Friday, December 24, 2010

Just a suggestion

Dear E,

You know I love you truly, madly, deeply. However, may I suggest that if you find yourself drinking wine out of either Sophie's crayola thermos or a bud vase, you consider washing a glass?

XO, Boo

Today's best thing about being a mom: Laying in bed together in the morning reading.

Today's worst thing about being a mom: Finding half eaten moldy oranges in the dress ups.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

I miss my peeps...

and I'm afraid some of them have given up on me.

I'm not a huge social butterfly and I don't have tons of friends, but I haven't seen or reached out to those I do have for so long. And I'm lonely.

Summer blasted by, and then school started, and my health hasn't been great. First I had a crazy rash for like, ever, and then the cough that wouldn't end. Add to that 3 of my besties have new babies in their houses, and now here we are, months later.


Today's best thing about being a mom: Having someone to play Uno with.

Today's worst thing about being a mom: We were both feeling sad and friendless yesterday.  It was a blue, blue day.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

3 years later...

and I'm looking in boxes that I never unpacked from the last move.  Dur.

I'm making progress, but slowly.  Why is it that when I have house related work to do, I always find it necessary to play about 50 games of bejeweled blitz first?

Did I mention I'm 35.  Thirty five fucking years old. So why do I still not feel like an adult?  Adults do things like dust the shit on the plant shelves. Adults keep their cars clean. Adults have some recognizable filing system. I feel about 19 today.  I just don't feel like I will ever get the hang of this grown up thing.  Shit, the next thing you know I'm going to be building a beer bong, buying a Pearl Jam CD, and heading to freshman orientation.

Today's best thing about being a mom: Went and saw Tangled today. It's nice to have an excuse to see the new Disney flick.

Today's best thing about being a mom: I'm going to have to go through and sort out her room. Again. Nothing blows like packing up kids' rooms.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Still to do for Christmas

(...another list. Hey, I'm moving and Santa is expected to arrive in less than a week. Doin' my best here!)

1. Stocking stuffers: I'm so bad at this!  I always think I'm done, and then I realize I have nothing for stockings. So, I need 2 oranges, a bunch of candy, and a knickish knackish something for both of the kids.

2. E.  Darn his hide. I can't decide if he REALLY only wants the Fringe season 2 DVDs that he ORDERED FOR HIMSELF or if I really need to go comb the town for something else amazing. Maybe I'll stick some sticky bows to my tits Christmas Eve and just give him a good old fashioned jolly rogering.

3. The CROCHET!  Having decided to give my loved ones all small store bought gift plus a handmade crocheted item seemed like a good October. Now I am rushing to finish Mom's shawl, hats for the extended family boys, and other stuff for other people.

4. Cookies. When are Soph and I going to make cookies?  Tomorrow morning?  Sounds good to me.  We need some Russian tea cookes, cut outs (where oh where are the cookie cutters!?), and I also promised her we'd make some almond bark.  Ok. Doable.

This really doesn't sound like too big of a list, until you take into account that I also need to PACK AND MOVE next week.

Today's best thing about being a mom: Being forced to slow down and make cookies in the midst of the chaos.

Today's worst thing about being a mom: See above.

Friday, December 17, 2010


1. Is 35 too old to wear a big fake pink flower in your hair? (...because I'm trying to pull one off today.)

2. Is there any gracious way to smooth over receiving a gift from someone when you don't have anything to give them? (...because I thought we weren't doing gifts at work people!)

3. Is there any possible worse time to move than during the holidays? (...because I don't effing think so!)

4. Do kids ever outgrow acting like lunatics on the last day of school before Christmas vacation? (...because mine seemed to have all eaten crack krispies for breakfast today.)

5. Is there an age when you just say "no" when your kid asks you if there's really a Santa? (...because Soph asked me again this morning, and seemed really serious about it. And I said "yes" but am thinking...I don't know...that she really wanted the truth this time.)

Today's best thing about being a mom: Singing "Holly Jolly Christmas" together.

Today's worst thing about being a mom: Keeping the magic...but also keeping it real.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

This is good news...right?

So everything with the home sale is now official, and we'll be closing before the end of the month.  The folks buying it actually wanted us out before Christmas, but I basically said, "Sweet baby Jesus in a manger. Are you shitting me?" (to E, not to them,) and so we'll be here until the end of the month.

And that means that we'll have to move. To a new house. Which we decided on today. It's actually E's parent's old house, which has been standing empty. It took me months to officially decide that it's the place for us, and now that the decision has been made, I feel quasi-barfy.

The pros are many. With family, financial matters are more flexible. This is good. Also, the house is simply gorgeous. Too gorgeous for the likes of me, I feel. It's plenty big, so now E's office and Janz's bedroom can be separate entities. Again, good. The yard is loverly. The neighborhood is nice.  And did I mention it's only 2 blocks from my work?  Pro, pro, pro.

But for some reason, I'm way stressed about the neighbors. They're all fancy Mormon ladies. I am none of above. Not fancy. Not Mormon. And more a gal than a lady. I fear they will hate me. And before we had decided to move in, I was pretty cavalier about it. But now, I have an almost first-day-of-school feeling in my tummy.

Today's best thing about being a mom: Who knows? I've barely seen Soph today. This morning we spent about 15 minutes together before I went to work, and she went over to her pal J's house right after school.  Yesterday she spent the afternoon with her great grandma, so I hardly laid eyes on her then, either.

Today's worst thing about being a mom: Feeling more and more out of the loop.

Friday, December 10, 2010

It's a world of laughter a world of tears...

Lennie died today.

It really shouldn't have come as a surprise.  He pretty much dies twice a year, every year, so I shouldn't get so broken up about it, but every time I read the last chapter of Of Mice and Men aloud in my 10th grade English class, I bawl like a pregnant lady watching a 1980s long distance commercial.

I always think I'm going to make it through, but as soon as George starts telling Lennie that he isn't mad at him, and that they've got each other and he tells Lennie about the little place for the last time, I start to lose it. Stupid.

Then, I went and watched Soph sing in the choir at the school Christmas concert. And even though I'm not Christian or actually anything, every time a choir sings Silent Night I get all choked up.  Add that it's a children's choir and my child is up there looking so earnest and sweet, and forget about it.  I spent the rest of the hour, including the portion when the 2nd grade was singing "I want a Hippopotamus for Christmas"--accompanied on kazoos--snuffling into my scarf. Lame.

I also bawl when listening to live bagpipes, at parades when the flag goes by, and during Emmet Otter's Jug-band Christmas.  It's so bizarre. I don't actually care for bagpipe music, and though I do love my country, I'm not an excessively patriotic person.  Shit...Emmet Otter isn't even that sad.

But luckily, there was some laughter today too.  My film class finished up Some Like it Hot, and I'll never get tired of watching that movie.  So, so funny.  I love how kids who think Jack Ass is the last word in comedy will totally bust up over Jack Lemon, in drag, playing the maracas.  Priceless.

Today's best thing about being a mom: Listening to her singing with the choir.  So, so, so sweet.

Today's worst thing about being a mom: Cleaning out the desk at school.  Who knew so much crap could be stuffed into such a small place?

Thursday, December 09, 2010


I should have blogged this when it was still fresh, rather than waiting almost a week, but I had important things to do like sleep and go to meetings.

Several weeks ago, I totally rolled through a stop sign. This shouldn't come as a surprise, because I ALWAYS roll through stop signs--if I'm the only one at the intersection.  It's a very slow roll, mind you, but it is not a full and complete stop.

So a copper was totally hiding out around the corner, just waiting for someone to roll through that particular stop sign, and I was the lucky bastard who got caught.

Of course, I was on my way to pick Soph and B up from choir, so I had to call the school and let the secretary (AKA, my mom) know that I was getting a ticket and would be late. So, here are the 3 worst things about getting that particular ticket.

3. E, his backseat driving skills honed by taking Janz driving several times a week in preparation for his driver's license test, has been nagging at me for weeks to stop rolling through stop signs. He was able to contain his glee, but only just, when I reported to him that he had been, in fact, right.

2. That bugger was expensive!!! 90 smacks for the ticket, and then 60 to go to...

1. Traffic school!  What a frigging joke. The cop teaching the class was late. His power point was from 2003. Really people, for 60 bucks a pop, I feel like they can update the power point once every five years or so. Sheesh.  On top of that, the dude spent so much time adrift in the land of digression, he flipped through the slides that actually had any information about traffic laws and the adherence thereof in about 5 seconds. I quit counting the type-errors on the ppt and in the handouts after about number 40.

Today's best thing about being a mom: Soph's memorizing the poem "The Swing" from Robert Louis Stevenson's A Child's Garden of Verses for her class talent show. I really need to post some video.  She recites it with such enthusiasm and emotion.  Precious.

Today's worst thing about being a mom: (Had to pause and think a while today. Nice.) I guess her sudden aversion to bath taking.

Friday, December 03, 2010


Nothing says happy anniversary--15 years for E and me yesterday--like a nice hacking cough.

But, that's the thing about marriage. We give lip service to the whole "for better or for worse" thing, but, at least for me, that's what makes 15 years of marriage worth it--workable--hell, possible.

So, rather than sitting in a fancy restaurant (well, as fancy as it gets in Southern Utah) eating crab and "remembering when," I stayed in bed coughing up chunks while E taxied Janz to karate, picked up take out, helped Soph with homework, and worked out the final details of our home sale with the realtor.

And that is why I love him and why I'm married to him.

The thing is, though, that's not why I married him in the first place.  I married him when I was 20, and at 20 I wanted to marry him because he was sexy, smart, just bad enough to be interesting, and I had wanted to jump his bones ever since that first make-out session on the debate trip bus.

And don't get me wrong.  My husband is sexier and smarter today than he was then, and his bones are still ever-so-jumpable.  But. But I'm different now. In reality, we grew up together. Regardless of what the law may say, you're not an adult at 20. Shit, you can't even buy beer. And the fact that on our anniversary he took care of me, took care of our kids, and took care of business is what really keeps me going, is what makes me grateful, is what fills my heart and causes me to look forward to the next 15 years with hope and promise.

Today's best thing about being a mom: This morning, Soph was transforming her room into "Candy-cane Cove;" her idea of a winter wonderland, singing Jingle Bells all the while, with nothing but a few old decorations and a bag of pipe-cleaners.

Toady's worst thing about being a mom: 8-year-olds are sure hard to Christmas shop for.  There are no "wow" items left. Plus, she's really moving away from the little kid toys and there's NO WAY IN HELL she's getting a phone.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


I've discovered that the crocheting is actually a denial mechanism.  After making 2 afghans, 1 poncho, 3 hats, several dishcloths, and a crocheted crochet hook holder in about four weeks time, I began to wonder.

We're in the middle of a pretty stressful home sale...and until last week, I wasn't 100% sure where we'd be living during the holidays. As it stands, I don't have any idea where we'll be living 8 weeks from now.  And at first, that was freaking me out. Then, after many attempts to get the situation under my control, I realized that basically, I have zero control of this thing.

And so I began to crochet. Well, and drink white russians. I've spent a substantial amount of money on yarn and Kahlua, but have, to some degree, maintained my sanity.

Soph's doing great. She loves the snow and loves the holidays. She did make me throw up in my mouth a little when she told me she'd been hypnotizing her friend "A" to stop eating her boogers.

Today's best thing about being a mom: Construction paper turkeys cut out in the shape of her hand.

Today's worst thing about being a mom: This year has been the worst one so far with her feeling left out because we live in Utah, but are not LDS.  She asked me if she could be baptized the other day, and I tried so hard to explain why NO, she could not. But that's a whole different post, isn't it?

Friday, November 12, 2010


My granny taught me to crochet when I was 10.  The potholder I made took me about 2 weeks, and the stitches were so, so tight that the thing could practically stand up on its own.  But I was proud of it, and my mom kept it for years and years. It was my first and, I think, last crochet project.

Lately, I've decided to pick up the crochet hook again. A new craft/fabric store opened in town, and Soph and I love any excuse to do a little shopping there. (For some reason, I don't hesitate to spend money on myself at the craft store the way I do, say, at the shoe store. I'm not sure why.) So I bought some yarn, and a giant hook, and started to crochet an easy afghan that Katy had taught me.

Wow, was that thing a monster.  For some reason, I decided to make it about 6 feet wide.  I did come to my senses, and decided that 6 feet was a long, if reasonable length for an afghan. The edges are anything but straight. But, it's a pretty, fuzzy green, and looks pretty on the couch, if I fold it so that the mistakes are on the inside.

I made a second afghan, of somewhat more moderate dimensions, and at least marginally straight edges, and then, I started making granny squares. They're fun, and satisfying, and there's a nice sense of accomplishment at the end of each one. Of course, now I have a dozen granny squares and no idea what I'm going to do with them.  Mostly, they're rugs and blankets for Soph's dolls. (Of course, it didn't help when Janz noticed the square I was crocheting, a pretty--or so I thought--sagey green and purple, and he said, "Hmmm. The Joker.)

My next project is a multicolored poncho for Soph. I can't deny, I think ponchos are super bitchin'. If hers turns out, the next one will definitely be for me.

Today's best thing about being a mom: Soph made me a bowl of oatmeal today. It's the first time someone has made me breakfast in a very long time.

Today's worst thing about being a mom: The oatmeal wasn't very good. ;)

Friday, November 05, 2010

Lookin' out the window

It's November 5th, and 72 degrees! The breeze blowing through the window is more of a breath of summer than of fall, and the sweatshirt I threw on in "didn't do the laundry last weekend and I'm totally out of clothes now" desperation is way to hot.  Bizarre.  It reminds me of this book.

I've really enjoyed fall this year. Usually I'm so freaked out by school starting and Christmas looming that I curse the fall and refuse to open my eyes to its beauty. Maybe since this one has gone on for so long, I've worked through the baggage to a place where I can notice and enjoy it.

Yesterday I took Soph and her around-the-corner friend J on a little nature walk.  They both are such little collectors. They want to take nature home with them in their pockets, and in mine when there's are too full.  For J, it's shiny rocks.  She just can't pass them up.  I preferred her gatherings to Soph's, which were pine cones that dripped with sap. She'll still hold my hand on walks, and by the time we got home, we were practically stuck together.

So now I'm off to do my little bit of volunteer work for Soph's teacher. I can't make it in during the day to be a reading mom, so I spend some time on Friday afternoons getting the reading folders ready for the following week.  Soph tools around visiting her old teachers and I have a chance for some one-on-one time with Mrs. S., so I see it as time well spent.

Today's best thing about being a mom: holding hands

Today's worst thing about being a mom: helping with math homework (So far it's not above my head, but folks, it's just a matter of time.)

Thursday, November 04, 2010

What to read...

Sophie is a good little reader. Not a great reader, mind you.  She's on grade level, and all of her teachers have commented that she always reads with plenty of drama and expression. (No surprise there.) But the problem is, she doesn't want to stretch herself, and she won't ever, ever, ever finish a chapter book.

She'd much rather sit and read Calvin and Hobbes (again). In fact, that's pretty much all she wants to read.  Even at bed time, when I read to her, she wants me to read her Calvin and Hobbes--reader's theater style, with her reading for Calvin and me for Hobbes.  She even gives me notes about how she thinks it should be read, and interrupts me and shows me how it should sound if she thinks my interpretation isn't quite right.

And I'm just slightly, slightly concerned about this.  Don't get me wrong. Bill Waterson is a genius, and I do love Calvin and Hobbes, but a little variety would be nice.

But really, who am I kidding.  The apple doesn't fall far from the tree, and with the exception of the books I'm reading for my young adult lit class, (Unwind--gag. The worst book I've had the misfortune of reading since Geek Love.) I haven't read anything from a new author in years.  I'm perfectly fine working my way through everything by Terry Pratchett, Diane Wynne Jones, and Sharon Creech, and with rereading my beloved Tamora Pierce, and Shannon Hale, and other "She-roe" authors.

Today's best thing about being a mom: I've been crocheting these super easy afghans lately. I gave one to Soph and she just loves it. It's nice to make something for someone you love.

Today's worst thing about being a mom: Imagining adolescence.

Monday, November 01, 2010


Wow. I abandoned this blog years ago, in favor of a fancy shmancy one on type pad. And then I never posted on the type pad blog. And then facebook came along and devoured the blogs, or at least blogging time/interest of most of my blogging pals. And then today in order to waste some time that I should be spending in productive ways, I began reading through these old posts. What a treasure. Not for anyone but me, of course, but all the same, what a treasure.

I'm not a picture taking mom, or a video making mom. And now that Sophie is 8, I've been mourning my lack of attention, my lack of appreciation of the precious days when she was little. And needed me. And skated on sprite on the new wood kitchen floors, and once stuck her new electric toothbrush in her butt. Sigh.  But here, here is a record of those days.  I had forgotten so many of our adventures together, and now here they are again.

So now, here I am, back again.  I never really liked the type pad blog, frankly.  It never felt like a home.  And the only thing facebook is good for is playing bejeweled.

I basically quit blogging when my sister told me that her daughter, then 10, I think, had discovered and was reading my blog.  It was very intellectually constipating.  But now, I suppose, I feel brave again.  At least for the present moment.

So, I hereby resurrect the blog. It won't be technologically savvy. But it will be a record. Because when my sweet Sophie Gene is 16, I'll think to myself..."Remember when she was 8, and still needed me?" And hopefully, look back here, and smile.

Today's best thing about being a mom: Halloween!  This year, Soph dressed up as the "Bride of Dracula." NOT, mind you, the bride of Frankenstein.  You see, her on again off again boyfriend (gasp, I know) "A" was dressing as Dracula, and the two wanted matching costumes.  Walking around with a couple of cool moms, supervising the trick-or-treating, and then coming home for a hot apple pie (the cocktail, not the desert) was good fun.  Also, I get to eat all of the Almond Joys out of her candy bag.

Today's worst thing about being a mom: Boyfriend!!  Well, as many times as I've insisted that "A" is a BOY and a FRIEND, but not a boyfriend, and as often as Soph has assured me that she "KNOWS THAT MOM!" she still calls him her boyfriend when she thinks I'm not listening. Mostly they chase each other around on the playground, I think, but all the same. This makes my stomach begin to think it would be a good idea to digest itself.