Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Great Dane

Because I know you were on the edge of your seats (I almost typed seat of your pants), here is the final product for International Children's Day. I hit Walmart and found a cute little skirt and blouse on clearance that were Scandinavian-ish. Then I bought a cheep lace table runner and some white ribbon and fashioned her a little cap and apron.

As you can see from the other kids' "costumes, " I may have placed a bit more importance on International Children's Day than was necessary. Oh well. I'll know next year.

Oh--what kind of food did my little Danish princess take today? Wait for it....Wait for it....

Today's best thing about being a mom:
Sometimes getting things right

Today's worst thing about being a mom:
Regulating candy intake on Halloween

Monday, October 30, 2006

Weekend Update

Wow. I haven't done one of these for a while. Let's see if I remember how.

Saturday: E drove up to Salt Lake for the day to visit Janz. I don't really know what has happened to the plan for him to move back. I thought that would have happened by now. But--I'm on a need to know status on that one, and apparently, I don't need to know. Soph and I spent a nice morning together. Apparently, whatever was causing her to be the biggest brat in all the land, be it spiritual, physical, or just temperamental has passed. Other than the occasional 4 year old crap, she's doing much better.

We babysat (of course) her pal Addison most of the day. We had a picnic, played with some play dough (colored with Kool-Aid. It makes it smell nice.), and did other assorted messy stuff. Those two girls just want to boss the pants off of each other. They are both only kids, and both are used to calling the shots. We had a few breakdowns, but nothing too serious.

Saturday night we went to a little Halloween party. Soph rocked as Scooby Doo, and Aunt Katy made me up into a pretty bitchin' pirate. I was tired and grumpy and menstruating, so we didn't last too long.

Sunday: What a total waste of a day. Not bad really, but I was tired as hell, and so was Soph. We stayed in our pajamas pretty much all day, watched too many movies, ate too much ice cream, and accomplished less than nothing.

So, as I said earlier, Soph's doing better. Good thing too, or the shit was going to hit the fan in a major way.

So ends this boring post.

Today's best thing about being a mom:

Today's worst thing about being a mom:
So, tomorrow at pre-school, they're having international children's day. The kids are supposed to dress up as a kid from a foreign country, preferably from our family's heritage, and bring a food from same country. I get that this is a fun thing to do without having to deal with Halloween costumes and candy, but sheesh. Now I have to come up with ANOTHER costume. We're pretty much Danish, with a bit of English and German tossed into the mix. How the hell do I dress my kid up like a Dane? A Viking helmet? Plus, the Danes eat a lot of fish--a lot of salted and pickled fish. Not a favorite treat among the under 5 crowd.

So, the plans I'm kicking around in my head are: 1) Make up a Danish costume with no attention paid at all to authenticity--maybe a little apron and a garland of flowers in her hair or something and sent her with some cubed Havarti on toothpicks or 2) Forget the family heritage thing and go Greek--wrap her in a quick toga and grab some baklava at the store to send with her. Votes? Other ideas?

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Take this job and shove it.


I've found a rogue computer here in the computer lab where I help/babysit my one independent study class that will let me log on to blogger. Sweet.

Know what? My daughter is a big spoiled brat pain in my ass.

That's right. You heard me. She's a brat. She's spoiled. She's a pain. The pain resides in my ass.

She's not sleeping. She's throwing huge screaming bawling fits every time she doesn't get her way, which is often, as she constantly wants to do things like take the eggs out of the refrigerator and make "egg sauce" (wtf is egg sauce anyway?) in the middle of the living room floor. The last 2 mornings have been tortuous. Tortuous like, "I'm so glad you are going to preschool and that those sorry saps there can deal with you instead of me. I'll be at work all day. See ya!" rather than "Oh my sweet love. Mommy hates to go to work and leave you because I love you so...oh the guilt" tortuous.

Every time she yells at me, I'm giving her a 3 minute time-out in her room. This morning she had 3 time outs between 6:30 and 7:30. The last one was because I wouldn't stop blow drying my hair to tie her up on a chair with her rainbow jump rope while saying "heh, heh, heh."

Night before last she got up like 5 times, the last being at 2:00, and she refused to go to back to bed. I'm talking screaming, kicking, and generally going to bits. Finally at 4 she fell asleep on the couch, exhausted with herself.

Now lately, I am a total skeptic to all things spiritual/religious/whatever. (This IS related to the above. I promise.) But over the last few weeks, the energy (I know--mumbo jumbo) in my house has been bad. Ugly bad. Like I pick up Soph and we both don't really want to go home. It's not just the filth, though that's part of it. After a night of no sleep at all, I was feeling desperate. So yesterday I picked Soph up from school, and we went to The Wizz, the local store for everything from hemp soap to glow in the dark skulls to fairy tarot cards. I consulted with the owner, Sally, and ended up buying a sage smudge stick (bundle of sage tied together.) I went home, lit it up and got it smoking, and feeling very silly, went from room to room, spreading the "sacred smoke," blessing my house, asking that only the "good, pure, and peaceful" remain. Then I put the smudge out in a bowl of salt, and sprinkled the salt around my house, repeating the blessing. I also bought a little dream catcher and hung it above Sophie's bed.

Did it work? I don't know. She slept better, but that may be due to the adult dose of benedryl I gave her before bed. She was back to being her bratty self at 5:30 this morning.

Today's best thing about being a mom:
Nothing. Nothing at all.

Today's worst thing about being a mom:
It sucks.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Thanks, but no thanks

It looks like this year we’ll be heading up to Logan to join my mom’s extended family for Thanksgiving.

When I say extended, do I ever mean extended. They have to reserve the church to have room for everyone. My mom has 6 brothers. With one exception, they all have at least 4 kids—I think. I quit keeping track of my cousins a decade or so ago. Now that the grandkids have started procreating, the numbers have reached fairly ridiculous proportions. I honestly have no idea how many 2nd cousins I have. Something like 10 or so.

I haven’t been to Logan since Sophie was 8 months old. Before that, I hadn’t been for, well, years and years. Do I dare blog about the karmic mush that is my mother’s family? Not so much. Here’s an abbreviated version.

So, my dad was in the Navy, and nearly every summer, whether we were living in Minnesota or California we would DRIVE OUR ASSES to northern Utah. Luckily, this was the pre-seat-belt days, so we would roll around in the back of the station wagon eating fruit roll-ups and gold fish crackers, playing travel games, starring in the Smith Family Way-Back-Band (did anyone else call the back of the station wagon the way-back?) and starting pinch-fights.

When I was little, I loved these trips. Cousins, cookouts, trampolines, and my grandma’s homemade strawberry jam. As the years went by, though, they became more, well, torturous. I grew boobs, lost my faith in the LDS church, and realized that just because people are related to you, it doesn't necessarily make them nice. I suddenly felt like the blackest of black sheep. Then I remembered the basement incident.

So, why am I going to Logan for Thanksgiving? Why am I going to haul my size 18 ass up to the mother land to be sized up, (I can just hear one aunt whispering to the other, “Becky used to be such a pretty girl. She sure has let herself go.) scrutinized and generally put on display? It ain’t for the turkey, I can tell you that.

Family is family I guess. None of my uncles, aunts or cousins have met Sophie, and I’d like (some) of them to. Plus, there are a handful of 2nd cousins just her age, and I’m sure she’ll have an absolute ball running through the halls of the church with them. My girl LOVES cousins. She misses the Krause kids like crazy, and absolutely adores the Jorgensen cousins. For Soph, playing with cousins is better than Disneyland. When I tell her that we’re going to meet new cousins—a whole building full, she’s going to flip.

Those little bastards better be nice to her, or I will loose my shit.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Bock Bock?

So, my brother-in-law is currently undergoing chemotherapy for a brain tumor. (He had surgery a few weeks ago and the surgeon removed most of it. The prognosis is pretty positive.) You’d think that would be the topic of my post, wouldn’t you? Well, it’s not. Somehow it doesn’t seem my story to tell.

Why, then, do I bring it up? Well, soup. Soup and chickens.

When I asked Mike what he could keep down, he said soup. Actually, he said. “Well, brothy soups don’t seem to make me hurl too bad.” So Sophie and took it upon ourselves to make him a pot of the most delicious, nutritious, non-hurl-able chicken noodle soup in all the land.

I’m actually a pretty kick-ass chicken-soup maker. For this one, I threw a nice big fresh chicken, some onion, carrot, celery, bay, peppercorns, and a little garlic in my big stock pot to make the broth, cook the chicken, and get the soup ball rolling. When the chicken was cooked, I took it out of the pot, let it cool, and commenced to remove the meat from the bones.

Soph was sitting on the counter, as is her usual MO when I’m cooking. Now, my girl has eaten a lot of her chicken in her day, but I think this was the first time she saw an actual whole cooked chicken. Her chicken usually appears in nugget or drumstick form. She looked at the chicken for a while and said, “This isn’t a real chicken. Right Mommy?”

I answered her, “Well, yes. It is.”

She thought a while and asked, “But it never had a head. Right Mommy?” Warning bells began to ring on my mommy radar.

Deciding that honesty was the best policy, I told her, “Well, actually, yes. It did have a head.”

She sat for a while, and then asked the inevitable, “Where is the head now?”

Again, going with the honesty, and trying to head off further questions, I decided to give her the whole story. “Well Soph. This chicken was alive. And then somebody killed it and chopped of its head and pulled off its feathers and sent it to the store. We bought it at the store to make some soup for Mike.”

“Was it a bad guy?”

“Was who a bad guy?”

“The guy that chopped off the chicken’s head.”

“Nope. It wasn’t a bad guy. It was just a regular guy. Honey, when we eat meat, it means we’re eating an animal. The animal was alive once. Farmers raise animals for us to eat. That’s why there are farms. We need to be grateful for our food and not waste it, because the animals were alive once. Some people have decided that eating meat is not ok, and they are called vegetarians. That’s ok. But Mommy thinks it’s ok to eat meat. She just tries to be very thankful.”

“But not cows. Right mom? We don’t eat cows.”

“Well, yes. We do. Hamburgers are made from cows.”

Now the whole time we’re having this conversation, she’s been picking little bits of chicken out of the bowl I’m using and munching on them. At this point, she kind of looked at the piece of chicken in her hand, then sort of shrugged and popped it in her mouth.

This conversation is not unlike the one we had when Soph was just learning to talk. If I remember correctly, I was eating a chicken sandwich. She was curious, so I offered a little piece to her, asking, “Would you like to try some chicken?” She looked with horror at my offering, and asked, “Bock bock?”

It does seem weird that her whole life we’ve read books about farms, watched shows about farms, sang songs about farms, but never once have we talked about the fact that the animals on the farm are pretty much dinner walking around. It seems weirder that we do that to begin with. That is, personify our future food. Why do we romanticize farm animals so much?

This is the part where I should deconstruct the above, and wax all philosophical about it. But I don’t think I will.

Today’s best thing about being a mom:
It makes me think about things I should think about but don’t.

Today’s worst thing about being a mom:
There’s no denial allowed.