Thursday, December 29, 2005

12 Sudsy Steps?

I'm an addict.

I swore I'd only do it once. But it was SO GOOD.

I've spent my Christmas money on it, and started dipping into my savings.

You see, a couple weeks ago, E was out of town, and I was feeling blue. My blueness wasn't helped by the fact that due to Christmas preparations, Sophie and I had literally worn every item of clothing we own, twice. The laundry mountain had become a mountain range. I cracked.

I packed the whole thing into garbage bags and took it to the laundry mat in town that has a wash and fold service.

Just a few hours later, and I was presented with clean clothes. Clean clothes I didn't clean. Folded clothes. Folded clothes I didn't fold. Shirts. On hangers. All for 80 cents a pound.

Today I looked at the laundry mountain and began to shake. The jones became stronger and stronger. The next thing I knew, I had SNEAKED the laundry past E, out the front door and into the car where, on some trumped up excuse (had to by batteries I think), I delivered it to the washers and folders. I picked it up this evening--opened the bag to a pile of fresh smelling and expertly folded clothing, and the high was excruciatingly intense. Now though, the guilt is eating at me. 80 cents a pound sounds cheap--but clothes are heavy. I simply can't afford to have other people do my wash for me. I have a perfectly good washer and dryer sitting empty in my basement. Who am I to think other people should wash my dirty socks?

But now that I've done it, it's going to be so hard to quit.

Today's best thing about being a mom:
Soph was playing with her friend B in her room today. I totally eavesdropped on their conversation. It's so fun to hear her orchestrate the play with someone other than me.

Today's worst thing about being a mom:
Finding an egg--cracked open mind you--in the play kitchen that had been there FOR SOME TIME!

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

The Great Escape

E and I had a perfectly ugly blow out last night.

So--today I am a fugitive. I woke up this morning with an emotional hangover of epic proportions. Then, called around looking for a massage with no success. E felt bad for me and made a few more calls--ultimately finding an opening at the new massage school in town.

The massage was so good--but so exhausting. The girl was a complete angel as I bawled my way through most of it. Apparently, the muscles in my shoulders are basically petrified. She did something called "stripping" the muscles that didn't necessarily hurt, but that made me bawl and bawl and bawl some more. As I said, the therapist was a complete angel and went over our scheduled time by 45 minutes because I had SO MUCH work to be done, and because we kept having to stop for me to mop my nose and regain enough composure to continue.

After the massage, I took myself out to lunch, and as I still don't want to go home, I'm typing this entry from "The Grind," CC's local coffee house/New Age-y Christian church.

Now--I guess I'll go wander around Walmart for a while, to put off the inevitable. Going home. Sigh.

Today's best thing about being a mom:
Lately Soph is the snuggliest little thing. I just get hugs and kisses all day.

Today's worst thing about being a mom:
Here is a brief list of things NEVER to buy your friend's or family's kids for Christmas. (Unless you hate them.) Dealing with these things is the worst thing today.

1. Play make-up. I mean, it's REAL, and makes a REAL mess, but is designed for little girls to play with. By play, I mean cover their faces, bodies, clothing, and bedspreads with.

2. Musical instruments of any kind.

3. Polly Pocket Beading Machine. (OK--I bought this one. But it SUCKS! Millions and millions of little beads. Everywhere.)

4. Silly putty. (DUH!)

4. Finger paint (Double DUH!)

Sunday, December 25, 2005

How I Fucked Up This Christmas

1. Waited until Christmas morning to make the 2 coconut cream pies to take to E's sister's house. Didn't notice until I had mixed everything together that the milk had gone sour. No pies.

2. Bought a turkey breast that was too big for my crock pot. Just discovered this. Now will have to run home half way through lunch @ E's sis house to put in oven.

3. Refered to my parents and Kate as "my family," thus, apparently hurting E's feelings, resulting in a fight in which I called him a lazy prick. Ahh. Christmas.

4. Didn't notice as the dog stole and chewed up Sophie's new kitten (toy). She discovered it chewed and mangeled in the kitchen.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Christmas eve-eve

Apparently I started this post at 12:53 last night--but didn't make too much progress.

I love Christmas eve-eve. It's my favorite part of the holidays. Close enough to the big day to feel exciting, but not close enough to have one's presence required by anyone other than chosen friends.

The regulars came over for cocktails, cheeseballs, and games. I had about 2 drinks too many but maintained my composure fairly well. We busted out "Songburst," a game that is super fun, but that, for some reason, brings out the worst competitive side of all. E refuses to play, because singing is involved, so he is the DJ and dictator. Basically he chooses a card, and reads 4 things. A date, singer, title of song, and first 2-4 words of a line. The player then must SING the rest of the line, this moving spaces on the game board. (1977, Supertramp, "Give a Little Bit.) I believe at one point I hollered "This game is under protest! Fuck all of you!"

My dad called about 3 rum and cokes in to tell me that the Disney Princess Talking Vanity that he was putting together for me for Soph WAS NOT TALKING! So--I started making plans to head to Walmart first thing this morning (horror of horrors--Walmart on Christmas Eve) when Katy, in a supreme gesture of selflessness, offered to take care of it. Luckily for her, the vanity just needed a good thump, and began talking as it should.

Bought E and Janz a KICK ASS present--will post later on what it is as E may read this, but suffice it to say, I nearly sprained my back again wrapping it. Still need to wrap the Santa gifts for Soph which include a glow-in-the-dark Doodle Bear, Polly Pocket magic bead jewelry maker, Dance-a-rella ballet dvd-o-rama thing, Mrs. Potato Head, and a few other things I can't remember. (The vanity will just get a big bow.)

So--very tired, but feeling ok. Christmas pictures and posts to come.

Today's best thing about being a mom:
Sticking adhesive bows all over each other

Today's worst thing about being a mom:
Oh--how I miss sleeping in after a night of debauchery. No rest for the wicked I guess.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Lies I've told my daughter in the past 24 hours

I said: Sophie, if we don't brush your hair, it will get so tangled that birds will come build their nests in it.

She said: I HATE YOU!!!!
I said: Well--then I guess we'd better go find you a new mommy. Let's get in the car. (She's sure to be in therapy for that one.)

She said: Is Santa real or pretend?
I said: Real baby.

She said: How do the reindeer fly?
I said: They eat magic oats.

She said: I want to go home!!
I said: This will only take a couple of minutes. (This conversation took place on our way into the UPS store. 40 minutes and $20 smacks later, we were done.)

She said: Cut off the crusts!
I said: The crusts will make you big and strong.

I said: Santa's elves are watching, and they won't bring your Princess Talking Vanity if you don't lay down right now.

I think "good liar" should be part of a mom's job description. My mom told me lies--both white and black, ranging from, "If you keep pouting like that a little bird will come poop on your lip" to "Joseph Smith was a true prophet." The older Sophie gets, the more I seem to lie to her.

If you have kids, do you lie to them? Did your mom lie to you?

Today's best thing about being a mom:
So--we're driving around doing errands with my mom. Soph says to me, "You be an elf. I'll be Soph. You say--have you been a good girl?" So I do. She says, "Yes. Very very good." I say, "Well, I saw you squirting dish soap into Jimmy's water and all over your mom's kitchen floor." She says, "Can I talk to a new one?"

Today's worst thing about being a mom:
Shit--this being Santa thing is EXPENSIVE! I realized today that I forgot stocking stuffers. Sheesh.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

You be...

This is the name of the new game Soph likes to play. Actually, it's the only game we play lately, other than duck duck goose, which is tricky with just 2 people.

Whatever book, movie, tv show, family member, friend, etc., Sophie is currently fixating on, she wants to be. So she says to me, "You be Velma. I'll be Scooby. You say, 'Would you do it for a Scooby snack?'" then she precedes to dictate the rest of the game--with me acting as her pawn--spewing out lines here and there as she sees fit.

In the last 24 hours, I have been: Glinda to her Dorothy ("Mommy--you say, 'Are you a good witch or a bad witch?'"), Maleficent, in her dragon form, to Prince Philip (this was at The Main Street Grill. Only by my super speedy lightning like reflexes did I avoid being stabbed with a jelly laden butter knife), some random monster to her princess (In this one, she wanted to be tied to her chair. Couldn't get her to wear pants this morning. Am glad no random callers dropped by.), and of course, Jimmy, our dog.

Spent half of the morning on-line looking for Russell Athletic NuBlend Sweatpant, NO POCKETS, mens size medium, in oxford gray--as this is really the only thing Erik wants for Christmas, other than sex with me wearing a Santa hat. Apparently, there is ONE pair of said sweats on the planet right now. I checked the Russell web site, Amazon, JCPenney, Sports-o-rama, Sports and Your Mom, and The Biggest Fucking Sportswear Site In All The Land. Each site let me only order one--just one pair of sweats. So--I ordered one from Pennys, and will get more for E for, um Valentines day.

The other half was spent printing out pictures of the kids, and putting them in cheap frames, wrapping said frames, hunting for addresses, etc to send to the great-grandma's up north. As a result the house has surpassed its usual level of repulsive filthiness. Soph's new favorite play thing? Coffee filters! These are super cool, because not only are there like a gazillion of them in the bag, perfect for strewing all over the place--but they can hold things, be smushed into place mats--or cut into snow flakes. Soph chose to fill a couple with orange and black fabric paint (left over from the Funshine Bear costume) and then stick her feet in them.

So--she's currently in the bathtub, playing with the Dora the Explorer bathtub set that we bought for her friend Addison for Christmas. Poor Addison will just have to live without it, I suppose.

In other riveting news--Katy and I made some toffee last night--which was delicious. I have packaged it in lovely Christmas tins, delivered it to various neighbors, and now that little job is done. In the rest of the world, are people expected to bring dinky little gifts to their neighbors--even if they don't really know or like them? Here in planet Utah, it's apparently a requirement to do so; the dinky gift should, preferably, include some stupid little saying or verse with it. Example--a plate of muffins with the card, "You're gettin' muffins for Christmas" or a box of Whoppers, cleverly dressed up as a reindeer by means of cut out pieces of felt, with a hole cut under the tail, thus to dispense the Whoppers/reindeer droppings and the verse

We were awakened when we heard Santa call,"Now dash away, dash away, dash away all."
We soon discovered, out on our front lawn,Santa and all of his reindeer were gone.
I ran to the lawn, and in the snowy white drifts,soon saw those nasty reindeer had left "little gifts."
So, with our little shovels, we started to scoop,all of the droppings. . . YUCK!. . . reindeer poop!
But we so generously filled up your sack,Have a merry old Christmas, and enjoy your snack!
WTF? Last year, one of my neighbors brought over a bag of brown and serve rolls. That's it. No bow. No jam. Just a bag of brown and serve rolls--not even browned!
Soph's out of the tub--so I must go see what havoc she's reeking.
Today's best thing about being a mom:
Playing pretend
Today's worst thing about being a mom:
Finding Soph on all fours, licking water out of Jimmy's bowl

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Who's this big girl?

My baby has grown up.

It sneaked up on me so stealthily--I hardly even noticed. The bottles are all gone, (thanks to Jimmy--the huge unruly puppy--who chewed them all up) as are the diapers. No more high chair. No more bibs. Sophie's chest of drawers has nary a onesie. She's grown out of her stroller. We switched her from the car seat to the booster.

Rattles have been replaced by Barbies. The Baby Einstein videos are in the back of the cabinet, and Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, and Snow White are in the front.

No more baby food or formula in the cupboard. In fact, this morning, with very little help on my part, Soph made herself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. My only job was to cut off the crusts.

When we go to the restaurant, I no longer ask for a high chair. Now when the server comes, Sophie cheekily offers, "Umm. I'll have a woot beer please."

Instead of cheerfully spending her time chewing on baby biscuits and trying to roll over, Soph points out letters of the alphabet to me, and recognizes her name.

No more bouncy seat. Now we have a Barbie Jeep in the back yard, and a big wheel in the front.

Instead of trying to coax her to say Ma Ma, I spank her butt for calling me a pain in the ass. Instead of helping her learn to walk, I help her to a time out after I find her on the kitchen cabinet, dumping out the Lucky Charms all over the floor, better to sort the useless cereal from the delicious marshmallows.

I haven't changed a shitty diaper in months--but am now summoned into the bathroom to find her little butt poking up in the air waiting for a wipe.

Of course, I'm both elated and heart broken by this realization. Changing shitty diapers is something that even the most sentimental of mothers couldn't miss--but man, folding all of those little pairs of Care Bear panties kind of chokes me up sometimes.

I used to worry about her eating things off of the floor. Now I worry about all of her name calling (Apparently, any noun, followed by the word head, is a "name." ex. diaper head, couch head, banana head, hamburger head.)

Who is this big girl? What has she done with my baby?

Today's best thing about being a mom:
Not making bottles and changing diapers anymore

Today's worst thing about being a mom:
Not making bottles and changing diapers anymore

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Haven't felt much like posting lately. Today's post is more out of a weird sense of duty than of really wanting to.

I hate the winter so much. As the days grow shorter, I can feel my body start to shut down--my energy start to slip away--the happiness slowly leaching out of my life. Kind of dramatic--eh? I hate getting out of bed before the sun is up. And when the sun goes down--at 5:30--I want nothing more than to go to sleep. I started growing a pounding headache yesterday at about 3:00--had to lay down by 7:00--and fell asleep and slept until 7:00 this morning (with the mandatory 2-3 interruptions my Soph for this and that.) The point I guess I'm making is that I have a total split personality. During the spring and summer, I'm a fairly happy, gregarious, and dare I say fun and witty person. Fall and winter, however, see me as a sort of depressed slug.

Our Christmas plans are in the shitter, because of the engine on my old Nissan imploding, and that has lead to tons of friction between E and I. Add to that the current day care nightmare, and things here are just bordering on melt down.

That said, here's a little Soph update. I haven't taken her back to her old school. I don't think I will. So--I've been racking my brain looking for other options. Sweet Kodi took her yesterday, Gma C will have her tomorrow, and Friday, she'll probably come to school with me, as it's the last day before winter recess, and we're just doing fun holiday stuff anyway.

I still am hoping to put her in Montesorri. The scheduling is making me insane though. I lay in bed and think--ok, Mondays when I don't work all day, I can get her, when I do work, my mom can--Tuesdays will be E and F--what about Fridays though? And all other manner of scheduling cluster fucks. I sat down and made a calendar--hoping that would clear things up, but that just lead to a fight with E, and one thing we don't need right now are more fights.

That's about it.

Today's best thing about being a mom:
Hmmm. (5 minute pause while thinking.) Fuck. There has to be something. OK. More trips to the ice cream parlor.

Today's worst thing about being a mom:
She's currently having a tantrum (complete with threats that can't come to her party) because I won't fill up her toy box with water and let her have a bath in the living room while she watches "The King and I." Am I a raging bitch or what?

Thursday, December 08, 2005

New hair. New school?

Had a shitty day yesterday, so when Soph shrieked like a scalded ape about having her hair washed and brushed, I asked, "Do you want short hair?" She said yes, so we headed to the hair styling college, and here is the result.

In further news, daycare is becomming a complete and total nightmare. She used to love it, but lately, she throws a huge fit whenever she has to go. In fact, today, when E took her, she started crying so hard that she hyperventelated and then threw up. He called me at work, I called a sub, and am here at home with her. I don't know if that was the right thing to do or not, but there you have it. When I've tried to talk to her about it, she tells me that school is scarry, and that the kids aren't nice. After talking to the teacher, I still don't have a great idea of what is going on.

So--I've been looking into other options. There is a new montesorri school here in town that her friend goes to. Everything I've heard about montesorri looks super, and they do a 8:30 to 3:30 Monday through Friday. It's pricey, but I'm hoping that grandma carolyn can be convinced to pick up the difference. I'm going to visit today, and we'll see.

Soph and I started playing a new game last nigh. Before bed, I said to her, "I love you more than everything." She picked right up on it, and said to me, "I love you more than bunnies." Here's the rest of the conversation.

M: I love you more than sunny days.
S: I love you more than pink bunnies.
M: I love you more than french fries.
S: I love you more than pink marshmallow bunnies.
M: I love you more than snuggily blankets.
S: I love you more than Care Bears.
M: I love you more than bubble baths.
S: I love you more than stickers.
M: I love you more than rocky road ice cream.
S: I love you more than...ummm...CARE BEAR STICKERS!!

I was quite flattered.

Oh--here are a couple of pics from the anniversary trip.
Today's best thing about being a mom:
An unexpected day off work

Today's worst thing about being a mom:
An unexpected day off work

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Dull and Duller

I feel so tired lately. Things that I used to enjoy now seem more like tasks that need to be done. I'm not sure exactly what's going on, other than the fact that winter is upon is, and I am a solar powered person with no battery back up.

E and I celebrated our 10Th anniversary last weekend. We spend a lovely weekend in Zion Canyon just walking around, watching movies, eating out, and spending time without the kids, or dog, or jobs. It's been a LONG time since we've done that. 10 years of marriage. Zowie. Coming home after even just 2 days away was kind of tough. For as fortunate as I know we are, between work and kid stuff and, well, just life, the stress certainly can do a number on our relationship.

As for the Sophinator, I, again, am in the running for the world's worst mother. She's been congested for weeks, and coughing on and off for as long. I thought she just had a cold, but it lasted so long that I FINALLY took her in to the doctor yesterday. Raging ear infection. Bronchitis. Red throat. No wonder she's been such a pill lately. The antibiotics have started to kick in though, and last night, she slept through the night for the first time in AGES.

On a related note, the first dose of antibiotic was huge, as per the doctor's instructions, and we were standing in the middle of the game store (caught again. This time it's Dance Dance Revolution. I suck at it, but it's a blast, AND I'm getting aerobic exercise for the first time in about 5 years) when her stomach started to gurgle. I picked her up and asked where the bathroom was. They said they didn't have one--bullshit. We went in and out of 3 stores in the strip mall, and none of them would let us use their bathroom. I almost said "Well, I'll just let my kid shit all over your floor then" but luckily, the nice lady at the Verison Wireless let us use her bathroom after I told her we were having an emergency. That poor kid had the most explosive diarrhea I've ever encountered in a toddler.

Today's best thing about being a mom:
Making bracelets with beads and pipe cleaners

Today's worst thing about being a mom:
Christmas shopping in the toy department at Wal-mart

Thursday, December 01, 2005

A Christmas Miracle

Every town has the Christmas house. The one with the extra power supply. The one that lights up the night like a Yuletide beacon. In our town, for many years, we called this house, simply, 'The Griswalds." (A nod to "Christmas Vacation.) However, this year when we took Sophie to see this spectacle, this veritable regurgitation of electric holiday madness, she looked at it in awe and said, "It's a Christmas Miracle!" So now, of course, the Griswalds have been renamed "The Christmas Miracle House."

Truth be told, I'm a bit of a Scrooge. However, reflecting last night on possible blog fodder, I realized that I have actually experienced one or two Christmas miracles, both small and large, of my own. Here is my favorite small miracle, and my favorite big one.

The Miracle of the Cheeseball
Last Christmas, just as Mand was getting ready to move, she and I and the kids were decorating Christmas cookies. We had Christmas music playing, the tree was lit, and the things were down right festive. Either she or I said "Now all we need is Mom's cheeseball." Now--said cheeseball is a little odd--major ingredients being shredded corned beef and Worcestershire sauce--but it's an acquired taste, we're all crazy about it, and it just tastes like Christmas to us. Not one minute after making our Christmas cheese wish, there came a knock on the door. It was a young lad--about eight or 10. Low and behold he was selling CHEESEBALLS! To raise money for some worthy cause or another, and not only were they cheeseballs, they were the exact same recipe my mom uses! Of course we bought one, devoured it, and thus ends the miracle of the cheeseball.

The Miracle of Sophie
I found out I was pregnant with Soph right before Christmas. Right before this time, I had been doing tons of yoga, and was taking a meditation class. I was just beginning to align my spirituality, but was still struggling heavily with many issues. I decided that I was ready for a teacher, and began sending energy into the universe (Damn. When I type that, it sounds down right floopy.) to send me one. I was also sending out that I was ready to start living my life in the moment--to find some gratitude--to connect with something bigger than myself. Now I only realized this a few weeks ago, but very very shortly after this experience, I got knocked up. I wouldn't call Soph a mistake--but she certainly wasn't a plan. During the last several days, I've realized that Sophie is the teacher I asked for, and that she is teaching me all of the things I truly wanted to learn.

Today's best thing about being a mom:
Yesterday I was PISSED! E had dumped out my big box of Christmas decorations in our filthy disgusting laundry room, apparently some months ago, to use the box for a laundry basket. My mom was over, and I was telling her that I was MAD as HELL! Sophie heard me, and said, "Mom, Christmas isn't mad. It's magic!"

Today's worst thing about being a mom:
I really feel, now that she's 3 and really getting this Christmas thing, that I have to go all out this year, and it's just not my bag. I put lights up outside, have the tree up, and today am going to deck various other halls, but I feel more like I'm doing it out of duty than desire.