.

Today's worst thing about being a mom:
I paid the day care bill today. That shit is EXPENSIVE!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

I am officially the worst mother in the world. I have yelled at Sophie all day. That child will not do one thing I ask her to do. I say, "Please get in your car seat" and she runs down the side walk. I say, "Please lay down for your nap" and she runs down the hall. I say "Please come here so I can change your pull-ups" and she sits down and plays with her toys. I'm so fucking tired of that kid not ever ever ever minding me. I don't know if I've just raised a total brat or what. Undoubtedly, it's all my fault. If I want her to do anything--anything at all, I have to start counting to three, and threaten to spank her, and actually spank her and I honestly don't think I want to be a mother anymore. I'm serious. I can't even type some of the awful stuff I've said to her today. Jesus Christ. Who ever ever in their right mind sent me this child? It's definitely enough to challenge one's belief in a benevolent god or goddess. Just now I literally threw her on her bed and slammed the door. I should be fucking arrested.

An Ode to Amanda

(Don't worry Katy--Yours is coming soon.)

Sevenish months ago, my sister moved away from me and relocated in Albuquerque. At the time, I was more than just a little pissed-off. I felt like we had made a definite agreement--whether it was spoken or not--that we were in this thing together, that the partnership known as "The Smith Sisters" would never be broken up, come hell or head hunter. In fact, it's only been recently that I can talk to her husband (who was, in fact, head hunted and did what he thought was best for his family and career by taking a very lucrative job in New Mexico, but, whateva) without making a conscious effort to be nice.

In our sisterly partnership, I do think that I lucked out being the younger sister. Being 18 months older, Mandy was kind of like my Sacajawea growing up. She checked things out first--and I was always able to learn from her experience. She went to school first, got a bra first, had a boyfriend first. Plus, I definitely reaped the benefits of her battles with my parents over curfew, dating, and allowance. When I got my period--I didn't tell my mom. I told my big sister. She totally hooked me up with the information and supplies I needed. Although she got her drivers license first, I was able to cruise around with her--sans parents--and experienced the freedom of a drivers license without having to take drivers ed!

Not only did I get the benefit of her experience, I also got the benefit of her stuff. Mandy always had cooler stuff, and I am by nature a borrower. Bless her heart for not killing me--because I was ALWAYS taking her clothes--make-up--and whatever else I felt like helping myself to. Sometimes I would drag my feet, letting her get out the door before me so that I could nick one of her sweaters. We'd get on the bus--and she's notice, but it was too late. I actually taught myself to read by stealing her Sweet Valley High novels. Having no interest in the shlop they were giving me to read in the 2nd and 3rd grade, I didn't take to reading. BUT there was kissing in these books, plus my mom said I was too young to read them--so there you have it. In Flagstaff this last weekend, I cruised over to her hotel room, and saw her make-up bag on the bathroom counter. The little sister in me came out in full force, and I couldn't help helping myself to her Clinique powder and cool nude/sparkly eye shadow.

18 months isn't TOO big of a gap, and growing up, we were often on equal ground. When moving around, we knew we always had each other. We ganged up on my little brother together. We played dress-ups together. We wrote notes to each other on the program at church.

As you can imagine, two teenage sisters, both stacked, both easy on the eyes, both clever and fun to be around (if I do say so myself) was more temptation than many boys (and some men) could handle. (My poor parents!) Some poor guy would come around to pick me (or her) up, or hang out, and would get a load of my (her) sister. Immediate conflict would set in between his poor brain and weener. "What? There are two of them? Do I have the best one? Can I have both? How much can I flirt with the sister without pissing her off? Maybe after a few months I can, kind of, switch." For the record--MANDY was the first one to steal a guy from me. His name was Darryl. We were all in a community theater version of The Snow Queen. He and I hit it off, and it wasn't that he didn't like me, or liked her more (I think) but like a long line after him, he just had to have a sample of BOTH Smith Sisters. Surprisingly enough, I don't think we really let guys come between us. It was kind of us-against-them, and they were seriously outnumbered.

During our college years, we experimented on the fringes together. For a short while we were roommates. We left the LDS church around the same time, and shared the pain, and pleasure that decision brought together. We drove the same kind of car--two gray Escort hatchbacks lined up on the street outside my parents' house together. College was a bit tricky for us at times. We fought over girl friends like we had never fought over boys. Ultimately, though, the wisdom of our honorary big sister brought and end to that nonsense.

As women, we have moved away from the competition of our teenage and college years, and trade off the role of leader. I married first. She became a mother first. Now, we look after each other and each other's kids. Last year I had a disaster with day care for Sophie, and I didn't even have to ask her--Mandy just offered to take her for me one day a week. When Madeline, Mandy's oldest started talking, she called me "Momma Boo" for a few heavenly weeks.

I know that I had a hard time organizing my thoughts here. What I really want to do is say thank you to my sister. Thank you for learning life lessons first, and passing them on to me. Thank you for letting your little sister tag along. Thank you for being my friend since I was born. Thank you for loving my kid, and letting me love yours. Thank you for being the woman I look up to most in the world. I love you.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Good news and Bad news

I sat down to check my blog and--low and behold--the whole thing was back!

The day I deleted it, Erik very sweetly tried to set it back up again, by creating a new blow--with the old template and name, but obviously all my posts were lost, along with links, comments, and other important stuff. A very kind anonymous soul had copied the files from the Google cache (isn't it great how I can type that like I know exactly what it means, when actually, I have no fucking idea) so I had most of them, but no way really to repost them (that I knew of) and most of the comments were lost.

Then, just now, I logged in, and BLAM! Two blogs named "I thought this would be more like having a cat" appeared on my dashboard. The kind kind folks at blogger help must have responded to my email pleas and worked their blogger magic.

Of course, I'm always running blindly along with this blog thing--thinking I'm savvy when actually, my blogger IQ is probably close to that of plankton--so I quickly copied the 3 posts from the new blog onto the old blog--and deleted it.

Along with all the new comments.

To everyone who wrote a comment when I was being pissy and blog-destructive, thanks so much. Those comments ment more to me than I can say, and I'm kicking myself in the ass with a steal toed boot for loosing them. Plus, I have to admit, that I'm a bit of a comment whore anyway. (I really should just have them emailed to me, but I'm afraid that I'd just be checking my email ALL THE TIME!)

So--thanks blogger wizards. You are wise in the way of the force.

Of Pups and Parties

I'm beginning to hate my dog. Ok. I don't hate him, I just want him to SHUT THE FUCK UP! We had to have him boarded the 2 nights we were in Flagstaff with my sis and her family, and you would think we were gone for weeks. It was sweet that he was so happy to see us, but now if he's not being played with constantly, he whines and whines and whines. I'd rather deal with anything in puppies and/or children than whining. Sophie is having a nap at my mom's, and what I WANT to do is clean my house, read my book (a very silly Nora Roberts on loan from my mom. Here's a sentence or two for your amusement. "Desires she'd ruthlessly buried broke the surface and screamed into life. Riding on the thrill, she dragged at his shirt until her hands found the hot, bare skin and dug in." Don't tell my students that their teacher sometimes indulges in a steamy romance.)

Ok. Scratch that. I don't want to clean my house at all. But, it is really repulsive. Some of the more repulsive things I can see from my perch at the computer are 2 chewed up pig ears (for the dog. He loves them. Don't ask me why.), a pair of peed in princess pull-ups, and a 1/2 eaten pop-tart. Usually I can say in honesty that my house isn't dirty--it's just cluttered. Today we've crossed the line, and unfortunately it falls on me to fix things.

Sophie is currently napping (I hope) and my mom's house. We bought stuff at the craft store to make birthday invitations today. Her party is scheduled at the ice cream parlor for Friday at 4:00. They let the kids come back and make their own Sundays--so I'm HOPING that it will be fun for her.

Now, I must clean.

Today's best thing about being a mom:
Getting to buy sparkly stickers.

Today's worst thing about being a mom:
Birthday party planning is kind of stressful.

Friday, August 05, 2005

I started out this post by looking for pictures of sheep--to reinforce how sheepish I feel about being such a drama queen. Then I tried to be funny and compare myself to Cher or whoever else that pulls the publicity stunt of announcing that she's gone for good--and then pops up again a week or two later.

Both methods didn't go anywhere--and seemed very forced and shallow. Well--they were.

A couple of days ago, Erik and I had an ugly scene that involved my blog--indirectly. It had more to do with choices and trust and boundaries. I'd like to fill you in on all the gory details, but will leave that to him if he feels comfortable with it. Anyway, my response was something along the lines of--"Fuck that. Fuck you. Fuck the blog." And I deleted it. I was totally shocked by the sense of loss that came along with that choice. I literally spent all day yesterday in bed, in tears. Some of the tears were marriage related--some mother related--some Sophie relate--but many were blog related.

I tend to be pretty fuzzy on boundaries--and assume that just because someone I love is upset or has a problem--that it's my job to respond--to fix. I'm learning slowly but surely that I don't have to feel other peoples feelings for them--or even with them. I also tend to be a bit of a self destructive punisher of myself. When I want to loose weight--I don't do things that are good for me, like eat right and exercise. Instead I take diet pills and make myself throw up. (Sadly, and this is exactly how I feel, I've been too lazy to throw up lately and have put on a good 30 lbs.) As far as the blog--Erik didn't ask me to delete it. I did that on my own--as a punishment to myself, and as a result, to him. I don't know where I learned that hurting myself is a great way to punish others--but, there you have it.

I'm absolutely sick about all the posts that are gone--because I had hoped to share them with Sophie when she's older. I have an email into blogger help to see if there's anything they can do, but I'm probably just screwed.

As far as all the kind comments--thanks. I'm kind of embarrassed, and kind of having a Sally Fields moment (You really like me!).

Quitty McJen mentioned a few days ago that anyone who blogs likes attention--or something to that effect. I think all of us (maybe just me) down play the importance of our web log--either posting or reading--but know that in reality, that it IS important. It's a way of getting a little validation for your life; of connecting to the world at large--which is often such a scary and unfriendly place--in a friendly way. Keeping a blog is like being a little Who--yelling out, "I am HERE! I am HERE!"

I was very touched and surprised by Erik's post asking me to come back. He and I had a long talk, and both feel like for all the trouble that my blog has caused, it has actually helped him to understand me better. He has asked me to continue it, and has asked me to let him be responsible for his reaction to it--rather than feel like I am responsible. I'm going to try and do that.

Now then. On to the important stuff.

Sophie Gene. She is currently stricken with a virus called "Herpangina" or otherwise known as "Hand Foot and Mouth." The symptoms are high fever, vomiting and very very sore, um, sores in the mouth that make eating, and drinking pretty unpleasant. Other symptoms that I've noticed are a tendency to hit her mother, refusal to take any medicine that may make her feel better, and general all around orneriness. I took her to the doctor 2 days ago, and the brand spankin new nurse practitioner was a complete (sorry--I must say it) retard. I told him TWICE about the sores on her mouth, but he didn't look. He was about to write an antibiotic prescription "just to make sure" when I said firmly, "Would you PLEASE look at the sores in her mouth." He did and said, "Oh! That's herpangina!" "Really," I replied, trying to restrain the fist of death from delivering the fatal beating that he so obviously was in need of. "What's that?" He didn't really know, and looked it up in his little palm pilot. Yadda Yadda Yadda

So anyway, she's doing a bit better today, though the hitting symptom seems to be getting worse. I'm going to be brave and take her to Flagstaff anyway--and pray that she doesn't infect my sister's kids. I'll have to curtail her licking of them at least.

Janzen is back with his mom, and I miss the HELL out of him. He's such an easy kid to be around. I miss our chess games, his silly sense of humor, and most importantly, I miss how he would unload the dishwasher for me every morning. (Ok--that's not the most important thing--but I do miss it.)

Jimmy is currently at the vet's being boarded for 3 nights. After he shat in my mom's bedroom, I didn't want to ask her to tend him again. Plus, she wanted to come along with us, and is feeling very hurt that Mandy and I wanted some sister time sans Mom. The house training thing is going kind of, um, shitty. Literally. I'll spare the details, but finding little brown curly-q's of puppy shit in the corners is not pleasant.

Today's best thing about being a mom:
When I was bawling yesterday, Soph decided that I must need a mom. So she said, "I'm Mommy, you're Sophie," and proceeded to try and "make me better." She brought me her silky, her gatoraid, and her bear, and sang me a lullaby.

Today's worst thing about being a mom:
Unfortunately, the angel of yesterday has, in the manner of most 2 year olds, become a devil today, and she slapped me right in front of Kodi for not letting her eat a giant spoon full of sugar. I don't know if I was more angry at her, or more embarrassed at how bratty she acted in front of my friend. Sigh.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

MissuzJ's husband here, posting with a plea to her readers, sisters, soulmates, and friends to help me bring her back to the Blog.

While I didn't read MissuzJ's Blog very often, I did see the joy and relief she felt by sharing herself and her "shoot-from-the-hip" style of motherhood with a group of like-minded souls, friends, and even casual passersby who simply happened to enjoy her clever writing about her adventures with Sophie.

In all honesty, I am somewhat responsible for the Blog's deletion and I will just say (sans details) that a handful of mostly unrelated issues "piled-on" and led MissuzJ to this hasty decision.

Upon discovering the Blog's deletion I felt heartbroken...for her.

So, if you are willing, please help me by posting your pleas to bring back MissuzJ.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Lazy List

I spent so long commenting on little sis's post today that I decided to just use my comment for today's post. Yes, I am one lazy ass. I did augment the list with some shoddy and quickly taken pictures from the digital. (As if anyone really cares.)

Things I love today: (Tomorrow I may hate all of these things. Who knows.)

Big glasses of iced tea with condensation dripping down the side.

Sophie hugs.

Clean mop-boards. (Janzen cleaned them for me--can you believe it?)

The smell of rolls baking.

Having a great new book to start.

Tomatoes from the garden.

Sleeping puppies.

Plucking a particularly burly chin hair (loving the plucking--not the hair).

Sophie going down for a nap with no fuss or arguments.

Catching the end of "Good Will Hunting" on TBS while folding laundry. (I know you don't REALLY have to choose--but really, isn't Matt Damon SO much yummier than Ben Afflek (sp)? I mean come on ladies. You know you want to teach him a lesson.

Getting 11 comments on a post. (Thanks all for the kind birthday wishes.)

Babies with blue tongues

Things I hate today: (Chances are I'll still hate these things tomorrow.)

Morning breath. (mine and others)

Chipped toe nail polish.

Fevers. (Sophie's is 101.4.)

Hemorrhoids. (Lucky you--I couldn't get that picture to download--JK)

Cleaning the refrigerator.

Having to do a tiny load of red things in the washing machine.

People who put things that are not books on the book shelf.

Back fat.

That one hair on the front of my ankle that I keep missing when I shave that is now 1/2 inch long.

Starting a book and thinking it will be great and then finding that is kind of sucks (A Great and Terrible Beauty. Avoid it.)

Not knowing what to do with that weird pile of stuff on the kitchen counter that really isn't trash--but doesn't really have a home either.

Oh, so many candles.

Today's best thing about being a mom:
Teenage boys who will clean!

Today's worst thing about being a mom:
I'm guessing it will be my trip to the doctor with Sophie this afternoon.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Happy Birthday to Me!

Last night, while I was laying in bed trying to get to sleep without excessive pharmaceutical assistance, I was trying to remember what I've done for my birthday for the past 25 years. (I wish I was turning 25 today--nope, it's 30. But I don't remember anything before turning 5.)

The first birthday I remember, my 5th, mom and dad took us all to Knotts Berry Farm. We were living in San Diego while my dad was stationed on the destroyer "John Paul Jones." I had seen a commercial of a little girl at KBF chasing a piglett, and decided that pig chasing was the ultimate in birthday fun. My sweet mom looked all over that damn place with me for the pig chasing, but alas, there was none to be found. That was to be my first experience with false advertising, and with birthday disappointment.

The next birthday I remember was in Minnesota. It must have been #7. What I remember about that one is that it was a moving day. My egocentric little mind had just assumed that we wouldn't even THINK of moving on my birthday. I was pretty shocked that my parents would presume to move on a day that should, by rights, totally revolve around me. My mom tried to make up for it with a Little Bo Peep cake--complete with ceramic Peep and sheep. I was some-what mollified.

My 8th birthday I remember very well-because it was my first official birthday blow-out. I got to invite my friends to that Mecca of birthday ballyhoo, Chuck E. Cheese. There, my mom surprised me with 2 of my most memorable birthday presents ever. The first was a Cabbage Patch Doll--an indispensable part of any little girl's plaything inventory in the early 80's. The second was a package of UNDERPANTS. WRAPPED. THAT I OPENED IN THE MIDDLE OF CHUCK E. CHEESE IN FRONT OF ALL MY FRIENDS! Oh. The humiliation.

The next several birthdays are pretty fuzzy. I remember a very cool sunshine cake surrounded by little cupcakes that were the rays, a trip to Sizzler (very high class in my child mind) to see just how many fried shrimp I could eat, and various other brief flashes of candle blowing and present opening.

My 15th birthday was special, because I went on my first real date. The LDS church lays down the line pretty heavily--absolutely NO DATING until 16, but my parents were moving us to Utah in a couple of weeks, and I had a very sweet (then--later is another story) steady boyfriend who asked my parents for permission to take me out on a real date for my birthday. We went to a very upscale Italian place by the ocean in Big Sur. He then took me for a walk on the beach, and pledged me his undying devotion. It's a sweet, but somewhat silly memory, considering that his undying devotion lasted about 3 months after I moved.

The REAL first date on my 16th birthday was totally lame. This kid that I barely knew, who always smelled just a little weird, took me to see "Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey." He had the nerve to try and cop a feel 1/2 way through. I talked him out of it by getting up and moving over 2 seats.

No birthday memories turn up again until my 20th. Erik and I were dating, and he took me to Kolob Canyon (part of Zion National Park) for a moonlight picnic. I worked for a concession there at the time. So we were sitting up at the top of the 5 mile scenic drive, and I was swigging a strawberry kiwi wine cooler, (gag) when the local danger ranger showed up. Lemuel Pratt was the world's biggest douche bag. The kind of cop who bragged about how many tickets he wrote per day. So--he gave me a ticket for under aged drinking, and Erik one for contributing, and basically ruined my birthday.

I'm sure that my birthdays since then have been lovely--just kind of unmemorable. Lunches with mom--dinners with Erik--nice gifts from friends. Today will be more of the same.

So--happy birthday to me. 30 years down--who knows how many to go.

Today's best thing about being a mom:
When we picked up Sophie from my mom's yesterday, she threw her arms around me and said, "I've been missing and missing you!"

Today's worst thing about being a mom:
She just dumped her whole breakfast--yogurt, eggs, juice, all over the rug in the living room. Dude. Maybe I'll let the pup come lick it up.