Sunday, November 27, 2005

Happy Hallo-thanks-mas!

Hallo-thanks-mas--is the holiday that is apparently being celebrated at my house. Several Halloween window-clings remain clinging to the windows--along with 2 pumpkins in the window sill, and 3 little blow up ghosts hang near them. My table is bedecked with my lovely harvest runner, and the refrigerator holds the scanty remains of the Thanksgiving leftovers. Christmas lights twinkle outside (yes, it's 11:00 am, and I still haven't turned them off from last night) and the wreath I threw together last night adorns the door. Hallo-thanks-mas.

So--Thanksgiving went off basically without a hitch. My pies were a success. I tried something new with the pumpkin--and everyone LOVED it. The recipe is here, (I cheated and used canned pumpkin.) It's sweetened with real maple syrup and brown sugar. Of course, mom got a little martyr-ish, and hurt Katy's feelings a bit, but (I hate to say it) that's kind of to be expected.

Spending time with Mandy, I think, tops my list of the things I was most thankful for. We had a kick-ass time Friday night with Kods, Jen, Paul, and Katy, throwing back some vanilla rum and cokes and margaritas and playing games. The dominoes (prison rules, of course) were great--enhanced by Katy's new word--dominojo.

dominojo (n): a combination of the word "domino" and "mojo." It is the higher energy of the domino--and one possessing it can do no domino wrong. ex. "My dominojo was in full effect last night when I totally kicked Paul's ass at dominoes."

The Uno was also the bomb. Jorgensen house rules include everyone passing their cards in the direction of play whenever a 2 is put down, having the option to trade cards with any player when playing a 7, and being required to say something vulgar (Kodi won that one with "Jesus fucked me up the ass."), do a sexy dance (Jen took that prize--something about a moist towlette?), or make a barnyard animal sound when playing a wild draw four.

There was a BIT of tension when Mr. Dail dared argue with me (ME! The mistress of all evil!) about the presence of dolphins in the Guns n' Roses video for "November Rain." There totally ARE dolphins in that video--swimming down the street for no reason. If you'd like to tell him that I am right about this matter (which I looked up on line just to make sure--and was, again, RIGHT!) drop him a comment here. (FUCK FUCK FUCK! The dolphins are in Estranged--which, in my defence, is part of the same video trilogy that included November Rain. No--I'm not a huge G&R fan--but I am a huge fan of BEING RIGHT--which, I am not. 11/27 5:45)

So now, I'm beginning to think about Christmas shopping for Mrs. Sophie. As her favorite 3 toys of all time are--1) Paper towels, 2) a bamboo place mat and 3) a giant plastic candy cane, I kind of hate to drop $90 on the Disney Princess Magic Vanity that she's had her eye on. As for the baby sister that she asked Santa Clause for the other day, I'm afraid that she'll have to settle for a Cabbage Patch Baby.

Today's best thing about being a mom:
Soph's cold pink cheeks after playing outside in the first show of the season.

Today's worst thing about being a mom:
Soph's cold pink hands, on my bare stomach, after same play session.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Easiest Coconut Cream Pie Ever

2 boxes (3.4 oz) instant coconut pudding
2 3/4 c COLD milk (whole works best--but 2% is ok)
1 carton cool whip (again--regular is ok, but the extra creamy is, umm, extra creamy)
1 premade grahm cracker crust
1 small package coconut (optional)

Optional--If you want to kick this up a notch, before you start the filling, put the coconut on a cookie sheet, and toast it in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes, pushing it around with a spatula 2 or 3 times during cooking.

OK--Pour the cold milk into a bowl, and add the pudding. Whisk for 2 minutes. (Basically, follow the pie directions on the pudding box.) Fold in 1/2 carton of cool whip, and 1/2 the toasted coconut (optional). Pour into crust. Top with remaining cool whip, and sprinkle with remaining coconut (which, as you know, is optional.) I ususally flip the plastic thing that was in the crust over and use it for a lid. The pie sets up in 1 hour--but 3 is best. It's a great make the night before recipe.

Crack Kills

Just thinking over the past few days. Here are a few images that immediately come to mind.

Janzen (My step son. The NICEST, SWEETEST kid in all of creation.) and I playing Karaoke Revolution together. His signature numbers: What I Like About You, I Love Rock and Roll, Start Me Up. We wanted to get a perfect score on a duet--so we tried Uptown Girl. He sang the lead--I the back up. That kid has such a competitive streak. We must have sang that song 15 times--but never quite got the "diamond" record. I can hear him in my head "She's been living in her uptown world. As long as anyone with hot blood can. And now she's looking for a downtown man. That's what I am."

Sophie, at the dollar store sporting a pair of reindeer antlers on a head band. The antlers were wired, and one was bent. She came up to me with this perfectly crafted melancholy look on her face and said, "I'm the saddest reindeer."

Sophie again, waking me up this morning, naked from the waist down. She said, "Look what I did!" I look closely and see the 3 bandaids she had put on--right across her butt crack, as though to hold the two cheeks together. (Her dad was watching her. Really.)

Janzen at the library--Sophie in his lap, reading her "The Bathtub Grandpa."

So--tomorrow my assignment for Thanksgiving is pies. I'm just a bit flattered--I think the first Thanksgiving I was married, I was asked to bring ice or something. I'm no Katy in the kitchen, but the pie gods have smiled on me, and yes, I can bake a pretty bitchin' pie. I'm going to shake things up just a little this year. I found a pumpkin pie recipe that uses real maple syrup for the sweetener that I'm going to try out. In addition to that, I'm making a lemon sour cream pie, and a coconut cream. (OK--Erik may have married me for my coconut cream pie. His family asks me to bring it to all of their functions. But--the truth is, it's the easiest pie to make EVER in all of creation. Takes 15 minutes, tops. If you want the recipe--let me know. I'm to lazy to type it up if no one wants it.)

Today's best thing about being a mom:
Sliding down the slide together.

Today's worst thing about being a mom:
As I sit here, she's yelling at me, "Mom! Draw me a beautiful meadow! With flowers! RIGHT NOW!"

Monday, November 21, 2005

A little it of this...A little bit of that.

As a general rule--I try to avoid blogging about blogging. It just seems kind of mentally masturbatory, and also, umm, kind of lame. However, I've hit a bit of a blogging rut, and need to write about it--just kind of get it out there so I can quit struggling with it.

It's a question of audience. I try and help my students to understand that they must consider audience when writing. In fact, every year, we do an audience assignment. Each student imagines a scenario in which he/she has a super hot date--but no wheels. The student then writes 2 letters: one to a best friend, and one to a grandmother, trying to persuade him/her to loan his/her car to the student for the night. We discuss what information is left in--and left out depending on the audience. We talk about how the word choice is different--as is the tone, and the voice.

So now, here I am with this blog--and I'm really really struggling with audience. At first--my audience really was me. I just wrote stuff about me--about Sophie--and what I wrote, I wrote for an audience of one. Then, enter my Philly girls. So sweet--so funny--and now when I write, I can't help but write with a mind toward them reading it. Here comes Kods, Katy, and Mandy, then the Seattle bunch, plus a couple of Utah pals, my husband, and a handful of others here and there, and suddenly--blog paralysis. I can't really write for this audience. People I know--people I don't know--people I kind of know. Some who I want to think I'm witty and caustic. Some who I want to think I'm a decent but unconventional mom. Some who already know me, and just think I'm in need of a good mental enema. And come to think of it, why should I want anyone to think anything about me really? I was reading Sophie "Horton Hears a Who" last night--and came to realize that my blog is my way of yelling--in my little Who voice, "I am here! I am here! I am here!"

So, audience. I love you--really I do, and quite frankly, I'm kind of dumbfounded and grateful that you even read my blog (Sorry to be having a Sally Fields moment) but from here on out, I'm mentally dismissing you. My last few posts have felt so stilted to me--the voice in them doesn't sound like my voice, and I think it's because I've been trying to hard to sound like what I perceive other people's perception of me to be. And that's just plain silly. (You know like those fights with your husband when he thinks you might be mad at him, so he acts kind of stand off-ish, and so you get kind of mad and start making little comments, and then he gets more mad, and then soon you're having this kind of phantom fight about nothing at all other than what you each thought the other was thinking that you weren't thinking at all?)

So--enough meta-blog-nition.

Sophie Gene has been bringing home the MOST annoying things from school, my least favorite of which is, "You're not coming to my party." Oooh. This one totally pisses me off for 3 main reasons. The first is, she says this to me when she's mad at me, and I'm like "Oh yea? Well sista--any party you have will be put on BY me so you'd better believe that I'll be there." Secondly, I KNOW that some little shit at school said this to her, and for 3 year olds, the "You're not coming to my party" is tantamount to "Fuck off and die." She told me that Alexia said this to her, and today, when I pick her up, I'm going to find out who this Alexia is and possibly have a little chat with her. Finally--if I know Soph, she's already said this to a few other kids, and that, well, that is just not ok. I gave her a couple of time outs this weekend for saying "You're not coming to my party" (after we had discussed that it is not a nice thing to say and that I don't want her to ever say it) and maybe that will help. Sigh.

The second most annoying phrase we're dealing with is "I'm telling on you!" To which I answer, "Who are you going to tell?" This TOTALLY pisses her off, and she says, "I'M TELLING ON YOU!!!" and so I say, "Who are you going to tell?" and then she just kind of shrieks and throws herself on the floor.

I also got my first "I HATE you!" from Soph this weekend. I believe the conflict was over Eggo waffles, and the present lack of them in your house. This, combined with "You're not my friend anymore" and I'm about ready to quit my job and not allow her to ever talk to anyone under the age of 20 ever again.

Today's best thing about being a mom:
We play a Sleeping Beauty game where I have to be asleep, and she comes and wakes me up with a kiss. It's quite sweet.

Today's worst thing about being a mom:
Really--what do you do about this awful stuff they learn at day care? I just have no freakin' idea.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

I meme stolen from Down Under

Suffering through a bout of insomnia and the blahs. Haven't posted for a while--so I stole this from the underachiever.


First best friend: Jessica Paraskevas. 5th grade. She was 1/2 Greek and 1/2 Mexican. When I slept over at her house, I never had any idea what anyone was saying--but the food was great!
First Car: Red Volkswagen Bug--purchased when I was 17 for $500 from shady character named Ramon, who(m?) I later dated, and who later stole my dining room table. Oh. The car was hot-wired because the ignition was broken--so he said. That thing was such a piece of shit. The seats were coming apart--and the stuff inside them gave me a rash, so I had to line them with towels. Poor Ernest (the car) was later crashed by a guy I dated for about 10 seconds. I think his name was John.
First kiss: TJ Young--summer between 7th and 8th grade. Mostly noses bumping-although I think our lips actually did touch for a second or two.
First real kiss: What was his name? Dillan I think. 8th grade
First makeout: Dillan again. To Phil Collins "Groovy Kind of Love." (Incidentally--my first, and last, cat fight happened just after when his girlfriend punched me.)
First big trip: UT to Santa Barbara with Mand. Lovely hazy memories if delicious strawberry waffles, clove cigarettes, waking up stuck to the kitchen floor. GT.
First time skiing/Snowboarding: 9th grade at Sugar Bowl with Kristi. Her mom was Danish--still learning English. She (the mom) kept saying "What a holy cow!"
First concert: Sawyer Brown. I was filling in for Mandy on a blind date that she either didn't want to go on, or was too sick to go in. Mandy--did we tell him I was me, or did I pretend to be you?
First Alcoholic Drink: Kaluah. House party in 9th grade. I was sure I was going to hell.
First ticket violation: Freshman year of college. Just for speeding--but could have been for much more if I had been pulled over 15 minutes earlier. Whew.
First job: Frozen yogurt jockey at "Sounds Yummy." Sounds Yummy yogurt was next door to Sounds Easy video. I personally thought it sounded like a brothel.
First date: 15--with Kelly Yturralde--my first real boyfriend. My parents let me break the Mormon "no dating until 16" rule because we were moving from CA to UT. Fancy Italian restaurant, walk on the beach. A nice memory


Last car ride: Walmart and back today
Last kiss: Hubby--last night
Last time you cried: 2 weeks ago Friday.
Last movie watched: Scooby Doo and the Witches Ghost
Last food you ate: French Toast
Last love: Erik
Last temptation: Christmas pillows at Walmart (didn't buy them)
Last item bought: Other than food--a humidifier. Soph is super stuffy and sleepless lately
Last annoyance: People not calling when they are going to be late--or not show up at all
Last time wanting to die: 1 year ago
Last alcoholic drink: Box of wine baby!
Last concert: Dave Matthews--4 years ago
Last phone call: Play date who hasn't called and is late and may not show up
Last friend you added on MYSPACE: Huh?


Current Best Friend(s): Kodi, Jennifer, Katy, Mandy, Erik
Current Car: Subaru Forester--silver 2004
Current love: Erik and Sleep
Current drink: Water
Current activity: Just spent 3 hours finding and sizing pictures of Janzen and Sophie to put into a 5 hole picture frame. Spent WAY too much time on that.
Current annoyance: Sophie saying, "I'm going to tell on you!"
Current mood: Tired

Today's best thing about being a mom:
Playing the bongo drums together

Today's worst thing about being a mom:
See "current annoyance"

Sunday, November 13, 2005

I arrived home from the rendezvous with Janzen's mom about an hour ago. (He lives 3 hours away. E goes all the way up and back on Fridays. I drive him home on Sundays--but his mom meets me 2/3ds of the way.) Soph was/is making cookies at Grandma's house with Aunty K, and Erik has gone for a jog.

Folks--this has left me, (wait for it; wait for it...) IN THE HOUSE COMPLETELY ALONE!!! And what's more, Erik cleaned while I was driving. So here I am, alone, in a reasonably clean house.

I don't think this has ever happened before.

For the first 20 minutes, I was pretty dazed. I wandered from room to room, munching on a cinnamon Eggo (no butter--no syrup. I'm back on the phentermine and trying to fit into at least 2 pairs of pants.) and just kind of looking around. Then I played some Zam Bee Zee. After that, I put away a little laundry, but now--I'm stumped.

I think one of the hardest things about being a mom, for me at least, is never having time alone. Sure--she naps (sometimes) but even during naptime a mom is "on call." I know that someday--too soon--she'll be over at her friend's house all the time, and the last place she'll want to be is with me, but lately, I feel like I'm a Siameese twin.

Before Soph, I absolutely relished my time alone. I would have listed is as a need, not a want if asked. Now that I don't get it very often, when it comes around, I, obviously, don't really know what to do with it. It's like the Calvin and Hobbs when it's Sunday--and C says something like--"Come on! We have to fit all the fun in that we can before tomorrow!" I find myself alone and it's like--ok, dust something? Veg on the couch? Blog? Read? I don't want to waste the precious minutes--but on the other hand--maybe I that's exactly what I should do with them.

Of course--not having time to be alone has created this little piece of crazy in my brain. It's like there's this little caged animal growling--LET ME OUT!-- and when it gets really bad--it bites. Particularly at E or Sophie or anyone else who is unfortunate enough to put his/her fingers near the cage. (Dumb similie--but as close as I could get.)

Once upon a time--when I found myself alone--I'd hurry outside to have a smoke--but for some reason, I seem to have quit. The last several times I lit a cigarette, I smoked about 1/3rd, and then thought--this is kind of gross--and put it out. I haven't bought a pack in weeks. (Don't get me wrong--when drinking or truly annoyed, I'm sure to have a cigarette--they just seem to have been worked out of my day to day.)

So folks--I'm off to do...something. Of course, the minute I start, Katy will bring Sophie home.

Today's best thing about being a mom:
Thanks to Karaoke Revolution (don't worry--I won't blog about it, but it is THE BOMB!) Sophie is learning the words to "I Love Rock and Roll." How cool is that?

Today's worst thing about being a mom:
I've said it before--I'll say it again. It's so easy to loose track of the part of you that isn't the mom.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Soph just said to me: You're a freakin' pain in the ass.

This after I picked every last pea out of her bowl of alphabet soup. I give up. It's Friday night, and I'd like nothing better than to be alone, with my book and my pajamas. Alas, even that is not to be.

She and Jimmy are having serious sibling rivalry issues tonight--and she screeches everytime he even looks at her, and just now she smacked the shit out of him with her pink fairy wand.

I need a vacation.

Today's best thing about being a mom:
French braids and overalls (on her--not me)

Today's worst thing about being a mom:
The hours and the pay suck.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


Drat! Bugger! Poop! Bullocks!

No karaoke today. The GAMES are here but the game BUNDLES won't be here until tomorrow. I know. Who gives a fuck. Unfortunately, I, a 30 year old English teacher and mother, CAN NOT WAIT FOR MY VIDEO GAME!!!!

Today's best thing about being a mom:
Built in reason to leave work a little early

Today's worst thing about being a mom:
Soph drew chicken pox on her arms and legs, with marker (washable--thank Jesus) this morning right before I had to take her to day care. Cute--but time consuming to scrub off.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Watch out for flying pigs!

(Pretty boring post today.)

I just returned from the local video game store. (Are they still called video games?) There I dropped sixty bucks. SIXTY BUCKS PEOPLE! Was I buying a gift? No. I was prepaying for my copy of Karaoke Revolution Party. (Actually--I prepaid for the KRP bundle--it includes a new microphone because one of mine broke.)

We have 2 video game stores in town. I discovered today that one of them totally sucks ass, and the other is actually quite nice. Here's how the conversation went between me and 10 year old boy working the counter at the ass sucking game place.

me: (Looking around at fellow customers--mostly 14 year old boys, thinking, damn, I am completely out of my element here.) "Ummm. Hi. I was hoping to pick --Sophie, put that down!-- up a copy of the new Karaoke Revolution for Playstation 2."
kid: Hmm. We don't have that yet.
me: Well, --Sophie! Come here!--I know that it comes out today.
kid (rolls eyes and consults ratty stapeled bunch of papers): Oh. It ships today. It doesn't come out until tomorrow.
me: Oh. Can I reserve one?
kid: no
me: Oh. Well can I--Sophie! One! Two! Three!-- special order one?
kid: No. We only take special orders 10 or more days before the game comes out.
me: Oh. Well do you know if you are getting any?
kid: No. We don't do the ordering.
me: Well, that was pretty useless.

I did actually say that last sentence. Normally, I try to be nice to retail clerks, but really. Enough is enough. So I called the non-ass sucking place. Conversation.

me: Hi. I was wondering if you are getting any of the new Karaoke Revolution games in tomorrow?
nice man: You bet!
me: Oh! Can I reserve a copy?
nice man: Sure. I'm really sorry, but because it's so popular, you'll have to come down to the store to reserve it. Can I give you directions?
me: No. I'll be right down.

5 minutes later, at the store.

me: Hi. I'd like to reserve a copy of Karaoke Revolution please.
nice man: Oh. I must have just talked to you on the phone. (To Sophie) Hi sweetie! Are you helping your mom today? (To me) Ok... (Continues to be very polite, helpful, and informative.)

Today's best thing about being a mom:
Sophie's new favorite movie is Mary Poppins. I hadn't seen it in YEARS! It's so good.

Today's worst thing about being a mom:
I treated us to breakfast out at IHOP today. She threw a fit until I let her drink the creamers. I'm talking 8 or 9 of them.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

I couldn't make this stuff up.

A little background info...

1. It's a well know fact that I have a mouth like a truck driver. In fact, I could probably outcurse a truckdriver if given the opportunity. Lately, I've been trying very hard to watch my mouth in front of Soph, and as a result, have been using the word "freakin'" a freakin' lot. My little parrot has incorporated "freakin'" into her vocabulary, and uses it almost as much as her mother.

2. Sophie LOVES creams. She calls suntan lotion "sun cream." She always wants to use my face cream. When we go to my mom's house, she loves to poke around in the bathroom drawers looking for different kinds of creams to use and sample.

3. Sophie still wears pull-ups for bed time and nap time. Right now she has a bit of a diaper rash.

So--I came in the living room, and Soph was busily scratching at her nether region. I said, "Sophie--are you ok? Is your bottom sore?" Her answer: "Gosh Mom. I need some freakin' cooter cream!"

Today's best thing about being a mom:
Having stories like this to save up and embarrass the shit out of her when she's a teenager.

Today's worst thing about being a mom:
5:00 a.m. wake up calls--2 days in a row now. It's the weekend for Christ's sake!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

I am from...

This as an assignment I gave my students that I did along with them. You start out with some listing—family memories, fears, triumphs, likes, loves, etc. Then, create a kind of a personal “found poem,” beginning each line with the phrase “I am from.”

I am from...

I am from pink spongy curlers in my hair every Saturday night, for princess hair on Sunday.
I am from days in the car—writing letters on crackers in squeeze cheese, playing and fighting and sitting.
I am from job lists and sharing a room and "borrowing" my sisters clothes.
I am from salt smells and waves and fog; and naked red rock and juniper and sage.
I am from The Mists of Avalon, The Red Tent, The Blue Sword, and Dragonsinger.
I am from a religion that spread guilt like cheep margarine.
I am from the thrill and the burn, the laughter and hunger and sometimes the truth.
I am from long sticky nights on the couch, filled with kisses, Cheers and Taxi.
I am from stony silence, and fighting it out, and talking it out, and loving it out.
I am from stretch marks and breast pumps and diapers and a baby bouncing on my hip.
I am from Funshine Bear and big girl panties and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.
I am from South Beach and Atkins and Phentemine and bulimia
I am from crying with Mandy, playing with Katy, singing with Kodie, dancing with Jennifer, and regretting with Kelli.
I am from apostrophes, settings, topic sentences, and make-up work.
I am from driving with Janzen, reading to Sophie, and Erik holding my hand.

Today's best thing about being a mom:
Being introduced at day-care by Sophie as if I'm a movie star. "This is MY mom!"

Today's worst thing about being a mom:
Somewhere she picked up "You'll never get away with this!" It's what she says to me when I give her a time out, try to put her to bed, or comb her hair. It's SO HARD NOT TO LAUGH, but it also really pisses me off.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


November makes me so sleepy. I just want to crawl into bed and hibernate until spring--leaving winter to its own cold, grey, miserable devices. Add to that the remnants of a cold, and the recent time change, and I can barely drag my ass from the bedroom to the couch.

Case in point--this morning. Soph woke up at her usual bright and early hour--6:15, except today, my clock said 5:15 when she came tarting in. For the first time, I turned on her shows, put her on the couch with a blanket, and went back to bed.

Big mistake.

I forgot about the Halloween candy. Soph came in my bedroom a couple times, asking "Will you open this?" and I groggily did so, not realizing that I was opening a package of smarties, a mini butterfinger, and a reeces peanut butter cup.

When I came into the livingroom, Sophie was sitting in the middle of a pile of candy, happily eating her way through the stuff she could open herself. There was evidence of her frustration with the candies she couldn't open--a kit-kat wrapper that had been chewed until the chocolate began to ooze through. Sigh.

In addition to forgetting the candy, I forgot the pile of clean laundry sitting on the couch. Luckily only a few things ended up chocolate covered.

Today's best thing about being a mom:
Having a reason to get out of bed

Today's worst thing about being a mom:
While rooting around in the laundry this morning--Sophie discovered a new "backpack." So far, she's refused to take it off, even when offered other more appropriate backpack options. Yes. It's a new fashion trend--the panty-pack.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005