Wednesday, May 31, 2006


A few things I remember with particular fondness or fury from the last week or so. No order, chronological or otherwise, and no attention paid to such trivialities as complete sentences or continuity in verb tense.

SLC Trip

Erik was giving Sophie horsey rides at the hotel pool on Saturday morning. She decided to name her faithful steed "Penelope." Erik, his manly manliness somewhat offended, suggested, "Dude! No way! How about Blade?" Sophie responded, "No. Pineapple?" E offered, "No--it needs to be something sharp!" Sophie's rebuttal and the final horsey name--"Pineapple Razor."

Sitting in the gym/lunchroom/auditorium at Janzen's middle school. The curtain opens, and he, along with 2 other boys, sitting in the middle of the stage brake out into "Oh What a Beautiful Morning." Janz was miked, as he, unlike his compadres, can carry a tune. A bunch of 5th and 6th graders performing "100 years of Broadway" is, well, it's fucking hilarious. My particular favorite numbers were "Amy, " "Grease Lightning" (the edited version--chicks screaming, not creaming) and "Freedom." After the performance, both of Janzen's extended families hit the playground. It was kind of sweet to see Soph playing with Janzen's "other" little brother and sister, but also a bit sad and uncomfortable.

After hitting traffic, and the 3 phantom potty stops, we were cutting it pretty close to showtime. Sophie suddenly insisted that she had to poop, and NOW. We were stuck in 5 lanes of traffic, no way to pull over. She began chanting, "It's gonna come out!" So--I stuck a cardboard box under her bare butt--and told her to hold on if she could. Luckily--E spotted a Quiznos, and truly pissed some people off changing lanes willy nilly. (The next time someone cuts you off, just tell yourself that they may have a toddler in distress, and maybe the road rage will dissipate a bit.) We made it into the bathroom, but only just. Ultimately, we made the performance on time, but just barely. We sat down, and about 2 seconds later, the curtain went up.

Late dinner at the Macaroni Grill after the show with E's mom and dad, Janzen, Soph, E, and me. 2 hours past Sophie's regularly scheduled dinner, 1 hour past her regularly scheduled bed time. I like to think I'm a fairly laid back mom, but the hours of dinner time and bed time are pretty sacred to me. Sophie crashed across 2 chairs. Our so so so sweet waiter came over with 3 white linen table cloths. He pulled 2 more chairs over, put one cloth across them for a mattress, folded another up for a pillow, and after we laid Soph down, spread the other over her for a blanket. Dude got a TIP.

Memorial Day Weekend

Playing catch with E on Memorial Day. When I was a kid, we played catch all the time in our backyard. I forgot how much I enjoy it. E is a baseball, well, fan isn't the word. He loves to play. Loves the subtleties of the game. Hates the Yankees. So not fan. He's a member of the church of baseball, a la Bull Duram. (That probably makes sense to no one. Side note--although I pretty much hate Kevin Costner and am luke warm toward baseball, I love Bull Duram. If you haven't seen it because of Costner or baseball, you're missing out. Susan Sarandon is fucking amazing in it, and Tim Robbins as Nuke LaLoosh is hilarious and sweet. And the doin' it? One of the best doin' it scenes I've, um seen. If you don't like Bull Duram, well, whatever. We can still be friends, but not peeps.) E taught me to throw a single seam fast ball, and apparently, I'm not to shabby, and had it breaking and everything. GT, and let me tell you, we need them. Being married, as I've said before, is a lot like juggling porcupines sometimes. Can't really explain that analogy. It just rings true.

Impromptu Memorial Day barbecue at my house Sunday night. I have a pretty kick-ass patio and made some pretty pots--shades of yellow and purple: verbena, moss roses, pansies, petunias, and some little daisy looking things. It was chilly, so we didn't spend TOO much time outside. Later, some 5-7 drinks later, we played Imagine Iff. This is a fun one. Anyhoo's your daddy, E believes that most straight men have at least one "gay moment" per day. An example--he finds himself brushing his teeth with Soph's electric Barbie toothbrush, and truly enjoying it. I had just made some comment about his gay moment (can't remember what it was) and his turn came around. In Imagine Iff, you choose a fellow player and answer questions about him/her. E pauses and says, completely innocently, "Well, I haven't done Paul for a while." Much laughter following. (Again, not of the sense making. Sorry)


Soph and Bianca watching Strawberry Shortcake yesterday. The fighting over who got to be Strawberry almost came to fisticuffs. I stormed in and announced, "Neither of you are fucking Strawberry Shortcake!! I am Strawberry Shortcake! If you don't stop fighting right now you are both Huckleberry Pie!!!"

Date with Katy--"Living the Vida Mocha" ice cream soda. Yum.

Ugly Ugly fight with E.


Had E take the mattresses off the frame in order to clean under the bed. I have not done this since moving into this house, some 5 years ago. I would take a picture or make a list, but am just far to mortified. Damn

Today's best thing about being a mom:
Waking up with her arm around my neck, our foreheads touching

Today's worst thing about being a mom:
Being informed 2 seconds later, "Eww. Mom--you have breff."

Thursday, May 25, 2006

On the road again

We just passed mile marker 222. I wonder how many times I've driven this stretch of I15. Let me do a little math. On average, I probably drive from Cedar City to Salt Lake about 10 times per year. SO--10 times 15 is 150. Shit. That's 150 times too many.

Janzen is singing in a school program tonight, so we're headed up north, again. Not that I don't want to see him. We've missed so many of his school events, and I can't wait to hear him sing, but fuck dude. E is listening to Stern on the Sirius. I pretty much hate Stern. Don't get me wrong. I'm not morally opposed to him, but I just get so fucking over the midgets (ok--little people) and boobs and his suggestions to perfectly beautiful women that they loose 15 pouonds and game shows with drunken homeless people and cock-sucking jokes.

And, of course, Sophie will NOT sleep in the car as she is a freak of nature. She watched one movie (Strawberry Shortcake Dresses Up) on the lap-top, but then the DVD player got all fucked up. Now she's alternating between whining, listening to a Sesame Street CD on her headphones, and saying she needs to pee. So far this trip--we've made 2 stops on the side of the road, but nary a drop of pee have we seen (except from me, while demonstrating the proper way to squat by the side of the car).

Tomorrow is the last official day of school for teachers. I'm skipping out, but promised my principal I'd make up the day next week.

Boring post, I know, but I'm trying to get back in the blogging habit. Maybe Soph will throw up or something--and I'll have something to talk about.

Oh--I set up Sophie Says: You're Wrong on its own blog. I've really gotten a kick out of writing for it. Getting out of my own head, and trying to write in Sophie's voice, well the voice I think she'll have when she gets big, is surprisingly theraputic. Currently, the new blog only has stuff that I've posted here, but I (that is SOPHIE) will try to update that one daily, if we receive enough questions to answer. Thanks much to those who have written in to, and thanks again to Rob for the great idea.

Today's best thing about being a mom:
Summer sundresses (for her, not me)

Today's worst thing about being a mom:
Finding car entertainment

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Summer Lovin'

I’m sitting at my desk, reeling at the fact that school is almost over, that summer has arrived, that at this time next week, I’ll be 2 days into summer vacation. Yesterday we took our end-of-year trip to Seven Peaks Water Park. Because I have this dumb chest cough I can’t shake, I just lay in the sun and watched everyone’s stuff. Well, half of the sun-laying was because of the cough, the other half was that I’ll be damned, double damned, and triple damned if I will ever wear a swimming suit in front of my students. Even if I was skinny—that’s just a little more self-exposure than I’m ok with. Other than having to break up a little back-of-the-bus making out, things went surprisingly smoothly. Today we had a cook-out and signed the year-“booklets”that I ended up making, myself, at home, because my yearbook editor dropped out. Tomorrow is check-out and graduation, and Thursday and Friday are teacher work days. This year has been my hardest yet as a teacher. The kids just really struggled. The numbers we lost to detention, suspension, and dropping out were much higher than they’ve ever been.

When you work at an alternative high school, you just have to care about your kids. They come in so raw, so bruised by whatever system or systems they have been pushed into and out of. They won’t let you teach them anything until they believe that you truly give a shit. And because so many haven't (given a shit) they don't make that easy. But teaching is your job, your "thing." So you do--give a shit that is. You find out about them. You listen. You look for clues about what they like—other than getting high—so that you can try and talk to them, connect with them. You give them a ride if you see them walking in the rain—fudge that F into a D- because you know their mom’s an alcoholic and they’ve been taking care of their little brothers and sisters. You read their poetry about dead roses and bleeding souls and the black cauldron of pain and dispair and find something authentic to say about it. Then they break your heart by running away, getting pregnant, failing UA after UA, blowing off the last big assignment, calling you a bitch, not capitalizing English when they sign your yearbook, and spelling “a lot” as “alot" even though you’ve told them over and over and over and over again that “a lot” is two mother fucking words for Christ’s sake and in the name of all that is good and holy!!!!

Ok. So obviously I’m ready for a break. MAYBE 10 weeks will be enough to begin to consider doing this again next year.

Today’s best thing about being a teacher:
June, July, and August

Today’s worst thing about being a teacher:
Apostrophe rage

Sunday, May 21, 2006

More from...

You're Wrong: Ask Sophie

You're Wrong: Ask Sophie is written by Sweet Sophie Gene, also known as Grandpa's Favorite, Jimmy's Bane, MY HELL!, and Mistress of all she Surveys. Sophie's interests include pudding art, sand box baking, and finding many and varied ways to turn order into chaos. In her 3 (almost 4) years of being alive, she has learned many helpful things, most importantly, that YOU'RE WRONG. Sophie would like to help you with this problem.

If you're wrong, which, duh, you probably are, send your questions to Sophie Says at

Dear Sophie,

Why is vodka so gosh-darned yummy? Rather, I should qualify that: Why does anything above well and bottom shelf vodka taste so yummy? And why isn't it part of the school milk and lunch program here in the States like it is in Russia and the other ("solvent") former Soviet Republics?

Thanks for your input!

Jaques Roux

Dear Jaques,

Holy Care Bear Stare! You’re…you’re…you’re NOT WRONG!! Probably because you’re a cartoon and a mouse, not a grown up. I don’t know much about this vodka of which you speak, although I suspect it has something to do with that “grown up juice” my mom won’t let me have, but you’re right about the fact that things on the bottom shelf suck, and things on the top shelf are THE BOMB! That’s why my mom puts them up there. Because she’s a selfish poopy-pants who won’t share. All of the bitchinist things are on the top shelf. So are the most delicious. Why, the top shelf in the living room has ALL of mom’s prettiest things on it. The top shelf in the bathroom has the nail polish (Now it does. Now that I finally figured out how to open it—Now she moves it to the top shelf. Sheesh.) The top shelf in the kitchen is home to such delicacies as marshmallows, chocolate chips, and now, the honey bear. (This really chaps my butt, because the honey bear used to be middle shelf material, and like the polish, mom caught me with it, and moved it up a shelf.) I’m sure there are more delectable things up there that mom won’t let me have, because she’s always keeping the good stuff away from me. Did I ever tell you about the chocolate ice cream incident? OMG. This was when I was little—like, a year ago? Mom always got me vanilla ice cream cones. I didn’t argue—because I was sweet and innocent then, and didn’t know there were more flavors—like, chocolate flavors? Like I said, the vanilla was ok, but not very good painting material, ya know? I could spread it around, but it didn’t show up very well. So then, Mom and I went to get ice cream with Grandma. Grandma ordered a chocolate ice cream cone. I was like—what? I had a lick of Grandma’s, cone and it was heaven. I turned to my mom and asked, “Chocolate? Ice? Cream? Chocolate Ice Cream?!?!?” Grandma traded with me of course, because Grandma does anything I tell her (she’s good like that) and not ONLY did it taste better—but is almost as superior a medium for painting as pudding! Mothers.

Dear Sophie,

I love to have pretty toes in the summertime but I'm having a hard time choosing from all my polish colors. What color do you think I should paint my toes this week?


This little piggy

Dear Piggy,

Hmmm. I learned a bunch of new words this week. I know what a trilobite is. I learned the difference between a carnivore, an herbivore, and an omnivore. I also learned that “ass hat” is not a nice word. So, I won’t call you one, BUT I will call you the new words I learned for WRONG which are: incorrect, mistaken and erroneous. Honey—if you have polish options, why should you stop at one color? Is there a law that all 10 toes have to match? I mean, what would have happened if all the little piggies had had roast beef, or all had gone wee-wee-wee all the way home? BOOOOORRRRRIIINNNGGG!! Rainbow Brite is not my fashion role model for nothing. When talking color—the more the better. In fact, who says that you have to stick to one color per toe? Unfortunately, that isn’t the only place where you’re wrong. Now, generally, I’d agree with you that rather than limit yourself to the nail, you should just go ahead and paint the whole toe. HOWEVER, I’ve tried it. Painting the whole toe, that is. Not only will this get you into big trouble with your mom (especially if you also try to do her a favor and brighten up those dull white walls while you're at it) but it also kinda stings. One final tip--avoid the sand box for at least 15 minutes after painting. You think sand in the crack is bad? Sand stuck to your nail polish is worse than dad watching his shows during Angelena Ballerina or picking up your own toys.

p.s. To all of my mommy's computer friends: She asked me to tell you that she didn't forget how to read or type. She has just been sick and tired and busy and grumpy (believe me--I know) and HER mommy taught her that if you can't think of anything nice to say don't say anything, so she hasn't. Mom also wants to say thank you to Rob for suggesting "Sophie Says."

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

You're Wrong: Ask Sophie

You're Wrong: Ask Sophie is written by Sweet Sophie Gene, also known as Sugar Boogar, Pumpkin Pants, Princess Alistacia, and The Sophinator. Sophie is this many and completed her potty training at PU where she is currently working toward her MBA (Master of Butt-wiping without Assistance). Sophie has enjoyed telling people that they are wrong for as long as she can remember. If you're wrong, which, duh, you probably are, send your questions to Sophie Says at
Dear Sophie,

When holding imaginary tea parties, what finger sandwiches are the best to serve?

Darjeeling in Denver

Dear Darjeeling in Denver,

You’re wrong. And by that I mean really wrong. You’re asking the wrong question. Imaginary tea parties are for girls with no imagination. Are you telling me you can’t rustle up a few cups and something that will do for tea? What’s a party with no pouring? The average American home is FILLED with liquids that are reachable by the 2-4 set. Just because you can’t open the fridge (But tell me honestly—have you REALLY tried? Both hands on the door—feet braced against the bottom, and put all your weight into it girl)! doesn’t mean you can’t have tea. Look for reasonable substitutions in the following places: the dog’s water dish, the bath tub, the toilet (also good for impromptu wading parties), dad’s left out Pepsis, and last night’s sippy cup. In a pinch, I’ve even used melted popsicle and shampoo! Once you’ve worked out your tea problems, we can move on to sandwiches.

Dear Sophie,

I'm a four year old in crisis! My birthday is coming up and I have a life altering decision to make: Power Puff Girl or Ninja Turtle cake?


Wants Both Cakes and Eat Them Too.

Dear Both Cakes and Eat Them,

Jinkies! Could you BE MORE WRONG? Two words. Scooby Do. The Power Puff girls are SO YESTERDAY. They’re quasi cool, but definitely NOT cake worthy. Bubbles is a total cry baby. Blossom, I’ll give you, is kind of sassy, but those bows? Please. Buttercup totally has an Avoidant Personality Disorder AND a Napoleon Complex both of which I’m sure stem from the fact that she has no parents, and was in fact created by a lab mistake. As for the Ninja Turtles? Zoinks! They’re not yesterday. They’re the day before yesterday! Heroes in a half shell—turtle power? I’ve heard better jingles in my old rattles. Scooby is timeless. The gang is awesome. Plus—they have a bitchin’ van.

Dear Sophie,

I currently invest in a low-interest mutual fund. With gas prices being what they are today, would you suggest I divert some of my capital into oil?

Paul Allen

Dear Douche Bag,

Wrong! Wrong! Wrong-o-rama! Anyone who’s anyone knows that the best way to make your money work for you is to invest in vending machine toys. Is there any better return on capital than sticky hands, slime, temporary tattoos, fashionable jewelry, glow in the dark bouncy balls, Dracula fangs, mini aliens, and super sour gum balls? I think not.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Cut the Mullet!

So, here's how the whole mullet scene went down.

E had been in Vegas on business. Truth? I was a teeny bit miffed about this. Work travel is an inevitable, but either I didn't listen, or he didn't let me know until pretty last minute on this one. So, I was on my own getting Soph to school in the mornings--which is very tricky with my early work schedule. In addition, I've never been a very patient person, but the end of the school year, health stuff, whatever, and enter bitchy bitchy Becky.

E came home yesterday, and was feeling a bit blue--and I had absolutely 0 tolerance. I just wanted to get OUT of the house, be ALONE, and not care for anyone at all, including myself. E put Sophie to bed (kind of early) in my bed, and didn't read her a story because she was being a brat. Then, he and I had a discussion (fight). This lead to him going downstairs and me sitting upstairs, my bitch motor revving at about a billion rpm. I HEARD Sophie talking and messing around in the bedroom, but thought, "E put her to bed. Just because he went downstairs to hide doesn't mean it's my job to check on her. I'm DONE being a mom today. So there." Of course, 20 minutes later, Soph comes tarting into the livingroom wearing one of my sweaters, announcing, "I look like Grandma!" It took me a second or two to really see what she had done. Imagine you're 3. You're in bed, but not tired. You start going through mom's dresser drawers and find a tiny pair of scissors. Bitchin'. So you grab the hair closest to your face and began to cut. Mullet is a slight exaggeration, I guess. Basically she cut all the hair she could see and reach to about 4 inches long--just even with her ears.

My very adult response was to blame her father, find my keys, and get the fuck out of the house. This morning while I was at work, E took Soph to the salon, and had the quasi-mullet issue rectified. I didn't take any pictures of the original debacle. But...

Here are the scissors she used.

Here is the hair I found on the floor. (Well, the hair that Jimmy didn't eat.)

And...Here is the new hair cut!

Today's best thing about being a mom:
This is a hard one today. I guess I can look forward to fewer fights about brushing her hair.

Today's worst thing about being a mom:
I'm kind of weary of always being on call. Let's see. 15 years till my lunch break?

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Soccer Chick

Posting this quickly from Mom's house. Lightning storm took out my modem. Bugger all. Check out my soccer chick. Who, 30 minutes ago, totally gave herself a MULLET with the nail scissors in my bedroom, where/when she was supposed to be going to sleep. To to to painful to post pictures or say more now.